Almost two weeks have passed since the London Marathon and, fortunately, the soreness has now subsided! As predicted, the day was full of anticipation, excitement and emotion. The weather held out and close to 40,000 people participated with 29,299 of them, including Mrs Shaw (with a time of 3 hours,43 minutes, what an amazing achievement), finishing ahead of me.
Fortunately though, this was not about the time I achieved, but all about the journey from start to finish and although the road was long, I got there.
You’ve got what it takes, but it will take everything you’ve got.
My marathon journey began back in October 2015 with the shock of winning a ballot place. I trained hard through the cold weather and dark nights, fought off injury and illness and with great determination got myself to the start line on Sunday 24 April 2016.
You may not be able to control every situation and its outcome, but you can control your attitude and how you deal with it.
I finished the course in 5 hours, 53 seconds and feel extremely proud that I sustained the high level of physical and mental endurance required for such a challenge. There were moments along the way where I had to dig deep and barriers to overcome to cross that finish line. However, much of my motivation came from the high levels of support that I received from family, friends and the school community. For this, I owe everyone a huge thank you.
Sometimes we need someone to simply be there, not to fix anything, or to do anything in particular, but just to let us feel that we are cared for and supported.
Whilst achieving a personal goal, I am also delighted that as a community we have united to begin the process of raising the profile of mental health in schools through our work with the Samaritans. Over £4,600 has now been raised for the Reading branch for which I know they are extremely grateful. As well as this students here can now benefit from further opportunities and resources that the Samaritans can offer as a result of our new-found partnership with them.
On Thursday 28 April, our U-16 girls took on Charters School in the County Cup final. Staff, students, parents and carers were all in full voice at Thatcham Town Football Club and witnessed our team seal a 2-0 victory to bring the cup to Denefield. Many congratulations to the PE staff for selecting and training a fully committed and talented group of intelligent footballers. I have no doubt that with the resilience, courage and teamwork witnessed on Thursday, we will see further success in the future. Well done girls!
Surround yourselves with those on the same mission as you.
The canteen extension continues to progress and as we get towards the next term the building work will move in to its final phase. At this point I need to inform you that we are likely to lose the canteen as a facility from June to the end of the summer term so that the internal refurbishment can occur. We will, therefore, need to make alternative arrangements to our food service which will mean amendments to the current menus and the location of a temporary serving area. Harrisons are currently reviewing their menus and we will communicate this via a letter to all parents/carers prior to the half term break, as well as share this information with students in tutor time and assemblies.
In a recent blog, I commented that following improvements in security at the back of our site, we would be seeking to increase the security at the front through installing electronic gates. You will have noticed over the past few weeks that our gates have been closed and colleagues on hand to open the gates in order to welcome visitors in as necessary. This has enabled us to identify any particular challenges we may face after the work has taken place at May half term.
Although any change can be a little inconvenient and at times frustrating, I would like to thank parents, carers, staff, students and visitors for their patience at this time. I can confidently say that these measures have kept and will continue to keep, young people and staff at this school safe.
Dates for your diary:
Year 7 Parents’ Evening Kentwood and Langley House 18 May 2016
Year 7 Parents’ Evening Sulham and Norcot House 19 May 2016
Denefield School Summer Fayre 16 July 2016 12.00 noon - 3.00pm
Miss L A Dawe