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The Big 13 – Positive Attitude

When Henry Ford said: “If you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re probably right,’ he succinctly summed up the influence attitude can have on outcome.

Negativity says ‘I can’t…’ It anticipates difficulties and creates images of failure and embarrassment that hold people back. Positivity says ‘I Can…’ It manifests itself in self belief, constructive thinking, finding solutions and optimism.

Many successful people credit their energy, motivation, creativity and success to maintaining a positive attitude. Some say it is the single most important factor, the factor that stopped them giving up, and gave them the power to keep going until they achieved their goal.

Case study – Rawmarsh Ashwood Residential Fundraiser

When the Year Six children at Rawmarsh Ashwood were told that the annual residential trip was under threat they didn’t let it get them down. Enterprise Co-ordinator Lynda Saunders told her class the situation – the school simply didn’t have the money to send enough teaching staff to cover the regular five day trip , so theirs would be cut short at three days. Rather than tutting and wailing about how ‘unfair’ it was the children immediately responded with a positive call to action. They asked how much money they needed to raise to fund the extra teacher cover – £500 – and set about thinking of how they could raise it in the two weeks before their trip was scheduled.

Lynda said:

“They were so full of new ideas we didn’t do anything; we just let them get on with it. And because of the solid foundation of enterprising activities provided in school they have got the capabilities to put their ideas into practice.”

The children planned and organised an Easter themed fundraising morning, opening their classroom to the rest of school and ensuring the event and its purpose had been marketed far and wide. For the next two weeks Lynda made plenty of curriculum links in lessons to enable them to get their work done. In literacy they tackled persuasion, writing letters to local businesses to donate money or prizes or vouchers for a raffle. In ICT and art they created leaflets and posters to publicise the event, and in their ‘golden time’ (a weekly slot where they can pursue a topic of their choice independently), they worked on the fine details which brought the whole event together.

Lynda said:

“The children worked so hard and they were so positive. I didn’t doubt that they would succeed. They did get letters back from businesses saying they couldn’t help, but they didn’t let it put them off. They maintained their focus on the job they had to do.”

The morning of the fundraiser the classroom was transformed into a hive of Easter themed entertainment and activities. There were ‘name the chick’ competitions, decorate an egg competitions, raffles, refreshments and an Easter egg hunt. Local businesses had donated vouchers, money and prizes for a bumper raffle and the morning had a brilliant turn out because of the comprehensive promoting campaign undertaken by the students. By the end of the morning a staggering £850 had been raised – more than enough to take the children away for five days.

Lynda said the children’s positive attitude had been a decisive factor in the outcome for the trip. She said:

“The children could have taken the bad news about the residential in a number of ways, but they chose to do something positive about it. They felt extremely proud about what they had done, we all did.”