The headteacher column with Jonathan Britton

Jonathan Britton, headteacher at Woldgate School.
Jonathan Britton, headteacher at Woldgate School.

Last term, our Year 8 pupils organised their stalls and came with cakes, games and activities to raise money for charity.

It was a great event and testament to our belief, as a school, that our pupils should be involved in their wider community by undertaking acts of great value.

Our Year 8 pupils brought in cakes to raise funds for charity.

Our Year 8 pupils brought in cakes to raise funds for charity.

Being part of a school or wider community is all about empathising with others and demonstrating through your actions that you care.

In working collectively toward a common goal, to do good, our pupils develop an understanding of how together, and as individuals, they can make a difference.

In a society where it can at times appear that we are completely focused on the individual, it is important to remember that for a community or society to function, it is necessary to be able to work alongside others, to collaborate, if we wish to bring about change for the good of the community. In recognising that we are not an island, we develop social responsibility.

As a school at the heart of a market town, it is even more arguable that being part of a wider community is important, as those links are far more essential and tangible than they may be in a larger school within a city.

Our school has, since 1958, been at the heart of this community and has sought to serve the young people of this area without prejudice.

In the main hall we can see on the walls the names of the many children who have been part of this community and their destinations once they completed their studies.

It is testament to the opportunities a good education can provide and how a school at the heart of a community can transform lives.

In view of this, it was, therefore, a real pleasure to see our Year 11 pupils in their celebration afternoon this term, as they came together for the last time, as pupils, prior to becoming Sixth Form students or choosing to opt for further specialist study elsewhere.

The event was characteristic of all we’ve come to expect from our pupils.

It was a joy to see our children with their tutor team celebrating the last five years and sharing key moments along that journey.

The camaraderie, fun and good humour, were all evident and emotions came to the fore as our pupils reflected on the end of journey and the start of a new adventure.

In these moments, in the emotions of both pupils and staff, we are reminded that a school is far more than just a place where we learn. It is very much a community and a place where our hearts, as well as our minds reside.

For our pupils, be they 16 or 18, they have invested a great deal of their time and energy, and lived a good proportion of their lives, as part of this school community.

It is, therefore, a place that is full of memories and is very much a home.