23 Mar

The Easter break is upon us ...

It's been a strange old half term. In fact it's been a strange old term. We returned in the New Year, with resolutions still fresh and to unseasonably warm weather. Since then we have been hit by waves of inclement weather which has resulted in significant snowfall for the first time, here in Rotherham, for a number of years. We did all we could to stay open and continue to work positively with the children and yet we do know that the shifts in the weather do make it more difficult for us all here ‘at the chalk face’. We cannot ignore the fact that changing weather does make it more challenging for us to manage the site and can create, within the pupil body, an unbalanced equilibrium. And yet here we are at the end of the term having seen many children make significant progress in their learning, having completed a Tutor Review Day and Parents’ Evening with some degree of confidence and success and having worked with all of our children in a positive and professional manner.

For all of that I thank you.

And we have had Sports Relief events of this week. There has been a terrific contribution from staff and pupils alike. At this stage I am unsure as to how much has been raised for Sports Relief but it will be in the hundreds of pounds. Quite a number of children raised a significant amount to participate in sporting events against members of staff. The staff teams engaged in those activities with good humour and good grace. As did the children. Over break times this week, for those pupils and staff watching the events there was a fantastic and supportive atmosphere. I offer my thanks and appreciation to all those staff and the children and we all can rest easy knowing that the money raised for Sports Relief will go to a whole host of great causes here in the UK and further afield.

As some of you know I made a minor contribution. I set a one mile time for the pupils to beat. Being the person that I am I did try hard and set what was described as a ‘challenging’ mile time. I am really pleased to say that a number of pupils did beat that time and, as promised in the assemblies, I have made a contribution to Sports Relief in recognition of their efforts and the efforts of all those other children who had a go.

We can go into the Easter break knowing that we have achieved a great deal, yet again. There will be a significant number of our children in Year 11 and Year 7 preparing for the upcoming examinations. They might not get the full rest but they will take some time to rest up in between hours spent revising for their subjects. There will also be staff in over the Easter supporting children in their work and I thank those colleagues for that extra contribution.

We all need to take a breather over the next week or so as we know that the next half term will be incredibly intense. The preparation for those Year 11 examinations will pick up a pace and, more widely across the school, children will be preparing for exams or the move to the new year group.

We should be very proud of what we achieve on a daily basis, I certainly am proud of all of our pupils and the wider staff body for the contributions they all make. We know that the weather will be, or should be, that little bit better upon our return in April and so we can look forward to days of warmth, of sunshine and increased productivity.
Easter is meant to be a symbol of hope, renewal, and new life.’ Janine di Giovanni