Home Page

Headteacher's Blog

1st October 2017 – Four School Weeks, One Headteacher and a Marriage Proposal

I’ve been a Headteacher for one whole month today. The time has flown so quickly and the fact that four weeks have passed is quite hard to believe. It’s been a great month though, getting to know all of the families and the staff from the perspective of the Headteacher rather than the Deputy. I didn’t think the role of Headteacher would feel much different to last year but it certainly does.  I sometimes stand on the playground, in the corner by the steps to the field, looking up at the majestic JC building. I look at the Victorian tiles on the roof, at the mortar crumbling from between the bricks, at the windows, and at the leaky cast iron guttering and ponder upon my responsibility for all of what I see, even before the building is filled with little blue sweatshirts and JC Promises.  It’s a huge role and I could feel quite daunted, but I don’t. When the playground is filled with families in the morning and later with children screaming in the wind at playtimes, being at school is a joy. I’ve spent much of this month, working with people and their progress and leaving the paperwork and policy for when the school falls silent. This feels like a comfortable balance for now but in a month’s time I’ll think about this again.

It’s the 1st October and I’ve been a Headteacher for one whole month today. To celebrate, I’m going to watch the Attenborough Colts, do my weekly shop and pop into Nottingham to see a very talented local singer. On the 1st September, having been a Headteacher for about 10 hours, I was proposed to by a gentleman in Birds bakery. I explained that I was already married and couldn’t take him up on his very kind offer. I wonder what might happen today?

6th-8th September – The First Days of Term


The children and families were greeted on the playground by the staff as the children joined their new class lines. Due to our three transition days in the summer term, most children knew where they should line up and they did so beautifully. The children all looked so smart with their school uniforms on. Many children started the day slowly with learning activities designed to welcome the children back gently and to bond the classes after the summer break.


It was a lovely day back and everyone was happy to be back at school with their friends. We had a whole school assembly, singing the John Clifford School song and introducing new staff to the children.


The Foundation children started full time on Thursday and had a great day as Ladybirds and Butterflies. They played together after their lunch, staying for the first day, a little distance from the rest of the school. A big step for lots of children and their parents.


Friday saw the arrival of the Busy Bees and the full complement of the school.

We have had a great first week and you can see some of what your children have been doing on the class pages on this website.


I’m going to finish this entry by thanking everyone for their involvement in this week. As a parent and teacher, I know that getting back into the routine of ‘school days’ is a change and a challenge. I look forward to our first full week. Have a lovely weekend.


5th September – INSET Day


The first week back is complete and all has been fantastic. We started the term with an INSET day which we used to establish our new team. The day began with breakfast, as all good days do, and then we embarked upon a morning of professional dialogue and reflection. The first focus of the morning was to consider the continuing successful vision of the school. As the new Headteacher, it was important for me to talk about my hopes and intentions for the school and establish amongst staff how I believe our future success can be achieved and celebrated.


The morning progressed to talk about the John Clifford Promises and what they mean to the various staff teams in school. We talked about professional conduct and the practices pertinent to each of our roles. We then moved on to talk about high expectations and how memories should be created for our children. Mr Hayward-Mitchell then walked us through the new Reading Diaries and his expectations for all involved.


In the afternoon, Phase Teams met to reflect upon the messages delivered from the morning and discuss consistency within their year groups. Afterwards, staff dispersed to their classrooms to make ready for the children’s first day of term.

8 4 9 6 5 Visitors