Sporting Fix

Apologies again about the brevity of the blog last week, and hopefully back to normal this week. I suppose it is inevitable that sometimes in this job, time simply gets away from me. Yesterday reminded me, and the whole community, how important it is to take time to think of our own mental well-being and it was lovely to see so many students with yellow accessories on to mark mental health day.

I’ve made a conscious effort in the last couple of weeks to pop out and watch a few of our sports fixtures, and part of the reason for that is my own well-being. I would like to think students see me around school quite a bit (there will always be heads that go around schools more than me, but there will also always be heads that go around less), but the last 2 weeks have felt very office based especially at the back end of days; therefore amongst the pressure of new Ofsted frameworks, the new classroom blocks, starting the staffing for 2020/21, teacher pay increases where the funding hasn’t been confirmed so budgets need re-balancing and a multitude of other paperwork, I find it important to see students enjoying their social interactions, and sport has always been an important vehicle for that [at any age]. I do confess that I didn’t stay long for the Year 7/8 girls’ football team last Tuesday in horrendous weather (I had forgotten my umbrella), but otherwise it has been nice to watch some football (and a few bits of other sports)…and before anyone says, I know I haven’t seen much football this year given the form of the team I support!

Over the last week, the senior prefects, student year representatives, and the catering company have undertaken the first “customer” feedback sessions about the canteen; it has been great to see so many students really enjoying the new menu, but it is now a case of refining the offer (and in particular the meal deals) to ensure good value for the students; the Local School Advisory Board will also look at the issue next Thursday as part of our termly meeting.

Over the last week, we have really started to see the national picture emerge about the summer’s results, and we had a results review meeting with PiXL on Tuesday; we choose to be part of PiXL, and they are there as a supportive partner, but our Associate is excellent at just asking probing questions about how we can improve further; whilst we are proud of the results the students achieved in the summer, and how far the school’s results have come, it is so important that we never think it is “job done” and allow any complacency to set in. As I often say to students, the students here are no different to others around the country in terms of what we should expect from them in terms of hard work and resilience, and that pays off in results and life.

A small plea/reminder, we are likely to have Ofsted this year and it is useful if parents add their views to the Ofsted tool Parent View (https://parentview.ofsted.gov.uk/); we have come a long way in the last few years: a fully staffed school, increasing results, improved infrastructure, greater student numbers, and more importantly improved teaching and learning; so, if you have a little time to endorse that view it would be very helpful. Furthermore, could I encourage all parents to respond to the Local Authority’s consultation about Post-16 education in the Borough (https://consultation.havering.gov.uk/education/post-16-education-in-havering).

As for me, I was going to watch the Grand Prix qualifying and England vs France; sadly, with those events both cancelled/postponed, I will be forced to take my sporting fix at Roots Hall! Have a good weekend.

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