New Surroundings

It was lovely getting to meet our new Year 7 students yesterday, and watching them easing in to their surroundings. There is, of course, the apprehension, the nerves, the anxiety, and the worry, but also the excitement, the anticipation and the thrill of new experiences. I hasten to add I am talking about the students, although I think the same applies to the parents. This year, we have had the students in for 2 days, and I would like to extend that further in an ideal world; it allows students to reflect on day one, but return immediately to re-familiarise themselves with their surroundings and new friends. Also, can express my huge gratitude to all the students from school that have helped as guides and SEND ambassadors: they have been an absolute credit to the school.

Year 10 have gone about their PPEs this week superbly; they have worked hard and recognised how this will help them build up to the final exams at the end of Year 11. I saw a group of students midway through the week, and they were worried they had “messed up” a particular exam, and I simply reminded them that it is better to “mess up now, than next summer”. There is rumoured to be a mantra in Silicon Valley of “fail fast, fail often”; meaning that it is important to make mistakes, learn from them, but get back on with the development process and learn from the mistakes previously.

One of the issues that I committed to around utilising academisation (and hopefully expansion) was to invest in the site, and improve facilities over time for students. Whilst not all works can be confirmed until we know where we stand with expansion, we are proceeding with a number of projects over the summer. In terms of the immediacy, I have always found it rather unsatisfactory that the changing facilities in the school are cramped and often mean students have to change in disused shower spaces and near toilets (including in the boys case urinals). We are looking at improving those spaces over the summer, but the work will need to commence before the break to be completed for September, and as a consequence for the last 2 weeks of term, there will need to be temporary changing arrangements in place in the Youth Centre. If I am honest, it is a case of “short term pain, long term gain”. I thank the students and PE department in advance for their cooperation.

Finally, could I take this opportunity to remind parents of the additional training day on 10th July, with the foci being building culture and developing assessment and curriculum tracking. The vast bulk of staff will be at William Edwards School for the day, so please keep any queries to the school at a minimum.

Have a lovely weekend.

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