The Making Of Us: Why School Matters
In The Making of Us, Clarissa Farr shares the wealth of her extensive experience to explore key questions facing parents, teachers, business leaders and managers everywhere.
What contributes to the success of women? How can we inspire confidence and nurture excellence in children - girls especially - that will equip them for adult life? Drawing on her time as high mistress of St Paul's Girls' School, one of the most successful schools of the country, Clarissa reflects on her experience of working as a key figure in the UK's education system.
From the pressures of the staff room and results day, to the isolation of leading as a headmistress, In The Making of Us helps us understand the real challenges facing children and educators in the UK, but also points to what needs to change. Making the case for agile, flexible leadership, Clarissa highlights the importance of giving others space to take the limelight and grow in confidence. Finding the balance between structure and spontaneity enables children and teachers alike to grow and flourish in their own way. Most importantly, all children need the expertise of teachers to mentor, coach, guide and encourage them, regardless of their background.
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Being a Head can be a lonely job, balancing the need to remain ‘in charge’ with moments when you are wondering how to keep yet one more plate spinning. I was privileged to be mentored by Clarissa for over a year and can say, without fear of contradiction, there can be no one better suited to providing the guidance, motivation, and emotional support one needs in a leadership position.
It is a rare person who, after an illustrious career, can still remember what it was like to be starting out and to listen and empathise without judgment or a hint of fatigue. A mentoring session with Clarissa feels like a combination of good counselling and focussed inspiration. Eminently practical, insightful and great fun, every session left its mark and I still use the notes and reflections from our discussions.
The Sunday Times
[Farr] has certainly shown her talent here as the teller of a good story … part memoir, part love letter to the mad, wonderful world of schools and school leadership,
Farr brings to life her own experiences and interweaves them with wider reflections upon education in the UK today… a warm and witty book.
Jean Ritchie, QC
An urgent call to improve the way we help young women prepare for this complex world written by someone with oodles of experience and a load of passion for good education
This is a crucial book of the moment: the best informed education insider laying out how schools should work.
Farr’s writing is graceful and considered: she's honest about the highs and lows of her own career, as well as unspoken topics such as dealing with over-protective parents.
An insightful, useful book: excellent for parents and teaching professionals alike.
Bestselling author of E=mc2
Clarissa Farr was the doyen of headmistresses in the early 21st century.
Wise, courageous, and compassionate, a true leader from a world where many heads struggle to lead
Sir Anthony Seldon
Vice Chancellor, University of Buckingham
In this topical and moving book Clarissa Farr bridges the gap between a traditional education and the 21st century internet revolution.
With an astounding lightness of touch that is only available to a true master Clarissa looks at the importance of school, community and education … And somehow manages to guide us towards thinking about helping our girls find an existential resilience.
With the onslaught of increased mental illness and a rapidly changing and challenged world they are going to need it
Author of "What About the Children"