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“Pupils are making better progress in the academy.” Ofsted 2016

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Sweet Sorrow

20 July 2016

Endings are difficult. For everyone. Endings bring out deeper feelings of loss and on an organisational level, there can be worry about how things will be different in the future. It’s in the nature of schools to work in a culture of seasonal change and the summer brings with it the inevitable sense of losing something. First the Year 11s, which for those staff who have invested metaphorically (and sometimes literally) in blood, sweat and tears; the broken connection runs deep. Teachers invest in children, wholeheartedly and we come alongside them for their hopes and dreams. That’s why at USH it’s important to realise a series of goodbyes in different ways for our graduating students.

The same holds true of staff, each summer we say goodbye to staff for different reasons. The reasons are as varied as there are individuals but what matters is that due attention to paid to the ending of people’s time with us...due attention and due thanks for service to the community.

Many people find endings tough and some try (in part or wholly) to avoid them because they draw out feelings which they choose not to acknowledge or share. We are living and breathing and we come with our life experiences; perceptions of people and things which 'colour' what we think and what we feel. This is respectfully understood and USH chooses to mark endings because it’s a healthy part of how we change over time. Endings are significant; for those leaving and for those staying. Even in the promise of a long holiday, the end of the summer term comes with a sadness; just to be aware of that, makes a difference to how well we move on.

To acknowledge endings is to acknowledge new beginnings.

In September, with renewed vigour, we will build on the work of this year, remembering ex-students and colleagues and embrace the change the new people bring.

With thanks and best wishes for a safe and happy summer.

Best wishes

Stuart Woods



“Strong systems are in place to keep you and other leaders closely informed about the quality of all aspects of the academy’s work.” Ofsted 2016