Wow, what a term!
Wow, what a term!
Wow, what a term! It has been hugely exciting in so many ways, but also extremely challenging in others.
We began with a fantastic foundation to go in to the new academic year with a brilliant set of examination results in the summer securing our best ever at both A Level and GCSE.
We then had the disrupted start to the term with building works over-running and this certainly posed a number of difficulties in trying to keep the school running normally. However, eventually most work was completed and we’ve taken possession of J, D and S blocks. What remains is the completion of the field and for follow-up works to be completed in the sports hall and changing rooms. We have been using the outdoor multi-use games area, which is marked out for netball, but will need more lines laid once the weather warms up in the spring, but is a fantastic new facility. We also have a cafe area being fitted in to the Sixth Form block in January which is being sponsored by our catering company, Harrisons, and we are grateful for their valuable contribution.
Whilst there have been some challenges with the new build and it has not all been smooth with regard to handover, it has been hugely exciting for the students and staff and the difference in terms of the learning environment is amazing. It has been a 10 year wait but it has been worth it!
This term has been packed with activities, trips and opportunities for students outside of the classroom. Everything students have been involved in is highlighted either in the newsletters or on the school website. I hope you regularly log in to get a flavour. I am immensely grateful to the staff who give up so much of their time to set up these opportunities. There have been some huge successes in some of the competitions students have taken part in. Well done to all the students who have made us very proud.
This term also saw the implementation of several new policies and all have had a very positive impact. Firstly, the standard of uniform has been fantastic, with only a handful of students having to be isolated for non-compliance. Our new Senior Leadership Team Homework Club has been successful in raising the profile of the importance of homework with the very small minority of students who were not regularly completing it. Finally, the new behaviour policy with increased, faster communication with parents to discuss any issue that arises has also had a very positive impact. Behaviour around the school has been outstanding and the small number of students who have done anything outside of our standards or expectations have been sanctioned quickly and effectively.
Our Year 11, 12 and 13 students recently sat their Pre-Public Examinations and are to be commended on their attitude. We move in to a difficult period for these year groups with new examinations. Year 11 face more rigorous examinations in English and Maths with letter grades being replaced with numbers. Guidance on how these numbers will compare with the previous grades is limited and it is difficult to predict, but we are working hard with other schools and through our membership of the PiXL (Partnership In Excellence) network to do everything we can to support our students.
Year 12 and 13 are moving gradually to linear examinations and again, as this will be the first year of this type of examination, we wait to see how these will be marked in comparison with previous years.
Talking of the Sixth Form, our Sixth Form Open Evening was really well attended and we have received a record number of applications for September 2017. This followed our hugely successful Transfer to High School Evening held earlier in the term which saw more parents than ever visiting us either at the open evening or during the Open Mornings that followed.
The last week of term was a really busy one with a huge amount for everyone to enjoy as we moved towards Christmas. Thursday 15th was a Christmas jumper mufti day with Christmas dinner being served as well.
School finished on Friday 16th at 12 Noon and re-starts in the New Year on Tuesday 3rd January at 11am. It starts on Week 1 of the timetable cycle.
A wonderful term but I would happy for next term not to be quite so frenetic and for us to be able to fully settle into the new facilities and really enjoy them!
I wish you a restful and peaceful Christmas and an excellent break.