The headteacher column with Alex Reppold

Headteacher at Pocklington Junior School Alex Reppold.
Headteacher at Pocklington Junior School Alex Reppold.

The picture above was taken of me two years ago when I first joined Pocklington Juniors as Headteacher.

Unfortunately, the photo bears little resemblance to the current me as I’m wrinkling rapidly, receding speedily and greying faster than I can pluck them out.

Did you catch our art show in Burnby Hall Gardens, presented by our Year 4 pupils?

Did you catch our art show in Burnby Hall Gardens, presented by our Year 4 pupils?

Being the headteacher of this wonderful school for the past two years has been both and enormous responsibility and an enormous privilege and although outwardly you might not have noticed much difference if you simply walk past, internally we’ve been on a huge journey and it’s a testament to the staff who work with me just how much has been achieved in a short time.

Our vision for the school isn’t just a strap-line or motto; our vision is tied in with everything we do. When I first joined the school, the Pocklington Post supported us by allowing us to ask the community what values the town as a whole felt that our young people should be developing during their time with us.

The response, coupled with what the pupils and our parents felt was important, has led to our school values of respect, honesty, independence, confidence, aspiration and hard work.

So, two years on, have we managed to develop these in our pupils? By my count, an overwhelming yes!

Perhaps you caught our art show in Burnby Hall Gardens presented by our Year 4 pupils who had been learning about endangered animals and the impact that we’ve had as humans on our local area?

Talking to members of the public about their hard work took some serious confidence and has set a few of our pupils on the path to aspirational jobs working with animals in the future. Or perhaps you heard our whole school performance of ‘Jerusalem Joy’ just before Easter which took place in All Saints’ Church?

There was some beautiful singing from both soloists and groups alike. One of our children recently decided they wanted to do something for the community and arranged with teachers to write Easter cards to the residents in local homes who perhaps may not otherwise have any visitors or Easter wishes; respect and independence coming through yet again.

Two years is a short time in the life of a school, but a huge part of a child’s life with us as they will only be at our school for four years in total.

The differences being made means that each day our school gets a little bit better and that’s due to the staff, the pupils, the parents and the wider community who have helped us; All Saints’ Church, Burnby Hall Gardens, Hayes Travel, Guide Dogs for the Blind, the Canal and River trust and so many more individuals, groups, associations and businesses have each supported us in their own way and we as a school are enormously grateful.

The bottom line is, unlike me, hard work means our school gets better year on year and I need to get used to the fact that wrinkles are clearly just part of the job.