☰ 7.30pm, Wed 10 Feb

7.30pm, Wed 10 Feb

Posted on: February 10th 2010

Another 7.45am arrival today. I had a quick chat with Mrs Fern about the day ahead and then met with Ms Milligan briefly at 8.30am where she told me about the prospective families I was due to meet in the morning. I always like to know a little bit about the families I meet; do they know an existing parent, how long have they been on our waiting list, that sort of thing.

At 8.40am I took the assembly for pupils in Reception, Pre Prep and Form 2. It was fun – I told the story of the ‘elephant and the bad baby’. It was a story from my school days and the children seemed to really enjoy it.

I had two admissions meetings this morning, both with families wanting a place for their child for this September. Unfortunately we only have waiting list places, but I’m always happy to invite people in as things can change and even if we can’t accommodate people this September, we might be able to in the future. Both families were very nice and I’m sure they would enjoy their experience of the school. I started my first meeting at 9.10am and finished my last at just before 11am.

Between 11am and 12pm I spoke to a few senior schools and also a few nurseries; it’s easy to concentrate on where our pupils go but I never lose track of where they come from too! I’m trying to organise a nursery open morning and hope to get all the local nurseries along. We did it a few years ago, with limited success, and I’m trying to develop a more exciting format.

Over lunch I read an interesting blog by Robert Peston on hedge funds involvement in corporate takeovers. I found out that hedge funds owned only 5% of Cadbury’s a few months back, but as the interest of Kraft grew, their ownership jumped to over 30%. Generally speaking, hedge funds are quite short term in their investments so by owning a large chunk of Cadbury’s it made it much easier for Kraft to seduce them with a tasty offer. The argument goes that more institutional investors would have held on. But I then thought who were the companies that sold to the hedge funds?!

Enough of corporate finance… I had a 3pm meeting in my diary with Mrs Habgood to discuss assessment (and many more things it turned out), so I spent most of this afternoon on our School Development Plan. I launched a staff consultation in November to find out what our teachers think the school’s priorities should be for the next two to three years. Then in the next few SMT meetings we began to work through what should be included and how we might implement the various ideas. I’ve been working on how we will develop our stakeholder relationships – improved communication, community initiatives and so on. I’ve also been looking at how we develop our professional development programmes for staff. And I’ve given a lot of thought to how we link our staff objectives directly to our development plan – this will then make the plan real and prevent it from lying on a shelf.

Later in the day I had a quick chat with two of Ms Burke’s boys who seem to be missing a fair bit of their ‘golden time’ through silliness. We had short conversation and I’m sure they have taken on board my thoughts.

Over the last couple of days – ahead of today’s meeting – I had spent a fair bit of time looking at our current assessment arrangements and how we might develop them. We made some decisions today about supplementing our current arrangements with a new assessment system for our younger pupils. We are going to trial it next academic year before we roll it out across the whole school. So Mrs Habgood and I had a lot to talk about – and once we’d finished on assessment we turned our attentions to her ideas on our intranet for pupils. I must say, it is very exciting and I believe our school will lead the way on this technology as I haven’t come across other schools doing this. Our aim is to get some early version up for September, so watch this space. Our meeting finished at 4pm.

I then spent some time replying to various invitations from local senior schools to attend various events and functions. I also started to look over the contract we have with the company managing our trip to France this year. Pretty standard stuff.

I left at 4.45pm in good time to watch Arsenal win this evening.

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