Each Wednesday morning, at 8.50am, a deep peace falls on the school, a community of over 850 students aged 11-18, and continues to 9.10am. Why? It is reading time.
Every Wednesday everyone in the school reads. Students sitting in their form rooms with their tutors; other staff members in their offices or bases. Visitors mis-timing their arrival are greeted with a book and invited to sit without any further word of explanation.
It is an uplifting time allowing a slight pause in the week. Whilst I am tempted to get my nose into a good book, I find that book then calls to me for the rest of the day. So, I now use that time to read the journals that come in and they give me the opportunity to look up; to gain an insight into what is happening outside my own school world; to consider alternative products to what I am currently using. This will normally set off a train of thought that allows me to take that step back and to consider the bigger picture. That opportunity for all of us to take that step back, to have that pause, has such significance for us and is something that we should regularly look for.
Similarly, those brief days out can have the same, if not greater impact. I have just attended the regional ISBL conference in London which featured Andrew Hamilton. Andrew is an active SRMA as well as an assessor of aspiring SRMAs. He is passionate about making the budget work and an ambassador of the ICFP and in the end delivered one and half keynote speeches and a workshop. (If you are not recognising these initials you will need to look them up and take them on board as they are our future – at least in the next few months). So much so I came back energised and enthused and raring to tackle my KPI’s but more significantly appreciating the positive impact that I can, and possibly should, bring to my community about all things budget-based. In our role we need to remember that we need to identify the issue and propose solutions to be truly effective.