Headteacher’s Update

The new term has started with a buzz after a fantastic set of Summer results and a full Year 7 cohort whose enthusiasm and energy always adds to the excitement of a new school year.

Our Key Stage Four (14-16) curriculum has very much been under transition for the last two years, as changes take some time to roll through, but despite moving things around to ensure students are on the right course, the results came in very positive. Last year the school was 4th in Staffordshire in terms of results and we expect to be similarly placed for this year. We are all the more proud of this because we know there are things we still need to work on and that they are already heading in the right direction so the future is looking very bright.

Elsewhere, our Sixth Form results initially look fantastic – we say initially because like those in Year 11 we do not get confirmation on what they mean from the DfE until later in the Autumn Term but all indications are that we will have done exceptionally well. This rolls right down from the triple A*A*A* Oxbridge students and all through the cohort with 85% getting their first choice university, others snapping up higher-level apprenticeships, and others plotting a gap year safe in the knowledge they have the grades to move forward the year after.

Existing parents will be well aware that we look to maintain momentum by upgrading schools facilities all of the time and we successfully went through this summer ‘holiday’ with stage three of our four-year plan to completely refurbish the school site. This means the grim U-corridor is now fresh and bright, there are more IT suites than ever, and we are even redesigning the decrepit mobile at the front of school to an exotic Swedish-style sauna look ! Next year we will mop up the remaining gaps in English, Science and Music – and then the work will only be about touching up and updating – an amazing step up from where we were in August 2016.

The thing about momentum though is that we are hitting a bit of a block ! We asked our Student Councils what they wanted in terms of end-of-year rewards but they simply asked for the ‘earned’ Inflatable Day again. We asked them about the half-termly rewards and they again wanted us to continue with last year’s ice-creams, certificates and celebration assemblies. We are delighted that the things we have put in place are so well-received, but we also know young people usually want the latest thing so we are going to have a real think for next year about how we can do things even better. Momentum builds motivation and we do not want to stall.

The term ahead is looking like a busy one but we are still looking to lever in a fair share of fun alongside the drive towards the best results our students can muster. Our European Languages Week will see Year 11 hit Paris, our Road Safety Week will see a mock accident outside school to make parents think about where they pull up and park, our Equalities Week will see male midwives and female mechanics coming in to show stereotypes are misplaced, and then add in Saturday Schools, Y9 Masterclasses, Open Evening and Seward House Week. Lively, buzzing, energetic, just what a school should be like!

Anyhow, I have to go as the packing for Paris awaits, the passport won’t find itself, and I need to dust off my French – next stop the Eiffel Tower and the Sacre Coeur…


Matt Allman
September 2018