21st September 2013
Apologies for the two week gap in the blog- the schedule now that we are back to school is somewhat hectic. However I am sure no one has lost sleep over the lack of an epistle from me!
Some thoughts this week about our HATS Day. Although we generally try to build in some exciting activities in each of these whole-schools days, the main focus is on specific experiences and outcomes from our beloved Curriculum for Excellence. This first one of the year was earmarked for team building and problem solving. We had planned to go Saltoun Big Wood as we thought September would be a fair bet for weather. Well, as you know, September 18th was, and so was September 20th. September 19th- not so much! We had always agreed that we would cancel in the event of strong wind but would carry on regardless if it rained. As this was early in the year for little ones to cope for the whole day, the plan was that they would come back to school at noon, so all along there was the option that we could call it a day if we needed to.
As you know, the day dawned dry- I have a photograph of an amazing sunrise with an unbroken rainbow over my house, taken at seven o’clock. From then on in it was pretty wet!
Beth Leslie and I met Richard English in the woods at eight o’clock to get activities organised and resources in place. By the time the children arrived at 9.30, we were fairly damp. But at least it was not too cold. There is a British optimism about weather probably born of years of disappointment. I can’t count the number of times I have heard people say “it won’t be much” or “it’s getting brighter” when the conditions outside are nearing monsoon proportions. I guess without this spirit, we would be a nation of pasty-faced couch-potatoes who never smelled or tasted barbecued sausage; had our complexions exfoliated by arctic winds or enjoyed the sheer adversity of a picnic at the beach in several layers of clothing.
Back to the Thursday in question. The weather in some ways conspired to help us meet the outcomes we had planned. We certainly had to do some problem-solving to cope with it and had there not been gallons of team-spirit around, it would have been utterly miserable. The children were stars! Not one complained about the conditions or asked to go home. They just got on with what was required with gusto and enthusiasm- one of these words is probably redundant but I am on a literary roll. I would be interested to hear what they said at home about their day- to us they were unfailingly positive. When we made the decision to come back to school at one o’clock, they were happy to do so, but I think they would have just carried on if that had been required. Richard, our Countryside Ranger friend remarked that he hadn’t worried about going out in the weather with Humbie and Saltoun kids because he knew they would come well-equipped and prepared to get on with it. Congratulations to all of you for turning your children out clad for the conditions.
If you would like to see what they did and -more importantly- the spirit in which they did it, look at the photo peach of the day. I had listened to that Enya track while driving to school that morning and it somehow seemed to fit the bill.
Thanks to staff as always for yet another extra mile and to Jill Jeans, whose hat may never be the same.
Have a good week,