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Term Five, Week One

The summer term is always hard work – enjoyable and worthwhile, but hard. Part of the reason for this is the sense of the impending deadline – the “end of the year” – which means we’ve run out of wriggle-room. Jobs once put off in favour of other priorities now have to be shoe-horned into a packed term – and what a term! As well as end-of-year tests, numerous sporting tournaments and the summer production, there are reports and evaluations and the finalisation of a budget when even the number of children in the school from September is unknown. Each child’s report to parents takes around one-and-a half to 2 hours work (so that’s at least an additional working week to squeeze in) despite the class teachers teaching full time. Each child’s report will be around one thousand words – so that’s 30 thousand words in our larger classes. Twice as much as a university degree dissertation!

We also have a new teacher to appoint. So far over 20 would-be teachers have booked a place for a tour, and whilst I would really value getting to know each individual on their visit, I cannot conduct that many separate tours, so unfortunately they have to arrive in groups, which means I only get a glimpse into the potential advantages each one brings to the post.

We have our annual survey, the OFSTED survey (see the home page of this website) and our values consultation to conclude. Take part please – every opinion matters. We have the class structure to finalise and the draft of the new National Curriculum to review. We have the current School Development Plan to evaluate, a new one to write and numerous reports to compile for the local authority. We are also hosting placements for 2 trainee teachers on their final teaching placements. So the term is looking busy! I will continue to teach for around 2 days per week, but for the first time since 1989 I feel unable to commit to an after school club. A sign of the times, I am afraid. Fortunately there are a number of great individuals – staff and community folk – who are providing a great ‘menu’ of choices to enrich the children’s learning.

Friday’s Open Worship (12th April 2013) was a delight. Do join us if you can. Each week I do a quick ‘head count’ of visitors, and the average is around 28, so you’ll be in great company if you can spare the time.

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