By Simon Yeend
Dom Kenrick believes in special moments. Moments that children will remember. Moments that will enrich their lives.
Mr Kenrick has been Head of Warden Park Academy for just one term but has already stamped his mark on the school with this approach.
His is the first face most pupils will see when they arrive in the morning and the last face they see as they leave in the afternoon as he sees the kids off, encouraging, praising and looking hungrily at any apple pies baked in food technology that day!
“I’ll be out there in the morning to welcome students into school and in the evening I walk down to the road and wave the kids off and say thanks for all your hard work. It is important to do it so that students know that I think what they have done today matters. Perhaps they’ve got something that they’ve baked in food technology class or a piece of art work or something they have made, I will always ask about it. These little moments of recognition are important as they help to build confidence, resilience and self-esteem. Lots of the work students do is very challenging therefore it is important that they feel proud about what they have accomplished.”
His approach makes him a popular figurehead following his move in the summer from Steyning Grammar. And he has been pleasantly surprised by the number of girls at the school who get involved in sport and are succeeding in other areas of the school curriculum.
“There’s a massive number of young ladies here who are bucking the trend from every other school I’ve worked in, who are getting involved, being successful and being great role models, and hopefully going on to be healthy, successful adults in the future,” he explains.
“We’ve got girls working in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) and Year 8 girls working in coding – computer science at the Amex.
“There are a lot of opportunities for girls to play sport here, and they are picking it up. Here, more than in other schools I have worked in, it’s cool to be doing these things.
“The number of kids who are here at 8 o’clock in the morning to play netball is fantastic.
That is all helped by teachers committing and parents supporting that by dropping them off early."
Full Story in January's issue of Cuckfield Life magazine