Let there be light – oh and some power too

It’s been one of those weeks – do we say that every week? The power cut of Thursday, which affected us all in different ways, and for different lengths of time, has just been another event of some significance for us to cope with this academic year. It really has been one of those years.

However, as always, we have all risen to the challenges which are presented and we managed to ensure that learning had not been too affected by those external factors. My thanks go to you all for your patience and tolerance doing those difficult hours.

The sun has been shining this week, and it looks like it’s going to be a lovely weekend too, and so I think it’s appropriate that, instead of focusing on those things that make our working life that little bit more difficult, I should focus on a couple of events that have had a real impact just the week.

Firstly, Sitwell Junior School held their ‘special people in our lives’ community event Thursday afternoon. This was an opportunity for the children to bring in to school someone who makes an impact on their lives. I gather it was a terrific event. The tables full of cakes disappeared in no time at all and all of the children enjoyed music and games on the playground, alongside their parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles and significant others.  It’s amazing what a well organised event and a little bit of sunshine can do for the spirits.

And on Wednesday, at the other end of the age spectrum, the art students at Thomas Rotherham College displayed their exam and coursework materials in their annual Art Exhibition.

Genuinely, the quality of the work was incredible. It was brilliant to listen to the teaching team talk so passionately about the work that their students had undertaken.

The mayor of Rotherham, Councillor Robert Taylor, was in attendance on Wednesday afternoon and he was blown away by the talent on display. He was keen to talk about how we sometimes miss the fact that our children and young people, within this town, have so much talent, and as a borough we don’t always recognise that talent. He was clear that what he was viewing was as good as we’d find anywhere in the north of England.

I concur! And our challenge, as a town, is to ensure that we retain that talent, and all of that enthusiasm, which all of our children and young people display on a daily basis.

All too often, when our young people leave our educational establishments, they move away from our town. That’s okay as many are moving onto higher education. What we need to do is to find a way of attracting them back to this wonderful town – and the mighty Millers won’t, in themselves, do that.

The developments in the town centre and across at Waverley will make a difference. I just hope that we can all display more confidence in what we have to offer, as a town, and that those enormously talented young people will feel able to return and add their contributions.

We will all benefit from that.

‘A change in the weather is sufficient to recreate the world and ourselves’. Marcel Proust