I am alarmed at how quickly these final weeks of the school year are passing – it doesn’t seem possible that we have only five weeks of school left, the last of which is activities week. It is always a rush to do all the preparation needed for the new school year in June and July, but this year even more so, I think because of the late half term.
I am ‘in training’ for the London to Brighton bike ride at the moment, which I and a group of teachers (mostly PE, so, amazing as it seems, I am an honorary member of the PE department for the day!) are doing this Sunday. It’s a 54 mile ride from Clapham Common to Brighton seafront in aid of the British Heart Foundation. Despite good intentions, I haven’t managed to get out on my bike very much – when there is time, which isn’t often, it always seems to be raining, or too windy, or some other excuse! Most of the training has therefore been in the artificial atmosphere of St John’s gym on an exercise bike. I am hoping it will be enough to get me to Brighton at a reasonable speed, and to prevent any saddle soreness! Mr Singleton, who is our resident bike expert, is kindly looking over mine today to make sure it’s in good working order.
Much of the remainder of the weeks left are focussed on the induction process for new year 7 students. Two evenings next week see them coming in for the first time to meet their tutors and the rest of their new tutor group, and then in a couple of weeks we have the induction day when they all come in together for a full day. It’s very easy to become blasé about this process when you have seen it many times before – for each individual child, and, of course, for their parents, it’s a huge step. They usually say that they are ready for the move – I think often year 6 children ‘outgrow’ primary school in some way, but that doesn’t stop the nerves completely. Believe it or not, I can actually still remember my own first day at secondary school – back in the early 70s! I have every confidence that Mr Woollett, the new head of year 7, and his team, will do everything possible to make these transition events stress-free and welcoming.