More than ever I have been impressed and stood in awe at the hard work of teachers, the generosity of parents and the joy of the pupils in sharing and giving to their local community. I’m immensely proud at the commitment of both staff and pupils at my school who have made every effort to improve the lives of those less fortunate than ourselves. I know that all schools are an essential part of the community and this post is to recognise that it isn’t always about targets but it is about giving pupils life skills, empathy and an ability to care.
As School leaders we can encourage, direct and manage projects however on a personal level, my greatest thrill and sense of achievement takes place when children have their own ideas and direct their own plans. Our Year 2 planned, set a budget and worked towards helping a local church by providing food boxes. Our Year 6 wanted to lead a Santa’s run for a local hospice. Both these ideas came to fruition and were a great success. I’m certain that you would be able to think of many examples from your own schools.
The time and energy given by staff at Christmas can not be measured in terms of targets but in the smiles on the faces of the pupils, in the quality of the singing and the joy on their faces. This isn’t measurable and accountability, true accountability comes from the happiness of the pupils as they feel a sense of pride in their performance during a concert, show or service and when they take ownership of an idea. Somehow, work continues thus proving that the professionalism of our teachers never fades even during the busiest time of the year.
We have a School magazine written by pupils and on almost their first page they have discussed the true meaning of Christmas to them and high on that list was the importance of giving not just receiving. From the words of children, many a lesson can be learnt.
To be a part of a wider community is an essential part of Christmas whether in terms of performing at a home for the elderly, a local church, town centre or Cathedral, the school is the beating heart of many activities. Lantern parades, creating cards for the community and charity events helps to knit our role in rural communities, towns and cities across the country.
This post can only end by saying a big thank you to every member of staff that has worked so hard in every School.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!