Group Work (and Ice Cream)

Last week, I was away at the annual Havering Headteachers’ Conference which provided that rare opportunity in the year to really take a step back with colleagues to reflect, and subsequently prepare for the year ahead. Over the 2 days we had presentations from various speakers and the range was eclectic: from Andrew Blake-Herbert (CEO of LBH) to Sean Harford (National Director for Ofsted), and from Lord Jim Knight (ex-Schools Minister) to Dr Pooky Knightsmith (Mental Health Educator), plus many more. Equally it’s a chance to network, for example having lunch with Mr Stevens from Parklands, partly (and with the utmost respect to Scott) to find out how Mrs Wilson is at the moment. I find the whole experience useful, but equally slightly contrived; personally, I like some of my reflection time to be private rather than necessarily forced group work all the time.

Having said that, it has been great to be back in school this week; last week (having also attended a recruitment event for staff in London on Monday) I was out 3 days; I don’t really like being away that much in a week, but I can’t always control my diary. This week watching the Year 11 students preparing for their drama performances (which involved a great deal of group work) until late in to the evening has been tremendous to watch, and I understand the assessments went very well. Year 11 are generally working superbly at the moment, I know this time of year can be a “slog”, but the outcomes are worth it in the end. Generally, especially having been out a little last week, it has been great to go around school and see the lessons this week, there have been some excellent lessons and wonderful learning taking place.

Finally, I will be writing to all parents and carers imminently around an update on the building plans, please keep an eye out for the letter.

Have a lovely weekend; mine will be full of birthday celebrations for my 2 children, including [potentially] taking on the Kaspa’s Birthday Extravaganza challenge with my friend, (where we will definitely need to work as a group.)

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