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While many of us have been busy writing Christmas cards, Year 7 Highgate pupils have been busy writing thank you postcards to School staff. And it is not just teachers receiving thanks for the help they have given during the year.

Sam Pullan, Head of Lower School, explains: ‘It’s particularly gratifying to see a wide range of staff have been given cards: alongside teachers, our cleaners, chaperones, reception desk staff, and catering team have all received several. Our security guard, who helps pupils cross the road by the Mallinson Sports Centre, has had dozens and I almost needed a sack to deliver them to him!’

‘Recent psychology research shows that expressing gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness across our lives. It is a good thing to do and a good habit to get into. I’ve found that working with pupils on these thank you cards has been absolutely lovely, in so many ways. Our pupils have been really enthusiastic, while their recipients have an extra spring in their step.’

Adam Pettitt, Highgate’s Head, adds: ‘As Charles Dickens, so known for his Christmas writings, said, “Reflect upon your present blessings – of which every man has many – not on your past misfortune, of which all men have some.” However, Christmas is a time of year when many can feel lost or overwhelmed. Encouraging our pupils to thank staff, from across our School, helps our pupils to appreciate what they have, to acknowledge the goodness in their lives, and to connect with others around them.’

In the run-up to the Christmas break, Highgate is also organising a number of charity events involving pupils. This includes a clothes collection for the cold weather shelter at Pond Square’s United Reformed Church, donating presents for Union Church’s Christmas lunch in Crouch End (for people who would otherwise be alone on that day), and a festive jumper day for the Rainforest Alliance (our Senior School charity of the year, voted for by Highgate pupils).          VG