Paul Cronin – headteacher, St Laurence’s Catholic Primary School, Kirkby

Ever wondered how a primary school headteacher spends their time? We catch up with Paul Cronin, headteacher at St Laurence’s Catholic Primary School in Kirkby to find out.

My working day starts at 7am and the school opens to students at 7.30am every day for breakfast club.
The week always starts with an assembly for the whole school. We use these assemblies to celebrate the success and achievements of our pupils. Sport is a strong feature in our school  – we have over 30 sports clubs each week – and in today’s assembly we’re presenting medals to our Knowsley Cross Country runners.
We’re also celebrating the success of our school choir, which performed at the Liverpool choir festival.
I spend much of Monday dealing with various school issues, checking emails and speaking to parents. We have a staff meeting at 3.30pm for all teaching staff, which lasts until 5pm. And then it’s time for our evening keep fit class. We hold after school classes that the community can get involved in and this one is always a popular one. We also hold after schools clubs for the students until 5.15pm each day which helps parents who work until 5pm.

Tuesday begins with a senior management meeting at 8am. I get to school for about 7am in order to sort a few things out before the meeting. There’s no danger of getting sleepy during the day though as I run a cross-country running club every lunchtime.
We have contractors on site at the moment undertaking some major building work so I have to check up on them throughout the day to make sure everything is going to plan.
Tuesday night is family night from 6pm-7.30pm. Parents are invited to come along with their children and we play a range of games and activities. It’s always a fun evening.

On Wednesday I have a lot of meetings to attend. I’m chair of the Kirkby Collaborative of Schools and we have a meeting at 9am. Straight from that I head to the Kirkby Catholic Headteachers meeting followed by a Local Authority meeting.
Then it’s back to the school. We have a junior chef in at the moment and all the children are engaged in cookery lessons, which are proving very enjoyable.
And there’s reason to celebrate as our football team competes in the Kirkby School’s Football Cup and wins to become champions.

We have two classes out on school trips today – one to the Eco Centre in Southport and the other to Martin Mere wetland nature reserve in Burscough. Unfortunately I’m not going with them. Instead I start the day with a Kirkby Collaborative meeting at 8.30am.
We’ve commissioned an artist to do some artwork at the school so I catch up with him during the morning to see how it’s coming along.
It’s an exciting afternoon as we have press and TV teams in the school to report on our junior chef cookery classes.

We have sports clubs at school every day starting at 8am and today’s is Judo after which the pupils head to assembly.
This morning I’m meeting with parents to discuss family literacy and numeracy and the children’s behaviour.
Friday afternoon is spent dealing with a mountain of paperwork, emails and Kirkby collaborative issues then it’s off to the Knowsley School’s Trade Fair. Friday’s after school club is the ever-popular dance club. Like most nights, I head home at around 7pm after a long and action-packed week.

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