Every year I continue to perfect my impression of the lovable, but grumpy, Christmas Scrooge, the Grinch. Long-suffering staff will be able to predict my early December announcement about the run up to Christmas. No fun, Christmas-themed lessons until the very last day of term, no films unless it can be clearly evidenced how this links to the department curriculum plan and intended learning. Definitely no handing out of copious amounts of sweets during the final week! I take great pleasure in hamming up my Scrooginess because I genuinely believe it helps us all.
Attendance is a priority: I need to be confident I can look any parent in the eye and say their child will be missing valuable learning time if they take them out of school. Endless films and ad-hoc lessons will not support my case that curriculum time is being missed through unauthorised absence.
Students welcome structure: Whilst Christmas is an enjoyable time for many of our students, many of them struggle with a lack of structure and routine. Retaining well-planned and structured lessons until the end of term supports many of our students during a busy and exciting time.
Outstanding behaviour is key: We work extremely hard all year to uphold the highest standards of behaviour, uniform, punctuality and attendance. We should not do anything that lets those standards slip over the coming weeks and a diet of unstructured activities does not help secure excellent behaviour.
Supporting all colleagues: I remember as a new teacher dreading the class that arrived at my door clutching handfuls of sweets from their latest ‘fun Christmas lesson.’ Not only would they all be hyped up, they would also spend the first 10 minutes arguing with me about my decision to continue with the curriculum until the very end of term!
I do however, have a confession to make. Despite my absolute belief in the approach we take, I do actually enjoy the festive season! This weekend I will proudly place the nodding reindeer on the front lawn, and light up the street with cascading laser snowflakes! I love our school Christmas lunch, the school play, carol concerts from our choir and band and end of term assemblies. But I want our community to enjoy these events while also continuing to experience outstanding lessons from our excellent staff team. I am looking forward to sharing a festive drink with you all at tonight’s Christmas party!