“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”
~St. Catherine of Siena~
I have just been sitting and reflecting upon my first five months in headship. They say that the window for making the most impact is up by this half term – I can understand that, but don’t believe it wholeheartedly. If we want to make major changes, there is always room for that – however, I suppose the ‘ethos’ will be set by this time.
Reflecting over these months, I feel a great deal has been accomplished – even though there is always so much more to do, things unfinished, in-boxes and out-boxes full to the brim. The thing I have realised most is that this job is always unfinished – you can always do more, spend more hours on this or that. But, what I have learnt is that if you do things, you need to do them right – you need to complete them and polish them so then you are able to move onto something new. It can be too easy to get into the routine of having four or five different tasks going on at once. Sometimes this is unavoidable. Having too many projects at once, means that they all don’t get completed with quality. Quality is always better than quantity, so prioritising things to be done and allowing yourself time to fully complete them and then to move onto the next task will always have better outcomes.
I have made mistakes since September but have learnt what to do for next time. I hold people much more to account and insist on deadlines being met. This has always been an issue in all of my previous schools – it is hard when teachers come to you with their often ‘heart-rending’ reasons why they can’t get their results in on time, and obviously there will be certain exceptions, but I have now become a stickler for things being completed and on my desk at a certain time.
Since September we have shared ideas for what our school will look like in four years time, we have voted on values and from all of this we now have a four year vision as well as a specific yearly development plan that is easily evaluated and updated. A whole new school tracking system is in place that allows teachers to see individual progress as well as groups of pupil’s progress.
Now, I just need to get through my SIAMS which will be shortly after half term and begin writing a new school SEF based on our new development plan and changes since September.
Diana Pardoe had some fantastic ideas about having evening, pupil-led parent sessions on all aspects of school life. So, I am now thinking about how we begin moving towards these. I love the idea of the pupils taking so much more responsibility in their school and helping to create a culture and ‘ethos’ that they are proud of and have actually been a part of implementing.
These last few months have had their ups and downs, but leaving this week, staff seem happy, teams are being built up and the school is beginning to ‘buzz’ with enthusiasm. This is ultimately what I wanted and now finally feel as though yes, I am making my mark…..
I am a leader not only of children but of the staff, the parents and our wider community. I am beginning to realise just how much of an impact I can make and that is just what I aim to do………
I will continue to make mistakes, but as long as I learn from these, I will continue to improve on what I do.
I will persevere….
I will be resilient…..
I will remain overly optimistic…..
I will model what I expect from everyone around me…..
I will make a difference……