08 Mar

World Book Day

Sometimes on a Friday afternoon I can find it a little difficult to bring to mind a subject worth discussing. This week is very much an exception to that.
This last week we have recognised that we have National Apprenticeship week on the horizon.
In addition. Friday was International Women’s Day. A significant day on our global calendar and something we should want to recognise and celebrate. As someone has said to me: one day there won’t be any female leaders - just leaders.
Additionally, and as the central discussion point of this rambling, we have our reflections on World Book Day.
I had a terrifically enjoyable and very difficult couple of hours on Thursday morning judging those doors. The effort, enthusiasm and commitment which staff and children have shown in recognising the importance of books, to our lives, was phenomenal. My colleagues from Sitwell Junior School and Thomas Rotherham College helped me judge and were equally overwhelmed by the quality and quantity of what was on show. In addition, they commented upon the atmosphere within the school. As teachers who do not see the inside of a secondary school very often they were taken aback by how calm and positive the school is on the average Thursday morning. We reflected that sometimes only truly see ourselves when we look through the eyes of others.
The quality of the presentations on the doors was genuinely breath-taking. Having to take a decision as to who might win was ridiculously difficult. It was an honour to judge and an unenviable task. To the winners we offer congratulations. To the rest all we can say is do not see that as anything more than just the fine margins between how one person perceives something and another. Having to do that sort of activity every single week would drain me too greatly. 
What the World Book Day ‘dress a door’ competition did show us is that some of those really important whole school activities, which we at Oakwood do so regularly, and with some passion, do have an impact upon staff and children. There is something about the DNA of the organisation which means year on year, despite staff and children changing, there is a golden thread that runs through the way that we work, the way that we conduct ourselves and the commitment we show to ensuring that the educational experience is so much broader, fuller and life enhancing.
What this week’s activities have displayed is how, despite staff and pupils changing, the things that we hold dear at Oakwood, the things that make the educational experience so much more fulfilling and the things that we do day in day out to enrich the lives of children make Oakwood High School a very special place to work and to learn.
‘Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.’ Joseph Addison