This is going to be a long blog – it will make up for not blogging while I was away. It has seemed very strange to be away from school in the middle of term time. I have missed everyone and missed some pretty amazing events!
In the assembly before I left school, I told the children why I was going away. Mr Winward and I went to London to interview teachers for the next academic year. It was a very busy time, and we spoke with many enthusiastic teachers, passionate about their profession. The children gave me a person specification before I left, so I had to make sure we found teachers who:
- are fun
- have neat handwriting
- know how to play football
- (and most importantly know) how to teach us the things we need to know
It was a tough assignment!
One applicant asked me a very good question, he had read our last inspection report and asked how inspectors might describe our school, three and a half years on. Afterwards I had more time to reflect about how school has moved forwards since that time. A lot has happened! Education has been firmly placed at the top of priorities for the Islands, following the move to have a Director exclusively for Education; full time Members of Legislative Assembly support us politically;numbers on roll have grown - by about 40; we have a new purpose built Foundation Stage setting; the creation of a Nursery & Early Years Development Coordinator has resulted in many improvements in provision across the Islands for children 0-3; we have restructured the leadership team and now have a band of highly effective middle leaders; our SEN department has benefitted from the creation of a role for Specific Learning Difficulties. Every school strives to improve standards and that is no different in the Falkland Islands. We have recently worked with the Secondary school to revise our observation and monitoring protocol so we can work across the phases with a consistent approach; we have a wonderfully supportive, hardworking and fun staff whom are among the most dedicated people I know; and last – because you always save the best to last - our children are fabulous. Just as fabulous as they were 3 and a half years ago, they get involved in projects which places the schools in the centre of the community (you just have to read the Penguin News every week to realise that!). I’m glad I had a prompt to stand back and reflect on our journey so far, remembering all the highlights along the way. We continue to work to improve our school, but it is important not to forget our successes.