Newsflash 1 08/09/2017
The start of the new year could not have been better, if you are not already aware we have made massive improvements with our GCSEs this year compared to any other year including, but not limited to; doubling the amount of A*-A grades, increasing the number of pupils who achieved A*-C grades, gained a handful of the new top grades 9 and 8 in English and maths.
Our Year 13’s did extremely well again and we have increased the number of A*-B grades, A*-C grades, A*-E grades at A Level and our Vocational course average grade was Distinction *. In the words of our departing Head Boy Cieron Byrne “Everyone put a shift in Sir”, and he is right, it is hard work that has helped drive up results and we are very proud of all the students’ achievements.
Standards and expectations
There can be occasions when students and parents feel that we are inflexible on issues such as uniform, behaviour or our expectations and that our insistence on the highest of standards at all times can, in some circumstances, be unreasonable. For instance, a parent may feel that a student who normally wears perfect uniform has been treated unfairly if they are given a sanction on the first occasion that they are not wearing the correct footwear, especially if, in their view, the situation was unavoidable. Similarly, a student will be given a sanction and asked to remove jewellery or make-up if they are wearing it.
Maintaining high standards can be very difficult and, working in a school, you soon realise that the key to success, and the absolute cornerstone of all good schools, is an absolute consistency in applying your rules and expectations. If one student is allowed to walk around in trainers today then there will be two tomorrow and five the day after. The following week, someone will come without their blazer or tie. The same applies to make-up, jewellery, chewing gum, handing in homework, punctuality and all the other routines and expectations of school life. Routines, procedures and protocols that you work hard to establish can be very easily lost.
Whilst I sometimes understand parental frustrations at what they see as relatively ‘minor’ issues or transgressions of the school rules, it is really important to understand that, with 1033 young people in the building, you cannot allow one of them to ignore or disregard the rules and expect the other 1032 not to follow suit. Children do, naturally, push the boundaries, that is part of growing up, and if you allow the little things to slip then other things will follow. Most parents, if you ask them, would say that they want their children to go to a ‘strict’ and well-ordered school. Supporting the school on the small detail as well as the bigger issues is really important in establishing and maintaining that disciplined and purposeful learning environment.
Keeping up to date
In order that messages of general news, notifications or changes to policy are communicated and shared, we try to ensure that via this Newsflash so that information is passed on. We also try to keep our website, MyEd Parent App, Facebook and Twitter feeds as up to date as is humanly possible. With regards to uniform, we began communicating expectations as far back as July last year with regular updates about wording related to what is and is not acceptable footwear, this was via the Newsflash, social media and email.
Prior to the summer break all year groups had a special assembly to discuss the expectations for this September which included a talk about footwear brands that fall into a grey area of; “Are they a shoe or are they not a shoe?”. In truth it is a minefield, but the advice given was to not get your parents to purchase them, buy something that looks like the acceptable footwear description. On the 17th July we posted several images of boys and girls footwear on Facebook and Twitter and made reference in the Newsflash again in August prior to the start of school in September.
Visit the Uniform section on our Website www.gateacre.org for guidance
or CLICK HERE to open the link to the webpage
Visit our website or parent App regularly for updates.
Forthcoming Dates For Your Diary:
14th September Year 7 Parents Meet & Greet Form Tutors (by appointment) 3:15 pm - 5:15 pm
27th September Open Evening 5pm - 8pm
3rd October Y13 Parents Student Finance Info Evening 6pm
20th October INSET Day (school is closed to students)