Headteacher column: Students have all the right values

Headteacher Richard Harrison.
Headteacher Richard Harrison.

In my first column last month I highlighted the unfair funding of East Riding Schools and the campaign for fairer funding led by our MPs and Councillors.

In the autumn spending review George Osbourne promised a new fairer funding formula for 2017/18 which will be good news for our schools, if not for those in areas currently receiving higher funding per pupil.

The Market Weighton choir performs at a number of events during the Christmas period.

The Market Weighton choir performs at a number of events during the Christmas period.

In schools we are well and truly in the Christmas season and looking forward to the end of a busy term.

I met my Primary Headteacher colleagues last week and they were full of stories of nativity plays, costumes and set designs.

At TMWS we have two weeks of trial GCSE exams! But we are still making it a special time of year for our older students as it is important that they celebrate with their friends and be reminded of the true meaning of Christmas.

At TMWS the festive season started in October when the choir began practising their Christmas repertoire for an early booking at the Langlands Craft Fair, which got us all in the mood a little too early!

We have already held our Nine Lessons Carol Concert and have also taken all of our students to All Saints’ Church for a traditional Christmas Service.

We have the usual Christmas Concert in the final week of term and will also sit down together for a Christmas lunch with all the trimmings and wear our Christmas jumpers for charity.

There is a lot of talk about the teaching of ‘British values’ in schools at present but it is events like these that create a sense of community and tradition, which make the biggest contribution to values in any school. Young people often get a bad press but their enthusiasm to help others less fortunate than themselves through charity fundraising never ceases to impress me. In schools across the country millions of pounds are raised for charity each year and, of course, Christmas is an appropriate time to think of those who face greater challenges than we do.

So, when we are moaning about not being able to renew our laptops or fund trips abroad we should remember that there are many schools around the world that would love to have our warm, safe buildings, books and computers.

After all, some of the most important work we do in schools, instilling a strong set of values in our young people, costs nothing but time and effort.