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27 May 2022

At times, sitting down to write to parents and members of the school community can feel a little overwhelming. Trying to summarise even a few weeks of what has been happening in school when so much is going on is not an easy task, but I shall endeavour to do so nonetheless.

As I write this message, yesterday was National Thank a Teacher Day and as well as a Thank you breakfast and afternoon tea for staff, I asked you, the parents / carers and students to nominate teachers you would like to thank and to say why. I would like to thank all the parents, carers and students who took the time to do this as it means so much to those teachers and (while you may find it hard to believe) thanks and recognition for the work of teachers can
sometimes be overlooked or taken for granted. Some of the messages are incredibly heartwarming and make me exceptionally proud to be the Headteacher of a staff body with comments like: 

  • ‘So understanding and kind’
  • ‘Always there to listen and support’
  • ‘Approachable, supportive and goes the extra mile’
  • ‘A great teacher and role model’
  • ‘Makes every lesson engaging and inspiring – an excellent teacher’
  • ‘Their calm manner has helped me to understand and learn new things’.

There are many more, however, that gives a flavour of both the hard work and commitment of the staff and the appreciation and difference it is making. As we approach a much needed half term break, what is clear is the extent that students and parents truly value the efforts of staff in the classroom and beyond now that we are back to a much more normal school life.

This half term has seen the start of GCSE, A level and vocational examinations for students in Year 11 and
Year 13. As a parent of a student in Year 11, I know how this brings mixed emotions for the students and their families as they have the certainty of exams and the chance to show what they have learnt, coupled  with the usual unknowns as to what will be on the papers and the questions they will face. The school booster sessions for students have been well attended and have done a great deal to support the students prior to sitting papers. The provision of study rooms at school has enabled students to engage in their preparations for the next exam with space and support wherever possible. I would like to reiterate the best wishes for all students from myself and all the staff and hopes for success and
progression to their next steps, as a result of their hard work.

With all the focus and support of examination season, it would be easy to assume that other aspects of school life have wound down a little. However, as the rest of the newsletter shows, the widening of horizons through activities like the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and the UKMT Maths Challenge, as well as the raising of aspirations through Future Fairs and Russell Group university tasters, continues at pace to support the ongoing development of the students - for not just academic success - but in developing the character, personal attributes and skills for success in life and their next step of choice.

Have a restful and enjoyable half term break.

Paul Foster