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Principal's Update

Dear Parents / Carers
I would like to thank you all for your support and your son’s and daughter’s hard work over the course of this year. There have been many fantastic achievements across the whole school. Sporting success has continued, with trophies won and representative honours gained and it has been fantastic to see this strength of the school continue to grow. However, it has been on the Arts front where many of the most memorable events of the year have taken place with a superb production of Billy Elliot and the inspirational work by students and staff during the residency of Artist in Residence, Mark Storror. The school has also been very successful in the world of STEM with the success of our Y10 team having won national recognition in the Unilever challenge to get children to wash their hands in order to reduce child mortality. Alongside these events the school has worked with the Everyman theatre, held Literacy days, a Christmas Fair, achieved Duke of Edinburgh Awards and organised many visits and enriched opportunities for students to be involved with. It has been a very busy and successful year, so thank you for all your help and support.

As a school in September we will be focusing on improving our students’ readiness for life and work with an improved approached to careers and life aspiration. Some of the key issues we would ask for support on is the students’ consistent use of good manners and politeness when speaking to all adults within the school. Their levels of courtesy and good manners should be the same with site staff and kitchen staff as they are with support staff, teachers, visitors or myself. Any lack of respect or courtesy is not acceptable and we will not allow our students to pick and choose when they use their good manners as we all know that good manners cost nothing.

As we look forward to the next academic year in September, as a school, we have decided to make some changes to our day-to-day systems to improve the smooth running and efficiency of the school as we continue to grow in both size and ambition. As of September, Progress Leaders and Form Tutors will have new titles of Learning Leaders and Learning Tutors. Having considered their roles we have evaluated that their main focus is supporting students to learn and that the refocusing of the roles will improve students’ understanding and focus in school.

Alongside this is a request around haircuts with a number of boys in Year 8, 9 and 10 having a long ‘flickable’ fringe that covers their eyes and face. This hair cut is not appropriate as it hampers communication and would not be acceptable in the work place therefore from September we will be asking students who have this haircut to clip their hair back during the school day to ensure a positive working environment. We would also remind students and parents that hair can only be dyed a natural colour so blue, purple and pink rinses are not acceptable.

This year to improve communication there will be a weekly email to all parents letting you know what is planned in the school each week. We hope this will develop into an effective and interesting update on school life. If parents have changed email addresses or not given them to the school, please can you do so by contacting the school administration team during the summer holiday.

We are also aware that parents will be buying uniform in the coming weeks so can I remind parents we expect students to be in sensible black school shoes in a leather material with no canvas shoes or trainers of any kind being acceptable. The young people will try to persuade you to push the boundaries please don’t be swayed - examples of acceptable shoe styles are on the school website.
Uniform is good at the school but too many girls are wearing make up in excess; for clarity, nail varnish, excessive orange foundation and acrylic nails are not acceptable. Students are also not following the jewellery policy of one set of plain gold or silver stud earrings, no other piercings are permitted and no other jewellery, other than a watch, is acceptable. Repeated failings to meet the uniform standards will lead to a meeting with Learning Leaders and Senior Staff for parents and students.

As a school we appreciate the need for mobile phones and the potential they have for learning but they can also be disruptive and discourage one-to-one interaction. It is for this reason we are asking students to have mobile phones turned off throughout the school day from 8.45am until 3.15pm from September 2017. If a mobile is out and in use during the school day without permission it will be confiscated and returned to the student at the school office at the end of the day.

I would like to wish you all a happy and restful summer and for those of our students who will receive examination results we all hope they are what you would have hoped for. We look forward to welcoming all our students back to school at the normal time on the 6thSeptember 2017.

Yours faithfully
Ian Young