☰ 9.20pm, Tue 2 Feb

9.20pm, Tue 2 Feb

Posted on: February 2nd 2010

I arrived at school for around 7.45am, feeling a little bleary eyed following the long night yesterday. I had a really nice half hour; made myself a cup of tea and chatted to a few teachers. I must do more of that.

I had two meetings first thing with parents of the school. The first one started at 8.20am. A productive meeting, I think. And the second was at 8.45am. Again productive; we developed a good plan forward for their child.

I then managed to a have a quick conversation with Mrs Fern about how last night went, and also about the day ahead.  We don’t plan it, but we always seem to have a chat first thing, which is nice.

I made time to make a vital cup of tea and took it with me as I had a wander around the school. I like to do this, popping into lessons unannounced, not with a particular agenda but just to see what’s happening. I saw a couple of lovely lessons. Mrs Gormley had started a creative writing lesson; I sat back and watched the children listen and learn. The pupils are a joy: engaged, happy and quick, and Mrs Gormley really whetted their appetite. I moved from her class to watch a science lesson in Mrs Bedi’s class. Great fun. Children love experiments. They had been working on magnet strengths and were incredibly focussed.  When I’m observing lessons in this relaxed way I actually have to force myself to leave; I’d happily stay and watch all day.

However, I was due instead to see Ms Milligan for the meeting that had been cancelled yesterday.  We discussed admissions – now there’s a big job. The school is very popular and we have to disappoint a lot of families. We have just about wrapped up our 2011 lists and I want to delay meeting prospective families for 2012 until after Easter because otherwise the lists become too unwieldy. We discussed some of my uniform ideas (remember my thoughts yesterday? When I get an idea I like to move quickly) and handbooks for parents and staff, as we know we need to update them. Ms Milligan then kindly asked that I stopped giving the office projects! I took the hint and sloped off.

At about 11.30am the office called me and asked if I would help liaise with the company that recently supplied our new school management system. It is, and will be, a very good system. It allows us to store all pupil and family records on our server, enabling us to interrogate information more easily, launch bespoke mail merges from the system and generally be more efficient. However, a few support issues have cropped up and the support department at the company has sometimes not been too great. I thought about the best strategy and called our sales manager. Sales people fully understand the importance of client relationships. Thirty minutes later I have a call from their Head of Support! Hopefully all will be resolved by tomorrow.

Mrs Gormley popped up for a quick chat, it was nice and we spoke about quite a few things. She is a very able teacher and is unbelievably committed, quite an achievement bearing in mind her young family.

My reading time over lunch was taken up by the new inspection framework for independent schools which started this January. Sensibly they are now inspecting schools every three years. The inspections themselves though are extremely intensive and there has been much uproar in the sector. Frankly I feel relaxed. I know we run an outstanding school – the challenge is to show this to inspectors. This means having evidence; evidence you do what you say you do. I understand the importance of this so we actually have an evidence committee which Ms Burke leads. I think I’ll probably come back to this whole area over the next week or so.

I then spent quite a bit of time reading over a draft agreement we have with St Andrew’s Church. We are in the process of signing a three year arrangement to use their hall and church most afternoons. It is such a short walk from us that we can use it as an extension of the school. In fact, we now have our music and drama lessons for older pupils there. It is working very well indeed. I was impressed with their agreement; very thorough and well constructed.

At around 3.30pm Mrs Habgood knocked on my door and asked me to join in her IT lesson with Form 6. Fantastic! The days of Amstrad and Commodore 64 seem so long ago.

When then had a Senior Management Team (SMT) meeting at 4.15pm. We have these meetings every two weeks. Joining me on the team is Mrs Habgood as Assistant Head and Mrs Fern as Deputy Head. Our meetings are always excellent. Dynamic, productive and lively. I always leave them feeling uplifted about what we do and our plans going forward. In today’s meeting we had invited Mrs Gouws to join us in a discussion about Games for next academic year. Mrs Gouws had put a lot of work in ahead of the meeting and we had an excellent discussion. I’m so excited about the programme we have in place for next academic year.

Our meeting finished at around 5.30pm and I left for home at 6pm. A good day.

← All blog posts

Request a Prospectus E-Newsletter Photo Gallery

Back to the top