A sense of pride…

Sophie Bradshaw, Head at The Dulwich School Cranbrook, reveals why the co-ed independent school for 3 to 16-year olds is now a social media free zone and why so much emphasis is being placed on pupils having pride in whatever they do…


Being proud is something we often get mixed messages about. Pride… and Prejudice. Pride… comes before the fall. Pride… the 7th deadly sin!

Pride is also something we often associate with praise. But the danger of believing that being proud is something that we need other people’s permission for is a big problem for our children. The dopamine hits that our teens experience on social media from ‘likes’ and ‘views’ is addictive. And it compounds the idea that we need external validation in order to feel proud of ourselves.

At Dulwich Cranbrook, as well as making our school a social media free zone, we are making intrinsic pride a whole-school project. We want children to feel proud of their efforts, their progress, and their success – however small, or personal – even when there is no award, no fanfare, and no ‘like’.

From September, every child will have a ‘proud peg’ – a simple clothes peg with their name on – to display something that makes them proud. A certificate, a photo, a great piece of work or something they struggled with – because the struggle itself made them proud.

These pegs will reflect the individuality of our children.

They will celebrate their differences, talents and interests. But more than that, they will teach our children about the importance of developing an intrinsic, internal sense of pride. A pride which is forthcoming, even when a trophy is not.

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