2022 has been an extraordinary year; the shortest serving Prime Minister in history, the loss of our Queen, the tragedy of the ongoing Ukrainian conflict, costs skyrocketing, impending strike action and the lingering presence of Covid-19.
We have had our share of difficulties at school too. The after-effects of Covid-19 and the recent flu epidemic have combined to make school life more challenging than usual. However, when a four-year-old greets you with, “You’re a happy girl”, things take a turn for the better! It was this lovely moment that made me think that I do indeed have many reasons to be happy.
Reasons to be Cheerful!
I enjoy work …
Every work morning, I look forward to coming to school. Of course, school is not without its challenges, and not everything goes to plan. I had hoped that when I wrote this, I would not need to refer to Covid. However, its unfortunate legacy is something we find ourselves dealing with daily. Thankfully, as always, it is in such challenging times that I see the very best in our school community. Our dedicated staff, supportive parents and delightful children make the job so worthwhile and enjoyable that I really wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
I’m sure that when you read through the Christmas department reports, you will see that we have happy and thriving children. Nothing makes me happier than this.
Miss Porter’s Year 1 Christmas Song and Dance
I have had the pleasure of spending most lunchtimes with the children, listening to what they most enjoy about school, what they have learned in class, and who their friendship groups are. Some talk about their family, pets, hobbies, and what they most like and dislike. What comes across more than anything else is their impeccable manners and how they speak with such pleasant confidence. It’s little wonder that supply teachers ask to come to Tower College as their first choice and trip venues praise our children when they visit.
If you were fortunate enough to attend our Speech Day, you would have witnessed all of the above qualities and more. If you weren’t able to attend, please watch the video below for a beautiful snapshot of the occasion.
Speech Day 2022
Our Teaching and TA Staff
The staff have worked so well together to ensure our children have been happy and safe, experiencing a rich and carefully planned curriculum – with clubs, enrichment opportunities, outstanding educational visits and catch-up plans in place.
I know they have had to draw on all their energy, positivity and commitment reserves. I cannot thank them enough for the impact their efforts have had on the children’s learning and well-being. They have focused on school improvement and conducted several internal curriculum quality reviews. This process has identified clear departmental strengths and provided a powerful opportunity to share skills and expertise. The reviews have enabled us to identify the next steps for our curriculum teams to work on together to improve our curriculum offering further.
To complete the picture, we have a dynamic, caring and innovative SMT team committed, beyond belief, to driving the school forward.
I really could not wish for a better group of people to work alongside.
Our Office Staff
I’m temporarily handing over to Ms McNamara for her office and maintenance staff reports (blue text) …
Welcome, Mrs Corcoran! As well as being the school librarian, Mrs Corcoran is now displaying her consummate communication skills in the school office. Although Mrs Corcoran works part-time alongside Mrs Potter, Miss Loftus and me, she has already made a considerable difference to our workloads.
Like Ms Bingley, I also have reasons to be cheerful. Our September Open Day attracted over 40 families who gave glowing feedback after their visit, and following our October Entrance Exam, 15 new pupils joined the school. And, with the new school library right next door, we get to see more of the children!
The office is always busy, especially with invoices for the lovely trips the children have been attending, including London, Ski Trip, Chill Factore and our upcoming Kenyan excursion.
The highlight of the term has to be the 12 Days of Christmas. Seeing all the children bobbing in and out of the office has been lovely. The excitement on their faces trying to find elves on their Elf Hunt, the sheer magic of watching the little ones looking up at our fabulous Christmas tree in the reception area and the older children who sometimes just come in for a chat! They are always polite and engaging and are a credit to you all. This was only eclipsed by Miss Loftus, who came dressed as a Christmas pudding on Dress-up Day!
Office and Maintenance Staff
Our Maintenance Staff
My eternal thanks to our brilliant maintenance team. Much of what they do is taken for granted, but without them, we wouldn’t have the same experience of enjoying the beautiful buildings and grounds.
Over the summer break and pressed for time, they worked incredibly hard to renovate the whole of Lower School, with each room receiving a new floor, freshly painted walls and new furniture. The corridor also has a new floor, fresh paint, and a new lighting system. In the April half term, it was the Jubilee Building’s turn to receive their magic touch as they moved the Art Lodge to its new location. Miss Morris is delighted with the new floor, lights, sink station, and freshly painted walls. Never ones to rest on their laurels, Tower Tots also received an overhaul with replaced flooring and a freshly painted fence. The ‘piece de resistance’ has to be the new artificial grass – this has completely transformed the playing experience of the children.
Tower Tots – Before and After
Perhaps more than anything else, it is their forward-thinking that impresses me the most. This allowed school to remain open during the recent icy weather, and their constant checking and gritting meant that the children, staff, parents and visitors all remained safe.
Apologies to our domestic team of Jaqui, Liz, Ann and Charlotte for not being in the picture above. My thanks to them, also, for always keeping the school so clean and tidy.
On behalf of the office and maintenance staff, I’d like to wish you a Happy Christmas, and I look forward to hearing from you in 2023.
Before moving on to my next reason to be cheerful, I would like to say a few words about Ms McNamara. Although I’m not one for singling out individual staff members when commenting on the team, for Ms McNamara, I must make an exception. I am very fortunate to have a staff member with such experience and an unparalleled skill set. I cannot thank her enough for her tireless devotion to ensuring all runs well at Tower College. I really don’t know what we’d do without her.
The largely new governing body has only been in place for a short time and has already had a positive impact on many aspects of school life. Their range of expertise and willingness to give up their time has certainly made my job much more manageable. In the New Year, they will be working on a new School Development Plan.
All of the above culminated in a beautiful carol service at St Ann’s Church in Rainhill. The children performed exceptionally, the staff organised it perfectly, and the parents and governors gave their unfailing support. Like me, I’m sure everyone there felt immensely proud to be part of Tower College.
I look forward to 2023 with great optimism knowing that our school has all the right people for it to succeed.
In the meantime, I wish you a happy and relaxing holiday season.