Dear Parents and Carers,

It’s been an extremely busy week here since we received notification on Tuesday that Ofsted would be visiting on Wednesday. They will publish a report in the next ten days or so, and as soon as they do I will share it with you. In the meantime, I’d like to congratulate all of your children on the way they conducted themselves over the course of the two day inspection. They were polite and courteous to their teachers, each other and the visitors. They were calm and sensible as they moved around the site. They were attentive and curious in their lessons. None of those things are any less than I expect all the time, but nonetheless they did us proud. Please pass on my thanks to them.

Important Change to Term Dates
This Year I’d like to remind you that we will close the school to students at lunchtime on the last day of this term, Friday 5 April, so that teachers have the rest of that afternoon to finish packing their classrooms and offices.   We will also close the school to students on Tuesday 23 April to give us a chance to unpack, set up classrooms, check the computer networks and registers and all the other things that will enable us to open the school safely the following day, Wednesday 24 April.  

Behaviour points
An update on our use of behaviour points shows that things are still going well. 

Rewards Consequences
R1 122106 C1 5296
R2 16706 C2 1766
R3 2002 C3 162
R4 378 C4 227

The ratio of positive to negative events is improving. We started off awarding 18 positive points for every negative. Now we are awarding 23 positive points for every negative. It is very encouraging to see that only 1 in every 33 C1s progresses to a C3. The system is clearly working to ensure that lessons are calm and orderly, and that low level disruption is becoming less and less frequent.  

Parents’ Forum
Thank you to those of you who attended the last Parents’ Forum. You told us that you like the positive behaviour points, the promotion of good behaviour and the regular homework. Hopefully the use of Go4aschools to record homework will make this more efficient and easy for students (and parents) to manage. Parents said that they felt the school had high expectations of pupils, and that is obviously a good thing. There was a lot of positive comment on the improvements to communication, including my email responses, the parents’ forum itself and this newsletter. Some parents raised concerns over the instability of staffing in some areas since September. This is an issue I am working hard to resolve, and we’ve made some good appointments already for next September.   A few people mentioned that they would like to see financial information. I share that information with governors but it would unusual to share those details with parents. I can tell you, however, that the budget for this year is balanced.   Finally, there was a request that the agenda for Parents’ Forum meetings should be published in advance, and that part of that agenda should be given over to items suggested by parents. With that in mind, if you would like to suggest an item for the next meeting, please email me before next Wednesday with items you would like included and why. I can’t promise I will include every suggestion, but I will certainly include those where I think the conversation would be most useful. I will send out an agenda next week once I’ve received those ideas. The next Parents Forum will be on Wednesday 27 March at 6pm.

Upcoming events
We are looking forward to the Year 9 Out to Work day which will take place on Wednesday 27 March. Students in Year 10 will be having Mock Interviews on Weds 27 March.   There is a Year 8 Parents’ Evening on Tuesday 19 March, from 4pm until 7pm. Many of you are making appointments already. If you haven’t yet, please have a look at the online booking system   There is a Year 7 Parents evening is the next week, Tuesday 26 March, again from 4pm until 7pm. The school production, Beauty and the Beast, will be performed from Monday 1 April. The set is going up, the rehearsals are progressing well…it’s going to be a great show. 

Andy Hunter