15 Mar

Goodbye Gareth and Welcome Your Royal Highness

The wind and the rain has not made for a temperate environment; climatically or socially. All of us who work in schools know that the climatic conditions can have a significant impact upon how children present. This week has been as wet and wild as any time in the past academic year and so to come out of the week unscathed is something of an achievement. Any success we have had is in no small part to the consistency and contributions by a whole range of staff and pupils. In our more challenging moments we rely on our collective strength, not on the perceived strengths of an individual or a relatively small cohort of staff. ‘Together we are stronger’: this is absolutely correct, and even more true when we have challenging days, with lashings of rain and gusting winds. Goodbye and good riddance Gareth.

As we go into the weekend we can all reflect upon our personal contributions and, I am sure, we will be true to ourselves. We will all know what we have done this week and the contributions we have made as individuals and as groups.

As well as looking back this week I’d like to look forward. As some of you will know we have a royal visitor on Tuesday morning. We should be clear: this visit not happening on a whim. Royal visits are properly researched and will only be offered in the most generous of terms and when there are circumstances on the ground worth celebrating. It is absolutely clear that His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester is visiting our school and our community quite simply because of the work that we do within our community, within our town and across the region to support and inspire children and young people. We know that we are a good school doing a great job. Our royal visitor understands how we work, what we do and the contribution we make. Let’s not be cynical. Let’s not take this visit lightly. We should be proud of ourselves and we are honoured to host The Duke of Gloucester’s visit to Rotherham.

And finally, on a more sombre note. The horrific news overnight from New Zealand reminds us all of the importance of community. The importance of members of a community standing shoulder to shoulder in times of difficulty. The importance of members of a community taking the time to understand each other in times of strength. We know that our community, in Rotherham, is particularly diverse. Our community is fragile and with that fragility comes a great deal of strength.

‘The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.’ Coretta Scott King.