Dear Parents and Carers,
As you’ll know, we held our open evening last week. A lot of students volunteered to come and help out and I was extremely impressed by them. It isn’t easy for any of us, adult or child, to approach people we don’t know and start a conversation, so I was really pleased to see so many students approaching parents with cheerful confidence to welcome them to the school and tell them what they could find, where. The feedback I got from parents who looked round was very positive about the school and especially positive about the warm welcome they received from your children. Well done to all of them.
Inclusion Quality Mark
We have been in the process of applying for the Inclusion Quality Mark for the last six months. To achieve that recognition, schools have to submit evidence of their provision under a number of different headings. Those headings are:
- The inclusive values of the school
- Leadership, management and accountability
- Curriculum structure, pupil engagement and adaption
- Teaching and learning, the learning environment, resources and pedagogy
- Behaviour, attitudes to learning, personal development
- Parents, carers and guardians
Once we had compiled all of the evidence to demonstrate that we met or exceeded the standards, we booked in an assessment. We were visited last week by a retired headteacher who now works for IQM and who spent two full days with us, talking to students and staff and getting to know the school. I am very pleased that he had no reservations at all about awarding us the Inclusion Quality Mark. In fact, he said we could have applied at the next grade up – Centre of Excellence – and passed that easily as well. As Centres of Excellence have to pay an annual fee, I’m happy to leave that and save our money for things in school.
We took forty-two students to a regional cross-country event this week. They represented the school exceptionally well, showing the great sportsmanship that we expect. They also performed very well indeed, with nine of them progressing to the next round where they will compete against schools from across the whole of Suffolk.
Working with Haverhill Rovers
I had a very productive meeting this week with Peter Betts, Facilities and Football Development Manager at The New Croft to discuss ways we can work more closely together in the future. I’m really pleased that the first outcome is that our school teams will be able to play all their fixtures this season on the pitches at the New Croft. We have our own pitches, but they are nothing like the facilities at the new Croft. That’s an exciting development for us and one I’m very grateful for.
Careers & Aspirations
On Thursday this week, Year 11 attended a motivational speech by Jay Crawford from Fix-Up. There are a lot of people out there offering motivation and inspiration for young people. Some of them are inspiring. Many aren’t. I saw some students on the way to the speech looking not especially enthusiastic. I saw them again afterwards and the difference was remarkable – they were full of energy and desperate to tell me about the talk they’d just been to. Thank you, Jay, for motivating and inspiring our wonderful Year 11.
I’d also like to thank Persimmon homes for their fantastic contribution to our town planning “advice and a slice” workshop. The next one will be in November on accountancy. The specific date will be confirmed soon, but if your child is keen, they can book a space now by contacting Mrs Cavilla.
Miss Powell wrote to all parents last week to reiterate that blazers are a compulsory part of the school uniform and must be worn. The navy jumper is an optional extra for colder weather. Thank you for your support in this - most children are now wearing their blazer daily.
We are also having to regularly remind students that hoodies/hooded jumpers and sweatshirts are not allowed in school. They are not to be worn over or under or instead of the blazer, or instead of a coat. The only time a student should wear a hoodie is if they wear the plain grey uniform one in PE.
We have been asking students to remove hoodies or sweatshirts since the start of term if they have been seen wearing them, so I am confident that they understand the rules. From Monday 17th, any student seen wearing a hoodie or non-school sweatshirt am will be asked to remove it and it will be held at the student window until the end of the day. If that isn’t enough and some students persist in wearing hoodies or sweatshirts to school, we will keep the item until parents can collect it. Unfortunately, that means that students who choose to come to school with a hoodie instead of a coat or school jumper are going to be cold. If you don’t have school jumpers or suitable coats, please contact the year team who will be able to support you. If you need a few days to get that organised, again, contact the year team. Uniform is important and the huge majority of our students look extremely smart. I’m grateful for your support in this area.
Finally, I’ll repeat a request from my last bulletin. Staff have told me recently that when they arrive to work there are sometimes no parking spaces because a small number of parents are using the staff car park to drop off students. Please don’t do that. The main car park is for staff only. Instead, you can drop off in the turning circle, but please don’t park or wait there – it very quickly gets congested and becomes not only difficult for cars to move around but also dangerous for children crossing the roads.