Principal’s Blog: An Interesting week

It’s been an interesting week. We began on Monday with clear water running from our taps but within 20 minutes it had turned brown. South West Water were called and they reassured us that the water was safe and, although discoloured, would quickly run through to clear again. All seemed well until just as first break began we had a call from our catering providers. They were closing the canteen because they had been told by Environmental Health that the water was not safe and therefore the kitchen could not meet hygiene standards. As the children queued up for their customary break time food we were frantically trying to put together a plan for sandwiches and cold food that we could buy in from outside.

Then came another twist in the tale. We had a second phone call from the catering firm. Environmental health had changed their minds, the water was safe and we could now open the canteen. The shutters were quickly rolled up, break was extended and cold food was served. We now only had the problem of lunchtime – the canteen staff would normally have started cooking lunch early on that day but had not been able to start. We quickly put together a plan for meals based around the old staples of quick cooking – pasta, pizza and chips as well as salads, sandwiches and fruit. The larder was raided to make sure every child could get some food as it was a cold day and I knew demand for meals rises when the temperature drops. The kitchen staff did a superb job for us and at the end of our extended lunchtime we still had food left over. No one went hungry and everyone had time to get something to eat.

So the week went on and everything returned to normal. Sporting success on the fields, music groups starting up, visits from primary schools, Bodmin College students joined ours for a conference of Personal and Social Education. There are now two brand new bikes hanging up in the reception area which will be the prizes at the end of this year for 100% attendance for two lucky students. We congratulated two members of staff for running the Cardiff half marathon and raising £500 for the Alzheimer’s charity – Jane Thomas and Kimberley Small.

Finally as the sun shone for us today we finished the week with a fire drill. We have to practice these every term and, by the time a student reaches Year 11, they are well versed in what to expect. It is no mean feat evacuating 1400 students to stand in silence, in alphabetical order in under five minutes. That is exactly what we did today and as the sun shone on us I reflected that there are very few schools where the students are so well behaved and so good that you could manage to do that. After our watery start to the week it was a great way to finish – with some fantastic students showing us their best.

David Parker, Principal