With the closure of the middle schools and the country running out of money, we gained several hundred more pupils but were not able to do any building to accommodate them. So we took on our town’s middle school and have turned it into a sixth form college (still part of the school with the same teachers) and took the younger pupils in to the main school building. We’re still overcrowded though. Not only are there more children in school but they all are being taught for every lesson, whereas the sixth formers have a lot more study periods. The meetings rooms are going to have to be used as classrooms quite often and we’ll have governors’ meetings at the sixth form centre.
Standing there in the hall looking at them all was quite something. They fitted in quite well at the end of last year (they joined the school for the last two weeks of term) but some of them have grown during the summer. It’ll be very crowded by next July. I felt a twinge of pride, I admit, not that I can take any credit – but then, there have been enough people saying how proud they’ve felt during the Olympics who were armchair viewers, so plenty of you know what I mean. “You didn’t sign up for this,” I murmured to the Head – there were about 950 pupils when he started here, now it’s around 1,300.
I’m going to be busy this year. That is very good for me. I need a spur, things in my diary, deadlines, a feeling that I’m useful. My mother used to say, in her later years, that she missed feeling useful, although by then she had neither the health nor the inclination to take on voluntary work any more. I suppose that will come to me too, if I live as long as she did (which was 79, far longer than anyone else in the family, so odds are against).
The Head and I took a stroll round the school and came across a member of staff on her own in a room folding curtains to take to another room. She is over 7 months pregnant with her first baby. “You aren’t going to hang those, are you?” asked the Head suspiciously. “No, of course not. Well, not while anyone’s watching.” He eyed her, hoping she was joking. “Are you still running?” “Yes, not far, only about 4 miles a day.” This is the woman who (and I’m sure I blogged it) took part in a charity marathon a few years ago. When she got to the end of the course, she still had a fair bit of energy left, so she went and jogged round it again.