Two weeks in

Well that's two weeks of the Academic year gone

Time just goes so quickly. The start is always frenetic, but this year with the sixth form building project 5 weeks overdue, and possibly another 5 week delay, it's even more so.
Balls in the air trying to ensure all is in place, whilst preparing for a HR audit, a GDPR audit and the ICE visit.

Satisfyingly, things are taking shape, and I feel a real sense of pride. I have had such great support from a Governor, who has been with me every step of the way: we had a shared vision and it has been a delight!

Today provided another boost to my mood with a visit to a brand designer. It is such a fillip to meet people so energised, so full of ideas, a passion for change and to feel 'yes, that hits the nail on the head'!

I walked back to work from the meeting, full of hope, it was a lovely sunny morning, and a dear colleague, celebrating her birthday, had left a cupcake on my desk

Yummy!

We have student art work on the walls and this is being updated and I particularly like one which is in the style of Katherine Jebb. So wonderful to enjoy their talents and achievements.

All in all a great start and long may the positivity remain!

Advertisements

Another year rolls by

Another Academic year ends tomorrow, with more goodbyes with the prospect of hellos in September. Changes to roles and new students about to embark on their next destination of the journey of lifelong learning.


It’s been a year full of highs and lows and on Monday I return to a student free school with a list as long as my arm of things to do.

Fingers crossed the new sixth form facilities will be complete and ready for the students. Our students have had the very best education with committed, outstanding teaching, despite being housed in a corridor and a former students area. This new flagship facility will inspire and energise them further! 

I for one, can’t wait, but there is still a fair way to go. 

Education and what it can mean

Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit another Catholic school in East London. The journey from Chelmsford was a real trip back to the past especially when we drove through Ilford, Manor Park and Forest Gate. Road names remain but so much has changed. 

We passed my old secondary school, the entrance door still familiar and the wall that cocooned us girls from the outside world still in tact.

We continued to drive down a road that I used to walk to the tennis courts, and to the Church where we celebrated many a Mass.


All this made me realise how fortunate I had been to have had a top class education, that despite my humble beginnings, my parents gave me the best start they could. I loved school and in the main,  academia suited me. This was a springboard for me and most days I am thankful for my language skills, my mathematical ability and my knowledge of the world and history.

Not everyone has these opportunities, or the support to make the most of them. For some, school and to conform, are not happy bed fellows, but we need to find a way to engage, support and encourage these as they deserve. 

One of my favourite songs is ‘different corner’ by George Michael, and I often reflect on the choices that my parents, myself and my husband have made. My life could have been very different but I have been lucky and I appreciate all that has been done for me.


The school I visited faces so many challenges: gang culture, poverty, immigrants, and inner city anxieties, but there was such a positive vibe within the school, a real determination to achieve and be the best you can be. It was a delight, but it’s tough I’m sure. 


I returned home and we all went to the polling station together to vote, and I recanted about my day and my journey, appreciation of where my family live, the opportunities that they have had and continue to have! 

Making a difference.

I have been unwell over the last few days, which in no small measure, is due to my anxiety over today and the memorial mass for a much loved teacher

I have sourced some fantastic pieces and met some fantastic craftsmen.

The family planting the Himalayan acer

The benches  by Martin Cook and his son Matt, and armillary by Robert Foster. 

All have gone above and beyond to have everything at school for today.

I am thrilled at how well they have been received by everyone, I was mindful in my choices, of a man, who made a difference, who lived a humble life, who had exquisite taste and lived life his way.

I can’t imagine the family’s feelings of sadness and I hope their faith in each other will sustain them.

A life that touches others goes on forever!  

He did, and it will! 

Reliance

Four weeks into 2017 and it has flown by. 

I’ve been busy with work, and socially. Learnt how to make a box, made cards, caught up with dear friends, had Jay’s dad stay for a couple nights.

I’ve also singed my  hair, been to the cinema and booked a holiday. 

I have also been adapting how I work, being more disciplined in what I expect from myself and others.

I have realised that I need to rely on myself wholly,  and not  rely on others, quite often they have their own demons to battle!

I am taking charge of my life and feeling the benefits already. 

I can’t wait for February!

Friendship …..

Over the last few weeks I have spent some time thinking about my life beyond work. I have quite often been mistaken for a driven career woman-something I have never seen myself as. I have enjoyed the jobs that I have done (five) and try to do what I can to the best of my ability. 

I have met some great people along the way through work, Kevin and where I’ve lived. Some have been transitory and others still enduring. All have played a part to shape me as a friend, an employee, and a manager.


Life can often throw us curved balls and it is how we deal with these times that is important. In certain situations you find out who your true friends are: we certainly did in 1999 and the following years and to all of those I thank you! 

In turn I do hope that we have offered a shoulder, a hug, an ear when needed. 

We are often put off from asking difficult or painful questions for fear of upsetting someone, and they in turn are very possibly wishing someone would ask as the unburdening can be cathartic. 

Just recently a friend and I met and they messaged me to say that I always put a smile on their face and warmth in their heart-I was so touched by this as this is an accolade far greater than any achievement at work! 

We know not what the future will hold, who is yet to come into our lives, nor those that will leave. I will strive to continue to raise a smile, hear their laughter and warm their hearts as in turn they will do for me. πŸ˜˜πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ€—πŸŒŸ

A new academic year

I’m not going to lie, it’s always a struggle to prepare for the start of a new academic year. 

I do work in school closure, but it is a far more relaxed and enjoyable experience.

Tuesday saw my first full day and it was tough! 

Evening relaxing with the family in the garden helped! 

Thursday and Friday have been manic, with visitors to my office, meeting new colleagues and even a thank you! 

There seems to be a different vibe to this year, maybe so many new staff, or maybe its because we don’t have the ofsted visit hanging over us like the sword of Damocles!

Here’s hoping for a successful year for all, with fresh challenges and opportunitiesπŸ€—πŸ€—πŸ’•πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰