21st June and College shuts. 15th August College opens. Oh to be a teacher now that summer’s here!
Not quite I’m afraid. A school develops a new life of its own in the summer and that usually includes most of our staff being in to sort, bin, prepare, reflect and get ready for a new year.
So, what does a Head Master do during the summer holidays?
Well as the Headmaster of St Aloysius’ College, my contact with the school never quite stops. We have a duty rota for the summer months, of course, but the rule seems to be expect the unexpected. This summer’s unexpected events saw the arrival of caravans on our playing fields and a visit from the Care Commission who were inspecting our holiday club (and whilst I can’t reveal the outcome yet, I’m still smiling!)
Then of course, there is the much anticipated SQA exam results. Will we need to despair and regroup or take a moment of very un-Jesuit like celebration? It was, I am pleased to say the latter and in spades! We saw the college achieve yet another year of record-breaking exam results, including the best ever National 5 results for our school, the best A grades for Advanced Highers of any of the Glasgow independent schools and some pretty impressive Higher results too! It’s a time for analysis, for dreaming of even greater outcomes next year and above all for celebrating the individual success stories that never find their way into the papers.
I very much enjoy coming into the college a couple of times a week during the holidays to catch up on paperwork, to chat with staff that I might not know so well, to discover a bit more about our community here on ‘the Hill’ and to expand my knowledge of building works as our significant improvement programme continues.
And what does a Head Master do to rest and recuperate? Well I don’t quite get 8 weeks off but I did find time for a trip to Switzerland where I enjoyed a week of walking, enjoying the idyllic scenery and sampling the local cuisine.
But now the new term is upon us: a time that I found constantly exciting and that I always approach with a real sense of optimism and opportunity.