A headmaster of a school in Newtonstewart today denied that an extension in the school summer holidays until nearly Christmas was influenced by the stress of the job.
Headmaster of St Mark’s Secondary School in Newtonstewart Colm McQuillan, confirmed that the summer break will begin today, and continue until Friday 12 December. Sitting in a darkened study with a damp facecloth over his forehead, the headmaster said,
“Personally I love my job. Can’t get enough if it. But those kids deserve a big long break. Jays, they’ve been working tara hard. They must be exhausted. Poor critters”. He continued, “They finish this week and come back on the 12th of December, in time for some carols, probably the nice gentle ones like Silent Night, or maybe just quiet reflection about the wonder of the story of Jesus, and then they’ll be off for the Christmas break. Which for 2015 will extend until Easter”.
McQuillan has faced criticism from parents for introduced some unorthodox teaching methods at the school, including morning prayers being replaced with an hour’s meditation, yoga being incorporated into PE lessons, and the syllabus for the English GCSE now including ‘The Little Book of Calm’ as compulsory reading text. He was also accused by many of being unable to cope with the stress.
“Stressful? What, this job?”, whispered McQuillan. “Don’t be daft. Never in a million years. I love my job. Well, maybe just a tiny touch stressful sometimes, you know. Just the occasional few days. Well, five actually. Monday to Friday. It’s the ringing noise in my ears, you see, I can’t get rid of the ringing noise. I get it all the time. Especially at about 9 o’clock and 4.15 every day. I wish it would stop. But I’m fine. Really, I’m fine”.
McQuillan confirmed that the change was entirely driven by ‘educational needs’ and nothing to do with his own personal circumstances.
“Oh aye, absolutely. Nothing to do with the teachers. It’s the kids, definitely the kids. Six lovely long, long months of just sitting, with no noise, in peace and quiet…”,
he said, before tailing off and staring into the middle distance.