The Headteacher Column with Jonathan Britton

Woldgate School headteacher Jonathan Britton.
Woldgate School headteacher Jonathan Britton.

Our fabulous school production of Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5, The Musical, started this week.

I’ve enjoyed watching the rehearsals and, as the week has progressed, the cast have simply shone.

The school production of 9 to 5, The Musical, is staged on 1 and 2 December.

The school production of 9 to 5, The Musical, is staged on 1 and 2 December.

We have also received many positive comments from visitors, which all provide testament to the dedication and hard work of pupils and staff who, with the support of parents, will I’m sure deliver one of our very best performances ever.

The standard should be high as we are a Performing Arts School, but this production, for me, looks simply exceptional. Be it singing, dancing, playing as part our orchestra, designing and building the set, or operating all of our lighting and sound, our pupils have simply excelled.

I truly believe that part of what makes this community so special is the holistic education we provide for our pupils.

Our Performing Arts status, extra-curricular clubs, sporting activities and house competitions, combined with our wonderful visits programme, provide pupils with a unique opportunity to appreciate the world around them. I have long believed that the creative arts provide an exceptional platform upon which pupils can develop new skills, grow in confidence and, as people, develop qualities in an environment where their talents are nurtured and then celebrated.

This holistic approach to school life is, for me, integral to a good education and wonderful preparation for future life.

Our production is a showcase for our school, but also a celebration of the individual talents of our children.

It provides an opportunity for our pupils to grow in confidence, build character and work collectively to achieve a common goal.

It is this camaraderie that allows our pupils to step outside their comfort zones to learn more about themselves, explore their interests and pursue their passions. In challenging ourselves we learn from our new experiences and explore our own potential.

My wife always has an annual challenge. As the year end approaches, she is already researching possibilities for the year ahead. In the last few years, she has cycled from coast to coast in a day (Seascale to Whitby), competed in a triathlon, rowed competitively at Henley and run the London Marathon.

By default, I’ve driven coast to coast, sat on a cold lakeside most Sundays watching her do open water swimming, sat by an even colder riverside as she rowed past and travelled across London in record time, by foot and on the Tube, following a marathon.

It is often these moments of achievement that we remember from school and that stay with us for a lifetime.

Those occasions where we try something new, expose ourselves and grow our confidence.

Be it taking part in a musical, adopting a new attitude or way of thinking, or literally deciding to try something you’ve never done before, we challenge our minds and bodies and in doing so open ourselves to new ideas, humble ourselves, embrace new opportunities and life.

So as the New Year approaches and new possibilities await, I do hope you’ll find the time, like our pupils, to challenge yourself and to embrace the many opportunities available to us all, and if we’ve like to see our musical (today, 1 December, and tomorrow 2 December), then please do contact our school reception for tickets.