It’s the (not so festive) season

Welcome back and I hope that you had a decent break – whatever form it took and however long it lasted.

We are in the critical season of our school and college year. This half term, the run-up to the SATs, GCSEs, BTECs and A levels, can be the most stressful period of the year. Sometimes we (as teachers, support professionals or parents) might feel that stress a little more than some of our charges but, in truth, we know that the over-whelming majority of our children and young people do take their success in those external national tests, assessments and qualifications very seriously.  IN our schools and in the college we want to make sure that we do the right thing with and for our pupils and students. We will do everything we possibly can to prepare them for the upcoming period. Our experience tells us that we can only go so far, only do so much. We walk that fine line between support and challenge – it’s ever been thus. We know that we need to do all that we can to prepare our children and young people for what they might face, but ultimately we do that in a way which allows them to come to terms, themselves, with the challenges that they need to endure. They need to sit the exam or the test,  complete the coursework or the assessment. We know that we can’t do it for them. They know we can’t do it for them.

And so, I wish you all the very best as you work over the coming weeks in supporting and challenging our children and young people. Don’t take on the stresses yourself but do ensure that you support where you can, You do what you can, when you can and then you stop. Our pupils and students know that we are four-square behind them. Equally, the over-whelming majority know that it is their responsibility to take those final steps.

The coming weeks will be incredibly stressful, for a whole host of reasons, and for a whole host of people. We, as the adults, need to ensure that we, wherever we can, reduce that stress by retaining a smile, good humour and a positive disposition. With the weather being that bit warmer (it will get warmer I promise!) The nights being that little bit lighter, the schemes of work and programmes of study have been completed, it will be, as always, a decent run towards the end of the school year. There will be bumps on the road. There will be times when the challenges are too great for some of our children and young people, but we will all be there to support them.

‘Schools are not exam factories for the rat race’. Johann Lamont

Onwards and upwards.