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Headteacher’s Letter 20 January 2023

Dear Parents and Carers

It was great to hold our delayed celebration assemblies yesterday. We hope your children shared their certificates with you and were able to feel pride in their various achievements so far this year.

Industrial Action

You will have seen in the news that members of a major teaching union recently voted to take industrial action. This will start with a nationwide strike on Wednesday 1 February and again on Thursday 2 March. It will take a bit of time before the impact on our own school becomes clear, but it is clearly possible that there will be significant disruption. As soon as we know what the implications are for our own school, then we will communicate this with you.

Positively influencing

Ms Hancock (Deputy Headteacher and Designated Safeguarding Lead) always cautions against over and under reacting to the various transient waves that are spurned from social media. Publicity being the oxygen upon which such material thrives. Given that reassurance, we wish to share this article with you; something which a number of schools also value as a measured and helpful resource for parents and carers.

How are those New Year resolutions going?

It’s fairly traditional fayre to begin a new year with some comments about resolutions. Perfectly timed, I received some really interesting research on this well-worn topic and was initially surprised by its contents, but it quickly made sense.

The research, by popular education specialist Peps Mcrea, states that, “…we tend to overestimate the strength of our will. While it’s certainly possible to bring willpower to bear, lapses in self-control are a standard feature of life for all but the most disciplined.”

Instead in order to maintain our resolve, there are four factors at play:

  • having routines
  • getting into habits
  • achieve some early successes and
  • surround yourselves with like-minded people.

On reflection, this is the direction in which schools have been heading for several years now.

Leaving things to chance is no longer an option and instead working on great routines for teaching and learning, ensuring everyone adopts helpful habits, securing success to spur us on, and working hard to gain a sense of community reflect everything we have been trying to achieve in recent years. 

The GAP Programme

Which perfectly segues into our programme for year 11s to help them start their revision programme towards their GCSE examinations. In its fifth year, the GAP captures where we are with teaching and learning at CNS. A programme designed to create snack-sized revision activities throughout the year so that students not only know what to do, but also exactly how to do it.

The GAP is one of a number of reasons behind examination success in recent years and fits perfectly into Peps Mcrea’s model that encourages young people to set out a routine, get into a habit, take encouragement from their successes and breakthroughs and encourage friends to go on that journey as well.

Have a lovely weekend when it finally arrives.

Yours faithfully
Barry Doherty

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