Firstly a Happy New Year to everyone and welcome back to school. There have been some very dark mornings to contend with and lots of rainy weather, but, despite having to brave the elements, all students and staff have come back positive about the new term ahead.
The power of email communication can never be underestimated and even on Christmas Day I was hearing great news about our students. I received a delightful email from William Tan, in year 8, sharing the good news that on Christmas Eve he had received his ABRSM Grade 7 violin exam results. He had passed with distinction, with 139 marks out of 150, gaining full marks in his first piece. It was great to get such good news during the holiday.
On Monday we had our SLT planning day. This was an interesting opportunity to reflect on the term which has passed and consider any additional things we would like to do on our journey to being outstanding. During the day we focused on our existing structures and have made plans for additional training opportunities for all staff and also about extending our P7 and P8 provision students. We also looked at the roles and responsibilities of the senior team and did some budget planning. A very full and productive day.
We have also spent this week setting up our new Breakfast Club. This will run from 8.00am in the morning, for invited students. It will be run by two of our progress support workers: Anil Soni and Aimee Grieve and will be an opportunity for a really positive start to the day with toast, current affairs through the newspapers and good conversation. I’m really looking forward to attending.
This week with Mark Little, our Director of Finance and Resources, we looked at the bid making process for further developing the site. The school has been fortunate in the past to receive funds from central government to develop the site and this has resulted in the revamp of the corridors; the new bike shed; new toilets and resurfacing of the Bateson Road playground. Having already been the recipient of funding we are uncertain whether we will be successful again, but we do feel it is worth trying as school funding never stretches to significant site redevelopment. We still feel there is a significant need in some areas of the site to provide a truly 21st century environment for students. Collectively we need to keep our fingers crossed!
The Christmas season lingered a little longer for Y7, as they had the good fortune to visit the pantomime this week. It was a really enjoyable event and an excellent reward for the students who have settled so well during their first term.
Significant staff news over the Christmas holidays was the arrival for the PE department of two new members, babies James and Albert delivered to the Lehane / Auffrett family and the Watts’ family. We send them our congratulations.
The school will be hosting its first TeachMeet in February. This is an opportunity for teachers to share the work they are doing and find inspiration from colleagues. We have invited colleagues from other local secondary and primary schools to give quick updates on what they are currently working on; it should be a really inspiring event.
Y11 revision work is continuing. All our departments will be producing on-line support materials and there will be a study day for all Y11 students on January 22nd looking at generic skills. We are really excited about these developments and hope everyone will find them useful. At the Y11 parents’ evening there will also be parental guidance sheets about how to support revision, as we recognise that this isn’t just a stressful time for students!
I am pleased to announce the first ESOL Café and Just Talk! meetings starting next week
Interesting MFL exchange work happening this week. The MFL department have sent off the personal details of the 27 students participating in this year’s French Exchange with Uzes in the south of France. They are going to be paired up with a French student so they can start corresponding! Our students are very excited.