As the summer holidays are upon us I thought I’d take a few moments to reflect on the past few weeks and how utterly crazy they have been. There have been so many positives, many challenges and quite a few stresses. In the past two week alone I have:
1. Received our SATs results and carried out a comprehensive analysis of the data.
2. Met with Governors to report data, review the School Development Plan and set new targets.
3. Introduced and summarised two evening productions for Y6.
4. Held a new Reception parents meeting.
5. Written the first draft of the new School Development Plan.
6. Said goodbye to Y6 in the Leavers’ assembly.
7. Overseen the packing up of the school (we are being expanded and over the summer the school will be completely closed for restructuring works).
8. Held parents evening.
9. Written headteacher comments for 360 reports.
The list could go and this is certainly not a moan just a stating of facts, it has been (as it always is) an unbelievably busy time of year. I fully acknowledge here that this is not just in my role as head and that all members of the school community are feeling it.
Anyway, I was chatting with a fellow headteacher and he was trying to pinpoint what it is exactly that makes this time of year tougher than the rest. We were discussing and agreed that Autumn term is busy with new initiatives, Spring term is busy with data and the SATs etc… So what exactly is so tough about it because we are busy throughout the whole year.
I personally feel that this time of year is so tough because of the variety and complexity of the tasks that we have to do. Proof reading 360 reports and writing comments is a major undertaking in itself. What I will say is that the closer to the holidays we get the less strategic capacity I have and often this is when I need it the most as it is when a lot of forward planning takes place.
My fellow headteacher has come to the conclusion that this time of year is tough, not because of the workload, but for other reasons. He argues that throughout the year we can control and manage systems (this is always within our grasp) – this doesn’t change in the summer term. He argues that it is tough because the one thing we cannot control are people’s emotions and at this time of year it is hard to keep morale up, to keep the ethos going, to keep people upbeat. It is an emotionally charged time of year and for this reason alone we find it tough because controlling systems and procedures is easy but controlling peoples’ emotions when they have put so much into a year is hard. It is an emotionally charged time of year and this can make it seem unrelenting.
Personally, I am looking forward to a bit of well earned family time but I know education will never be far from mind and I start to unwind and relax I will begin to regain the capacity to think strategically. My thinking will gain clarity and purpose and the same can be said for our staff. Come September we will be firing on all cylinders but until then it’s going to be nice emotionally and physically unwind.
Have a great summer!