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Leadership - highs, lows and stars of the day

February 13, 2023, 12:08 GMT+1
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  • A one-day diary from first alarm to lights out
Leadership - highs, lows and stars of the day

Waking up

My alarm is set for 5:30am but I hit the snooze button before I get up. I check our SLT WhatsApp group to see if anything happened overnight, and make sure my eight-year-old twins’ breakfasts and uniforms are ready. Then it’s action stations for us all!

My morning

I have a 35-minute journey to work, and call and message friends and family during this time. I meet families at the school gate and patrol the school carpark; I want to be a visible presence in the school community. After meetings and assemblies, I walk around school and visit lessons.


When I get to eat will depend on what’s happening in the school, but I try to go into the school dinner hall. I might grab something quick from my fridge like a bagel or soup but a special treat comes on a Friday when the coffee van visits our school.

My afternoon

Meetings and visits to classrooms continue and, at the end of the school day, I try to go out on the gate again or will be involved in staff training.

My evening

It’s time to be mummy for a while. At dinner, we discuss our ‘highs, lows and stars of the day’. I prepare lunchboxes, and look ahead to what’s coming tomorrow. We always end with a bedtime story and togetherness time. Once my girls are in bed, I open my laptop to do some work.


Typically, I am in bed by 11.00pm, either reading or reflecting on the day, in order to be up for the 5.30am alarm.

Quickfire questions…

Career plan B?

I considered going into the theatre as I loved studying drama and theatre studies at secondary school. I also achieved sport coaching qualifications and considered a role in community or professional sport.


Music that makes me want to dance, or listening to artists like Jack Savoretti, Jack Johnson and I grew up on listening to John Denver.


The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy, provides the most poignant life lessons. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey is a really useful self-help book.

Kathryn Pennington is Headteacher at East Hunsbury Primary School, Northampton