Plenty to smile about

There’s a lot to cover this week. Before that, a thank you to everyone for all your efforts this last week. Exams have continued, yet transition and taster days are being planned. Events have taken place, where parents have been able to celebrate the success of so many children and young people; I note, in particular, the Winterhill celebration evening held at Wentworth Woodhouse and the Sitwell ‘Special People in my Life’ event, held on the school playground – differing locations but with the same intent.
I know there is so much of concern and for us to worry about across our country and around the world: be that the elections across the world, especially the results in Europe; be that the ongoing psycho-drama that is of our own election campaign; be that the ongoing horrors in Gaza or in Ukraine; be that the plight of the Sudanese peoples; be that even our rotten and cold ‘summer’ weather; the list goes on.
And so, let’s be positive this week.
The Euros start this evening with Germany v Scotland. A decent football tournament, with the sun shining and great football will always cheer us up. I’m not overtly partisan (beyond Middlesbrough FC or England) and I do want the home nation teams to do well,  so… come on ‘the tartan army’.
And England kick-off their campaign against Serbia on Sunday. For once hope and blind optimism seem to have been replaced by a realistic ambition for real success – the first major men’s team to win a trophy since 1966?
The 20/20 cricket world cup continues in the US and West Indies, and England have had their first win. The Super 8s now looks possible – that will mean something to some of you, but not necessarily all of you. A little cricketing success would bring some of us some joy. Hopefully other teams more locally followed, especially Pakistan, will progress too – although that’s touch and go, having lost to the USA.
We also have the more uplifting reminder that we’re looking ahead to National Thank A Teacher Day (NTATD), which is coming up on Wednesday 19 June. To be clear, few would argue a national day of celebration each year will, in itself, counterbalance the significant challenges we, you and our colleagues are facing. I don’t think that’s the aim of the day. It really is just an opportunity for our community to pause and reflect upon the impact teachers and other professional colleagues can and do have. It’s not wrong to set aside some time to acknowledge and celebrate the incredible work of our teaching and non-teaching staff; the difference they make to young lives and bright futures. I know that many of our children and their parents and carers take time to recognise what you all do but it’s good just to take a moment, as they say.

How important it is for us to recognise and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!’ Maya Angelou

And finally…
We celebrate Eid Al-Adha this weekend. For all Muslims, in the UK and around the world, this weekend will be a time of reflection and celebration. Time will be taken with family and friends; talking, sharing and enjoying time together. I recognise that many Muslims around the world, especially in those areas of conflict or repression, may find it hard to fully engage in the celebrations, but they will engage with their faith. We will be thinking about you and them. Eid Mubarak!
Whatever else there is, in your life, which brings positivity and pleasure, I wish you well and hope that you enjoy.