Wednesday, 17 January 2007

I had a great start to the day... I went to Woodkirk High Specialist Science School. Jonathan White, the headteacher, had invited me to visit the school last year. We were joined by Dennis Fisher, the Chair of Governors, who accompanied us on a quick tour of the school. We visited English, maths, science, ICT, business studies... we looked in on classes in Year 7, Year 9, Year 10, Year 11 and the sixth form. What really struck me was the atmosphere around the school, the positive behaviour and wonderful relationships wherever we went, the focused, enthusiastic and caring staff and most importantly Jonathan's relationships with his students... the jokes, the banter and the sense of fun was really refreshing. I know that Jonathan has been at Woodkirk for a long time and his knowledge and understanding of the issues facing the school and his passion, leadership and commitment to his students shone through my visit. Woodkirk is very clearly a good school but it is going to be a great one under Jonathan's focused and determined leadership.

However, what really stood out for me and provided the highlight of my visit was that I was invited to a coffee morning by the Year 10 ASDAN Group. Apparently, the group do this on a regular basis ... they invite a special group of guests to come and have coffee and cakes. It was my lucky day... Jessica, William and Sam were part of this wonderful little group and they served me coffee and home made scones, flapjack and caramel shortbread... and it was fantastic. The group are taught by Miss Connelly and Miss Blight and it was wonderful to see a very special kind of magic being released with a very special group of young people. It was so good that I'm going to invite them to come and have coffee and cakes with me sometime.

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