02 Dec Head teacher’s Blog 02.12.18
You may have noticed that, since we returned to school from the half-term break five weeks ago, we have had over a hundred Springfield Primary School students on our site. The decision to welcome our friends, neighbours and CMAT partners into Daubeney classrooms was an easy one, and it was made as soon as I heard via a phone call about the damage that a burst pipe had done to some of the classrooms in their school. Although it may have seemed a little odd at first (in a Gulliver’s Travels sense, for our older students to see their younger counterparts and for the smaller Springfield students to see some of the much larger Daubeney students!) it is now very much normal for students from both schools to be sharing the same facilities each day. I am grateful, of course, not only to the Daubeney teachers who have gone out of their way to accommodate our very welcome guests from over the road but also to the wonderfully friendly Springfield teachers and other professionals who have gone about their business during what must certainly be a very difficult time for them in a manner that has shown a great deal of resilience, sensitivity and determination. I have also been hugely impressed by the attitude of so many of the students from both sides of the Orchard Street campus as they pass me, each other and other teachers in corridors, with doors held open without anyone asking, greetings exchanged willingly and excellent behaviour very much on show. I genuinely hope that our Springfield friends feel at home in Daubeney now after the five weeks that they have spent with us so far, and although they already know this, I wish to make it clear that they are welcome with us for as long as they need to be. This is not simply Daubeney doing a favour for Springfield, but rather a statement that, as residents of Kempston or as servants of the community, we are one big family who are all pursuing the same goals of keeping our children safe, ensuring that they receive an excellent education and supporting them to become the moral citizens that we all want them to be.
With the addition, of course, of our other friends and neighbours from KCA, we are essentially one Kempston-wide CMAT team and there should not be a perception in our community that there is rivalry between the schools, as there may have been historically, but rather that there is collaboration, with leaders on all three sites all on the same page and all working towards the same goals. If a Springfield student in Year 6, for example, decides that he or she prefers the feel of KCA over that of Daubeney then that is fine, as in either school a similarly excellent education will be provided, without the need for that young person to consider leaving their home town for a school further afield. As the Headteacher of Daubeney, of course, I am proud of not only what we have built so far but also what we have still to achieve, and I would be very keen for even more young people to join our very special Daubeney team, but I understand and respect the need for both parental choice and the right of young people to make their own minds up. All CMAT schools are part of the same team, with similar support and opportunities in place whichever uniform is worn each day, so it’s not as if the choice for parents to make is between schools of vastly differing approaches to learning.
Another very welcome member of our Daubeney team is Bedford Foodbank, and we have been an official collection point for this very, very important organisation since 2016. At this time of year, of course, it could be seen to be of even greater importance that we all do everything we can to think of others and this is why, just like we did last year, we are launching our #ReverseAdvent campaign, which means that we ask all members of our community to contribute one item to our Foodbank box each day. The aim of this campaign is to ensure that those members of our wider community who have found themselves in difficulty because of the current social, economic or political situation in our country are able to enjoy Christmas in the same way that others who are in a better position can. If anyone who is reading this blog is able to share the message about contributing to our #ReverseAdvent campaign, I would be very, very grateful indeed. Thinking about others is a vitally important part of the human condition, and just like Daubeney’s teachers have put their own needs to one side in order to help their friends from the excellent Springfield Primary, I hope that as many of us as possible as also able to donate as many items as we can to our Foodbank collection point.