best job in the world
A parent asked me the other day (as we stood enjoying the sunshine in the car park at the end of the day) whether this was the best time of the year for staff. Of course one of the pleasures of working in schools is that all times of the year are different, with their own highlights, but there are lots of reasons to enjoy the summer ... and some to find it a tough time too.
Take exams. We have more structured internal exams than most state schools, and that means a concentrated time of revision and testing for all pupils. The school is quieter than ever! It’s good to give pupils that focus, though of course exams mean revision, hard work ... and marking!
Then there is the timeless joy of summer sport: sports days coming up for all, some great cricket and tennis and so forth. It has been splendid to see the new young 1st XI players stepping up in these last few weeks; of course the Rowing Club also rose to expectations at the National Schools' Regatta, with gold medals for the J16 boys 4s, the J15 girls 8s, and bronze for the senior boys 4s. As I write they are racing at Chester and Marlow.
But the summer term is also a time when plans and work come to fruition. We celebrate achievements at Prize Giving (this year in school, in the marquee), schooldays at the Commemoration and Leavers Service in the Cathedral ... and we spend time welcoming next year’s new pupils on taster days, introduction evenings and the like. We look back, we plan ahead.
All of which makes the summer term something of a whirlwind. Looking ahead in my diary is a heady experience: I will make it up to Ullswater this year, which I’m hugely looking forward to, as well as down to Henley (why do we say ‘up’ for North and ‘down’ for South?!) ... I’ll be hosting some events and enjoying hospitality at others. And I’ll be trying to get to grips with the ‘what nexts’ of school planning, and meeting new colleagues and new King’s pupils. The best job in the world? I think so...
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