It has been an incredible three weeks for me; in mid August, I left the sun-scorched shores of England for Brussels and began my headship at St John’s. We had a wonderful summer, much of it spent on various golf courses around the UK with our golf-playing children – not that I play, I am simply the caddie! The highlight was Lyme Regis Golf Club on the south coast, spectacularly perched on the cliffs above the town and old harbour. Stunning views out to sea and delicious food in the clubhouse!
The first two weeks at St John’s were busy with meeting new families, welcoming staff, getting my head around some of the school’s unique points and dealing with the completion phase of the summer build projects. As an English and German speaker with schoolgirl French, my franco-linguistic skills were severely tested! I now have all kinds of build-specific vocabulary at my fingertips from simple things like plombier (plumber) to more sophisticated terms such as égalisation (laying a final thin layer of concrete for a perfectly even floor surface).
The first week of term has been quite a whirlwind! It has been lovely to feel the school buzzing with the combined energy of students and staff. Old friends reunited after the summer and new pupils quickly embraced by the St John’s community. I have been bowled over by the events organised and hosted by the parents’ Welcome Committee, including the fantastic idea of the ‘community fair’ where parents could mingle, enjoy a coffee and chat to the wide variety of local businesses that were invited in with a stand to promote their services. I left with a wealth of practical contacts for hairdressers, food and free-time activities!
The week culminated in the traditional Green and White Day, essentially a morning of sports try-outs for this season’s sports of soccer, cross country and volleyball. The school was a hive of activity with parents supporting their children, chatting to friends and teachers. The sun shone, the barbecue lunch was much appreciated and we all loved the inspirational words from Belgian sporting hero, Roberto Martinez, the coach of the national soccer team who achieved a historic 3rd place in this summer’s world cup in Russia. He spoke about the power of the team in the context of the World Cup and it was wonderful to see it all making such sense to the young team players listening intently. Whether national players playing at World Cup level or school players training for the ISST’s, teamwork and team understanding are key.
Welcome to the new school year and welcome to our team!