Andy Falconer

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Growth Mindset – How to help your child develop this essential attitude to life


25 Aug 2016 | Leave a Comment |

Five years ago at St Olave’s School we became interested in something called growth mindsetgrowth-mindset. There is a wealth of material in books and online about growth mindset, the research behind it and the many lessons that can be learned from it.

The headlines of growth mindset are very simple: if you try hard and learn from your mistakes, you will make progress. That’s growth mindset in a nutshell. It sounds so obvious you would think that every educator, every parent and every human being would be able to work this out for themselves without decades of educational research and, of course, you’re right. We know that it’s common sense.

So what is revolutionary about growth mindset? Don’t we all inherently understand and agree with the logic and the theory? Read the rest of this entry »

The Pursuit Of Perfection – Don’t Do it!


7 Jul 2016 | Leave a Comment |

Have ever read one of the Little Miss or Mr Men books? 2. PerfectIf so, you will recognise Little Miss Perfect and Mr Perfect. I have another question for you – would you rather be perfect, or accepted for who you are? If you chose perfection over acceptance, what would ‘perfect’ look like for you? I’m sure we all have our own definition of perfection.

Whilst many people describe themselves as perfectionists, perfectionism isn’t actually a positive trait. Perfectionism is striving for flawlessness and setting excessively high standards, accompanied by overly critical self-evaluations, and worrying too much about what other people think of you.

Perfectionism drives people to attempt to achieve an unattainable ideal, and when perfectionists don’t reach their goals, the consequences are negative. Ironically, the pursuit of success actually keeps the perfectionist focused on failure, completely undermining what we understand as success. Read the rest of this entry »

Living Without Regrets


30 Apr 2016 | One Comment |

Twenty years from now you’ll be more disappointed 1by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. Are you living your life so that when you look back you have very few regrets?

Jeanne Louise Calment is in the Guinness Book of Records for living to the grand old age of 122 years and 164 days. Susannah Mushatt Jones is currently 116 years old and has 100 nieces and nephews! It’s amazing to think just how much change they’ve seen in their lifetimes. Tim Peake is living in space at the moment, whilst the man on the moon was merely a throw away phrase when they were growing up. Read the rest of this entry »

10 TIPS FOR BECOMING A LEADER WORTH FOLLOWING


31 Mar 2016 | Leave a Comment |

The secret of leadership and being a great leader1 is knowing yourself and your tendencies, which allows you to lead yourself first, according to Jeremie Kubicek, CEO and co-founder of GiANT Worldwide, a global leadership consulting firm. He believes that once you become competent in leading yourself, the secret to leading others lies in understanding when to alternately support and challenge them with consistency. When people see you leading yourself and know you are for them, then they are more apt to follow you, because they perceive you as a leader worth following.

Jeremie has closely observed traits of the very best leaders in the world and has been around some of the worst. At the end of the day he wants to be known as a leader worth following who was constantly fighting for the highest possible good for those he leads and loves. Isn’t that what we all want? Read the rest of this entry »

Developing Future Leaders


13 Jan 2016 | Leave a Comment |
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Developing Future Leaders – Attain Magazine

Effective leaders are made not born, and the skills and values pupils need for leadership must be imparted at an early age whilst at school.  This is an article which I wrote for the Spring edition of Attain Magazine, which can be read in their online magazine here: https://attain.digital/issue29/attain29_article4_1.html

Leaders are born not made. I disagree. Whilst I don’t think that leadership can be taught, in the way that chemistry or French is taught, I do believe leadership can be developed. Management is a science that can be taught, but leadership is an art that must be developed. Like so many things, the earlier we start the process, the better.

John is a risk-averse Chief Financial Officer, unwilling to make a decision Read the rest of this entry »

Make the next 5 years, your best 5 years as a leader


1 Nov 2015 | Leave a Comment |

It doesn’t matter if you’re in the first year as a leader, or you’re Next-5-yearsMartin Gilbert (CEO of Aberdeen Asset Management since 1981), Martin Sorrell (CEO of WPP since 1986) or me (Head of St Olave’s School since 2005), as a leader you want to make the next 5 years, your best 5 years. I’ve been giving this some thought recently and the following are some of the things that I think will help those of us who are committed to making the next 5 our best 5.

Read the rest of this entry »

Developing Relentless Curiosity In Children


7 Jul 2015 | Leave a Comment |

Do you know anyone who is 21 years old? Can you imagine that person going on a journey. An adventure.relentless curiosity Waving them off at the station. Now, imagine that journey took them further than they planned.

Much further. 75,000 miles in fact. That’s three times the earth’s circumference.

Imagine that journey lasting longer than they planned. Much longer. 30 years in fact.

Imagine them also leaving York on foot, with a donkey to carry their few possessions. For the year isn’t 2015 but 1325, over 700 hundred years ago. And the person concerned isn’t the 21 year old who you know, but a 21 year old Arab from Morocco called Ibn Battuta. Read the rest of this entry »

Twitter Etiquette in 2015


15 Jan 2015 | Leave a Comment |
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Source: Slashgear

Didn’t your mother teach you any manners?

Probably not regarding good manners on Twitter, unless you have one cool mother.

Maybe it’s a sign that I’m getting old, but I seem to be getting wound up by people who in my humble opinion shun the basics of Twitter etiquette. Now, it’s possible that I’m in a minority of one, given that there are no rules when it comes to social media. However, there are norms. Here’s the ones that have been irritating me recently: Read the rest of this entry »

Persistence & Growth Mindset – My Speech Day Address


7 Jul 2014 | Leave a Comment |

Mark sits beside a hospital bed in Italy, surveying the wreckage that is his best friend Jonny. persistenceJonny is connected to this world by nothing more than humming machines and tubes. Jonny doesn’t realise that he’s been in a coma for the last 4 weeks. Jonny remembers nothing of being knocked off his scooter in a hit and run accident. Jonny doesn’t know how close he came to being killed.

If you are interested in cycling you will recognise the names of successful British cyclists such as Chris Hoy, Bradley Wiggins, Victoria Pendleton & Mark Cavendish but you probably haven’t heard of Jonny Bellis. Jonny is a European champion and he competed for Team GB in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. His best friend Mark, who sat beside his hospital bed, is Mark Cavendish, one of the world’s top cyclists. Read the rest of this entry »

Are you a pushy parent, pushing your child too hard?


23 Nov 2013 | Leave a Comment |

Clinical psychologist Professor Tanya Byron wrote a Pushy Parentinggreat article in The Times recently about how she feels children are increasingly suffering from anxiety and depression due to pressure from parents. It’s easy to slip into being an overly pushy parent but she suggested some ideas for how to foster health and happiness in our kids, which I have summarized here: Read the rest of this entry »