Week ending April 25th
- The four day week has gone incredibly quickly and it feels quite strange to be sitting here writing the blog with the Easter holidays now a distant memory. The school of course over the holidays was still a very busy place. In the first week of the holidays there were a number of revision sessions held for Y11 students, these were really well attended and it was incredible commitment from students who attended every day. The site team and contractors were also very busy, it does feel that this year we have been living in a building site but it has been well worth it with the A and B corridors now completely modernised and work on reception completed. We are now moving to work on the link corridor and the DT block. The site is really looking great and is a pleasant and stimulating environment for students.
- In reception we also have our Tree Of Hopes, the initial piece from our sculptor in residence. It is filled with notes from our students about their hopes for the future. Please feel free if you are visiting the school to add your own. The Art department has been busy with this project, but also with the Y11 ten hour exam which will be completed today. The students have produced some outstanding work and I am sure they are destined to do very well.
- On Wednesday morning members of the SLT, the E-learning team and governors met to consider our i-pad evaluation. Two terms in we have obviously gathered a great deal of data from staff, students and parents which has been very useful in helping us to evaluate where we are. We are pleased that we have been able to respond to parent concerns about digital lifestyle by offering various approaches to limiting usage and the dialogue with parents over this has been incredibly helpful. After considering comments from parents and the detailed evaluation report we have decided to continue with the scheme and extend to Y11, as we have seen the very real benefits for students. We are looking at a number of ways of developing the scheme which include focusing our communication so it incorporates a more holistic view of teaching and learning which isn’t just focused on tablet use and involving parents when the devices are first given out, so issues such as digital lifestyle can be seen more as a shared interaction between school and home. As a school we would like to thank parents for the considered and thoughtful contributions we have had throughout the two terms via surveys, drop-ins and emails; the dialogue has enabled us to be responsive to any issues and we hope that will continue as we seek to further refine our use of this exciting technology.
- It was World Book Night on Wednesday and our librarian, Heather Ellison, organised an excellent evening of readings from students, parents and staff. The library was full with a very enthusiastic audience who were able to listen to extracts ranging from Douglas Adams to Virginia Woolf and even some literature from our bi-lingual students in their native tongue. It was a delightful evening and demonstrated how important reading is for everyone. There are a number of other events linked to our reading for pleasure programme coming very soon: a readathon for students and some more author visits, including Alex Scarrow who I have seen previously in schools and is a very engaging performer of his own writing; so I am personally looking forward to that.
- I have had some lovely meetings this week with members of our local community who have volunteered to act as mentors in school. We have been advertising for mentors over the past few weeks in a variety of different contexts and have managed to attract a very diverse and talented group of people who would like to work with our students. We are intending to start the mentoring scheme from September and have the mentors work with some of our new Y7 students. The aim of the mentoring programme is to support students during their first years in school to ensure they settle in the best way possible so they have a successful school career. We are still keen to recruit more volunteers, so if you are interested please look at the details on the website.
- This Friday evening sees another PTA quiz night which again sold out overnight! We seem to be getting to a point where there will be a black market for tickets, if this continues. It is always a really entertaining evening and as a school we are very appreciative of the work the PTA put into the event to support developments in school.
- On BBC Radio 6 Music today (25/4/14) Nemone Metaxas, an ex Chesterton student, was sitting in for Lauren Laverne and played the newest single by Nick Mulvey, another former Chesterton student. To hear the show go to this link http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b041kgsl. The song can be heard at 1:55:30.