Jonathan Lewis, Peterborough City Council’s service director for education:
August is a very special time of year in the education world.
All schools are now closed and the long summer holidays have finally begun, giving pupils and teachers alike the chance to rest, reflect, and have fun in the glorious summer weather this year.
I’m not quite old enough to remember the long summer of 1976.
But I do remember summer holidays being even more magical when the sun was shining.
It’s important for our young people to have this restful time… and for teachers too!
That’s why I wanted to write this column a little differently this month and reflect on the achievements of schools in Peterborough since the start of 2018.
School is not just about educational achievement, it’s about learning about the world, forming friendships and social skills and getting ready for the world of further education or work.
This year our pupils have gone above and beyond what is expected of them academically, with fantastic results.
Here’s just a few examples from the last three months.
1. The Hollywood hopefuls from many schools across the city who directed and starred in the Children’s Film Awards in June.
2. Budding entrepreneurs from Ken Stimpson Community School in Werrington, who triumphed in the Young Enterprise of the Year Awards, finishing in the top three.
3. Pupils from Werrington primary schools who painted bright fish on the pavements outside their schools as part of a city council and Anglian Water campaign to educate members of the public that only rain water should go down the drain.
4. Budding artists from the Discovery School in Walton who designed banners encouraging parents to park safely outside the school.
5. Pupils from Ormiston Meadows Academy attended a special graduation ceremony at Nottingham University after successfully completing a scheme aimed at helping to widen young people’s access to university.
6. Intrepid pupils and teachers from Ken Stimpson school walked over 40 miles along the Dorset coastline, raising money for charity.
I also want to wish good luck to all the pupils who are no doubt anxiously waiting for their GCSE and A-Level results later this month.
Waiting for this important day can be a nail-biting time, but I hope you can try and relax and enjoy yourselves.
I know you don’t believe it now, but this day will seem a distant memory in a few years time.
I’m sure you will see the results of all your hard work and will be able to take the next steps in your education or employment.
Looking forward to September, we have over 4,000 pupils who will be starting primary and secondary schools for the first time this year.
As well as picking a school uniform and getting pencil cases, PE kits and lunchboxes ready, pupils and parents will be spending this month doing all they can to prep themselves ready for the start of the academic year.
Rest assured our teachers and schools will also be spending the summer holidays preparing for the first day, and will know exactly what to do to help that day get off to a flying start.
But that’s over three weeks away, so for now all I want to say to you all is to enjoy the summer holidays, relax, have fun and enjoy yourselves.
In the words of Alice Cooper, ‘school’s out for summer!’