Welcome back everybody.
As I returned to school on Tuesday, the place was a hive of activity – admin staff getting the children’s timetables sorted; teachers busily preparing classrooms; Mr Verderame and his site team painting and cleaning; and builders, hard at it trying to finish all the work we have had done renovating the outside of the building. I tentatively asked if all would be finished for the start of term and received reassuring nods – ‘Good’ I thought, because there is no way I could keep the school closed for over-running building works…I clearly still have a lot to learn as a Headteacher!!
Staff returned in earnest on Wednesday to continue prepping and undertake First Aid training, the school resembled something of a cross between ancient Egypt and a scene from Saving Private Ryan with people wandering around in bandages and slings. Rest assured that should anyone now need medical assistance in school there are a whole host of people ready, willing and able to assist them; I am half expecting to enter a classroom on a learning walk to discover an entire class of children placed in the recovery position just so the teacher and assistant can practise!!
Thursday saw a scene of much excitement and drama. First the excitement – Year 5s!! They came in with beaming smiles and what was most pleasing was that they left pretty much the same way and they all returned on Friday so something must have gone well. They spent the day acclimatising to their new surroundings, doing activities like a treasure hunt using school maps and getting to know you exercises with their new tutors. Now the drama – no gas, which meant no food!! Thankfully Mr Rowe and his team are a resourceful bunch and commandeered the Food Tech room to produce another Ralphies delicious delight – disaster averted.
And so to Friday – quite like these 4 day working weeks, only 2 of which with children, must mention it to the Governors – the return of the masses. It was actually really nice to hear and feel the buzz of energy around school as it filled up because schools are very eerie places when there are no children in them. Planners and timetables given out, suntans compared, summer holiday gossip exchanged…and that was just the staff!! Tutor time, break, assembly, lessons, lunch, few more lessons, home – sorted day one (two) done, only another 189 to go!!
My assembly focused on new beginnings and the fresh start a new school year can bring. I introduced the new faces in school, most notably Mr Fuller the Deputy Head – you will have to ask your children for the analogy I used to introduce him. I also challenged the children to think big and have big ideas for themselves this year, asking them to think about what they want to achieve and what they could achieve and what they need to do to achieve this. I shall leave you with my favourite poem by Marianne Williamson which is where I drew my inspiration to ask the children to think big and also fits nicely with being ‘Proud to Achieve’. Have a lovely weekend.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.