31st August 2022

A new term, a new school year. Rachel’s grand-daughter begins her second year at school tomorrow. Following a successful time in reception class, she’s enthusiastic about being in 1A, with a new teacher. In my time as a teacher, I thoroughly enjoyed the start of the autumn term, setting each year-group off on a new part of my department’s syllabus, which, when I became head of Religious Studies, my staff and I rebuilt from scratch, tailoring our teaching to what we knew of our pupils, and the town and rural communities in which they lived.

I was also excited to be meeting a number of Year 7 groups (we had ten-form entry, 300 in each year) experiencing our school life for the first time; settling in, and getting to know how to get the best out what was on offer. Every couple of years, too, I would be taking on a new tutor group for whose progress and well-being I would be initially responsible. Tutoring and counselling were challenging, but rewarding too.

Each year was also further opportunity to deliver my scheme of assemblies, developed to suit each year group; part of my job description was to take assemblies from Yr 7 to 6th Form, on average a couple a week. Together with PE lessons, the Year 10 PSHE course I ran, and various extra-curricular activities, these helped me relate to pupils in different contexts.

Can you see parallels with Tyndale, starting a new year of church life with a new minister? Lots of possibilities before us; a fresh start where we need it, Sam and us together.

David Bell