Portsmouth schools have improved dramatically and it's down to caring and passionate staff '“Â Verity Lush
This week, it is Teach Portsmouth Week, which is aiming to both boostÂ recruitment of teachers in the city and celebrate some of the fantastic schoolsÂ that we are lucky enough to have.
On Friday evening, there wasÂ an official awards ceremony, and all headteachers in Portsmouth were asked to nominate specific teams or adults in theirÂ schools whom they believe are deserving of acknowledgement for the work theyÂ do with the children and young adults in their care.
Sadly, I am writing this before Friday (deadlines!) so am unable to share some ofÂ the successes of the night, but given that '“ in education '“ the importance ofÂ praise is embedded, it seems only fitting that the educators get a little praise ofÂ their own.
The old adage that it takes a village to raise a child is never truer than in school.
From admin teams to support staff and teachers, from cleaners to caretakers andÂ site managers, and teams who work tirelessly to provide a stimulating and safeÂ environment in which our children can learn.
None of it could take place withoutÂ all of these folk playing their own crucial part.
Schools in Portsmouth have improved dramatically over the past decade. Look atÂ Mayfield School, look at the nurture groups run by schools such as Manor InfantsÂ and Nursery School.
Take the theme of nurture that has also then been taken upÂ by Admiral Lord Nelson School in order to continue that care in secondaryÂ school for students who find the transition that bit harder.
Every day, the adults in school face difficulties, often because they are trying toÂ help the youngsters with their own personal difficulties. But every day, up theyÂ get again and back in they go, determined to try, and try again.Â
Teaching is the most passionate and rewarding profession that I can think of. IÂ may be biased.
But if you are considering teaching or education as a career, thenÂ go for it. There can be few adults in the world who weren't positively affected byÂ an educator; be that person.
Go for it.
There's a spirit and a beauty about our dear old Pompey
Much as we moan about the city '“ and there are parts that look trulyÂ grim '“Â I do love Portsmouth.
There's a strange industrial beauty when you drive in over the flyover and seeÂ the silhouettes of the cranes in the docks, and the sunset bleeding through theÂ Â sky like blotting paper behind them.
To have the sea so close, and the countryside so near, with both villages andÂ other local cities in vast supply, makes us all rather fortunate.
There's true community spirit that's reminiscent of the days post-warÂ when Charlotte Street was a hub of activity and everybody knew everybody else.
All cities and all areas have their moans but, generally, we are pretty lucky inÂ Pompey.Â
Hard work and practise can make us all better people
It seemsÂ more important than ever these days, perhaps because of the images ofÂ '˜perfect' lives on social media, toÂ remind kids that it's okayÂ to make mistakes.
Â Growth-mindset is a current buzz-word, which itself can be off-putting, but whenÂ you realise that this simply means recognising that very few of us are born beingÂ great at anything, it begins to make sense.
David Beckham has alwaysÂ maintained that he was not a naturally skilled footballer '“ he had to work hard at it.
Lessons like these are crucial for kids.Â So next time you or someone else says, '˜I'm no good at maths/spelling,Â remind them it takes practise.Â We can all be better.