Mr Upton's New Beginnings
Starting a new school can be a big step.
Everything is new and it is normal to feel apprehensive. Everyone goes through a range of emotions when they start a new school and it is no different the older you get.
I joined the team at Bede's in September as Director of Studies. From the very moment I stepped in through the door I felt welcomed and this is something I have realised the staff at Bede's does very well.
On the first day I was asked to present my vision to the staff. As a head teacher of two schools for the past seven years, I have plenty of experience of presenting and leading educational development. There is always, however, an element of anticipation when facing an entirely new audience but the warmth and support offered on my first day was overwhelming.
As the children began to arrive, I could empathise with those starting at Bede's for the first time. Every child was moving from a previously familiar year to a new one and therefore starting something new.
It was wonderful to observe how well the needs of the children were met. Kit check in the Senior Boys' Changing Room was my first duty. As a child I remember similar times when kit would be checked, in fear that if an item was found missing or unnamed I would be told to hang from the wall bars until either released or I dropped! I am pleased to report that kit check at Bede's is a far more supportive activity!
Thank goodness the children of Bede's know their way around the school. On one occasion I ended up in a cleaning cupboard looking for the staircase to my office. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the child who pointed out the error of my ways!
I am sure I am not the only one who was helped in the first few days. The children at Bede's are naturally understanding and helpful because this is modelled for them so well.
Sport at my school as a child involved football, athletics and cross country. Fortunately I loved all three, but what a distance this is from the opportunities the children at Bede's have to explore their sporting capabilities!
It never ceases to amaze me how much kit and sporting paraphernalia the children bring to school each morning. I am sure some of them bring younger siblings in their bags for the day!
The quality of the coaching is first class at Bede's and the children respond with equal amounts of commitment and enthusiasm.
The end of term is upon us. I feel like I have been at Bede's for far longer than three months; this is a tribute to the way everyone is accepted into the school community, no matter who they are or which cupboards they enter by mistake.
I feel very fortunate to be a part of a team totally committed to the children. Everyone does indeed go through a range of emotions when they start a new school.
Mine have been incredibly positive.