This year as the business has grown, we have had a focus on being better at communication. While we have had a few hiccups along the way, putting in place new systems has been a rewarding experience. As team we can see that we need to hold onto strong communication with each other, our students and their families. This flows through to the programmes that we teach. It is important that our students know what is expected of them, that we communicate next steps in learning and that they received feedback and feed forward that is useful for them. This term in the Junior Academy programme we have had a learning focus on Talks and Presentations. I have been particularly interested to note that new students often really struggle with the concept of extemporaneous speaking. No notes, cue cards or memorizing, just speaking naturally from a plan that we have rehearsed. I notice that these students are often afraid to take risks, afraid to get it wrong or are worried that they might say the wrong thing. Many schools are still advocating the “cue card” speech techniques that require memorization or reading...not speaking from your knowledge or your heart. Taking risks in communication is the only way to make change. Taking risks builds resilience and taking risks will make us better communicators. We need to have the tools and take some risks!