Monday, 20 July 2009

"It's one more journey 'round the sun... to the end of another year.
You think of all the distance run, at the end of another year.
So many years we've been around, we've been up and we've been down,
We've been lost but we've been found at the end of another year.

We speak of all we'd like to do, we think of all that we've been through.
I'd just as soon be here with you at the end of another year"...

Bob Zentz, 1995

Last week, I attended the official opening of the multi-faith centre at Allerton High School by Colin Jackson. The event was brought alive by performances by some of their students who talked and danced to illustrate the importance of their faith and their beliefs. I moved on to the celebration event for the VI teams' 'No Limits' programme which has continued to open up some fantastic opportunities for children with visual impairment here in Leeds. I visited Temple Moor High School and Science College to see the progress they are making as their new school building develops around them. I also popped into Templenewsam Halton Primary School, to see my colleague Kay Crellin who is still releasing the magic, and into Cross Flatts Park Primary School to see their allotment ,which Yorkshire Water has transformed through their 'Million Green Fingers' scheme.

I had dinner with the RM board and members from the Education Leeds board before both boards met at Pudsey Grangefield High School where we talked about brilliant learning, brilliant learning places, e-learning, EVOLVE and the way we can further develop the relationship to help us continue to build brilliant here in Leeds. I also attended the Leeds City Council meeting for five hours to watch the democratic process in action before I attended a brilliant production of the 'Wizard of Oz' at Castleton Primary School. This was another celebration of the potential and talent in Year 5 and 6 at one of our fantastic primary schools.

Cllr Richard Harker and I visited Allerton Bywater Primary School to congratulate the team on the wonderful progress they are making, and I was invited to the 'Leavers Party' at yet another amazing school, Hunslet Moor Primary School, to celebrate yet another incredible group of young people now moving on to secondary school. I also attended the governing body meeting at Woodlands Primary School to talk about a more responsive and supportive approach to child protection cases, and the primary schools pilot we are developing to address in a more co-ordinated and holistic way an 'Every Child Matters' and 'Every Family Matters' approach in some of our most deprived communities. And finally, I met with Peter Roberts, chief executive and principal of the new Leeds City College, to talk about the opportunities and challenges we face with developing learning, skills and the 14 - 19 offer across the city.

At the end of yet another school year we can all look back proudly at what we have achieved over the last eleven great months, forty seven great weeks and three hundred and thirty great days. However, as the results of all our effort and energy turns into performance tables, performance indicators and traffic light ratings we know that we will need to redouble our efforts and do even more next year. We will face new challenges, new opportunities and new demands in a year where we need to continue to be unique, special and different, to be creative and imaginative, to try new things, to learn new tricks and to continue to make a real difference… whatever it takes!

Enjoy your summer holiday; all I ask is that you come to work next year to make a difference, to get things done and simply to be your brilliant best!

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