It’s been a lively week at school and a lovely one too. The school has been alive with the sound of music, tour music rehearsals, show music rehearsals and a lot of people working hard for the next grade this summer. I’m going for Grade 2 myself and I’m a bit nervous now with 2 months to go!
I awarded on Monday my Headteacher’s Special award badge (think St Michael’s meets Blue Peter) to H Martin and I Sharma for representing England in their chosen sports. We will keep you up to date with their next competitions.
Highlights of my week have included, seeing the bean and seed packets growing in Year 2, watching a phonics session in Year 3, listening to the magical performance poetry from Valerie Bloom as she whipped the pupils on a tour of life as a child in Jamaica and involved them in her show, planning for the future development of the Hive, listening to most thoughtful prayers in chapel today, being part of a productive and fun P and F meeting on Tuesday evening with some cracking pie charts and some cracking of jokes too and finally, taking receipt of my kit bag and instructions for the Music Tour next week. What a wonderful trip is planned.
The rather lovely lady from “Muddy Stilettos” very much loved her time here and wrote with a bit of fizz about what St Michael’s is like. It’s fun when you take visitors round on a normal day because normal here is so very full of things to be proud of. We do seem to have had a great deal of interest in visiting the school and we will be welcoming some lovely new students next year to join our “family”.
Amongst my colleagues in the state sector a bit of crisis is looming, the new funding formula is definitely impacting on staffing levels, provision for special needs, the ability to provide certain subjects, and there are redundancies sweeping across the sector as well as a recruitment crisis building.
The National Association of Head teachers in the run up to the election have today produced a document which will feature widely five priorities that my colleagues leading in the state sector are grappling with and want politicians to take seriously.
- To fund education fully and fairly, reversing the £3bn real terms cuts that schools are facing and providing enough money to make the new national funding formula a success.
- To put forward a national strategy for teacher recruitment and retention that recognises teachers as high-status professionals and guarantees enough teachers for every school.
- To adopt fair methods to hold schools to account, recognising that test and exam results are only part of the picture when judging a pupil’s success or a school’s effectiveness.
- To value a broad range of subjects in the school day so that pupils’ opportunities are not limited and they are properly prepared for adult life.
- To make sure that schools are supported by health and social care services to allow schools to fulfil their role to promote pupil wellbeing rather than making up for cuts to other services.
We of course wholeheartedly endorse those priorities but our experience is very different as we plan for next year. And for that good fortune, we are very blessed.
As I set off for Bruges with my colleagues in the Music department, we will keep in touch on Twitter. Do follow me @StMichaelsHead. I leave you in the capable hands of my colleagues and would crave your patience if wanting to be in touch while I focus on the tour party for a week.
Enjoy your Bank Holiday Monday. At least it promises not to repeat the “hail stopped play” experience we had on Wednesday which was unusual for the time of year, to say the least. I recommend avoiding traffic jams by staying at home and if you have one, enjoying your gardens or parks. Do spare a thought for the tour meeting at school at 6.00 am!
Have a great extended weekend.