‘Mum I don’t want to go to school today’.
Come on now, it’s not that bad
‘It is, the work’s too hard, I never know what I’m doing, no one likes me. I don’t have any friends.’
That isn’t true
‘Yes it is. People keep calling me names and saying things behind my back, the teachers don’t like me and everyone says things about me all the time’.
I’m sure it’s not that bad
‘It is. It is. Don’t make me go, it’s horrible’.
Come on now; stop all this, besides you have to go. You’re the Headteacher!
After a long summer break it is often a real shock to the system to return to the early morning alarm; the timetable bells; the challenge of routine and the ups and downs of the school day. However thankfully, I do not have the same misgivings as the Headteacher in the old joke quoted above! On the contrary the new school year is an exciting time filled with opportunity and ambition. It is the chance to start afresh. It is a time of change and celebration. It can be a catalyst for wonderful things to happen.
For all those children changing schools or starting for the first time there are inevitable fears and nerves….making friends, getting lost, not being noticed, being noticed, forgetting something, feeling overwhelmed or simply just wanting to belong and now knowing how. Reassuringly it is the same for everyone, although not everyone has those feelings to the same degree or at the same time. It is also the same for new teachers too!
I know that if I could re-live my school days again, I would do so much more and embrace the boundless opportunities provided day in day out, that only happen when you’re at school. That is my message to the children and students returning this week. Be bold and go for it!
To the teachers and staff returning too, I hope they remember what a wonderful vocation we have in our school, especially at Westholme and it is a privilege to positively shape young lives for the better. Many staff have been working hard over the holidays making sure that classrooms and facilities are ready and improved for the new year – we are all one team and stronger together.
And if I reach that point too soon where the paperwork is overwhelming and there just aren’t enough hours in the day, I will remind myself of the joyful smiles I shared with students on Results Day; the uplifting life changing pictures and experiences of #TeamWestholme in Kenya and the sheer variety, fun and amazing opportunities we have at Westholme every day opening young minds, body and souls for the future – how lucky am I?