It is that time of the year and Open events are taking place in every school. In a typical Open Evening at Upton Court Grammar School over a thousand families come over to see students talk about learning and demonstrate what they can do. There is also the 'Principal's talk' which is repeated during the year to fit in with the early birds arriving at 4.15 and those rushing before closing at 7pm. I could not have been in better company with Maddie, Juhi, Krupa and Kiran who wrote and delivered their own impassioned speeches about their learning journey.
In between speeches I like to have a look around at what the different departments have on display. I watch the awe in the faces of the children holding fire in their hands, playing games, taking part in quizzes and competitions, and tasting home made cakes. The the tour guides answer a myriad of questions covering school times, the quality of the food in the restaurant, types of clubs, transport, homework, subject choice, etc. When I listen to the conversations, I feel reassured that our student guides have excellent and well informed answers. I am, in those cases, redundant .... and very proud. I can relax and enjoy seeing the buzz of learning being transmitted to our visitors.
As they walk by, our visitors who are 'Open Evening' experts compare and contrast our school with those they visited the previous week. One family devised their own ranking system where mum, dad and their lovely daughter independently rate the schools and share the scores at the end. I have it on good authority that we got 12/10.
At the end of the evening, my feet are aching and I have a sore throat but I have a sense of achievement and satisfaction that fills my heart and the score of 12/10 to put a smile on my face as I finally rest my head on my pillow. I love my job!