I was showing a potential interview candidate around on Tuesday, who had clearly done their research well, and he expressed surprise that we still did the Senior Citizens Christmas Party. I was slightly surprised, and then he quickly clarified that he liked the idea, but was upset that so many schools had dispensed of these traditions. I actually don’t know how many schools carry on these events, and hope that we are in the majority, but I do fear sometimes that education has too often just been become about performance tables rather than the wider brief.
Interestingly, at a personal level, I find events like the Christmas Party challenging. I’ve never been one of those raconteurs that can hold court at a wedding, in a bar, or host a meal – give me a quiet 1-2-1 meeting over a coffee any day! However, that doesn’t mean to say that we shouldn’t respect local traditions, and it is our way of putting something back in to the local community.
Talking of community events, I thoroughly enjoyed the performance of “Frozen Heart”. I have never seen “Frozen” (Disney isn’t really my thing, apologies to be controversial) and Disney Princesses aren’t really high on my boys’ present lists (hope that doesn’t sound too gender stereotypical), but the show was excellent: it was well sung, choreographed, directed and acted – many thanks to Miss Fulbrook and the team. Thanks too, to the large numbers of staff and students, as well as parents and family, who came to support and reinforce our strength as a school community.
This time of year is always busy in schools, and none of these events come without some cover implications (although students tend to use the American word ‘substitute’ nowadays), and for that I apologise slightly. However, we need to think about the overall value these activities add, and the enjoyment and confidence our students gain. In all of those activities (and many more, e.g. Yuletide log competitions in Year 7), there are those that are confident and those who build with one step at a time, but they all get there in the end. Indeed, those that are reluctant up front can often derive the most enjoyment from those moments, as they surprise themselves what they have accomplished.
Finally, can I thank all the staff, students and parents for their support this term? We have had an excellent term, and that is a result of a lot of hard work from all those in our community.
Whilst we have 3 days left next week, can I take this opportunity to wish you all a lovely seasonal break, and enjoy your family time.
Have a lovely weekend