During this past summer holidays I have had plenty of time listening to and watching my children. There is no doubt that when they are doing or are involved in something they love they simply come alive. My eldest son spent most of August on a beach, which he describes as paradise. It was during this time that we simply saw his deep contentment and utter willingness to help and think about others. This response, compared with that of being asked to mow the grass and help in household chores at home was a very different one.
I think, as the new academic year starts, that teachers and pastoral leaders must recognise where pupils are ultimately energised. This is not about eating pizza and playing computer games but finding a specific space / place that fully energises them. If we can help our pupils to find this then we have given them something truly valuable for their onward journeys.