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Showing posts from August, 2016

What holiday?

Two weeks in since our return from the summer break and it is easy to ask the question that forms the title of this post. However, when I or others say this, I don't think this is a bad sign. Already it feels as though we haven't been away. Yet, we all have. As soon as staff returned to school they shared stories about what they had been up to over the summer break. I eagerly joined in, trying not to boast too much about my adventures in Australia. When the children came back, they did the same. We heard lots of tales about holidays, visits to grannies and grandads, camping, playing out and having fun, from children eager to share. Of course, there were those who didn't have much to tell about their break, or who didn't want to share. We must never forget that for some the long school holidays are not something to look forward to, and who are happier when they are over, so that they can get some familiar routine back into their otherwise chaotic lives. Generally, thoug…

What do we need to succeed this year?

The weekend before we start a new school year seems a good time to consider what we need in schools to help us succeed. I am looking at the year ahead and thinking what do I need to do, as a school leader, to give my teachers and my learners the best opportunity to grow and succeed? 
To consider this, as with most things I deal with, I start with the learners and the conditions, opportunities and support each of them will need to be able to move on with their learning and to keep developing as individuals? They need learning situations they can trust and understand. They need to know themselves as learners and understand the next steps in their learning. They need systems, structures and, most importantly, people to support them with that learning. They need to be excited and stimulated by their learning and understand their active participation in this process. They need to feel safe and they need people round about them who see, and understand, them as the unique individuals they are…

Final holiday reflections as the new school year beckons

Well, my latest visit to Oz comes to an end tomorrow. We shall be flying back to the UK and I expect to be back in school, for some time, on Thursday, jet-lag permitting. It has been a super break for my wife and I, staying with our youngest daughter and partner based in Perth. We were here two years ago and had a great time then as well. During that trip the four of us travelled up the west coast to Exmouth, visiting some amazing places and experiencing some equally amazing sights during our two week journey in our camper-van. This time we flew to Cairns on the east coast and then spent three weeks travelling south to Sydney. This journey was different, but equally amazing, because of the experiences we had, and places we visited. We both feel as though we have had a complete break and I know I have been able to switch off after the busyness of end of term back in Scotland. This has got to be the first requirement of any holiday for teachers or principals, that we switch off, recharg…