Miss Musgrove: Sutton High Girls with Superpowers

I hope you all had a restful Christmas holiday and it provided time for you and your daughters to follow your own interests and find a little bit of ‘you’ time amidst the busy lives Christmas and New Year holiday break brings. As I explained to the girls, in our first assembly of the year, I was fortunate enough to follow my passion for art and visit a number of exhibitions, all quite different.

• I saw the Impressionists on Paper exhibition at the Royal Academy, always a treat just visiting that building!
• I ventured into the recently opened National Portrait Gallery to see the David Hockney: Drawing From Life. This was fascinating and I particularly enjoyed seeing his more recent digital drawings.
• The Shirley Sherwood Gallery in Kew Gardens to see an amazing AI developed exhibition by the artist Mat Collishaw: Petrichor and the Young Botanical Artist of the year exhibition, phenomenal.
• Finally, on New Year’s Eve, I visited the Gabrielle Chanel exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, much anticipated as I’d purchased my tickets months ago. This was fascinating, the skills required to create such beautiful dresses, a piece of artwork hanging on the mannequin. As I told the girls about the exhibition, I also showed them some pictures of newly designed tote bags from the shop (I do like a gift shop visit, who doesn’t? which were from the newly opened Young V&A Museum…..a visit is definitely on my Easter holiday ‘to do’ list. It felt like the V&A had visited our school and had been so inspired, had created these gift bags with the below slogans:

My Little Bag of Wonders
My bag of Inventions
My Big Bag of Important Stuff
My Bag of Ideas

In assembly, we then had a further discussion about a slogan for a potential SHS tote bag and we decided My Superpowers Bag would be perfect.

We have been learning about our ‘Superpowers’ for a number of years, our images were inspired by a number of pupil Jenna Hunt’s drawings, who is now in our Senior School. Superpowers are those skills you need to reach for when you meet different experiences in life. I still dine out on the story of one of my first online assemblies in those early Covid days, grappling with the new, unfamiliar software when a little voice came over the air waves ‘be resilient’ Miss Musgrove! (How could I not, when I was asking them to do the same?)

As our assembly progressed, we looked at practical examples of when we use our Superpowers and which ones, we pick out of the bag to help us at that moment. For example, on the first day, the new girls needed their superpower of Bravery and Curiosity.

Then, having read the Character Lab work by Angela Duckworth, we grouped our 14 Superpowers (plus kindness which is, I personally think, the biggest and best Superpower) and worked out that you can group them into intrapersonal skills, and interpersonal skills. Quite naturally, some of our Superpowers come easily to us and other Superpowers we have to develop and learn how to make them stronger. All of us are neurodiverse, in some way, and us being an individual, which is what we are all about at SHS, means our Superpowers are individual to us – some stronger than others. We share these words and understanding when we are teaching the girls. Learning is challenging, and frequently we use the analogy of the Learning Pit to explain the process of how learning something new feels. It is when we are at the bottom of the Learning Pit that we reach into our Superpower bag to help boost us, these are the skills we will use our whole life and at Sutton High School, we are very good at teaching these skills.

As we get ready for our Spring Concert 140, the performance, the stage of flow, we are currently at the bottom of the pit, learning new words of songs and poems. Our Superpower bag is in full use as we reach for our Creativity, our Collaboration and Bravery skill set. After all, we can do this, we are fiercely independent Sutton High Girls with Superpowers!

Happy New Year!

Sutton High Prep School

86 Grove Road, Sutton,
Surrey, SM1 2AL
T. 020 8225 3072

Sutton High Senior School

55 Cheam Road, Sutton,
Surrey, SM1 2AX
T. 020 8642 0594