The rhythms of College life are now firmly established just a little over a month after term began and it seems like the students and staff have been here forever. The timetabled classes have settled into patterns with all of us being purposeful and motivated in our teaching and learning. That is not to say it isn’t very hard work and by Friday afternoons there are some very tired faces leaving for the weekend!
What has been delightful to see is the growing relationship of mutual respect between the staff and the students. As we have removed the traditional ‘them and us’ culture common to many schools we have found the students much more confident and open and not afraid to express their opinions. The staff are consulting them about their preferred ways of learning and this is working well. Needless to say teenage habits are harder to break in terms of a habitually messy common room!
We are also having lots of laughs! The Enrichment programme has particular appeal and the students are always keen to know what is coming next but – for this year – we keep them in suspense!
We have had some unexpected late arrivals to the College and our founding students have made them feel very welcome. We are on a small island and connections and friendships are quickly established. In an atmosphere of positive attitudes I have seen many delightful and spontaneous acts of kindness towards one another and to the staff. I hope this has set the standard for the rest of the year.
On a final note a number of the students have already begun to look ahead at life after College and are wisely and carefully researching options including universities. It is the right time to begin this as around January we will be running a series of workshop on university/ further education or Gap Year pathways.