There is wonderful news article about the way in which our students took part in a webcast with a Holocaust survivor and interviewed her.  They were so impressed by what she had to say that they have written to all of us asking us to sign a petition to protect the rights of child refugees.  You will find the news article about it on the website here.  This is such an important message for us all to hear and is such an important part of the school's curriculum and ethos.  

It is a busy week this week - especially Wednesday with an Enrichment Day followed by Year 8 parents' evening.  We are also interviewing for new members of our team of staff during the week - a teaching assistant and a cover supervisor.  Year 11s have exams this week - BTEC Enterprise, BTEC DiT and BTEC Health and Social Care - and we all wish them well - Year 11 continues at its rapid pace!   Next week we have the Year 9 Options and Parents' Evening on Wednesday 12th - this is a key event for all Year 9 families.  If you are a Year 8 parent/carer please be aware that parking on site is going to be tricky on Wednesday this week as we have an evening performance by the Coppice School using our Arts Theatre and a range of sports teams using our facilities alongside the Year 8 Parents' evening.  We will manage the parking as best we can, as always!

Just a repeat of a note from last week - it has had a positive effect, so thank you: Thanks for your partnership in ensuring the excellent behaviour of almost all of our students. Our rules don't change so please can I ask for your support in a few specific areas where we seem to do some very unnecessary battles....  Uniform - no trainers, no false eyelashes or nails, no piercings;  Everyone does PE (unless, of course, they have a doctor's note) and brings PE kit;  Everyone does homework - we don't want to put people in detention, we want them to do homework!  Nothing changes about these things, please talk to your son or daughter about the fact that all schools are the same in these matters and having arguments about these things is pointless and wastes time and energy that should go into teaching!      

Please be aware that a Year 9 Parents' Evening has been on the calendar for 27th Feb - this is an error - it is combined with the Options evening on the 12th.

We pride ourselves on responding to concerns raised by parents and carers as swiftly as we can.  All schools occasionally make misjudgements and mistakes and we are happy, in good faith, to address any concerns that are raised with us.  That being said, we have had a couple of issues where parents/carers have been very aggressive and confrontational with staff on reception either in person or on the phone.  People don't come to work to be shouted at - everyone will work together to try to solve issues raised with us, but it may take time and we don't respond more quickly to those who shout louder.  Many thanks for your support with this.

I have been gathering ideas from governors, staff and students to inform the update to the School Improvement Plan - I am currently working through over 90 large sheets of practical and creative ideas rooted in our distinctive ethos!  It is a humbling and fascinating process to see how much everyone cares about the school and the imaginative ideas that are being contributed.  Our ethos will remain the same and our general direction of improvement will not change, but a new plan will be published for the next 2 years incorporating as many ideas as we can.

Have a very good week!


James Harris