Headteacher column: Progression of pupils is so rewarding

Pupils aim to do their very best at Woldgate School.
Pupils aim to do their very best at Woldgate School.

We’ve had a wonderful start to the term and it was simply a joy to welcome our new year seven pupils to our school at the start of term. It is an absolute privilege to work in education, to see our children make the successful transition from primary into secondary and then on to university or a career.

Nothing I know of can match that experience, and as a teacher you are part of that journey at such a crucial time in each pupil’s development, as they awaken to the opportunities that await them and grow in personality, character and intellect.

In seven years you welcome a child into your school and then as they reach eighteen you say goodbye. I don’t believe I could ever do anything else, for although teaching is most certainly demanding in many ways, it is also immensely rewarding.

A couple of weekends ago a former pupil stopped me in Pocklington. He is an engineer and is now, as part of his university course, working across the world on some of the biggest and most exciting engineering projects. I know of no other reward greater than meeting someone you have taught who has gone on to live a successful and enjoyable life doing something they love.

As headteacher I continue to teach every week. I entered teaching to make a difference, through a love of working with young people and a joy for teaching. For me, being in the classroom is everything and it keeps me focused on what matters. Every week I read articles about education and young people and receive new guidance, on so many different issues, that fundamentally do little to benefit our children. If not careful, these could prove a big distraction from our primary purpose as a school.

It is therefore, I believe, essential through all of this to know yourself, your school and the community you serve. To ensure every action is focused on establishing standards, nurturing aspiration and on creating a safe, inclusive and caring environment where every child is known as an individual. For if children are to thrive then we must create a climate in which we can cultivate their individual talents.

Clearly an ethos is much more than words; it must be tangible and lived into being. It must be at the very heart of the school and drive a vision for education that is rooted like an oak at the core of everything you do, so however the wind blows, the core principles that define the school remain constant.

I would, therefore, like to thank our pupils, parents and my fellow teachers who have given of their time and contributed to ensuring our vision for this school is one that will ensure, for generations to come, that the children of our community will receive the broad, balanced and enriched education we believe is fundamental to future success: “Woldgate is a positive, warm and welcoming school where pupils aim to do their very best and take pride in their achievements. By constantly challenging our pupils to excel, we nurture aspiration and strive to cultivate a lifelong love of learning in our young people. We provide a creative, safe, inclusive and caring environment where every child is known and cared for as an individual. In this climate, every young person has the opportunity to thrive as they develop in personality, character and intellect and become a highly successful learner and individual.”

I am very proud of our young people and this school.