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Welcome to The Learning Curve, 

I’ll level with you. It’s not been the easiest rentrée of my career.

Day one in the carpark tested my nerves although since then it has gotten better and better. Having recovered from that, facing COVID cases on day two and discovering a delayed book order would not have been high on my list of hopes for the new school year. Unfortunately, I feel that COVID will continue to cause us issues in the coming weeks and months and I ask for your kindness and understanding as we navigate the challenges it brings. 

As the week has gone on it is good to see that rhythms are starting to emerge. Some of the changes we are implementing are cruising along nicely and some are showing a little stubbornness in bedding down. We are close to catching the trade winds but our sails are still flapping a little!  

…but there is something important to share, something that really matters. I’ve made it my goal this week to talk to as many kids as possible. In the playground, the canteen, after school and at the start of the day. Our kids here at Mougins are happy. They are smiling, they want to be here, they are ready and willing to learn, they know what they are doing. I have had some truly lovely chats. Whilst we deal with some very temporary blips this still remains and it is not an accident. 

Before we started this week, I spoke to teachers about some of the challenges around change. It almost always comes with logistical, emotional and practical side effects that can be both expected and also surprising. Sometimes in a good way, and let’s be honest, sometimes not. 

We are in a period of change here at Mougins school. We are starting the year with many new systems and processes as well as a new curriculum structure and timetable. This is  substantial. It is also difficult but it will lead us to better places. Last Thursday in that meeting I shared the image below:

I’m not sure where exactly we are on this chart but it’s themes ring very true. Change is not linear, it creates new problems and sometimes (see where the arrow is pointing) it feels hard, looks messy and has great complexity. I’m ok with all of this because it’s taking us somewhere. To return to my sailing analogy We have left the port, we have a compass and we are heading to new horizons. 

All hands on deck.

James Wellings
Head of School