Sunday, 22 September 2013

Life begins at 40...

There's nothing like a "big" birthday to make you reflect on your past and even feel a bit nostalgic. Given that my office was full of "happy 40th" banners and balloons on Friday I didn't have much choice! I'm probably getting a bit old for birthday presents but for a Rhondda Fach boy our senior rugby team's rout of Treorchy on Thursday certainly felt like a great gift. I even had a few "mr Chips" moments as I walked around the place, although there are definitely less straw boaters at LSP than in that famous film (see below), so many pupils were wishing me happy birthday on Friday that it felt a bit Hollywood!

I have very fond memories of my own time in school, I think most teachers do, it's probably why we all end up working within the education system. My school, Ferndale Comprehensive, may have been a bit rough and ready around the edges but it was was always very much a community school, you were supported in whatever you chose to do and in return there was always an expectation that you supported others. Relationships between staff and pupils were incredibly strong and although we are all guilty of wearing rose tinted glasses when we look back on the past, I do remember laughing a lot during my time there. 

I'm very proud of the fact that LSP is a school cut from the same cloth. Hearing the "young lions" of year 7 singing Katy Perry's "roar" certainly put a huge grin on everyone's face this week (see below, I think it should become our theme tune!) So did a conversation I had with a year 11 pupil about how we were going to use a "litter picker" to rescue the glasses he had dropped down a drain! Even when there were challenges, we worked to overcome them as team. School, pupil's and parents working together, this is how things should be

Even though LSP has always been this type of school. I realised this week that I have spent nearly half my life (and practically all my adult working life) in this place and in reality much has changed. In assembly this week I had told year 11 that when I started working at LSP I was playing games on a playstation 1, I had a mobile phone the size of a house brick, and perhaps most importantly I had hair. So much has changed since then (and I don't only mean hair loss!) LSP is now a school with cutting edge technology available to pupils, it has support structures that are ever more developed, with learning support assistants, counsellors, health professionals and other agencies working together to support pupils. Most importantly teachers now know what works in the classroom. When I started at LSP 3 out of every 4 pupils did not achieve 5 good GCSE passes, now over 8 out of ten pupils do.

So with so much good going on, what's there left to do? As ever, the answer to this is lots! We still need pupils to work even harder and achieve even more than those that have gone before, particularly with regard to English and maths. We still need to get everyone in this community to recognise what a great school LSP actually is, and to do this we need to constantly sell the message about what LSP is all about. 

In a birthday card I received from a fantastic family member this week there was this quote from John Wesley

“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”

Given that my life is apparently starting again at 40 I think that's a pretty good message to be going on with, Don't you?

No comments:

Post a Comment