Last night saw the inaugural Havering Learning Partnership Awards; an event that was designed to celebrate those colleagues that have made a significant contribution to each secondary school and post-16 colleges’ students. I admit that I have very mixed feelings at a personal level about choosing staff in different categories, but I wanted to support an initiative that celebrates the hard work and dedication that teachers and support staff do on a daily basis. The evening was really enjoyable with high quality musical pieces from Drapers and Havering Sixth Form College students, good food and a pleasant atmosphere. I am sure all the colleagues in the room felt proud to be there, but really our table represented the cumulative efforts of all the staff at Marshalls Park.
As we have seen various temperature records set all week, I have been impressed by the resilience of our learners. Many teachers had end of year assessments planned for this week, and the students have approached these with drive and purpose. Indeed, I was really pleased to see a number of Year 10 students choosing to stay late to revise for their Year 10 examination week after school, despite the weather. I think school being available for students to revise and learn after hours is critical, and we saw that with our Year 11 students this year attending far greater amounts of revision sessions and study support. Whilst revision should only ever be the climax to the learning process, it is reassuring that far more is happening across the school, and that will help us to improve the outcomes for students. If I can use a small example to illustrate the change, GCSEPod has long been a tool available to help our students learn (mainly for Years 10 and 11), and the school was running in the bottom 10% of usage nationally in 2015/16. This year we are in the top 30%, as well as being 2nd for usage across Havering and Essex. As the year 10 sit their exams next week, it is important to remember that this sets a formal benchmark ahead of Year 11, and how the students respond and improve is the critical element.
Have a lovely weekend.