Headteacher's Newsflash 03/11/2017
Guy Fawkes / Bonfire Night
This Sunday will officially mark Bonfire Night and whilst many of us will be enjoying organised events over the weekend, I would like to point out that, at this time of year, young people aged between 11 and 16 are often victim to injuries caused by accidental or deliberate misuse of fireworks and sparklers.
I watched Granada Tonight news this week and one of the stories showed some young lads lighting fireworks and then directing them at cars whilst they were driving along. Clearly this is just wrong, dangerous and stupid behaviour but unfortunately it is becoming a greater problem. Young people are not challenged about poor behaviour or poor choices so they are allowed to either buy fireworks or fireworks are bought for them and then, as was shown on the news, some really bad things unfolded.
If you do let your children go out this weekend to an event and you are deciding not to be present with them I do sincerely hope that they enjoy their time and that they are safe. Bonfire Night fireworks can be incredibly dangerous so please do remind your child to be safe and to look after themselves.
The most recent Ofsted report has now been published on the Ofsted website as well as being available on our own website if you have not had the opportunity to read it yet.
The report identifies the numerous improvements since I arrived last September; the quality of teaching, better outcomes, 6th Form being rated as ‘Good’, pupil attitudes to learning, behaviour during school and around the building, pupil uniform and the clearly higher standards that were seen by inspectors.
We are on a journey to being at the very least a ‘Good’ school overall. We would of course be humbly proud to one day be considered an ‘Outstanding’ school and we will continue to work hard to achieve this.
In order to continue to get better we still need you to send your child in every single day. I know that with the sporadic public transport strikes some have found this a challenge but I must implore you to really try your best to get your child to school.
We will continue to raise our expectations about what pupils can do in lessons, working hard is one thing but something we are doing with the teachers is looking at how we can really stretch and challenge all our pupils so that as well as working hard they have to think hard as well. Using our brain power, intellect, intelligence when we get stuck is a really important part of learning - we often speak to your child about it being ok to struggle and it being ok to get things wrong, as this helps us all improve.
If we never do something that challenges us then we can never appreciate how much we can achieve.
I am currently working with other school improvement partners on the next stage of the plan to make your child’s school even better. Once this is in place then it is my intention to share this with you so you can appreciate what we are going to do together via the school and parent partnership.
End Of Term
In case you are not already aware, we finish for Christmas on THURSDAY 21st DECEMBER 2017. We return in the New Year on MONDAY 8th JANUARY 2018, pupils are expected to be in the building ready to learn by 08:40am.
Further information relating to end of term will be communicated in December.
Mock Exams - Year 11
Mock Exams Timetable and further useful guidance can be found on our website here: https://www.gateacre.org/academic/examinations/year-11-summer-exams-2017/
Standards And Uniform Expectations
It was noted during the inspection how much the school had changed since it went into Special Measures in May 2016.
A large part of the change in culture and being recognised for becoming a school which is about learning and academic success is down to the support we have had from parents regarding standards.
Whether it be equipping your children for the day with pens, pencil, ruler and planner or making sure they are dressed correctly, the transformation since I first arrived has been astounding.
That said, even when I worked in Good and Outstanding schools prior to working here, there were still small battles every day; the child who forgot their tie, arriving without the correct equipment, wearing trainers or other inappropriate footwear. Just because the school was ‘Good’ it didn’t mean that these issues went away, of course they didn’t. But, like here, we always try to work with pupils and parents.
We have all the equipment for sale at cost price on the door, we have a range of spare ties for those times when a child just forgets their own, we have bits of spare clean uniform for those times when accidents happen (split trousers, spilt drink or food on a skirt) and we also have spare footwear, again brand new, clean and we have a shoe spray to ensure that if we have lent shoes they are given a spray with an antifungal/antibacterial cleaner.
We want to avoid any issues, but we have standards to maintain. We will always try to support where we can. If your child refuses to comply with the rules then that is defiance and that is not fair. It’s not fair on the other pupils and parents who ensure they are doing the right thing every day. Every school has rules because dealing with over 1000 young people is difficult without having proper standards and expectations.
If we contact you to help us get things right please don’t shout at us or swear at us, we are just doing our job.
As ever please feel free to view our uniform expectations here http://gateacre.org/school-life/uniform-what-is-and-isnt-allowed-2/
Forthcoming Dates for Your Diary:
13th - 22nd November - Y11 Mock Exams
1st December - Y11 Mock Exam Results 3:15on
14th December - 6th Form Parent Evening 3:45 - 6pm
21st December - End of Autumn Term
8th January - Start of Spring Term
Term Dates and Key Dates can be found on your MyEd parent app or on the school website here: https://www.gateacre.org/about-us/term-dates/