Thursday, 14 January 2010

I started the day early after more snow overnight...

I arrived at Benton Park School before eight to find that the Breakfast Meeting had been cancelled because of the weather conditions. Still David Foley, headteacher, was there and Dirk Gilleard arrived shortly after me so the three of us had an opportunity to talk about some of the issues, opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. David is a great colleague and we talked about buildings, behaviour and engagement, culture and well-being, 14 - 19 provision and pathways, increasing numbers, 21st Century Schools, special needs and inclusion, extended services, and the characteristics of brilliant provision and how schools could maintain their focus on standards with so many intiatives, so many pots of money to chase, so many consultants and experts and so much constant change.

We agreed that the key is to maintain a focus on quality teaching and learning and coaching. We need to nurture passion, enthusiasm, determination, persistence and patience in our colleagfues and in our young people. It was a brilliant start to the day. We need to do more of this; to talk more, to share more, to network more and to celebrate more. We talked about the challenges that lie ahead and the need to be more creative and more collaborative.

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