After a break of nearly 18 months to pursue some personal projects, I returned to work at Running Deer School to find a very different school from the one I left.
A different school
The first and most obvious difference is the significant increase in staff numbers. There are additional teachers, caseworkers, management and administrative staff to help build the range and quality of education that we can provide for the young people attending the school.
Any possible trepidation I may have felt at the prospect of meeting so many new people was soon dispelled when I discovered a great bunch of really friendly people with a huge array of talents, interests and experience.
At the same time, there were a good number of staff who had continued to work at the school throughout my absence and it was great to catch up with some old friends.
Another big change was a full complement of ‘on roll’ students with 10 currently attending every day. Perhaps the most pleasing discovery, however, was to find two former students graduated from the school and now working hard and learning new skills as apprentices whilst providing fantastic role models to the students.
Finally, the real estate has changed! An enhanced ‘Trelawny Camp’ (formerly the Top Camp’) allows the students and staff to gather under cover in smaller groups whilst the new pods are a fantastic improvement – and certain to make teaching more effective (and warmer) through the coming winter.
All of this is a long way from the school I first joined nearly three years ago and a testament to the hard work and dedication of those who have made it happen. It’s great to be back and I feel confident that this is going to be a great year for the school despite the Covid challenges!