White rabbit wisdom.


‘I’m late…I’m late…for a very important date!’

So sang the white rabbit as he rushed ahead of Alice down the rabbit hole in that marvellous Disney cartoon of Alice in Wonderland.

I hate being late for anything don’t you? I suspect that this comes from the time when I had to catch a 7.15 am train for school every day. That train never waited a second beyond it’s scheduled departure time and my heart would pound as I ran down the road, always last minute, and breathless.

I was taught that being tardy was in fact dreadfully disrespectful. It could even be thought of as rude- ones own time being so much more valuable than that of the person waiting for me at the other end of the journey.

Am I the only person left alive to think like this? I do hope not !

If you have yet to appreciate the many benefits of being on time let me point out a few on which to ponder ;

  • Being on time means you never miss out on the best seat.
  • Be on time – you have a better chance of being first in the queue for the chocolate biscuits!
  • Being on time means never having to sit through anything with a red face, racing pulse and an anxious feeling of early failure. (Being on time allows you to smugly gaze upon the faces of folk who do rush in red faced and stumbling, ho ho !)
  • Being on time is a life enhancing habit that marks you out as a person on whom to rely: a person of integrity and enthusiasm.
  • Being punctual never cost anyone a job!

I struggle to see any advantage in being late (other than five extra minutes beneath the bed clothes on a cold winter morning) and certainly for children, being routinely late to school really destroys good learning.

Consider, if you will, the following mathematical reality.

Just 5 minutes late each day = 25 minutes missed a week.

10 minutes late = nearly an hour missed.

And what of those children who are regularly turning into our doors at gone nine o’clock? Well they have already missed 15 minutes. Over the academic year they will lose 47.5 + hours of teaching time, nearly eight full days of school!

Can anyone really afford to give children another week away from learning? There are only 38 weeks as it is in any school year in this country. That, by my reckoning, leaves 14 weeks , a great amount of time off and certainly more than enough time to hide under the duvet.

High Hazels academy opens its doors at 08.40am and registers are taken at 08.45am – remember, please, it’s essential to be on time! We rely on parents to help us to get everyone sitting on their chair in class ready for a punctual start to the teaching day. You really are teaching your children a life long skill if you impress upon them the importance of punctuality.

In the book ‘Alice in Wonderland’ written by Lewis Caroll, the white rabbit of whom I spoke earlier , appears at the very beginning, wearing a waistcoat, and muttering “Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!” Thus Alice follows him down the rabbit hole into Wonderland.

As I stood at the school gates yesterday morning, gazing down the road at the stragglers coming in late to start the day, it occurred to me the same sense of urgency our fury friend so visibly displayed, needs to be

adopted here at High Hazels.

follow the rabbit!

follow the rabbit!

Come on…hurry up…you are LATE!


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