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It hadn’t dawned on me that I would be signed into work on my return from holiday by a member of the Class of 2018 but, of course, I should have remembered that a hardy group of leavers is always employed during the summer holidays to ferry contractors to and fro, to answer ‘phones, to lumber several tonnes of stationery and to sign in errant Headteachers. But as I duly signed in I realised that I would know the young people’s results a day before they could have them, and would have to maintain inscrutability throughout. How long the wait for results seemed to have been!

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Gosh, I have been a bit remiss in getting to the blog spot in my week. But here at last is something before the wonders of the summer holidays are upon us!

We said goodbye to the leavers on Saturday – graduation and the Ball, with the England-Sweden match helpfully taking place in between. It was also the culmination of the Pride in London week, the Pride Parade, and it was on my mind because, for the first time to my knowledge, there was be an official Highgate School Pride contingent.

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Last week saw the first of the big written exams for our Year 11s (History GCSE): while they were frantically re-reading their multi-coloured flash cards or manically re-mastering the twentieth century through quizlet, I was watching the Tuesday Afternoon Activity (TAA) drama group’s piece, devised and performed by themselves.

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Even if the summer seems to have beaten a hasty retreat no English summer term finishes without a lot of young people sitting exams and tests; for those preparing for public exams the stakes are high and it’s right that we focus on how best to prepare them and how to keep them going as they work longer hours and cut back on the very things that will keep them healthy in mind and body. But the group of pupils I’ve been thinking about of late are those for whom end-of-year tests shouldn’t be much of an event at all, and I’ve been keen to get across the usefulness of these tests as practice for exams that are significant as cv tokens for later life, but not much more.

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The dates of my blog-posting speak for themselves: I haven’t made the time for a blog, and it’s not for want of good things to talk about. No, it’s the grown-up equivalent of an essay crisis, or just having a bit more to do than usual. Than usual? No, it’s always like this in the second half of the Lent Term – throw together admissions and teacher recruitment, layered on top of the normal routines, and the diary doesn’t leave much discretion about what to do. There must be tens of pupils here who’ve had to make similar decisions about what to cut back on in the face of competition readiness, first nights or competition deadlines, to say nothing of intensifying revision routines. One’s worry, of course, is that it’s time to read, time with family, healthy eating or good quality sleep which have seen the cuts.

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