01 Jan 2021

A letter from our new Head to 2021

Dear 2021
I’m so glad you’re here! Your older brother, 2020, was an oppressive one. Whilst he highlighted just how important community is, he was perplexing and unpredictable. You never knew what was coming next with him.
As a dad, teacher and brother, I know how delightfully different siblings can be and I feel optimistic about you, 2021. Your older brother’s uncertainty was difficult; we were not in control of him; rather, he was in control of us. Although, as your arrival has not brought immediate clarity, I am reminded of the words of Maya Angelou, who said: “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them”. We are Walhampton and we will not be reduced by these events.
I am committed to Walhampton remaining an anchor of hope for every member of our school family. Whilst you will continue to bring challenges, we will be steadfast in offering our children and staff a place where they can work hard and have a joyful experience at school. We will provide the support they need to look after themselves and each other.
In February 2020, as the news of an enigmatic virus from Wuhan was emerging, the Walhampton Governors asked me at interview how I would meet the challenges of the future. I talked passionately of children finding their voice and having the necessary skills and connections to navigate a difficult world. As I think about this now, my feelings remain identical. 2020 proved to us all that we cannot predict what challenges lie ahead for our children, but we can be confident they will need to be creative, resilient problem solvers.
This school is a community driven by values, which has shown itself to be flexible and resilient, and that will pay dividends. As a staff, we will be reflecting on what makes Walhampton a wonderful school and where we need to plant seeds of change for the future, starting with two days of exciting professional development on Monday.
In pledging to provide the certainty and hope which we all need to get through the next few months, I’d like to take this opportunity to make three public promises to 2021:
1. To be present and visible within the school and know the children;
2. To communicate a clear sense of direction;
3. To extend our vision, deepening our commitment to innovation in the current, and post-pandemic, environments.
You bring great opportunity and I look forward to delivering on these promises – and to add more.
Yours in optimism
Jonny Timms
Head at Walhampton

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