A Term of Two Parts
This term has been a tale of two parts.
This term has been a tale of two parts: firstly, looking backwards, as we finish off and celebrate the year we’ve had and secondly, a focus on looking forwards to the next academic year.
Firstly, looking backwards. Much of the half term has seen students undertaking end of year exams and therefore reflecting on their academic performance, and in particular the progress they have made in subject areas. Our end of celebrations have included the Celebration of Achievement Ceremony for Year 7, Graduation for Year 8, High Ability assemblies, the Sports Awards Evening and individual Year Assemblies have all focussed on and highlighted the achievements of the students in so many ways. It has been fantastic to celebrate the wonderful of achievements of so many of the girls!
Year 10 and Year 12 have also undertaken work experience and the feedback from employers has been hugely positive.
There has been so much to be proud of; students have been a credit to the school and themselves.
As part of our reflection we have undertaken a significant amount of student voice with students asked to complete questionnaires on a whole range of things about school. Whilst much was very positive indeed, we have taken on board some of the things students feel could be improved and have new ideas which we will be launching next term.
Our usual variety of learning opportunities outside of the classroom have also continued and so many of the opportunities given to the students are outlined in this newsletter and daily as we post them on the school website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I hope you regularly check our posts and what we are doing.
We have also spent time, as we move towards the end of term, looking forwards to the next academic year with our Induction Evening and Induction Day for the new Year 7, Induction Day for our new Year 12, and the trial of the new school day timings. All have been very successful and we look forward to welcoming 250 new students in Year 7 and a large number of students, both internal and external into Year 12.
This term we are say farewell to the following staff:
Ms Mundy in Science will be leaving us temporarily but will be back at the beginning of November as does Miss Ishola who will be returning in January.
We also say goodbye to Ms Bailey in English, Mrs Baker, teacher of Geography and Mr Tullett, Deputy Director of English, all of whom are re-locating. We thank Ms Bailey for her work in English and as a form tutor. Mrs Baker has been here for four years and we thank her for contribution to the Geography department. We wish her well as she moves to the Midlands to be closer to other members of her family. We are disappointed that Mr Tullett leaves us after only a year but he moves to the South West where he looks forward to the birth of his first child.
We say goodbye to Ms Ellis-Dennis, who has been our Exclusion Unit Co-ordinator. Whilst perhaps not the most popular role in the school, she has always managed to balance her role, to be firm when needed and also as someone who cares very much about the welfare of the students, and will work with students to remove any barriers to learning to help them achieve. We are delighted that Ms Ellis-Dennis is leaving us to train as a teacher so that her talents can be fully utilised in education. We thank Ms Ellis-Dennis for her hard work and dedication and wish her well for her training.
Unfortunately, we also have to say goodbye this year to four of our Curriculum Leaders.
Mr Wells, Drama, leaves us to take up a very different type of Drama post in another school. Under his leadership, Drama has been a vibrant subject, becoming an increasingly popular at Key Stage 4. Students have been given many opportunities to perform in the wonderful productions that have been undertaken in school and have had real-life theatre experiences, both at local theatres and in London. We thank Mr Wells for all his hard work and wish him all the very best in his new post.
Ms Care, Curriculum Leader Art, has been at the school for 10 years. She began with us as a trainee teacher and was promoted quickly after being appointed permanently when the Curriculum Leader opportunity came along. The Art Department has gone from strength to strength under her leadership and we thank her for everything she has done. Ms Care leaves us to take up a post at a new school being set up in September in Surrey where she will be Head of Arts. We wish her all the very best in her new post.
Mrs Longman, Head of Geography, leaves us after 11 years in the school. Mrs Longman joined us as an overseas teacher but we soon spotted her talent and took her on permanently. She then became Curriculum Leader. She is an excellent leader as well as a very calm, highly professional practitioner. Having returned from maternity leave at Easter after the birth of her second child, Mrs Longman has decided to take some time out of teaching to look after her family. We thank her for all she has done and wish her all the very best in the future with the hope that she might return to us at some point in the future.
Finally, Mrs Elliott, Curriculum Leader Religious Studies and Law has decided to retire. Mrs Elliott has been at the school 10 years as leader of RS and Law, and has been a highly successful middle leader, consistently securing excellent examination results for her students. Mrs Elliott has said she will find it very difficult to let go as she retires, which truly reflects her loyalty, commitment and dedication to the school and the students. We wish her all the very best for a long and happy retirement.
Mrs Alexander is our Premises Manager. She has been in post for 22 years. During that time Mrs Alexander has led and managed many of the capital projects that have been secured and under her leadership the site has transformed from ‘mobile city’ to what it is today. Mrs Alexander has been an extremely loyal and dedicated member of our support staff and worked alongside me on many projects. Her knowledge of the site is phenomenal and we will miss that as we move forwards. We thank Mrs Alexander for her work and commitment and wish her a very happy and long retirement.
And finally, Miss Holland, Assistant Headteacher is also retiring. Miss Holland has been at the school for 28 years in a variety of roles. When she took up post in she was appointed as Co-ordinator of Expressive Arts overseeing Art, Dance, Drama and Music. She then became Faculty Leader Arts in 2006 and once we achieved Specialist Status in 2008 took on a leadership role as Director of Specialism, fully moving to an Assistant Head role in 2009. Throughout her time here Miss Holland has demonstrated unfailingly her passion for the Arts. First of all this was through her teaching but she has also successfully secured Artsmark Gold for the school several times as well as ensuring that all Arts events flourish through the support she has given to staff in the Arts subjects.
What Miss Holland has also demonstrated throughout her time here is her overwhelming support, care and guidance for students. She is totally dedicated to ensuring students achieve their best and really goes the extra mile to make sure that happens. This has been demonstrated vividly in her most recent SLT role as Safeguarding Lead in the school. While in this role her work has been praised on a number of occasions by external bodies and the systems and practice she has set up are proven to be highly effective.
We thank Miss Holland for everything she has done in her work for the school over such a long period of time and wish her a very long, healthy and happy retirement.
Enjoy your summer, it looks like it will be a hot one.
Vivien Jones, Headteacher