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Headteacher’s Letter 6 May 2022

Dear Parents and Carers

Welcome back to a slightly shortened week!

Standards – including homework

Ms Hancock and I began the week with our termly assembly to all students on our high expectations. We talked about the key themes around attendance, punctuality, appearance and mobile phones. We used this opportunity to praise our students for the way they routinely conduct themselves in lessons – so that teachers can teach and learners can learn. We feel that we have secured some great breakthroughs in this area, with a widespread understanding that lessons are sacred and we cannot afford to waste a moment.

You will be aware that we run shorter standards detentions (lunchtime) when students fall short in terms of homework, or having the right kit / equipment. We want to see a reduction in both types of detentions and ask that parents and carers explore with their children how these avoidable issues can become very rare indeed.

Regarding homework, our policy is on our website, and I wish to return to its value and importance. It is clear that homework in years 7, 8 and 9 is a training ground for the kind of independent self-motivation and self-reliance that students need in order to be successful in their GCSEs and beyond. An ingrained habit of home study in key stage three is hugely valuable once those GCSEs and revision begin. Please do not wait for PTCs in order to have important conversations with colleagues about any of these issues.

Government Climate Change Strategy

Earlier this week, the final version of the government’s strategy was published, following a draft document lunch at the COP26 Conference in Glasgow, last November. Changes on the horizon for schools include the introduction of a brand new GCSE in natural history, exploration of some paperless exams and testing, ‘carbon literacy training’ for school leaders and staff, and the broader goal to reach net zero in all schools by 2030. Now, more than ever, we have to draw students’ attention to the ingenuity of humans to emerge from difficult periods with new thinking, technology and attitudes that may have seemed fanciful just a few years earlier. Whilst there remains many questions about how we get to net zero, and how schools can adapt their site and energy usage accordingly, it is great that the longer-term challenges that will face our children are still being addressed. As more details emerge on the climate strategy, I will share this with families.

2022 Parents and Carers Survey

Just a brief reminder that all parents and carers are invited to take part in the annual survey. It will only take 2-3 minutes and you can access the survey using this link. Do have a lovely weekend and long may our sunny spring continue.

Yours faithfully
Barry Doherty

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