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Setting Standards

We hosted the first of our Standards Evenings last night for Year 10 parents and students to help them understand the pressures and challenges that the students will be facing over the next 20 months before their GCSEs. The parents I spoke to were both appreciative and constructive in supporting the school and their children...

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Welcome Back

A huge welcome back to all our students, staff, parents, governors and indeed the wider community. I am sure most parents will fall in to 2 camps: where did that time go and wish we had longer; versus glad to get their children/young adults back in to the routine of school and fully occupied –...

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End of the Year

I know we still have 3 days left next week, and Sports Day today, but this is the last opportunity for a substantive piece before we break up. (I hasten to add there will be a newsletter next week). I was asked again the other night (this time at Parklands excellent adaption of The Lion...

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Yes, I have Eaten Guinea Pig!

Apologies from the outset to vegetarians and furry pet lovers! I was discussing with Mr Derrett on Monday about the idea of having more animals in the science labs, and I asked the science team to put a paper together with some ideas, costings, health and safety implications, and plans for holiday care in place....

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Why individual subjects matter in school

One of my earliest recollections of learning history was looking around the cemeteries of northern France and Belgium to search for the grave of my father’s great uncle. Like many of his generation, he had died in the trenches in the First World War, and his body had never been recovered. In those days, the...

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Changing Times

I was discussing the referendum with an American, and we were debating the relative merits of both processes of change. For those that don’t know, the US Constitution (and its amendments) cannot be changed on a simple majority, there are various checks and balances built in. However, the curiosity here is that it can lead...

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A Single Act of Human Kindness

This week has been tiring and stressful in school for the students and staff alike; the exams week is excellent preparation for the future pressures of examinations, but the concentration and intensity of the experience has left many in our community shattered. I was sat in the canteen on Wednesday and I watched a student...

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Student Interviews

Yesterday represented the culmination of the recruitment process for the Head Boy and Girl of the school, and it was an absolute pleasure to hear 12 varied, contrasting, and articulate views about Marshalls Park. The students had already been through several stages of a recruitment process – all helping build their skills towards their future...

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To ‘Bee’ Or Not To ‘Bee’?

I know interview candidates might not agree with this, but it can be quite stressful being an interviewer on occasions: you have the pressure in that moment of making the right choice between many good colleagues, but trying to work out which person best fits the jigsaw at the school. Obviously, the pressure goes with my...

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More Testing Times

As you would expect, I regularly ask my children what they have being doing at school, and I am often greeted with the response “literacy” or “numeracy”. I actually don’t mind the idea that they have a secure grounding in the basics that underpin the other subjects, but where should the line be drawn?  Ofsted...