Since the school opened in 2002 it has given me so much pleasure to see the school flourish and grow from just four pupils to over a hundred. I know that you can never stand still and say, “job done!”. Having been a teacher for many years I know there are always new challenges, new mountains to climb. Springmead pupils never stand still for long; and so, neither do our staff.
We chose Springmead for my son Tom, not just for the obvious practical reasons, but because we knew it would provide him with the sort of education we wanted and weren’t absolutely sure we could find elsewhere. We wanted him to be fulfilled, with a strong sense of self-worth and the laying of the foundations of a life-long love of learning. All schools claim to help a child reach their full potential but this can be a glib mantra.
To come anywhere near achieving this almost impossible dream, so many skills are required: professionalism; the provision of a wide range of subjects and opportunities from music and sport to drama and outdoor adventure; a balance of structured and unstructured activities. How can you get to know a child if you only give them lessons and mark their books, but never have time for a chat or a heart-to-heart? Time and space are as important for development as a plethora of timetabled activities.
Why ‘Carpe Diem’? Well, many reasons. Firstly, children only have one education and one childhood; each must be allowed to flourish before they vanish.
Secondly, there are so many, many things that can be grasped to extend minds and bodies – from school assemblies and carol services; from chess club to cross country; from supporting the school charity to performing at the Mid Somerset Festival or the school talent competition. And thirdly, what if it’s a rare snowy day? What shall we do? Timetable as usual? No way!
I am a committed Christian and Christian principles are important to me when I make decisions about how the school should be run. But this does not mean that children are preached at or learn only about the Christian faith. All major religions are taught in RE and children of all faiths – and none – are welcomed and loved in our school. If they can grow up to be caring of each other with respect for all, a sense of community, and with a mind that ceaselessly questions the great mysteries and meaning of our existence, then I shall be happy.