It is St David’s day once more, so the reminder to do the little things well – gwnewch y pethau bychain yn dda – is in order.

We are as a leadership team and a group of teachers deeply frustrated by the fact that the Local Authority review of teaching and learning, which we had take with the utmost seriousness and treated as a key stepping stone on our journey of improvement, and which was due to take place today (sandwiched between a Book Breakfast, a parents evening, a kitchen taster session and an art exhibition), has been postponed due to the weather. One of the LA advisors lives a way away and with the projected snow, my improvement partner asked if we could postpone. I sort of get this, but I am really disappointed by what feels like a lack of commitment when the school is open and has no plans to close (at the time of writing, no LA schools are reporting closure), despite many of our teachers needing to travel from long distances. Those of you who know me know that I really love and respect our LA and what it tries to do, and so my disappointment is pretty intense!

The stress that this causes – such a small thing but with enormous consequences – has been already felt. Motivating a willing but tired group of teachers again to keep doing all the little things necessary for the success of their class every day is hard always – the stresses arising from the multiple and complex needs of many of our children are permanent, real and generally unfixable. Little things matter – a Year 4 group changing an urgent rehearsal schedule for their show next week; teachers going into “observation mode” and then out again; changing around PPA and leadership times for teachers – and to keep doing them requires an “ordinary courage” of getting up and beating back the emotional and mental tiredness.

But press on we will, because that is what we do. Whether or not we end up closing due to snow later today or tomorrow, the focus of our work – teaching children in and under the love of an everlasting and kind God, does not shift, so nor do we!

Dydd Gwyl Dewi hapus iawn i chi gyd!


About Huw Humphreys

I am a headteacher by profession, now working as an educational researcher, in the city of Milton Keynes, where I have been since April 2011. My work looks to make education effective for the whole child and keeps a distant relationship with the powers that be and their narrowing approach to education... but most of all I am looking to find out what it means to be both a follower of Jesus Christ and a passionate educator in the midst of an unsettled community. I am also a part time musician, amateur printmaker, part time linguist and lover of history and literature...committed both to freedom to learn and depth of learning for children. The views on this blog are all my own.

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