I hope you enjoy reading the newsletter today that sums up a lot of activities in the school over the last 7 weeks, and it shows the huge diversity of talent that exists in the school. Whilst I tend to allow the newsletter to be the main communication at the end of each half term, I did want to pass a brief comment on the two week half term break.
In a curious anomaly of academy processes, the syncing of the calendars obviously has come relatively late, i.e. after the point of no return on the process, and I am not sure we really had thought about the extended holiday until this point. However, now that it is looming it is fascinating to talk to students and staff about their plans. The one aspect that unties them all is that they will have a little more flexibility rather than squeezing a break in during this notoriously long first term.
Whilst I appreciate that there is still work to do, especially for Year 11 students revising for their PPEs in the week commencing 13th November and the teachers marking and planning for the next half term, I also believe the 2 week flexibility will allow all of students and colleagues to be a little more flexible in how they deploy their time. As a feature in schools, I think this phenomenon will continue to grow for a time period in one form or another, the Norfolk schools (for example) finished this Wednesday for a week and half, and it represents a good counter balance to a school system that is much more pressurised than a few years ago.
School, of course, doesn’t stop per se; there will be the first phase of work on the Youth Centre over the holiday, moving forward on the repairs to the flat roof, completion of the fence line for safeguarding at the front, and scoping work on a temporary build to allow for expansion. I accept none of these are glamorous, but they are necessary steps in creating a school that is fit for purpose for the next phase of the journey.
As for me, I have been requested to do the school run by my children for the week after the traditional half term slot; I am not sure how I am going to cope with a week on the other side of the fence being in the playground brigade? A group of Year 7 students are slightly obsessed with whether I prefer Costa or Starbucks (I did try to say independent places, e.g. the The Art Café in Colchester does wonderful cappuccinos if you are in the area), but I suspect the answer to the playground dilemma may well revolve around visits to the nearest coffee establishment quickly afterwards…and those Year 7 students know whether it will be Costa or Starbucks.
Have a restful two week holiday.