Thursday 6th September, 2018.
I trust you had an enjoyable summer and that pupils have had an opportunity to recuperate ahead of another exciting year.
We have published some information on the website relating to our GCSE outcomes for this year and, like all schools, we await some information released by the DfE in October which finalises our outcomes. We are forecasting an improvement in the progress made by our pupils this year, which is pleasing. 40% of our pupils achieved 7-9/A*-A grades and our pupils achieved over 300 7-9/A*-A grades – over 100 more than in the previous year. Essentially, more of our pupils achieved higher grades this year and achieved more of them. Our departing year 11 should be congratulated for these achievements and we wish them all the very best for the next stage of their lives.
These successes were built on a foundation of hard work and commitment from pupils to their studies and we’ve identified to our current pupils that they have a responsibility to work hard and engage in their learning to facilitate this success. We invested a great deal last year embedding high expectations across the school, changing the culture so that there was a greater degree of learning focus. Our pupils are exceptionally capable and it’s important to me that the expectations of our school are aligned with these capabilities.
The work to raise standards continues in earnest this year, but the success of both pupils and staff in improving our climate for learning last year means that this becomes something we maintain as a school whilst looking to make further developments in other areas. This year we are looking to extend pupil learning beyond the classroom and academic pursuits and we’ll be introducing strategies to do this in stages across this first term. We will, of course, communicate this to you at relevant points. The first aspect of this wider engagement agenda is the introduction of lunchtime enrichment. This will commence in the second week of school once pupils have had the first few days of school to get used to the new lunchtime arrangements.
All pupils are on lunch for 45 minutes during the day; this is now a singular lunch time for all year groups. Each year group has a 15 minute lunchtime slot to access the canteen areas in order to purchase food within this 45 minute period.
|First||Year 11 and Year 9|
|Last||Year 10 and Year 8|
This year we have increased the provision at lunchtime introducing a second canteen area which serves a range of sandwiches along with the main canteen which will still provide hot meals and now also a salad bar. In addition one of the school halls is open for pupils to access to either eat their purchased sandwiches or packed lunch meals – though pupils can still eat these in the main canteen should they choose to do so.
This year a number of clubs and enrichment sessions will be running and pupils can access these across their lunch. Pupils will be notified of the available sessions during form on Friday. Monday lunchtime will provide pupils with the opportunity to sign up for these sessions and we would hope that all pupils access at least one of these clubs or sessions across the week. To view the enrichment timetable please click here.
The singular lunch has meant we can enhance the supervision of the site across this period of the day and once enrichment commences from next week this will further enhance our supervision as pupils will also be accessing classrooms. All of the Progress Intervention Leaders attached to each year group are out on duty across this period so are visible to pupils who need to report concerns In addition both the Leadership team and all of the Directors of Learning are also on duty across the site during lunch; so there are several senior members of staff that pupils can access with any queries, concerns or welfare issues.
The staff are dedicated and passionate about the school, our pupils and the community that we serve. Their desire to drive improvement at the school and provide better opportunities for pupils is admirable and I’m keen to thank them for their efforts last year and for their commitment to providing enrichment sessions this year.
I won’t apologise for the school employing high standards and I’m sure you wouldn’t ask me to as I know that you want to send your pupils to a school that has high expectations and aspirations of and for pupils. I believe that it’s vital that pupils are challenged to meet the high standards that we set, not only because they are capable of doing so; but also because this supports their personal development which will facilitate greater successes when they have to operate more independently at college, university and ultimately in the work place.
We have a shared goal which is for our pupils, your children, to be successful both in their exams in Year 11 but also beyond their time at school. I have attached our reasonable expectations for pupils that we anticipate they will meet each day. These expectations will help to facilitate success. We also recognise the crucial role that the relationship and partnership between school and our families plays in securing this success. We have attached a home school agreement that highlight the key aspects that this partnership can deliver to support the progress of pupils and would ask that parents sign and return these so that we know you have been in receipt of and agree with the points listed.
I appreciate the support of parents and the endorsement we have received for wanting to raise the standards at the school. I’m passionate about providing the very best opportunities for our outstanding young people in order to positively impact on their life chances. Your continued support makes the challenging process of school improvement easier for our school to achieve.
Mr J Carlin.