The Art of Learning

There are weeks that it is an absolute privilege to be a Headteacher and having opportunities to watch students learning, and this week will stand out for a while as being so varied. I have to say I feel guilty that so many of these opportunities have taken place externally and have fallen in the same week; but sometimes that is the way the “cookie crumbles”.  Whatever the context, discussing learning with young people helps shape future decisions and gives a real insight in to their experiences.

The 4 opportunities this week really showed the range of the job. On Tuesday, I visited Crowlands School and spent time watching the Year 6s getting ready for their SATS (Best Wishes to all our future students). On Wednesday, I  visited the Olive Academy in Hornchurch to see the alternative provision for our students/ex-students across the Borough, who perhaps have been excluded or are on turn-around programmes. On Thursday, I had the pleasure of showing Patricia Metham around (she is an ex Ofsted inspector who is working with Havering on school improvement) with a focus on year 8 & 9 lessons. Finally, today, I am at the Sixth Form College spending time seeing how our students do on the next stage. It reminds us that our role in the students’ educational journey is only part of the bigger picture, and ultimately all these experiences help shape students.

However, the biggest pleasure this week is watching the Year 11 students producing their final pieces of Art. I know I have said this before, but I think it is the combination of my envy for their wonderful talents coupled with the pride that our art department really encourages independent thought processes and a variety of production techniques, that make me just stand in awe and look at their work. Of course, I will have my own pretences for types of art, but that doesn’t stop me recognising the talent in all the students in the room.

Good luck to all Year 11 commencing their written exams next week.

Finally, a mention to the latest cohort of the Brilliant Club who graduated at Cambridge University this week.

Enjoy the weekend.

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