Saturday, January 2, 2016


Having just looked back at my nurture 14/15 post, it was interesting to reflect on my hopes. #DLChat has continued, my ulcers have been kept at bay, most of my closest friends remain fit and healthy and my children are doing well.

Reflections of 2015


Despite feeling like it has taken a back seat to SEN this year, I managed to deliver a keynote at a conference in March, have run a code club at East Harling and have employed mini digital leaders. Although I feel I don't have enough hours to remain at the cutting edge, I know I am still doing my bit. #DLChat continues, though it maybe needs a rethink this year.

My children

Ben came home in July and will commute for his last year at uni. This is good as I can pester him to work hard and to try and keep normal hours... We have a lot of study chats now I am a student again and it is lovely to have him home. Jake has bought a house and I am dead proud of him, even though it has left me feeling very emotional. He is moving next door to one of my best friends at primary school and although I know she will be there for him, it feels a little weird that she might see him more than I will.


One of my hopes last year was to find a yoga class. I failed with that, but have found a pilates group. The phrase 'zip it up, front bottom, back bottom' is now one of those that pops into my head at all times of the day! I have also started running. After years of being a fine weather fartlek* runner, I bumped into a friend who told me I could run without stopping, that the first km was always the hardest and that I just needed to tell myself that I could do it. The next day I ran 3km without stopping. In my jeans. This carried on 3-4 times a week for a few weeks until I bumped into the same friend who said her husband thought he had seen me out running in my jeans and they'd had a good laugh about his eyesight... I had to admit that I didn't feel confident enough at that point to put tracky bottoms on, so if anyone saw me walking they wouldn't think I was a naff runner... Looking back it seems a bit ridiculous now. My son started running with me a bit later in the year, which helped me up my pace. Despite preferring to run alone (or with Jake - but we don't talk so that doesn't count) I said yes when I was asked to join in a charity run. Realising that I wasn't that bad was a really good feeling! As I'd been out once in company, I decided to join a local running club. I've not looked back! I'm not particularly competitive, but know that keeping it up is great for my asthmatic lungs and wellbeing (I can only concentrate on my breathing and looking where I'm going whilst running so have a real brain break). I feel like I have conquered the 5km and have managed an 8km route on occasion.

* Ben is doing a sports science degree and has told me that what I refer to as fat lady's running (I know that's not PC, but I didn't coin the phrase) whereby you run for a bit, then walk (and repeat) because you don't have the stamina to keep going, could be passed off as doing it that way on purpose i.e. fartlek.

County moderation

I trained to be a county moderator last year, which proved to be very interesting. We had to offer four dates to work, then were told that the county was being inspected ... you guessed it, on one of the dates I was moderating. It was ok though as there were five moderators in that day and I was the only newbie, so I thought I might be left alone ... Nope! The inspectors plonked themselves down on my table and looked at how another moderator and I were hosting the sessions.  It was all good though as we were commended on the way we moderated work. Phew!

Social media and blogging

They have both taken a back seat this year, much like computing. I haven't had to time to blog properly and have started and not finished about 10 posts over the year. I have stepped back from twitter as well, for two reasons: it takes up too much of my time reading the posts that I think will inform my practice or following interesting threads; some of the arguments/statements on twitter were raising my hackles. I'm sick of the phonics debates. I'm sick of high profile secondary teachers slating primary teachers, then refusing to answer challenging questions because some of us are too insignificant or don't have enough 'celebrity' status to respond to.

I did set up a deputy head FB page as a place to share SLT stuff, which I will try to promote next year. I think it could be a valuable resource if we get enough people sharing. I have tried to support @SENexchange, but must do better, and have almost kept up with #dlchat.

My hopes for this year

Family and friends

Life is precious. A tragic death in the family before Christmas reminded me of that. I will continue to ensure that at least one day each weekend is spent with family and friends. I hope that I will become a nanny at some point (Nanny Pidge) though next year might be wishful thinking. I hope my lovely friend Sue gets better and that other close friends have good news about health issues in their families. I look forward to bicycle shop / prison cafe meet ups with Jenni, Becki, Rubes and Judith, seaside walks with a range of friends and lots of afternoon teas with Linda, Sal, Jo and Becca. I hope I get to more gigs next year than I did last year.

BIG weekend

I hope I get to China this year after an epic fail last year. I did manage Scotland, Munich, Whitby, Wales, countless beach trips and both days at the BIG Weekend, so musn't grumble! After climbing Snowdon last year on my birthday, I'd like to climb Scafell and Ben Nevis this year.

New SENDco award

It needs to be done. I need to stop grumbling about it! (Sorry Amanda...)

Digital leaders

I hope that we can do something innovative this year - possibly with @kevin_sait.


I want to manage to keep up with reading for pleasure in amongst the abundant SEN course reading. Our book club will continue and I have a stack of new books on my shelf to read. I got 'A Boy Called Christmas' for Christmas, but haven't started it yet ...


It's therapeutic. I need to spend more time doing it. A child in my class bought me an A5 sketch book, which will now go to the seaside with me.

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