Welcome to our blog. I’m not planning for this blog to be particularly frequent or regular, but I do intend to add my thoughts on developing a small school, alongside the positives and challenges that go hand in hand with leading and working within one. Hopefully it will resonate with people who have experience of small schools and may even be of some use.
Prior to working at St Giles, a small C of E school in Hertfordshire, I worked in a large international school in Sharjah. Like most teachers, I end up forming a deep bond with the schools I have worked in and the communities that they sit in. Leaving Sharjah English School was difficult for me. I had worked there for six years mostly as the Deputy Head, had thoroughly enjoyed the experience and made many friends among the people I had been privileged to meet and work with there. It was the right time to move on and the new challenge of working in a small school context, completely outside of what I had experienced before, was something I was looking forward to and excited about. My initial thoughts were that this would be lovely. Surrounded by green fields, I had images of may pole dancing and long summers. While much of this turned out to be true I was also to find out that there were more complications and challenges working in a small school than I had foreseen.
St Giles is a half form entry school of less than 100 pupils with 4 classes, 3 of which are mixed age. It is a very special place. I can’t quite describe the feeling you get as you walk into school here but it is warm and friendly and something all our visitors comment on.
Hopefully this blog will outline some of the highs and lows we have faced here at St Giles, and how we have overcome them.