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Take It Easy

Another week passes and we slowly drift another week closer to a well-earned half term break. At this stage we still presume that it will be a one week break but the notion of a ‘circuit breaker’ is gaining more traction across the region. For now, we should plan for just one week away from […]

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It’s good to talk

The longest half term trundles on. This half term is a significant proportion of the academic year and in this context, we still all have to manage day to day with the ongoing COVID crisis. Our schools and the college continue to respond to government guidance, public-health guidance and the circumstances on the ground. As […]

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Debate about the debate

I recognise that it has been, for many friends and the wider community another difficult week. I think now we all understand that we are in this for the long run. We certainly cannot be thinking that, as some politicians may want us to believe, this will all be over by… you add your own […]

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Seasons in the Sun

I know it’s been a tough week for many of us in our community: be that in school or college or out in our homes and workplaces. For many of us we have faced, within the context of our working environment, a tremendously difficult period of time; with pupils and staff absence being higher than […]

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Hail the Scientist

Thank you for your continued efforts this last week or so. Reflecting upon our return, many of us may well have naïvely thought that we would establish some sort of rhythm and routine which would allow us to settle back into the new term. However, I now realise that each week will be very different […]

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Anything but Covid!

Thank you, once again, for all your efforts of the past couple of weeks in supporting the schools and college in ensuring that we could open safely and, importantly, completely and in full. There is nothing that can replace face-to-face, in person, teaching and learning. I fear that through these messages, if I’m not careful, […]

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Welcome back and thank you

I wasn’t sure a weekly message from me would be welcome, however it does now indicate some sort of return to normality. I’ll just take some time this week to say thank you for all that the staff, pupils and students have done since the return. It has been, undoubtedly, an intense period in our history and […]

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The end of lockdown and the end of term

We’ve battled through to the end of the term and the end of the college year. Last week I talked about things becoming more normal. It’s felt, this week, that we’ve taken a few steps further forward in that respect.   In this vein, it seems strange to be watching live football and switching to […]

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Lockdown Week 15

After 105 days of the national lock down tomorrow as something of a red-letter day (unless you live in Leicester). Some of those leisure activities, which previously we’d taken for granted; for example, the pub or the restaurant; and some of those necessary services; for example, hairdressers and barbers; will reopen.   This presents me […]

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Lockdown Week 14

The sun has been shining this week (although the Sun isn’t shining as, for the first time in 40 years it isn’t Britain’s best-selling newspaper – not going to even mention which paper is now #1), there are more students back in college, there are more staff back in college, Liverpool have won the Premier […]

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Lockdown Week 13

I hope that you are all as upbeat and buoyant at the end of this week as I am. I know that the return of our young people has been rather limited but it has felt like we are slowly stepping back towards some sort of normality. The college is not an educational institution without […]

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Lockdown Week 12

It is relatively easy, as I discussed quite early in the lockdown period, to get one’s self into something of a whirlpool of despair, upset or even depression; particularly in these days. The lockdown as a consequence of the coronavirus, the shocking and saddening actions, from across the Atlantic, which resulted in the death of […]

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Lockdown Week 11

When I consider, on a Friday, what I’m going to discuss in my weekly message I can sometimes find it hard to identify something serious to discuss; or there are too many serious things to discuss, or there is something enormous and too significant which can’t be discussed. This week is an example of one […]

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Lockdown Week 10

As this has ‘officially’ been a half term holiday I intend to just to share a brief message this week. I do genuinely hope that you have taken some time this week to rest up, stay away from emails and make the most of this absolutely fantastic weather. The present national and international circumstances continue […]

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Lockdown Week 9

I’m sure you won’t need reminding but, it is the half term holiday and there are no expectations on anyone to be completing work. You all need that break. Take some time away from the work. Turn off your computer. Don’t check emails. Give yourself some brain space. It’s fitting that I can say this […]

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Lockdown Week 8

It’s all but I can do this week to just not spend the next few paragraphs ranting.  We all waited on the governmental announcement of the weekend and we were looking for some clarity as to where we might be going and how we might get there. Sadly, the communication was not as clear as […]

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Lockdown Week 7

This will be something of a short message. I’m not expecting anybody to want to read this on a sunny bank holiday. It makes a nice change for the sun to be shining over the bank holiday weekend, even if it does not feel like a typical bank holiday; I’m not sure whether that’s as […]

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Lockdown Week 6

I want to publicly thank all the staff at Thomas Rotherham College and all the parents and carers for all your work with and for our young people. These are, as we have discussed on many occasions, very strange times and we have all been presented with personal and professional challenges, the likes of which […]

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Lockdown Week 5

We now have returned from our Easter break and have completed week 5 of lockdown. How long this will continue I cannot say. What I do know is that we have all been doing your bit again this week to support our young people in their work and beyond. I know many of you are […]

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Lockdown Week 4

It really is still the Easter break and, as I said last week, I wouldn’t usually be sharing a message. But I will and you can choose to read, or not. A rhetorical question: Am I just doing these for my own sanity / routine / structure? We’ve been notionally closed again this week and […]

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Lockdown Week 3

As it’s (nominally) the Easter break I wouldn’t usually be sharing a Principal’s message / blog – you all have a whole lot of other things to be doing  rather than reading this nonsense. That said; now I’ve got on something of a roll with the messages and themes are developing it may well be […]

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Week 2 of Lockdown

We are now at the end of week 2 of lockdown.  And we are ready to start the Easter break? That sounds and feels very strange. I can’t quite get the ‘end of a long term, time to relax’ vibe going. There has been loads of stuff online and in social media this week designed to […]

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Week 1 of Lockdown

At the end of week one I’ll try to keep this short. I’m sure many of you have had it with looking at screens this week. Thank you for everything that you have done to adjust to our new ways of working and thank you for supporting our each other and our students; all of […]

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Temporary Closure

We are living through extraordinary circumstances and we have communicated so much, so frequently and (hopefully) clearly throughout the past few weeks.   We are where we are right now and we are in a situation none of us would’ve wished for or imagined.I do believe that, as a community we have, as always, reacted […]

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We face difficult days ahead …

We face difficult days ahead. The magnitude of the current crisis is becoming clearer by the day. In these exceptional times I just wanted to take some time to reassure you that we, at Thomas Rotherham College, are doing all that is necessary, recommended, reasonable and proportionate in the face of the pandemic.  We have […]

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Just thinking ahead

Thank you for your efforts this week. The weather has been a little bit better and, as a consequence, the atmosphere around the building has been a little bit more relaxed. It’s great when the students can get out and have some fresh air at break time. In that vein, it’s great to be able […]

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The globe is close to home

After a week away from the ‘chalk face’ we have been back at it again this week. It’s interesting what can happen and how events can move when we have a week away from college. In the 21st-century, news, information and events move so quickly. It’s not quite Wilson’s ‘a week is a long time […]

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Valentine’s Day

  We’ve got to the end of another half term. This past six weeks has been pretty good on the whole. The weather hasn’t been too bad; notwithstanding the odd storm, strong winds, sleet showers, downpours and so on and so on. Pretty typical for this time of year I guess.   We know that […]

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At least we’re talking

This week has been ‘Children’s Mental Health and Well-being week’. A national opportunity for us all to stop and think about supporting children and young people with their mental health and well-being. For many of the older generation this might seem a little strange. In years gone-by, when I was a lad and all that, […]

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Thanks for the experts

  There will be millions of people in this country, around Europe and even all over the world who will be (or have been – depending upon when you read this) desperately concerned about the 11 pm deadline tonight (midnight on mainland Europe). The hopes and fears of many depend upon what happens in the […]

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Random Acts of Kindness

A couple of things this week.   Firstly, just referring back to the message of last week about ‘Blue Monday’. It was interesting and reassuring to read on the BBC website that, according to psychologists Blue Monday is ‘a load of rubbish’. The phrase was coined by a psychologist Cliff Arnall in 2004. He came […]

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No Blue Monday

We’ve got over that period of New Year’s resolutions – the continuation of those resolutions with some of us and the slippage with others. That old line about ‘picking yourself up and dusting yourself off’ comes to mind. It is important to have something to commit to do but we shouldn’t make it a millstone […]

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Happy New Year

Probably for the final time this year: Happy New Year.   I hope that you all had a wonderful break and you have been able to recharge the batteries. We know how challenging that first term can be for everyone; staff and students. The nights get longer, the days get shorter and colder and the […]

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The election …

Having avoided, week on week, the election…   I know that many of you will have voted this past few days. Some of you may be happy with the result, some of you may not. As Principal of this college I really do try to make it my business to be professionally apolitical. It isn’t […]

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Christmas is coming

Thank you for your efforts this week. We countdown to the Christmas break. We have a couple of weeks to go at the end of a long long term. I know that it isn’t easy to get up and out and into school every day but the overwhelming majority of students do so with good […]

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Black Friday

I’m concerned about you all. I’m concerned that the opportunity to drawn into the carnage that is Black Friday might be too much for you. You just might get drawn into the madness that is Meadowhall (other large retail outlets are available) and you’ll end up spending your well-earned or hard-earned cash on ‘stuff’. That […]

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It’s good to talk and it’s good to listen

As we move into the depths of this Autumn I am absolutely determined not to talk about the general election and/or politics. In particular, I’m not going to discuss how politicians should or do behave – on the campaign trail or in office. If I state that I might just have half a chance of […]

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The wheel continues to turn

The wheel of life turns. As a teacher you celebrate the successes of those who have completed their time with you and you turn, almost immediately to those who have those challenges ahead.   This week I’ve spent time with those who have finished their education with us and been working with those young people […]

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And it rained …

It’s not been the best of weeks really. Not that it’s been that bad at college necessarily, but the week started with defeat for England at Rugby World Cup final and ended with terrific floods locally and the sad news that a woman has died, having been swept away in floodwater.   All I can […]

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End of the half term and Ofsted

It’s the end of the longest half term and as such there seems little value in trying to find clever things to say to keep people motivated and ‘up and at it’. All I need to do is say thank you to everybody for their contributions over the past ten weeks; be that students, parents […]

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Bulgaria 0 England 6

Like many of you I watched Monday’s England football game (0-6 by the way) in Bulgaria. It was a strange experience. On one hand I felt angry and repulsed by the overtly racist behaviour being displayed by significant minority of fans. And on the other hand, quietly proud of the England team, all of the […]

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It’s a day!

I think I need to start with an apology. In my general irritation with the accountability framework that schools and colleges have to face I forgot that it was one of the most important days of the year last week. You might have missed it too. On Saturday 5th October we should have all been […]

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OFSTED

Many of you will know that OFSTED have been in the college this last week. We await their published judgements.   Those of us who work in education understand that we must be held to account for the performance of our children and young people. We may not like the OFSTEDs of this world but […]

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Thank you

In considering what I might discuss this week it has been immensely difficult to avoid the momentous national ‘judgements’ and related political and constitutional discussions that have subsequently taken place. It would have been relatively easy to make some play over the Supreme Court judgement or the conduct of MPs in parliament; I have heard […]

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Being a teacher

Last week I talked about the positivity I felt having worked with some colleagues newly appointed to the Trust. This week, amongst other things, I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing some colleagues for key teaching roles within Thomas Rotherham College.   That got me thinking about the teaching profession in general. There is something of […]

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Inspire Trust

Education is complicated these days. Long gone are the days when we had simple constructs. To a degree we knew we all knew where we were within those constructs. The central government directed the local government and the local government directed schools and colleges. We are now in a much more complicated educational landscape. That […]

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The return to routine

The return to college   Thank you for all of your efforts this week. However much we prepare for the return of students it isn’t until they are in the building that we fully realise what is needed and what we need to do to support them in their learning. However much the students prepare […]

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The first Principal’s Blog

I intend to share a weekly message through the website with students, families, the community and the staff body of Thomas Rotherham College. This is the first of those weekly messages. I hope that you have all had a wonderful summer. It’s been particularly strange meteorologically, but it seems that that is something we are […]

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