Well done! Whatever you have got planned for the summer, whatever time you’ve got to get away, or at least not have schooling to do, we can all breathe a huge sigh of relief at navigating the route to the end of the academic year.
As always, the year has had its ups and downs.
We seem to have had more of those, strange one-off, you can’t plan for them, incidents, than ever before: be that unexpected snow days, electrical blackout, lockdowns and the like. And as we would all expect, but don’t take for granted, the staff and the children have risen to the challenges that a typical school year will bring… and, in addition, all those other issues which are sent to challenge us.
And invariably we all do that with a smile and good humour. We know that sometimes things can be difficult and there are inevitable challenges. However, we know that our schools are havens, safe spaces, places where our children can express themselves and where they will get that necessary ‘first aid’. If we are to be the engine of social and societal change we will forever need to provide an excellent education for each and everyone of our children and young people. Many won’t need that one-to-one, that care. Some will.
What I am always incredibly amazed by is the staff capacity to know the individual. That’s the quiet, as much as the obvious. We know their names, their interests, what makes them tick. In our school communities we know our children and young people as the person they are, as them, not as another cog in an educational machine. We will look forward to the results achieved by our children and young people, those bits of paper that act as passports; GCSEs, BTECs and A levels. We know that they will be important, they will be carried through life. But we truly only change lives when we serve the whole. We give experiences, we give care, we engender aspiration and we offer belief – “why not me?” “I’m from Rotherham – so what?” “I can do it?”
If you want some inspiration listen to Self Esteem (Rebecca Lucy Taylor) – a Rotherham lass, or go and see The Reytons – with our very own Joe O’Brien. They have proved that young people from our community can do it.
For now, I just want to wish you the very best summer that you can imagine. Enjoy whatever you’ve got planned and let’s hope (just as a side issue), this summer brings home: the ashes and the World Cup – a wonderful sporting summer will bring a smile to our faces.
Happy holidays – as they say.
‘Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability’. Sam Keen
And if you’re going away, a tip from the legendary Bob Monkhouse…
‘The last time I was in Spain I got through six Jeffrey Archer novels. I must remember to take enough toilet paper next time.’