Week ending 06th December
- I have had two days out of school this week at national briefing events. It is never great to be out of school and never as enjoyable as being in school!!However, it is essential to keep informed about latest national government developments. These two briefings were about admissions to schools and curriculum developments. It was very interesting to hear how some schools are becoming their own admissions’ authorities and no longer working as part of the local authority. At Chesterton we currently feel that for our Y7 admissions we would like to continue to work with the local authority, whilst they handle the majority of admissions, and make the process simple and streamlined for Y6 parents.
- The curriculum conference focused more on developments with GCSEs that will be coming soon. There is still limited information about changes which will affect the current Y9. As a school we are attending events and reading as much as we can, so that we are at the vanguard of government thinking and can incorporate any changes into our forthcoming option process. We will keep parents informed.
- At the start of the week Steve Down, Head at St Luke’s, came in and presented to our Heads of Faculty about how primary classrooms are structured to encourage independent learning and support students of differing abilities. It was a really interesting presentation and Heads of Faculty were also able to speak about what they had seen on their visits to St Luke’s, as they have all been to observe a primary lesson. They are now incorporating some of the strategies they saw within their own departments. It is always a privilege to observe primary classrooms and see the high level of independence students demonstrate. On occasion in secondary schools we can diminish this independence; it is our hope at Chesterton to build on the skills by exploring these links and making the transition as seamless as possible.
- Another Parents’ Evening this week, this year for Y9 students and their parents. Once again it was a great opportunity to talk with parents and students in between appointments. We also had another excellent attendance and I’d like to thank everyone who attended.
- After school on Thursday I held a training session for new staff about career progression and answered questions about how to develop a successful career in teaching. It was great to have a newly qualified teacher attending the session, alongside a colleague who was previously a Head of Faculty, had taken time out to start a family, and has now returned to work. It demonstrated the diversity of staff experience we have at Chesterton and that, at all stages of careers, we have teachers who are genuinely interested in continuing to progress.
- As I’ve mentioned previously I am mentoring two Y11 students, as are other members of the senior team and pastoral leaders, and this week we have not had a formal opportunity to meet because of the mocks. However, I did get to see my mentees informally whilst out and about at lunchtimes and they shared with me their mock experiences. They were still smiling, but seemed very tired! It has been an exhausting two weeks for the Y11 students, but we hope it has helped them get a sense of what the summer will be like. In the last week we are also having a Mock Results’ Day which will be structured like the real day in the summer. It is a chance for students to experience the feeling of receiving their results and an opportunity to envision how they would like the experience to be in the summer. On the same day we will also be holding year assemblies and some mentoring sessions for students. The Y11 revision programme will start in January and we will keep parents informed about what we are offering to families and students.