Dear Parents and Carers,
This bulletin is coming out, unusually, on a Thursday because we are at a training day tomorrow for all staff in Unity Schools Partnership. That means that school is completely closed – even the site team are coming on the training day. I hope that students enjoy their long weekend.
Year 10 have immediately stepped into the shoes of the recently departed Year 11 and have begun their mock exams in excellent style. Large numbers of them have been attending revision sessions especially in maths. Their behaviour and preparation are very impressive.
Year 10 represented the school very well when they visited Thorpe Park last week. I know some students were disappointed that the queues were very long. To an extent, that is to be expected at this time of year, but I suspect that, like us, many schools are making up for lost time by getting more trips in the calendar this term. I’m sorry that students didn’t get to go on more rides and I’m grateful though not surprised that, when faced with long queues, they still upheld the standards of politeness and patience that we expect.
There has been a higher turnover of staff this year than we have seen for a while, I think due to the fact that movement in both 2020 and 2021 was very limited. The majority of staff leaving are doing so either because contracts have ended or they are relocating. I’ll give a detailed update of who is leaving and joining closer to the end of the term, but I thought it would be useful to share the reasons for staff leaving. Of nine leavers, one is relocating, four are moving to similar or promoted roles in other schools and four are changing their career path. Despite recruitment being very challenging for all schools at the moment, we have only one teaching vacancy left to fill for September, and we expect to fill that presently.
Our non-uniform day to mark Pride month was a success last week. Lots of students and staff joined the picnic at lunchtime to send a clear message that everyone is welcome in our school. I happened to be showing a visitor around on Friday who told me that he doesn’t know of another school that marks Pride month in that way. I’m pleased that we do.
Jubilee non-uniform day
As I said in my last bulletin, the Jubilee celebrations fell during half term and in the middle of the exam season, making it difficult to mark at the time. That doesn’t mean that we don’t recognise the extraordinary achievement of being the longest reigning British monarch and the second longest reigning monarch of any country in the world, second only to Louis XIV, who became king at the age of 4, giving him rather an unfair advantage. There will be a non-uniform day Wednesday 20th July, on the last day of this term. Schools were asked to choose a day off to replace the bank holiday which took place in half term. We have chosen to take Thursday 21st July, so it seems appropriate that the day before we invite students to wear red, white and blue to mark the occasion of the Platinum Jubilee.
I last undertook a round of surveys in the Autumn. I will be sending out another survey to parents, students and staff before the end of this term. I’d be grateful if you would keep an eye out for that and complete it – we need to know what you think.
Have a good weekend,