It’s 120 days or so since I became Head at Knighton; how have I found it? My first observation is that it feels very much like home. I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing, but if I feel at home after only a few months, then I think that says a great deal about the Knighton community. It’s easy to feel at home here; homeliness is a great strength of the school, especially for the boarders. It’s also important for parents to feel relaxed and ‘at home’ around the school and in their day to day dealings with us. We are an open welcoming school of that there is no question.
What’s an average day here for me? There is no average day to be honest, I suspect most heads would say the same. One of the great joys of my job is there is such variety and contrast from one day to the next. Best of all I am in charge of my own diary; I can do what I want when I want. Unfortunately e-mails are a necessary part of this job; I’m not alone in both welcoming them – to keep in touch and to communicate messages particularly – and dreading the sheer volume in my in-box in equal measure. I am getting better at working smarter by devoting specific times to different projects and only opening e-mails at certain times of the day. However, it doesn’t always work out like the ‘self-help’ magazine articles tell us how to work smarter!
Importantly I haven’t lost the ability to stay objective and to stay focussed on the end game; the ‘bigger picture stuff’. I am aware that people are waiting to work out which direction the Knighton ship is heading. There are some big questions like where do we need to be in two, five, ten years from now? What’s your vision? Have you got plans to change things?
Having visited three senior schools in the past week for tours around their campuses and meetings with the heads, I’ve questioned them on their ‘vision’ for the school. Their replies are similar and not surprising: it’s all about the students’ experience. They are all committed to making sure every one of their students thrives and fulfils their potential. It’s no different at Knighton; it’s all about our students too.
Most of my waking hours are spent planning for the future to ensure the Knighton experience for everyone is richly fulfilling. In truth it’s much more than this; the key to our success going forward is all about giving the girls confidence. The confidence to take the lead, to stand up and be counted when you need to and the confidence to know the type of person you want to be.
120 days in and counting……..