From the Headmaster - July 2016
It has been another exciting month in school, with rehearsals and trips, as well as opportunities to meet our new Year 7 pupils and our prospective Year 12 students. For me, particular highlights have included witnessing Year 10 Duke of Edinburgh's Award participants successfully complete their Bronze expedition assessments as well as hearing presentations, again from Year 10, on the findings from their mini Extended Projects. Giving pupils the opportunity to get deeply involved in a subject that interests them, to develop research and critical thinking skills, or to work with other members of a team to complete a unaided trip on foot are important aspects of a 'well-rounded education'.
Whether it is through music concerts, sports fixtures, plays, poetry workshops, residential visits or simply the inclusion of rather more exciting learning activities in the curriculum, such as pond dipping or field visits, the well-rounded education of pupils could not be achieved without the unstinting commitment of members of staff. I am enormously grateful for their genuine desire to do the very best for pupils in the School. Their hard work is reflected time and time again in the daily pattern of our life at Rich's. No one should underestimate their importance to the success and development of the boys and girls. In order to try to address the constant problem of maintaining a healthy 'work life balance', I have asked teachers and support staff to try to reduce the number of emails they send before 7am and after 7pm on a weekday and before 7am and after 5pm at the weekend. Indeed, I would be most grateful if parents could endeavour to adhere to this where possible. Additionally, I have indicated to colleagues that where issues are not urgent, it is reasonable to respond within 48 hours. This is very much a trial and we will review the situation early in the Autumn Term.
I am pleased to inform you that we have been selected by the National College of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) to be a Teaching School from September 2016. We already take a leading role in recruiting and training new entrants to the teaching profession through working with GITEP (Gloucestershire Initial Teacher Education Partnership) and Pates' 'Schools Direct' programme as well as providing development opportunities for existing teachers through working with Adfecto- the professional development arm of Gloucestershire Secondary Headteachers' Association. Introduced in 2011, Teaching Schools are all rated as "outstanding". They work with partner schools in an alliance to provide professional development opportunities for teachers at all stages of their career and to raise standards through school-to-school support. I will keep parents informed of further developments in this new and exciting aspect of our provision.
During the summer break, I will also update parents on next year's staff changes as well as outline our plans for continued development of the School. I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your families a relaxing and enjoyable summer break. Thank you for your continued support.