We have just returned from the Woodard Heads’ Conference held at Woodland Grange, Leamington Spa. It was so good to see colleagues and friends, to catch up with each other, and to enjoy the extraordinary nature of our group of schools once again.
With its focus on “Leadership” we heard from actor and speaker Dave Keeling (on leading change), Chief Fire Officer Sabrina Cohen-Hatton (on leading people) and Professor Barry Hymer (on leading teaching and learner on Tuesday afternoon. On Wednesday morning, Debra Price and Andrea Berkeley addressed us from RSAcademics and Geoff Barton from ASCOL addressed us on “Optimistic Leadership in Turbulent Times”. They all gave us much to reflect on.
A highlight, as ever, was the celebration of the Eucharist, which is so much a part of our distinctiveness as a group of schools. For the first time we were joined by the choir of Queen Mary’s Thirsk who sang Faure’s Messe Basse and Cesar Franck’s Panis Angelicus. This was a wonderful enrichment of our worship and we are truly grateful to them. Later, before dinner, we enjoyed the choir again, singing sacred and secular music.
This was the first year with Mrs Carole Cameron, Head of Queen Mary’s, as Chair of the Woodard Heads’ Association. Such Conferences as this do not come preformed, and we thank her for the work of preparation that made this such a great event. Thanks too to Amanda Stringer, Carole’s PA, and our own John Sherratt. Next year the Conference is expected to take place on Tuesday 19 and 20 Wednesday January. We hope to see all of our Headteachers and Principals there.
Revd Canon Brendan Clover and Chris Wright