An enterprising year

A leader’s job is not to do the work for others, it’s to help others figure out how to do it themselves, to get things done, and to succeed beyond what they thought possible.

Simon Sinek

It’s been a while since I did a blog post; in fact it’s nearly a year to the day. I have read so many great #Nurture1314 blog posts over the past few days and it has inspired me to write this one.  Without a doubt, 2013 has been one of the biggest, both professionally and personally.  It has taken me a few days to write this post, I am in awe of the educational bloggers (who get a mention later in this post) and the way they inspire others.  This blog is not in that league, but I hope you enjoy it.  In this post I aim to reflect on the year and outline my hopes for 2014.  Highlights of 2013 are as follows:

My daughter Imogen, 8 months old.

1.  The birth of my daughter Imogen in April – This is my number 1 highlight of 2013; it is purposely at the top (the rest of my reflections are in no particular order).  Seeing her grow, develop and learn is inspirational.  I feel blessed to be her Father. I would also like to thank my wonderful Wife Sally and my family, without their ongoing and unwavering support I wouldn’t be able to achieve anything.


My son Rowan with the Award.

2. Lee Creamer Youth Enterprise Leadership Award – I am really bad at taking compliments, let alone picking up awards.  Lee was a great supporter of Hull’s enterprising young people.   I am immensely proud to have won this award in GEW (Global Entrepreneurship Week).  It is nice to be recognised but it’s about the students, not about me.

3.  Masters in Education – I finally completed my MEd.  I found it immensely challenging balancing family, work and studying.  A 4-year part-time course, summer school, countless late nights, weekends and holidays… at last, it is done!  If you are considering undertaking Med, I highly recommend it but be prepared to make sacrifices.  I met great people and experienced high quality teaching and learning.  I also based the majority of my assignments on my practice.  Most importantly it changed and improved my teaching.   

4.  Be Enterprising Group Launch – This is a group for education practitioners across Hull who want to ‘Be Enterprising’, to come together and share their fantastic ideas “inspiring our future generations and helping to embed the Big 13 Enterprise skills into all our young people’s lives, that were developed by our colleagues at Ready Unlimited in Rotherham .” I am really proud to be Chair and help found the be enterprising group working in partnership with Hull Youth enterprise.  A massive thanks to @EngagingE for all their hard work supporting the group with the website and branding.  For more information on the group follow us on twitter @Hullsented and website link here.

@ActionJackson presenting to staff in Careers Week 2013 – You are AMAZING

5.  National Careers Week #NCW2013 – Careers education is really important to me (see previous post here).   We are preparing student’s everyday for their future careers.  This year we really made a big effort to focus students on their future careers choices in an action packed week.  See video below and link to report here.

Thanks to @Newmanswords for capturing the week.  Your work and passion for careers guidance is amazing.

6.  Global Entrepreneurship Week – This is always a big week of enterprise in our school calendar year.  We have students that undertake various enterprise activities and are involved in the Badgers Sett competition.  This year was no different, although I wasn’t as hands on this year.  This was an opportunity for staff to shine and that they certainly did.  We won the Badgers Sett and the students had a great week overall.  It is great to work with @Hullsenterprise who is committed to enterprise education, providing fantastic opportunities for young people.  Below is a video from the launch event:

7.  Hull and East Riding Teachermeet – I had the great pleasure in attending and presenting at the Hull and East Riding Teachmeet.  A fantastic nights CPD, sharing good practice and meeting people across all phases of education.  I highly recommend attending a teachmeet .  Big thanks to @emmaannhardy for organising.

8.  Assistant Headteacher – There are defining moments in your life and this year certainly felt like it.  This was a decision I didn’t take lightly.  I had been thinking about this step for a while, but it had to feel like the right time.  Well, the feeling came this year and it happened.  It is difficult to put into words or a write in a blog post.  @EricThomasbtc talks about wanting something as bad as you want to breath. This wasn’t simply about getting the next role, it’s about service and stepping outside my comfort zone.  I loved my Head of Department role, however it got to a point whereby it no longer challenged me and I felt I was going through the motions.  I also got frustrated and wanted to make more of an impact.  The interview process was rigorous, tough, challenging and pushed me to the limits.  I am proud to say I got it and I am now an Assistant Headteacher.  Being a Senior leader is about service to the students, staff and the local community. As @SimonSinek states:   “A leader’s job is not to do the work for others, it’s to help others figure out how to do it themselves, to get things done, and to succeed beyond what they thought possible”.  I’m now a term into post, there are no regrets and I love every day.

9.  Champions for Wind – Yes that really is the title, you can imagine the comments and laughs about it. Champions for Wind is a careers education programme launched by Forewind, development partner for the Dogger Bank offshore wind farm zone, working together with the Humberside Engineering Training Association (HETA).  The aim has been to highlight the range and types of potential job opportunities in the growing offshore wind industry. I was one of Nine teachers that developed curriculum materials tailored to their own students and covering a broad range of subjects including humanities, geography, business, science and design and technology. Utilising our own resources, local networks and relevant specialists, we developed a range of resources. These included: student-produced videos of classmates acting in roles of people in the industry; a series of booklets aimed at lower end learners to highlight service needs; a documentary style film; school lessons on ethics linked to environment and culture, and a wind turbine for camping.  This year was the culmination of the programme with the disseminating  resources.

@VicGoddard tweeted this year about radiators and not drains, this group of people I had the pleasure of working with are radiators in abundance.  A special mention goes to @Andyphilipday  both as a teacher and leader.  His ideas, practice and also his attitude to helping improve others is inspiring.  An all round great person who has given everything to teaching profession.  It was great to work in collaboration with a fantastic group of teachers and businesses.  I would like to thank Mike Cargill @stemmymike , Niki Bardsley @NoodlesHull and Sue Vincent from Forewind for having the vision and drive to put this programme together.  I wish them every success with next years ideas and teachers.

10.  Phil Jones – Unlimited Potential  – As part of Business Week 2013 in Hull, I attended an event entitled Unlimited Potential.  I had been unable to attend the previous two talks Phil had done entitled ‘Megatrends’ in 2012, 2013 but had heard so much about them through twitter and business colleagues.  This presentation is one of the best CPD sessions I have ever attended. Inspiring, challenging, thought provoking leaving me with more question and answers.  I have developed an UP mindset and regularly read around leadership and self development.  I highly recommend the Chimp Paradox http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Chimp-Paradox-Management-Confidence/dp/009193558X 

I would like to thank Phil for keeping in touch, his advice, tweets and guidance have challenged me everyday to be the best I can be. Onwards and certainly UP in 2014.  I highly recommend following @PhilJones40 and his blogs here:   http://www.philjones.biz/blog/ http://www.philjones.biz/blog/grow-up

11.  Youth Enterprise Summit – A challenge has always been to put together a business event in the school.  This year we did it in partnership with Hull Youth Enterprise Summit – check out the report below: http://www.maletlambert.co.uk/uploads/chronicler/document/document/15/YES_2013_Report.pdf

The business community in Hull provides fantastic support for young people.  I would especially like to thank @RuthBadger for changing her holiday plans to speak at the event, her support for our students and Hull is outstanding.

12.  Hull City of Culture 2017– I couldn’t not include this as one of my highlights of 2013.  I am from Northern Ireland and was over the moon when Derry achieved this accolade and with Hull now achieving this, it is fantastic news.  The reason I include it in this post, well, I am immensely proud to work in Hull with it’s great young people and community.   Often this area gets a bad press and was rated one of the worst areas to live in a few years ago.  Hull is definitely on the up and this is a great positive for the city.  Hull has given me so much and I am very grateful.  Check out the Hull 2017 video here:

13.  The Students – No matter what the year is.  This is why I do the job, it is a privilege to work with so many young people on their educational journey.  They inspire me everyday and make the job the best in the world.

Other highlights of 2013 includes twitter coaching with @educationbear developed by the innovative @ASTsupportAAli .  We also undertook our first Summer School and the Box Wise programme with @TommyCoyle89 and @John_Buttrick has had initial success with some of our challenging students.  I would like to thanks @headguruteacher @teachertoolkit @ICTEvangelist @kevbartle @LeadingLearner @learningspy @johntomsett for the regular, thought provoking and inspiring blog posts.  This has improved my teaching practice and leadership immensely.

IMG_1692As my daughter’s life began in 2013, unfortunately my Grandfather’s, T.J. Logan, ended in 2013, following a battle with dementia.  I am glad I went to see him in the Summer to say my goodbyes.  At 90 years of age he had a great innings.  It was a huge honour to read Psalm 121 at his funeral.  He devoted his life to his family and walked with God.  It was inspiring to speak to so many people about his life and how he had helped them.  Gone but never forgotten.

It has been insightful reflecting on the previous year.  I often forget about previous achievements, I would rather focus on the future and feeling like I could do more.

My hopes for 2014 include the following:

1.  Getting a work life balance – I really do need to get a better work-life balance, spend more time with my family and try to switch off.  Easier said than done but in 2014 I am going to try.

2.  Running and a Triathlon  – I aim to run at least 2x 10km competitive runs and undertake a triathlon in 2014.  My training has begun, watch this space!

3.  Be Enterprising group – There is so much potential with this group to develop a cross phase enterprise programme.  I am really looking forward to working in collaboration and developing resources with teachers in the group.  There is an appetite for teacher to work together, develop and grow.  2014 will also involve the first full day enterprise CPD session for the group.

4.  Northern Rocks  2014 Reclaiming Pedagogy – This is a must attend event.  I can’t wait to help out at this event and meet so many great people I have shared tweets and blogs posts with.  I am also looking forward to meeting my coach @educationbear (coffee and cake are on me!)  If you haven’t signed up yet, I urge you to here.

5.  UP“In a state of mind which allows opportunity + success to flow to you, whilst remaining happy, aligned and committed to those things that matter in your life.” Via @PhilJones40 Continue to read, develop and be the best I can be.  A must read in 2014 is Simon Sinek’s next book Leaders Eat last out at the end of January, check it out here.

6.  Masters in Education Graduation – I am looking forward to graduating, this will be a great day for my family and is the culmination of 4 years hard work.

7.  PHD – I am going to research the possibility of undertaking a PHD.  It is not something I am going to start in 2014 but consider the requirements.

8.  Teaching and Learning– This is the heart of what we do.  In 2014 I want to continue to develop my teaching practice and help students to learn in the best possible way.  @Teachertoolkit book 100 ways has been a great source of ideas and inspiration.

9.  National Careers Week 2014 – #NCW2014– As an Ambassador for Careers Week, I can’t wait for another great week of celebrating careers.  Why not get involved for more information on Careers Week check out the link here.

10.  Working with Partner Primaries – This part of my role inspires me.  I have learnt so much from working in partnership with our Primary Schools.  I hope to develop this further next year, with enterprise as a focus.

11.  Education Show –  I am looking forward to attending this event next year with @Denhamkite from @VictoriaDockPS http://www.education-show.com/

12.  Visit Canons High School – I missed out on the CPD training day this year but I really want to attend the next one to see the great work of @KevBartle and his top team

13.  Enterprise – In the next year I want to continue to develop enterprise and be an enterprising teacher/leader.  I see this as taking opportunities, risks and developing skills

14.  Attend SLT camp – I really hope there is another camp next year.  I missed out this year as it fell the weekend before Global Entrepreneurship Week.


I also aim to complete the ‘I Am Amazing’ diary from action Jackson everyday.  There are golden nuggets every single day and I aim to capture them.  Next year this post with include diary entries from this book.

Thank you for reading this post. I am indebted to so many people for their continued support and believing in me, you know who you are!  Keep collaborating, challenging, developing, sharing, it really does make a difference for our young people.  They are worth it and make it the #bestjobintheworld

In 2014 forgive the past, live the present and create the future.  

And finally . . . Never stop dreaming.


Happy New Year, Stephen.,


One thought on “#Nurture1314

  1. Enjoyed reading this Stephen – thank you!

    It’s clearly been a great year in many respects. Congratulations (to you and your wife) on the birth of Imogen, and well done on getting the Assistant Head post and completing the MEd.

    Am sure you’re not alone when you say “I often forget about previous achievements, I would rather focus on the future and feeling like I could do more.” One of the brilliant things about the #nurture1314 initiative is that it forces us to take stock and give ourselves credit, before focussing our thinking on what next and how can we make it happen.

    The work/life balance issue is a tough one, and many of us struggle with it. As I’ve said elsewhere, it’s a journey rather than a destination, I suspect no one EVER feels they’ve cracked it, but it’s something we need to be aware of and continue to work on.

    Just one piece of advice – you are involved in a number of things and you’re clearly enthusiastic and passionate about all of them! Sometimes we find we do have to make choices, and actively to STOP doing something we enjoy and think is important (or sometimes just to ‘rest’ it for a year), to make space for other things which are perhaps even more important. The danger is that we embrace new initiatives all the time and don’t give up any of the things we were already doing….

    A doctorate is a good idea at some stage (though not yet!) – pace yourself. And when the time comes investigate the EdD (a professional doctorate) as well as the PhD ( the more conventional route). I’m in year 4 (the final year) of a part-time EdD and I’d be happy to talk to you about this sometime – perhaps at Northern Rocks! Look forward to meeting you there.

    With every best wish for 2014.

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