Schools are full of biorhythms. Each day has a rhythm and shape, framed by bells (or in our case brief soundbites of Jewish music); each week is patterned by routines – this class, on this day, at this time, with assemblies, form times, meetings and Enrichment activities adding to the mix. Each term in the year has a certain feel, too: a combination of the season, the weather, the hours of daylight, our progress through the year’s topics, where we are in relation to exams, reports, parents evenings and all the other deadlines that are essential in a complex, high-achieving organisation.
The shape of a school year, echoing as it does the patterns of nature is something I count as one of the blessings of working in schools – for one thing, 3 defined terms each year means 3 opportunities to turn over a new leaf, renew vision and resolve, and put the past behind us. And that’s just the Headteacher…
The very notion of a biorhythm is a wonderfully cross-disciplinary thing, just the sort of creative interplay that we love at JCoSS. And as we continue to grow as a school it is fascinating to see the JCoSS pattern of biorhythms emerging. For many schools the second half of summer is a wind-down, a relatively gentle cruise (albeit with some fevered exam marking in the background, and some equally fevered construction of next year’s timetable). At JCoSS we are at full tilt, and without the benefit of time freed up as Year 11 and Year 13 classes depart.
The pages that follow bear witness to the amazing energy of staff and students in recent weeks, and among those that missed the print deadline are the Year 8 trip to Normandy, Brilliant Club trips for Year 12 (launch) and Year 9 – graduation at Oxford, and our “Open Classrooms Week” during which we have been celebrating and sharing best practice in teaching learning amongst the staff. Plenty already in store, then, for the final newsletter of the year.
One of the most important biorhythms as we move into the future will surely be the Year 9 Israel Journey, which has run for the first time this year and will be an annual event. I was able to join the group for the last few days, and wonderful days they were. The staff team, under Ms Robinson’s magnificent leadership, was exceptional, and the students were superb – an enormous credit to parents and to the school. It was a huge success and I am grateful to all those colleagues who gave up their half term to go, and to all who remained stoically at home to hold the fort at JCoSS.