Lessons start, UCAS predictions and Portsmouth FC

Remembering the first headmaster I worked for who used to say inimitably “If you don’t have that bit of dryness in the back of your throat before your first lesson of the year, you probably don’t care enough.”   Funny thing these start of year butterflies that tend to circle round teachers: have I lost the knack? will they laugh at me? will everything work? From the headmaster’s point of view, it’s not that different – at one level you have done most of it before, but at another it is all new – and I suppose that is one of the things that makes it all so absorbing – new students, parents, teachers means new relationships that need to be worked at. My metaphorical bias tends to the agricultural (there we go..) so, yes, words like cultivating and tending pop up. Well, happily, butterflies are lessening as momentum builds and the urgency of getting on with work and activities asserts itself. The pace builds too through the process of analysis and shaping of plans to achieve targets: starting with departmental analysis of exam results; this is now firmly with students and teachers as they look at what’s been achieved so far and what needs to be achieved to succeed at the next stage – with my tutees (6.2s) it’s all about UCAS predictions and aspirations for university. But a similar process is going on at other levels – 6.1 and Block 5  especially. And there are football sides to muster – saw the Portsmouth FC coaches at work with our teachers yesterday pm – our younger students (B4 and B5) hard at work on the lush green of the Mem Pitch – these coaches will be with us every week, working right across the age range – a real boost. And there’s Cabaret to cast – not to mention the 6th form play Osama the Hero by Dennis Kelly and the first Civics of the year on Friday –  Emma Bridgewater. Will get to some holiday snaps next time…

By Keith Budge, Headmaster, Bedales Schools