WEEK 7 - Friday 20 October 2023
As I write this, Storm Babet is howling away outside of my window and the rain is lashing down. Three weeks ago, it felt like the middle of summer and now.... it’s definitely not. There is no doubt that the weather outside affects the climate in schools. Warm, hazy days with students sitting in the sunshine or playing sports are the ideal – lots of exercise, Vitamin D and space to spread out. Wet and windy – not so good.
It is well known that SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is a real thing, even if we do not know why. And while we all feel a bit less optimistic in the late Autumn and Winter, nobody can really explain why some of the countries that have the harshest winters (such as in Scandinavia) also regularly record the highest levels of happiness and mental health. It is surely down to adopting a positive mindset which proves invaluable as the endless nights prevail.
In school, the wet weather compels the students to want to stay inside which means space in the canteen is at a premium. To feed and house over 600 students on each forty-minute sitting is a herculean effort and I am proud of the dedication of the staff to maintaining our standards.
I wrote last week about our Sixth Form and I was delighted to see so many prospective students and their families at our Open Evening on Tuesday. Over 150 families attended from across the area and from a number of other schools too; the feedback on their experience was fantastic and I was delighted to see our Head Students and their peers receiving such praise for their contribution to the night, speaking to people about their experience and how to manage the transition from Year 11. They were a credit to their families, and we are very proud of them. Most of those students that attended have now applied for a place in the Sixth Form which will then prompt a face-to-face interview with Mr Jarman, Head of Sixth Form. We do this early so that the young people can get their plans in place and focus on the rest of Year 11 and achieving their full potential. If you need any information about our Sixth Form, please contact Mr Jarman at the school.
It is a big sporting weekend yet again in the Groak household. The England cricketers are in action tomorrow and then the Rugby Union boys meet South Africa in the World Cup Semi-Final in the evening. My son and I will be watching. And then, on Sunday, the Rugby League team (my favourite version of the sport) play Tonga. On weekends like this, the TV is monopolised so it's probably for the best that my wife is away this weekend – off to see ‘S Club’ in Manchester and reliving her youth.
Whatever you are doing this weekend, stay warm and dry and have a good weekend