The anticipation of the Easter break is palpable around school right now and not just because chips have been moved to Thursday from Friday on the canteen lunch menu. The A Level Geography students and staff are currently in Iceland (the country not the shop) on a field visit and a group of students and staff are anticipating decent snow on the French Alps as the ski trip gets off today. Year 11s have a shorter break as they are accessing the school’s Easter revision sessions. I know it has been a shorter term but the Wyedean School Spring newsletter highlights a fair few enrichment and extra curricula opportunities that have taken place this term. There is a link on the school’s website and social media sites: http://www.wyedean.gloucs.sch.uk/downloads/Spring newsletter.pdf
One of the highlights for me of the term was to see the school’s Eisteddfod concert last night. I know I am the Head of Wyedean so you would expect me to write this but we don’t half have some talented students as this school. The gospel choir recently won 1st Place at the Mid Somerset concert for schools across the South West. It was a great evening and my thanks to the staff and students in the Music department for putting on such a lovely night of music and song across the border in our corner of the UK. My thanks also to the Chepstow community groups who also performed in the Eisteddfod.
I spent a long morning in Shire Hall Gloucester on Tuesday and was able to attend a British Council/Global Learning Partners at Abbeyfield School in the evening. The current debate in education especially since the launch of the White Paper last week swims around my 3am thoughts, jostling with the budget, so it was nice to see some inspirational international curriculum stories from across Wiltshire. Also good to catch up with friends and colleagues from my Wiltshire and British Council days. Throughout my career as an educator I have been privileged to be involved and to witness some of the most powerful learning experiences in different parts of the World. I have more hope since Tuesday that there are classroom teachers who will still find the energy in an exhausting and time demanding day to give students additional opportunities to engage with the wider World. It is a key part of our vision for Wyedean School that we involve more our students and community in the globalized society. My Year 10 Critical Thinking group had an interesting discussion on symbolism linked to globalism this morning following the vote against changing the New Zealand flag. Year 13 A Level Politics had a couple of lessons looking at the US presidency with me today. I even managed to get through Bill Clinton’s 8 years without too many meanders off executive power.
I spoke to Years 12 and 13 in the Sixth Form assembly on Tuesday morning ahead of my meeting to County. It was a talk based on motivation with exams so close but I based it around a quote asking what would you do with your “one precious life”? Unbeknown the tragic and terrifying events of Tuesday were unfolding in the terrorist attacks on commuters in Brussels at the very same time. Life is extremely precious and as I drove along the M4 in the afternoon to Chippenham I heard the very dignified voice of the widow of the police officer murdered in Liverpool, leaving two young kids without a father and a wife without a husband. As she spoke she talked about telling her daughters about their dad and then she said “I will always tell them there is much more good than bad in this World”. Incredible wisdom and courage.
I met with Learning Area Leaders on Wednesday and was reminded it has been a whole year since my interview for the Headship at Wyedean School. I have been invited to speak to NPQH candidates at Cabot Learning Federation in April about being a Head. What to say? Despite the term having a fair few curve balls it is still the best job in the World by a mile. I wish all of our school community a restful and enjoyable break ready to come back refreshed for the long (warm and sunny?) summer term ahead.