As the June/July heatwave continues almost unabated, schools are finally into the home straight. After a particularly tough year for education, teachers can begin to look up from their lesson plans and marking.
We're all going on a summer holiday
But just in case you're so buried in reports, productions and trips that it's hard to distinguish that finishing line, here are eight signs that respite is in sight:
1. Up pops an article in the news written by a mother who is protesting about the length of the school holidays. Your blood pressure rises and then falls as you are reassured by your colleagues and headteacher that the six-week break is here to stay.
2. Sats results are out, and the big headlines about them are gradually fading from Tes' most-read column. Their arrival in July sometimes leaves a lingering sense of dissatisfaction that can cloud the early part of the holiday. Make sure you leave that feeling at the school gates.
3. Ferry fares, hotel rates and air fares seem to have risen exponentially as you look for that last-minute bargain. (Why didn't you book earlier? You were too busy with the school end-of-term activities ....)
4. The teachers’ pay rise is about to be announced and you wait with bated breath to see whether you can afford next year’s break or not.
5. Mysterious sealed bags – some black, some white – appear all over the school as confidential waste, and the junk that has been accumulating all year awaits collection. You realise you should soon be adding to the piles if you’re to leave in time on Friday.
6. There's the crushing disappointment when you realise that the television series you were planning to binge-watch was deleted episode by episode whilst you were attending end-of-term events and marking the last bits of homework.
7. The summer sales have been and gone in the time you were frantically planning sports day, the end-of-term production and the Year 6 trip to the beach. At least the money saved can go on the last-minute holiday non-bargain.
8. We've had six weeks of blue skies and soaring temperatures. It's no surprise then that rain is forecast for the first day of the holidays...
Yvonne Williams is a head of English and drama at a school in the south of England and a member of the National Association for the Teaching of English’s Post-16 committee.