As the examination season begins in earnest, it is an excellent time to remind everyone about the importance of this last stage/the final leg/the finale. Even now, by doing the right things, it is possible to make a real difference. I do not want anyone to finish this year with the thought that, “if only I had…"
Last week my focus was on the leavers' talks which I have really enjoyed. It is great to see so many of you together and on each occasion, seeing an individual in the audience triggers a new memory. It may be that I have taught you, supervised your EPQ, talked to you at some stage, seen you participate in an activity or (rarely) had to reprimand you.
Throughout the last four weeks, we have been interviewing for a range of teaching posts for next year. The format that we use always involves a lesson observation followed by a discussion/evaluation, when you give me your views of the lesson, and followed by a formal interview. Your views, thoughts and feelings are always really appreciated and taken into account. I believe that it is very hard to fool you and that on each occasion your comments have been extremely helpful and perceptive. One comment comes back to me again and again, and makes me smile:
“s/he may not have engaged us but s/he would get the better grades for us…"
What a brilliant comment! Many thanks once again.
Two weeks ago, I was privileged to see our girls' football team play in the National Colleges’ Final at the Bescot Stadium in Walsall. I felt incredibly proud of each and every person who played, watched or supported the team. The effort, ability and camaraderie of everyone involved was extremely moving. Indeed, a number of staff from the competitor college mentioned how good our supporters were. I was also really impressed by the standard of our play and the sheer commitment of each and every player. These moments are precious and need to be savoured. Throughout the match, I had a smile on my face and kept humming "Mr Raffles" by Steve Harley:
"…, Man! It was hard not to laugh out loud
I couldn't believe the size of the crowd
You must have fooled them into coming…
Inside you sniggered so hearty, you only came for the party
Man, it was mean, it was mean, man it was mean".
We have a newly elected Student Executive. I am really pleased that the hustings were so well attended and that so many of you voted. I hope that the new Executive can follow in the footsteps of the outgoing team. I believe that the current Executive have been outstanding – certainly one of the best since I have been at our College. I would like to express my thanks and appreciation for all that you have done for our College and our students. You will be a very hard act to follow.
Many of you will have voted for the first time last week. I hope that you enjoyed the experience and excitement that is generated during a General Election. All that I will say about the outcome is that, as Bobby D sang,
"You can fool some people all of the time
You can fool all the people some of the time
But you cannot fool all of the people all of the time".
Just a few quotations to ponder:
"Human beings were invented by water as a device for transporting itself from one place to another," Tim Robbins.
"When elephants fight the ants get trampled," Malaysian saying.
"The first camel in the train holds everyone up, but it is the last which gets the beating," Amharic proverb.
Good luck in the examinations and I hope that your performance reflects your effort.