Life at the top

How a school head fills the day

EDP Norfolk - - Inside - Glebe House School, Cromer Road, Hun­stan­ton PE36 6HW Tel: 01485 532809 gle­be­hous­

ANY­ONE who knows a head teacher knows that it isn’t your reg­u­lar 9-5 job. No two days are ever the same and there is al­ways plenty to keep those lead­ing a school on their toes – from un­ex­pected chal­lenges and dif­fi­cult com­plex is­sues to the fab­u­lous joys, shared suc­cesses and high points of help­ing pupils nav­i­gate their way through ed­u­ca­tion and child­hood.

John Crofts is head­mas­ter at Glebe House School in Hun­stan­ton, a small independent co-ed­u­ca­tional board­ing and day school for chil­dren aged four to 13 years. Here he talks us through his (un)typ­i­cal day at the of­fice.

5.45am Wan­der into the kitchen, make my first cof­fee of the day and switch on the TV and watch the news head­lines – re­as­sur­ingly dull; Brexit, lat­est gaffe by Don­ald Trump... and a pos­i­tive weather fore­cast for us. Grab a quick shower and pour a sec­ond cof­fee to take down­stairs to my of­fice – no travel is­sues for me!

6.30am In of­fice. Al­ready others are on the move; minibus is leav­ing to do pick­ups and do­mes­tic staff are ar­riv­ing. Check emails, sift­ing out the junk that seems to ar­rive overnight and pick out the late night con­cerns of par­ents and col­leagues. Pleased to hear from our former Aus­tralian gap stu­dent com­ing over later in the year – can we catch up? Ab­so­lutely!

7.10am Pop out to meet with the grounds­man, still slightly misty, but sun is break­ing through. Then down to the kitchens to speak to the cook about prob­lems over packed lunches. Read through re­vi­sions to health and safety doc­u­ments and add a cou­ple of thoughts. 7.55am Join board­ers and house par­ents for break­fast – more cof­fee. 8.15am Out­side to greet chil­dren and par­ents. Al­ready quite warm and spir­its to match.

8.40am As­sem­bly. Al­ways good to have pre-prep with us and shar­ing who got Ru­fus Bear and Mr Ea­gle, in­clud­ing pic­tures of what they got up to over the week­end. More pre­sen­ta­tions of cer­tifi­cates and awards – they do make you smile when they come up to re­ceive them. 9.10am Off to teach re­li­gious stud­ies to Divi­sion VI, a sparky bunch.

9.45am Meet Lisa, one of the front of­fice team, in the of­fice – no press­ing mat­ters, but a cou­ple of phone calls to re­turn and am I happy with the read­ings pro­posed by the school chap­lain? Please tell her ‘yes’. Make the calls and do pa­per­work un­til morn­ing break.

10.50am More cof­fee and staff meet­ing; en­vi­ron­men­tal week ar­range­ments, ex­ams, in­di­vid­ual pupil is­sues; slightly over-run­ning, but worth­while.

11.20am Meet with the di­rec­tor of stud­ies about Septem­ber’s timetable. Make phone calls about sum­mer hol­i­day pro­gramme and fill in gaps. Check emails and re­spond.

12.35pm Join Divi­sion VIII for lunch – meat­balls and tof­fee cream tart are well re­ceived by the chil­dren, but a salad and ap­ple for me. 1.05pm Latin ac­tiv­ity in my study be­fore two lessons with Di­vi­sions lll and V.

2.45pm Go over to pre-prep to chat with col­leagues and chil­dren over break be­fore do­ing show and tell with re­cep­tion – they are so keen – need to de­velop my ques­tions about pink horses!

3.35pm Catch up with the school busi­ness man­ager about re­cruit­ing a nurs­ery nurse and fund­ing for the Paris trip.

4.00pm By now it’s Brid­get in the front of­fice. Catch up on things that have cropped up, punc­tu­ated by chil­dren ‘sign­ing out’. Good to see a mem­ber of the par­ents’ com­mit­tee and share thoughts on re­cent and up­com­ing events.

4.45pm ‘Do you want a cof­fee?’ says the head of PE; sig­nal for a chat about mat­ters in gen­eral. 5.30pm Board­ers and others meet for ‘cooked tea’, of­fer­ing a chance to chat to our Aus­tralian gap stu­dents.

6.00pm More emails – again sift­ing through the ‘junk’ to find the rel­e­vant, more of the former than the lat­ter!

7.00pm Lovely evening, so I de­cide to go down to Snet­tisham Pits to watch the sail­ing ac­tiv­ity. Good to see such en­thu­si­as­tic, if rather wet, chil­dren.

8.20pm Back in school, check on ‘lock up’ and look in on boy board­ers be­fore a last check on emails and send an up­date to col­leagues on up-and-com­ing mat­ters. 9.15pm Up­stairs to the flat and a glass of red!

John Crofts, head­mas­ter at Glebe House School in Hun­stan­ton

Ques­tion time: John Crofts with some of his young charges

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.