A student reflection on excellence

Each year, Grimwade House Captains reflect on their time at the School. Here, Year 6 student and one of the 2019 Grimwade House Captains, Tabitha, reflects on what excellence means at Grimwade House.

Excellence at Grimwade House has never been just about your report card at the end of the semester. It is not about how fast you run, how many goals you kick, or how perfect your painting is. Excellence at Grimwade House has always meant more. It is how hard we strive, how much we improve as individuals and an attitude of respect and kindness towards our peers, our teachers and the whole School community.

Excellence is not just an outcome at Grimwade House. What we value is the journey of striving for it. Our School inspires the attitude of seeking to do our best and we understand that sometimes, no matter how hard we try, it will not be perfect. The teachers give us space to make mistakes. It is okay for us to fail, sometimes many times over. These are learning opportunities. We do not get in trouble. Instead we are encouraged and praised because as long as we try again, we have succeeded.

Must excellence always be rewarded with ribbons and cheering? We certainly have lots of this at Grimwade House, with our Blues, certificates and House sports. However, we also celebrate excellence in the small things, the unnoticed acts of kindness and the achievements that do not get prizes. Grimwade House students understand that their ordinary daily actions matter, so we strive for excellence in these too, even when we know nobody is watching.

Grimwade House values each student’s unique personal improvement and recognises that with their own best effort and a positive mindset, excellence will follow. As Vince Lombardi, coach of the Green Bay Packers said, "Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

Grimwade House has created an identity and culture that fosters a positive mindset in the pursuit of excellence. How students carry themselves in our community is more important than academic, sporting or musical results. It is quietly walking into assembly listening to the musical performer, it is taking pride in our School uniform and it is shaking Mr Starkey’s hand enthusiastically each morning. It is respecting the School values with our thoughts and actions every day, no matter how we are feeling.

When I first started Prep, I found it hard to farewell my mum each morning, though other kids bounded into the classroom without a backwards glance. When I finally felt confident to say goodbye happily, it was excellent for me, but for others, this was an unremarkable act. Seven years on, it is hard to believe that was me.

I will forever be grateful for the hundreds of opportunities that Grimwade House has given me, and all its students, to strive for excellence, to improve every day and every year and to be part of such a supportive and vibrant School community.