“Christmas isn’t a season, it is a feeling” Edna Forbes

The buses have all left with our students heading off for a much needed break, staff have gone home to their families and the school is about to close for the holiday season after a long 15 weeks of a 39 week academic year. Term 1 is finally over and it is 2016 when we come back. And I need to see the new Star Wars film before the spoilers really take hold of cyber-space.

I spoke on Monday in Bristol about Headship and some of the challenges and rewards that go with the role. I have continued to be impressed every week with the talents and abilities at the school and Wednesday night in St Mary’s Church, Chepstow was no exception for the school’s carol concert. This was a great event where community had celebrated, commemorated, mourned and come together in this ancient building for hundreds of years. Hearing the various bands play and choirs sing their hearts out to the rafters made me think about the importance of marking moments of life and the cycle of a year in a community.

I had a meeting in Shire Hall, Gloucester mid-week to look at ways schools can manage shrinking budgets with the expectations of “doing more for less” – I drove back through the Forest of Dean knowing the new year will mean more creativity in how we look at getting additional funding and how the skills of leadership in planning this strategically are going to be needed even more. This will be the challenge for every school now and for the foreseeable future. I am very lucky at Wyedean to have incredibly professional and dedicated leaders at all levels and throughout the school. I was looking at the December newsletter (available now on the website) and the CPD review for this term amazed at how much my colleagues do to make sure kids get the best learning and the school goes forward. My optimism for the New Year ahead is already brimming over as we planned this week the applications for a regional arts centre to be here at Wyedean as well as for the Chinese New Year on the 8th February. The Year of the Monkey. Colleagues from English and MFL Skyped with the Classics department of the University of Bristol and the development of Latin to support English and language learning is one of the most exciting foundations we are putting down here to benefit all learners.

Year 11 mocks have just been completed and students are looking at their results planning what they have to do for the time they have left between now and exams. I had a few Year 11s in with me today going over revision tips and again how supportive GCSEPod has been already. I want all students and staff to get a good break over Christmas ready for the new year ahead and have emphasised this point strongly whenever it has come up. Staff who are retiring or going on maternity said their goodbyes this week. To Jenny Rickards, learning mentor for 13 years and supporting countless students we send our very best wishes as a school for your service and dedication. Enjoy the next chapter.

I have a couple of key appointments in January to my leadership team including a new finance director and a deputy head so I am definitely getting some rest with my family over the break. I am itching to see the new Star Wars film and will hopefully see it sometime next week. So it is time to face the “Black Friday” traffic and the queues of traffic trying to get to Cribbs Causeway. It is meant to be the warmest Christmas Day on record this year and I have wondered whether the “Christmas jumper” day that has now become a regular event shouldn’t be a “Xmas t-shirt” as I sit here in mine way too hot.

I wish all our Forest & Wye Valley communities at Wyedean School a Merry Christmas and best wishes for the New Year. PS: Don’t forget to download free from the App store – WS – “MySchoolApp”.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s