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First Impressions Count

28 Oct 2019   |   Chris Jessup, Director of Learning

The first time you meet someone, you form an opinion of each other very quickly – within seven seconds people will have a solid impression of who you are. When
someone steps into your classroom or your school – what first impression do you give? What impression do you want to give?

The great privilege of my role as Director of Learning is the chance to visit our Primary and Secondary schools to celebrate the ‘everyday magic’ that occurs in each and every one.

I often arrive along with parents, other professionals coming for meetings, pupils who are late or who have queries and all the usual turbulence that occurs in receptions on a normal day. I am always struck by the welcome, the greeting and the inclusive feel of all of our schools whenever I visit. My first impressions of the reception area are how clean, how vibrant and celebratory they are. Many have beautiful examples of pupils’ work for visitors to admire. Bright colours and positive messages adorn the walls. Values, ethos and purpose shine through in the pride taken to ensure the welcome is as inviting as possible. These are spaces where everyone is valued.

Above all, it is the warmth, professionalism and kindness of the reception staff that personifies these initial impressions of our schools. My role takes me predominantly to our primary and secondary sites and just in the last few weeks I have had the occasion to say thanks to: Olivia and Lisa at Beacon Academy for always being ready to help and the care with which they treat every enquiry. Emily at Littlecoates for making that amazing entrance such an inspiration.

Hayley, Angela and Emma at Louth Lacey Gardens and Eastfield Infants for their positivity and patience (even when I forget my access fob).
Katie at Elements who is always cheerful even when builders are trailing through muddy boots.
Leanne and Claire at Bramley for their ever generous offers of coffee and the way they treat every enquiry with thought and compassion.
Cindy, Carol, Tracey and Lynn at Victoria and Ebor – where a fabulous and sunny welcome calms me down after I have stressed trying to find a parking space.

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