And so the half time whistle is about to blow and after we have taken our slice of orange, taken shelter from the rain and wind and had any scrapes and injuries seen to, we huddle together to reflect on how we have performed in the first half. Did we play to our strengths? Did we maximise our chances and did we play together as a team? If we are in a winning position, how do we maintain that and not become too complacent and therefore not take our eye off the ball? How do we continue to work efficiently and effectively while maintaining a sense of balance and perspective? Are there any tactical changes that need to be made? I suppose what I am lamenting about here (Head Master’s prerogative) is that we as a school have also reached half time in our academic year. I am about to blow the metaphorical whistle and I hope the following week will be an opportunity for us all to reflect on the highs (and lows) of the first half and what we have learnt and how we can all move forward to ensure that we achieve our ‘goals’ at the end of the year. Are we in a winning position at this stage? Only time will tell, but I hope that we are, otherwise I would be doing the school a disservice. The changes that have been bought in this year in order to take the school forward in the next half are working through the system and we must continue to forge ahead in the best interests of the pupils and the School. The pupils, themselves, should now take stock of what has happened thus far and should now implement their plans, if they have not already done so, for the second half, whether that be changing one’s work ethic, developing revision strategies, training for the 1st XI or rehearsing for the next concert or play. It is important that we work together as a team to bring the best out of each other. Talking about working as a team, we had the Boarding OpenMorning on Saturday and I was delighted to see how our students worked together as they spoke to prospective parents and showed them around. They took real pride in their duties on Saturday and really did show off the school. The students are our unique selling point and I am very proud of them - they embody all that is good about the school and have its values at their core. Parents were understandably impressed and I have been inundated with letters and emails to that effect.
The Achievement Assembly took place this week (whilst the 6th form were sitting their Mock Exams) and we asked the question what did achievement mean to us? Prizes and awards for House rugby, netball, football, rugby 7s; certificates for music and DoE; recognition for drama and academic work were all achievements that were celebrated as a school community. The House standings are as close as the Barclays Premiership at half time and so it’s anyone’s for the taking at the moment. I am sure Heads of House will be having those all-important half time team talks with their houses and reflect on all of the above.
So as I view the educational playing field and take on board some of the tactical changes that are being made (e.g. educational reform), I look back at the first half and assess the plans going forward for the second. It is, however, worth taking a moment to pause and reflect at this stage, nurse a couple of bruises, pull one’s socks up and have a slice or two of orange.
Have a wonderful holiday and don’t forget your wellies and brollies – the storms are spending half term with us!