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Term Four, Week One

This week I was in a bit of a quandary. We send the text for On The Edge away on the 10th day of the previous month – so March’s issue required the text in the half-term break. I duly spent some time thinking about what I wanted to say, and forwarded it to the editors via email. Then I had second thoughts, and further down I’ll include ‘here’ what I decided against including ‘there’. What’s the difference? Audience! It seems to me that OTE’s readership is much wider than ‘just’ our parents, and although our parents make up a significant proportion of the readership, the message needs to be different. OK – that’s obvious and perhaps you got there way before me, but my confusion, I hope, is understandable since I spend a lot of time communicating with different groups.
1. Children
2. Staff
3. Parents
4. Governors
5. The local authority
6. Businesses
7. Community / general public
8. Those with positions in the community – church, village hall, pre-school and nursery etc
9. Prospective parents / children
10. Inspectors
11. Training partners
12. Other Heads
13. Staff at other schools
14. Comenius partners
There are others too, but less often. In fact one of the exciting things about the job is the variety. Each day seems to bring at least one surprise.

Then there are different types of conversation/communication
1. Making a statement
2. Sharing an opinion
3. Giving advice
4. Giving cautions or warnings
5. Trying to persuade
6. Giving a challenge
7. Offering praise or thanks

(And many, many others – fiction, poetry, factual etc, in public and in confidence… In their literacy lessons children have to get to grips with them all!)

Spoken, in print, on-line! Even this blog is open to the public, but I think you have to want to come here and read this, rather than have it delivered through your letterbox!

So back to On The Edge. It started as a thought about communication and in one draft it became a plea for telling us what we do well, (as well as voicing your concerns). We have put a lot of effort this year into improving the way school shares information about the children’s work, the curriculum and the school in general. You can see videos, listen to pod-casts, read blogs and newsletters, vote on issues, and follow guidance on the teaching of maths, the learning of spellings etc. There’s the ‘virtual bookbag’, the shared google calendar to which you can ‘sync’ a mobile device, Planet Sherston and ‘drop-in’ sessions to meet me for discussion on any school-related topic. We shared prayers at Christmas and made the service interactive. We even posted ideas about what you could learn from snow during the recent day when school was closed! This is not a list of unrelated communication but the result of a planned and concerted effort to share more.

So what didn’t go in OTE? My plea that all this extra work should be NOT be one-way! The comment button is only a click away! Is anyone there?

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