Category: appreciation

“Service and Dignity” – The Queen’s abiding legacy

I learned of The Queen’s death in a Board meeting on Thursday 8 September, as the news flashed up on my phone, and I confess to having spent the best part of the past few days in a mournful mode, as the impact has hit of the loss which we have collectively experienced. Her Majesty …

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Boom, Boom, Basil! Joy and laughter on the Fringe

I really had forgotten until this week just what it felt like to experience the sheer joy and exuberance of the Edinburgh Fringe. As a family, we were regular attenders up to and including 2019, throwing ourselves into the unexpected and extraordinary variety of shows; Covid put a stop to that. Admittedly, this past week …

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“You wouldn’t be such a good coach if everything had always gone right for you”

Sitting in the warm sun outside a café in North Parade in Oxford on Friday afternoon last week, sipping tea with a friend and colleague in education, and reflecting on how we had both come to be where we were, we ruminated upon the imperative that exists to ensure that leaders in education have their …

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Celebrating the positive despite adversity

Sometimes the weight of the stories reported in daily news bulletins can, quite simply, be overwhelming. Pestilence, War, Famine, Death … if we listen carefully, can we hear the thunderous hooves of the Four Horsemen? Fear and anxiety certainly inhibit the creative act of putting pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, to capture and …

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It’s getting lighter!

One of the joys of living at a latitude of 55.953251 is that the change in seasons every year is really quite dramatic. It is a marvellous source of conversational material – almost every interaction I have had this past week has been punctuated by references to the current change in the season. ‘It’s definitely …

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Happy New Year!

At the dawn of 2022, let us commit to making it a year of hope! In doing so, I wanted to reflect back on my experience in late 2021, when I was lucky enough to visit the vast learning emporium that is Expo 2020 Dubai. Delayed for a year because of the pandemic, but nonetheless …

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A meeting of minds in Dubai

I felt genuinely fortunate and blessed this past week to have navigated reams of pre-travel requirements successfully and to have had the opportunity to contribute as a speaker to the GESS Dubai conference. I was speaking on values-led leadership in schools, and the importance of understanding and developing self in order to be a highly …

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‘10% braver’ – learnings from WomenEd Thailand

‘Be 10% braver’ is the (now surely really well-known) call to action from the WomenEd movement, which aims to support and connect aspiring and existing women leaders in education, … and I was 10% braver on Saturday last week as I said ‘sure, I will speak!’ at the WomenEd Thailand Career Clinic. It was all …

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How to leave school again … and again … and again …

I have been reflecting a lot recently on what it means to leave school – that moment of transition from being a school student to not being a school student, leaving behind 13+ years of formal schooling mandated by the state, and facing up to a future of possibilities, choices and responsibilities. These reflections have …

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Why learning for the sake of learning is transformational

I spent half an hour the other day learning about aphids. Did you know that there are 500 species of aphid in the UK alone? And that colonies of aphids often consist of females only, who give birth to live young who develop from eggs which are simply clones of the mother? And that they …

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