Fortunately, this week has been significantly calmer. That said, we have all continued to work extremely hard doing the right thing with and for our children and young people. This is most likely to be seen, at the moment, at the start of the exam season. Prior to this week there were exams taking place but we really now kick him to the GCSE and A level maths exams. It seems that they have all started really quite well. And my conversations with some of those sitting those exams have suggested that the children and young people feel that they are very well prepared. That will be, in no small part, down to the work of the teachers and other staff, alongside the parents and carers, over a sustained and significant period of time.
As we found at Sitwell Junior School last week, it’s that proper planning and preparation which prevents a particularly poor performance. For now, as it was with the SATs, we are all handing over to those sitting the exams and we’ll all be just hoping that they do themselves proud and perform in a way that we know they can perform. Just for Mr Eccles: no doubt they will ‘do well’.
We are at that time of the year where we start to tie up the loose ends of the present academic year whilst projecting on into next year. Timetables are being finalised. Contracts are being agreed. Duties are being arranged. It is the way of the world in education that like the hands on the clock we just keep moving forward, time passes and time does not stand still. There is no real end to the end in an academic year, there is only a brief pause before we pick up the baton again.
It’s desperately important, therefore, that we take the opportunities which are presented at this time of year in our personal and social lives. The weather looks set fair, not only for this weekend but into the half term break. I’m sure you’ll have decent things planned and no doubt some of you will be engaging in a celebration for the Platinum Jubilee. Whatever your personal view of the constitutional monarchy, in this country, I would suggest that you cannot be anything other than amazed by and have admiration for the longevity and achievements of Her Majesty. It genuinely is remarkable that someone could hold a position for 70 years. I know it is a hereditary role and it is not something that can be passed on or given away, however the seeming dedication Her Majesty exhibits day in day out, year in year out, seems to me nothing short of a marvel.
I’m not sure that the monarchy or the Platinum Jubilee can be used as a metaphor for anything in our schools or college, but it does allow us to reflect upon what it means to be part of a community and part of the wider country. That may come through in your celebrations, which may be taking place in your community or wider level – certainly Rotherham has a great plan for that week, formally through the council and informally through local community groups and through the planning of groups of friends and neighbours. Maybe it’ll just be a chance to quietly reflect upon some good that comes from that sense of belonging.
‘Family does not necessarily mean blood relatives but often a description of a community, organisation or nation’. Queen Elizabeth II
And can I just finally mention that it’s the end of the Premier League football season this weekend. Some of you will have ‘skin in the game’, although most of us who are true football fans will have had their destinies determined by now. If you are interested in the outcome of the results of the weekend I hope that your team does well and allows you to go into your footballing summer break in a relaxed manner.