There is something nice about the Christmas holiday; this is not because of any of my personal beliefs about the religious significance of the time of year, but because it genuinely feels like the one time in the modern world that the vast majority of us slow down as a society (I will quickly add I know many friends in the emergency services, and appreciate it is often their busiest time! We all thank you for your dedication). The difference in schools at this break is twofold: firstly, families tend to all be having a break at the same time, and so the focus on work and school issues eases, and therefore the reduction in email/phone traffic in to school is considerable; secondly, on the business side of the school, contractors/lettings etc. all pause, and therefore we have less to manage.
Importantly, it gives us all time therefore to reflect properly, especially as we welcome in a new year. It allows us to re-prioritise; it allows us to celebrate last year’s highs (and, of course, put to bed the odd low); it lets us make new resolutions; but perhaps most importantly to relax a little. For me personally, as well as spending some family time, I have always felt that this break (uniquely) offers the opportunity to see the wood for the trees.
The second aspect though is how that allows for a renewed optimism in the students. I know in the modern world students are in contact with each other all the time out of school, but there is nothing like meeting all your friends on the first day back and comparing what you have done over the break, and that leads to a fresh sense of momentum and impact in a school; so, it leaves us looking forward to the term ahead.
That purpose was clearly evident in lessons this week, although whether the discussion I had about the French number 21 (vingt-et-un) and Blackjack was entirely in line with the Year 9 French lesson objective is debatable – still they got to learn a little about the French Revolution.
Finally, could I take this opportunity to remind parents that we have placed an extra training day in the calendar next Friday; we have been fortunate enough, as a Trust (we couldn’t have afforded it as an individual school!) to have secured an internationally renowned educationalist, Dr Bill Rogers, to lead our training day. Dr Rogers’ diary really dictates his availability, and we believe we couldn’t afford not to give all staff the opportunity to work with such an expert.
Enjoy the weekend