Building Our Community

One of the slightly sad aspects of expansion is that we never get to have the full school together in one place, and hence why we often vary the Monday assembly arrangements. This Monday, it was the entirety of Years 7-10. I don’t spend much time highlighting the assembly messages in the blog, but I told the story of Emmett Till and intolerance in the Deep South of the USA in the 1950s. I have always found that stories like that have a resonance with the students because of the natural empathy they will have towards the main protagonist. The learning, of course, is wider for the students, and I wanted to remind people that we are a community. For example, as a criticism, I highlighted the unnecessary act of dropping litter when the school is full of bins. We all know that the sad reality is that if you watch adults in the fast food restaurants, a significant minority (my GCSE class can analyse my use of those words) do not tidy up after themselves, but that is unacceptable; it’s a small act that we can all think about to help improve our community.

A few Year 8 parents asked last night for a brief update on expansion, so I thought it would be timely to update parents and the community. The work has started in the last 2 weeks at creating the car park expansion at the back of school, and when finished it will mean all staff park behind the fence line. The small front car park will become a [smaller] visitors car park, and disabled access area (we will write further about details when we relocate), and that will allow the various contractors to move in to start the demolition of the old Youth Centre building. The tender process (through the East London framework) is virtually complete for the main new build, and we would hope that work starts in early Summer. In terms of other developments, the students are increasingly aware that we are looking at the canteen arrangements to add capacity, and an improved, modern library space. From my perspective, exciting times for our school, and therefore even more important for students to reflect on my comments about remembering the basics of civility in our community.

At a personal level, I have had to commute out of London twice this week during rush hour (I had meetings with a recruitment company [with our Director of HR] and went to UCL Institute of Education [with Mrs Aylett]). Great credit to the parents that do that on a daily basis. Although I could get quite used to working in coffee shops before meetings, and I can see why so many enjoy that type of flexible working, give me atmosphere of a school community any day!

Enjoy your [cold] weekend.

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