Many Opportunities

It was lovely to meet the Year 6 parents and students last night ahead of their Induction days in two weeks’ time. This year, we are doing two days of Induction as I think it is good for the students to have the opportunity to reflect overnight about their experiences, and then return the next day and it also allows students to experience a more diverse range of lessons in the school.

It is an exciting time in terms of the potential development of the school; the consultation on the potential expansion has gone live following the period of purdah, and I would encourage all our community to consider giving a response. As I sat in the appeals hearing last week, all of which were people that lived just too far away to get a place at Marshalls Park, it was with a sense of irony that potential expansion would mean in future years that those students probably would get a place. However, much of the consultation is about numbers. I have never hidden from the fact that a direct consequence of any potential expansion would be new building stock on the site; in my mind, getting an improved site will support improving outcomes for our students. As soon as the consultation is over, I will be able to share the plans.

Steve Munday spent the whole day in school on Wednesday, and was impressed by many aspects of our school life and learning; these visits will help us to develop the priority list for the school improvement plan over the next 12 months, but also gives me an opportunity to reflect about the progress we are making in the school, and equally where we need to tweak our strategies. The only awkward moment came when the Year 9 cricketers – who I have always joined on occasional lunchtimes – asked me to join in; I hope Steve didn’t find that too strange!

It feels like we have had a lot of tragic events in recent weeks with the terror attacks and now the Grenfell Tower disaster; I don’t think we can even begin to imagine what it must be like to look up knowing how helpless the people on the upper floors must have felt; knowing that friends, family and neighbours were still trapped; hearing people overcome with smoke and flames just ending phone calls. Equally a word for the emergency services who battled the fire and treated the injured. Our thoughts are with everyone involved.

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