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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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