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Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Christmas greetings and best wishes for 2020 from Nottingham City LA

By John Dexter, Director of Education

A highlight for me this term was the opportunity to see the work of the RSC (Royal Shakespeare Company) with our schools, and enjoy a shortened version of the ‘Merchant of Venice’. A genuinely inspiring evening, in particular the positive reaction of the children of Aspley and Bilborough and from some of their parents who watched. But it was also a phrase that came back to me in a piece I read about the season of advent, which suggested the world needed more ‘Merchants of Hope’. As I reflected on this I thought of so many teachers, support staff and governors who do exactly that in Nottingham schools every day but perhaps especially so this time of year. All those end of term ‘important events’ you organise from nativity plays and carol concerts to the odd Christmas disco, or accompanying your pupils to the Theatre Royal to sing in their own concert or to St Mary’s for the Civic Christmas Carol service. Time spent doing something extra for a local or international charity. Each of these extra acts of kindness this time of year make a difference to children and families, especially in the City, so thank you on behalf of those children for that effort and for being their ‘Merchant of Hope’ alongside being their teacher and helping their learning.

In addition to the day to day routines of school, some of you have had the pressure of inspection, or maybe thinking about an impending inspection and this under a new framework. Nottingham City schools are in a good position to embrace the new framework thanks to the continued hard work and effort to maintain appropriate curriculum and of course the determined commitment to children and young people – you might not be regulated against a KPI for ‘hope’ but your ethos and purposeful atmosphere to create the best teaching and learning environments should be recognised. Do continue to be ambitious, we have been privileged to see and hear about such ambition from the children we meet and the teachers we talk to about the work in #Nottinghamschools. In my own school the mantra was always aim high, work hard, even at the end of term.

So from the Education directorate, we hope you can enjoy the break, celebrate Christmas with your families and friends and find refreshment. Make sure you top up your reservoirs of hope and we look forward to working with you in 2020.