14/12/2015

A Fairytale: The Twelve Months of...

28 years ago to the day I breathed a sigh of relief and slumped in a tatty armchair in student digs and listened to that.

I'd just completed my first teaching practice. And despite the exhaustion, I knew as I reflected on the flurry of school life that I had just experienced that I had found my vocation and never wanted to do anything else again for a job but teach.

That song, 'The Fairytale of New York', has recently been voted the nation's favourite ever Christmas song...

www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/news/the-pogues-fairytale-of-new-york-voted-nations-favourite-christmas-song-9896211.html

Here's a bit more on why it beats off the challenge of more 'traditional' festive classics like 'White Christmas' or raucous party sing-a-longs such as 'Merry Xmas Everybody'...

www.theguardian.com/music/2012/dec/06/fairytale-new-york-pogues-christmas-anthem

In a slightly better quality of armchair I'm now listening to it again. And reflecting not on just eight weeks of school life but another year in which I continue to be no less amazed and inspired by what a vibrant community of young people and their teachers can together achieve.

Ok it should be the twelve days of Christmas. But please indulge me while I run my eye once more over the last incredible twelve months at Park House...

January...
...saw the year burst into life with the sheer joy and exuberance  of our amazing production of Fame; I can't believe that 'Our House' is now less than a month away at the same, inspirational Arlington Arts venue...

Fame cast

www.parkhouseschool.org/Blog/15-minutes-of-Fame.aspx


February...
...exemplified our culture of aspiration with a visit for our Year 10s and 12s to  Oxford University's 'Dreaming' spires...

University College Oxford

www.parkhouseschool.org/Blog/Dreaming.aspx


March...
...witnessed the first of a series of activities and events where our students and staff have played a central role in the development of national programmes designed to promote the creative use of information technology - in his instance helping to support the launch of the BBC's 'Make IT Digital'; all in turn a reflection of a reconfirmed status as the South's Centre of Excellence for Learning in Computer Science...

Make IT Digital

www.parkhouseschool.org/Blog/Make-IT-Digital.aspx

April...
...offered the opportunity to welcome All Black Rugby legend Zinzan Brooke, who treated us to a Haka and then worked with our girls and boys teams in a brilliant example of the way coaches work alongside our own staff in so many areas to build confidence and high performance...

Zinzan Brooke

www.parkhouseschool.org/Blog/Land-of-the-Giants.aspx


May...
...provided a simply wonderful celebration of the community spirit and generosity that characterises our school with the second Community Fun Day and Charity Run and incredible - and spontaneous - fundraising activities with the wake of the Nepal disaster by our Year 7 students...

Charity cake sale

www.parkhouseschool.org/Blog/Race-against-time.aspx

www.parkhouseschool.org/Blog/Charity-begins.aspx


June...
...offered two contrasting but equally brilliant expressions of student creativity with our annual Quantum Leap Dance Festival and three Year 9 students - Jack Hygate, Laurence Bu Rashid and Connor Humphreys - triumphing in the National Final of TeenTech, a competition designed trust the innovative application of technology to real world challenges...

Quantum Leap
TeenTech Awards

www.parkhouseschool.org/Blog/What-a-performance.aspx


July...
...brought two wonderful Proms - the culmination of a year group's learning journey together - and another wonderful expression of our students' collective generosity spirit with all taking part in the school's Race for Life, inspired by Year 7 Tiegan Doyle...

Prom photo

www.parkhouseschool.org/Blog/It-wouldnt-have-happened-in-my-day.aspx

August...
...bore witness to two outstanding celebrations of student achievement on A Level and GCSE Results Days, with the performance of our Year 13s positioning the school in the top 10% nationally for post-16 progress and attainment...

GCSE Lineup

September...
...saw the new term start in front of TV audience of millions when we featured on the BBC's Panorama flagship, helping to explore the question 'Could a robot do my job? - a further reflection of our national reputation for developing wider creativity and resourcefulness through innovative approaches to learning in computer science...

Panorama Screenshot

www.parkhouseschool.org/Blog/A-whirlwind.aspx


October...
...confirmed our equally leading role in shaping wider learning through the pioneering national launch of the Active Movement Schools initiative and teacher education via the Leadership Equality and Diversity programme...

www.parkhouseschool.org/Blog/Stand-by-me.aspx

www.parkhouseschool.org/Blog/Leader-of-the-pack-From-the-back.aspx


November...
...Prize Giving celebrated ex-Year 11's superb progress and achievements in the 'knockout' presence of inspirationally effervescent Olympic Gold Medallist Nicola Adams...

Prize Winners at Prize Giving 2015

www.parkhouseschool.org/Blog/Knockout.aspx

December...
...sees us just completing the annual OAP parcel drop across Newbury and continuing to collect for the West Berkshire Foodbank, affirming all the year-long activities that saw us featured in the Demos Report 'Character Nation'...

Demos report cover

I suppose you could say that I have the Fairytale job.

Merry Christmas everbody...


Archive: