Monthly Archives: December 2014

#Teacher5ADay Health and Wellbeing

Consideration of health and wellbeing is of high importance to me. So much so it was the area I chose to write about under the theme of #CaringIsSharing last August  A theme initiated by the very caring and sharing @MartynReah.I was PROUD that some of my ideas on supporting staff health and wellbeing were included in Martyn’s original #TLT14 presentation and to have been referenced in his original blog on the topic

Martyn’s work on health and wellbeing has continued and he is now encouraging us to consider our own and other’s Health and Wellbeing in January under the theme of #Teacher5ADay

This is my Plan:


I feel lucky to be connected with so many knowledgeable, collaborative and supportive colleagues already both in the virtual world of twitter and in my professional community / extended community. Connecting is imperative for me both personally and professionally. It challenges my thinking and gives me support and reassurance. Both virtual and real life connections are equally valid and I am grateful for them both. I have been lucky to have met many new colleagues in ‘real life’ whose initial contacts were via twitter @education bear, @virkjay, @Cherrylkd, @constant55, @NIchola80, @NicolaWood64, @betsysalt, to name but a few – and there are lots more! ( Sorry can’t mention all or else you will all be asleep by the end of the list) I have learned from all of these people and value their connection. I am delighted to have welcomed some of them to my school and have already in the diary at least 2 other tweeps I am looking forward to welcoming at the end of January. Northern Rocks was such a great place to connect  last year – bring on June 2015! I am definitely therefore going to continue to connect including with the schools in my network – their challenge and support is invaluable to me and to the school I work in.

Be Active

How could I write a blog in which the heading is ‘Be Active’ and not mention swimming! I have to say swimming has made such a difference to my energy levels and feeling of wellbeing and as mentioned in my nurture 14 / 15 this now has been extended to outdoor swimming!

PE and physical activity in the wider sense is a significant part of our school curriculum, so much so we have included it as one of our ‘core’ subjects and assigned responsibility for it to one of the assistant headteachers. One of the commitments for this year as we get our new building therefore is to ensure that the outdoor grounds are also conducive to being used and enjoyed by our pupils and indeed by the staff too. As well as MUGA , wheelchair roundabout and wheelchair swings, also the development of our horticultural areas including outdoor classroom.

Keep learning

I guess some of this is covered by the connect heading in that I learn every day from lots of people with whom I connect but my huge learning curve started last year and continuing this year is that of training as an inspector. It has been and continues to be a huge amount of additional work on top of the ‘day job’ but I do feel I am learning alot which I am able to take back into my own school in a positive and constructive way – we have done a number of activities as a staff team e.g. a focus on learning and what it is about teaching which contributes to it, which everyone has found useful and supportive in their work in the classroom. I always want to keep learning!

Take notice

Taking notice is an area that I will have to work really hard on! I live in a lovely area, am lucky to have a really nice garden, pass hills and fields on the way to work but being honest often am so busy ‘getting on with it’ that I fail to take notice. The same is true of noticing too much the things I didn’t manage to achieve each day at work rather than noticing and celebrating the things I did. I am going to work really hard therefore on taking notice and appreciating the things and people around me and maybe write myself an ‘achieved’ rather than a ‘to do’ list!


People are so very important to me and what I can give them and hopefully do already give is my time and a listening ear. I do have my office door open at work all the time unless I am in a meeting or on the phone and want people to feel that they can come in and talk to me what ever the issue is. I shall continue to do so!

I have had lots of years of experience and I feel as such I want to be able to share and support where ever possible and giving of my time and knowledge, including via twitter / email gives me pleasure. Recently a tweep through a Direct message said they were surprised and pleased I had responded and helped – my response – we have all been new to the job or have new challenges at some time and if I can advise, help, support or encourage I will always do so.

Thank you @MartynReah for making us reflect, think and challenge ourselves about our own and each other’s health and wellbeing – Here’s to a happy and healthy 2015!


So a year has passed since I wrote my Nurture 13.14 post
You’ll be pleased and relieved I am not going to go through each of my 14 pledges for 2014 one by one – identifying 5 successes of the year and 4 wishes for 2015 shall suffice I feel……………..

What of 2014 then?

I set up my WordPress account a year ago. My nurture 13/14 was my first blog and one of the challenges I set myself was to blog some more on a range of issues during 2014. I have been overwhelmed and really appreciated the positive responses and support I have had to all of the blogs I have written. I am not a prolific blogger but I do enjoy writing and I am really glad that others appear to have enjoyed reading. Thank you!

I had set myself a few work related challenges last year, one of them being to renew our Investors in People Award at Gold Level which we did in July 2014
My staff team continue to be of extreme importance to me and I continue to be a PROUD headteacher – Passionate, Respectful, Organised, Understanding and Dedicated in all aspects of my work.
In my challenges for last year I also referred to considering training as an inspector. In the same paragraph saying it felt a little like moving to the dark side! Well – if that is the case I am indeed on my journey into the dark with the philosophy that it is good to have serving practitioners as part of inspection teams. I felt privileged to have the opportunity to meet with earlier in the year and to have in some small way contributed to dialogue about the future of inspection. It is a time of huge transition for Ofsted. Here is to a positive a nd if the current signs are indicative of the direction of travel, a much more collaborative future!

I had set myself a few swimming challenges in 2014, mainly centred around open water swimming and improving my swimming technique through the swimming club I had just joined last year. Well….working on my swimming technique – hmmmm…still work in progress. I have however had a great year for open water swimming – love it, just love it! I completed the Great Manchester Swim at Salford Quays in July in just over 45 mins and then in August went on holiday with my friend based in Oxford and swam each day in a different part of the Thames – fabulous!


Work-life balance has never been my strongest point – despite blogging about it ( link) and being a huge advocate of it at work, it’s not always easy to find the time, but it is so important! I have so lucky to have many fantastic friends, some of whom I have known for many years and others are more recent. My friendships are so important to me – highs and lows together and I am pleased to say I have really worked hard on making time to maintain those friendships throughout the year. This year has included developing friendships with twitter contacts too – it’s just great when you get the opportunity to meet people you have found a connection with on twitter and there are a few out there now I would include as my friends – you know who you are!!
Royal Garden Party
My final wish for 2014 was to take my mum to Buckingham Palace for the Royal Garden Party in June. What an amazing day we had. The weather, the outfits, (including the Mulberry handbag, the food…………… Everything about it was just lovely!. Whilst we did not meet the Queen, we were close enough to take a photo ( if only you were allowed cameras in! Ahem!)
And for 2015?  I’m going to keep this brief!

1) Blogging
I will continue to write……………………….

2) Work
I am privileged to have the best job in the world, a job that is very important to me and I will continue to give it my 100% commitment. This year is the year of the new building i.e. construction year! After a lot of hard work in the planning during 2014, this year we should see our shared vision for the building becoming a reality. The timescale for completion is (currently) Dec 15. It’s going to be a busy year but at the end of it our children, the staff and the community we serve should have the building they deserve.

3) Work-life balance
I am going to continue to consider my work-life balance, my friendships and my wellbeing. A huge thanks to for giving us a kick-start with this encouraging and supporting us with his #teacher5aday challenge

4) Swimming
I can’t imagine not swimming and for me that now includes open water. I am starting on New Year’s day believe it or not at Salford Quays Brr it’s going to be cold. I have purchased what is possibly the singularly most unattractive piece of clothing I have ever seen, that is a wet suit hood – however – if it keeps me warm then I won’t care what I look like. (Currently also sewing a pocket into my wetsuit for my hot water bottle!
In the summer months a further few days away with my friend open water swimming is definitely on the agenda. Last year was river swimming – this year we are thinking either Lakes or the sea!

Here’s to 2015!