From the Headmaster - January 2018
We welcome many visitors to the school, and they often comment on the calm and purposeful atmosphere. This half-term has been particularly busy and productive, both in and out of the classroom. In particular, we have enjoyed meeting colleagues from local schools including Ribston Hall, Cleeve School, Beaufort School and Barnwood Park. Teachers from these schools requested to observe lessons with the aim of developing their own practice. Sharing what we do best in the classroom in order to support other schools is an important aspect of our work as a Teaching School.
We were delighted to see so many prospective pupils and their parents at our Sixth Form Open Evening on 30 January. We hope that our visitors were able to enjoy a small taste of life in the Sixth Form by spending time in different subject areas and talking to our current students about their experiences.
As we approach what might be called ‘the business end’ of the school year, with Years 11 and 13 starting serious preparation for GCSE and A level examinations, I would like to reiterate our core messages about working hard in order for students to realise their full potential. Teachers are busy planning rigorous revision classes and booster sessions for the forthcoming months leading to exams, and it is crucial that our pupils attend regularly and engage actively. All teachers here encourage pupils to seek extra one-to-one guidance if required. Tutors and Heads of Year can also offer valuable help and advice, not only about revision methods, but also about how to balance work and leisure, to avoid unhealthy stress and anxiety.
Alongside the sense of purpose in our school, visitors also comment favourably on the excellent relationships between pupils, and between teachers and pupils. This culture of cooperation and respect is probably the cornerstone of our community. It is because of this atmosphere of trust and courtesy that pupils are able to strive for academic excellence. We endeavour to make our classrooms places where all feel safe and supported, and able to do their very best. I urge all pupils to continue to contribute to the happiness and success of our community through their behaviour and attitudes in the classrooms and corridors of school. In the coming months, our pupils will no doubt feel that they are under pressure to perform – and indeed they are. We make no excuse for the fact that we want pupils to achieve the very best they can – but this should not come at the expense of anyone’s health and happiness.
On another note, I am delighted to report that we have just been awarded a grant of £48,000 from the Wolfson Foundation to help refurbish three of the science labs. This sum will go some way towards the work, but I shall be seeking additional funding from as many avenues as possible that will be needed to complete the work. As always, I remain enormously grateful to parents who continue to offer much needed financial support for our school.
The parent body as a whole remains a vital part of our community, and parents give generously in a variety of ways. At this time of year, the School Uniform Shop is under pressure as it begins the task of fitting uniforms for new Year 7s and Year 12s. The shop urgently needs parent volunteers to help with measuring sessions throughout January, February and March. Please contact Karen Hawkins Uniform Co-ordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org if you feel that you can help. Full training will be given!