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Putting a man on the moon

05 Apr 2020   |   Chris Jessup   |   Wellspring Academy Trust

In 1969, just before the launch of Apollo 11, Kennedy Space Centre was visited by a group of Senators, Generals and Government officials to check on the progress of the manned mission to the moon. They visited Mission Control and as they went round one Senator insisted on speaking to everyone; asking their name and their job and their purpose.

He talked to engineers who designed the space craft, programmers who wrote the code, scientists, test pilots and so on. Each told the visitors their role. Each stated that their role was to help put a man on the moon. As they were leaving, a Senator saw a janitor cleaning the corridor. He stopped him, asked him his name and what he did. The janitor replied proudly that it was his job to keep the rooms clean and that was his contribution to putting a man on the moon.

Beacon Academy recently had a Section 5, two day Ofsted visit. Throughout the visit every member of the school community was proud to be associated with the school and knew what their role was in making the visit a success. It could have been teaching amazing lessons, meeting with Inspectors around curriculum, attendance, behaviour or assessment. It may have been as a Governor, a parent, a representative from the Local Authority, or a student speaking about their experiences at the school. Each knew their role. Each was a passionate advocate for Beacon and its ethos and values. Including Pauline.

Pauline’s contribution won’t be mentioned in any report or Government website or league table. In fact, I doubt if the Inspectors knew she was there as they went from room to meeting to room again. But we saw her. Pauline spent the two days making sure every piece of litter was picked up. Every corridor was clean.

Every surface polished and wiped. She was a part of the culture of and togetherness that makes our schools the special places
they are. She went over and above and her contribution was a valuable part in the two days. So let’s give thanks to Pauline and everyone else helping – if not to put someone on the moon – then not least bring joy and wonder, care and kindness to our school.


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