I am sure you are looking forward to the start of the new academic year. Students return to school on the 5th September. The students and school have had a positive summer with both the GCSE and A level results.
We are looking forward to the new year as we have some changes we feel will support the school in improving further over the next twelve months.
I am delighted to welcome Ian Murphy to the school as new Vice Principal. Both myself and the Trustees are delighted to add his skills and experience to the Rainford High team. Ms Amanda Shaw is the new Director of Learning for Science, Mr Neil Brown joins Rainford High from Range High School to be our new Director of Learning for Maths. From September we have a full complement of teaching staff and we are excited about the addition of new staff to the Rainford High team as well as welcoming a number of staff back from maternity leave. I have attached a profile of the Senior Leadership team and other key staff to the reverse of this letter.
The main changes you as parents need to be aware of are to the timetable which will be a 25 period week of one hour lessons. We have a 20 minute break at 11.10am and our lunchtime will now begin at 1.30pm. We are recommending that all students bring a snack or have the opportunity to buy a snack in the canteen during the extended break time to support them in managing with the later lunchtime. The reason for the change to the school day is to maximise learning time, reduce movement between lessons and have a shorter learning time in the afternoon. We would welcome your support and feedback as to how the system is operating during the first term so we can monitor the effectiveness of these changes.
We will continue our policy on mobile phones not being on, in use and out of sight during the school day. If there is an emergency, please contact the school directly and we will inform your child.
I would remind parents about the need for proper school shoes that are black and have no canvas or excessive buckles. Our school uniform policy is clear and students wear it with pride. The expectations of our community are clearly laid out in the school ethos:
- Everyone Matters- We expect our community to be polite and respectful
- Everyone Helps- We expect our community to make sensible choices
- Everyone Succeeds- We expect our community to work hard
The Academisation of Rainford High has allowed us to introduce a 7 INSET day model and this will allow the Rainford High team to develop and reflective on practice in a more effective way and support all our students in making the best progress possible.
We are continuing to develop our practice and from September 2018 Key Stage 3 students will not have an end of Key Stage 4 target shared with them as we believe this is limiting expectations for many students and creating a glass ceiling. We will continue to share KS4 and KS5 targets with students but will improve our work explaining to students where these targets come from and what the expectation is both within school and nationally to ensure all students achieve well.
At Key Stage 3 parents and students will notice a change to the structure of our approach to homework. We will be giving students knowledge organisers for all KS3 units of work that contain everything they need to know factually to be successful. We will be setting two pieces of homework a half term designed to develop the ability to learn content and revise as this is key requirement to be successful at GCSE and A level.
We will be focusing on the technique of self quizzing in year one and I have attached a guide for parents and students.
As a school we are trying to manage and support teacher work load by balancing the need for feedback and marking. Curriculum teams will be developing a number of ways of feeding back to the students what they need to do to improve over the course of the year to improve progress that do not require ineffective written statements in student books. Student notes will not be marked and teachers will only mark substantive and assessed pieces over the half term. This will allow for a clear picture of students position and progress but will not make unnecessary demands on the teachers.
For the coming year can I once again ask parents who drop children off in cars or pick them up to be respectful and considerate to other parents and the schools neighbours who are too frequently treated with a lack of respect that is at odds with our school ethos.
Important Notice: Windle Island – Travel To and From School:
School has been made aware of the traffic disruption around Windle Island that is likely to cause challenges for students, parents and staff. We are working with Merseytravel to support the buses that service the school, and they have advised that journey times are currently increasing by between 5 and 10 minutes through Windle Island but that this is likely to increase once schools return in September. We have been advised that at present there are no plans to re-route bus services or bring forward journey times. As we have little direct control over the situation, we will monitor collection, journey and arrival times carefully in the 1st week and advise students, parents and Merseytravel on any issues that occur. Please be assured that we will support and accommodate late arrivals initially while our community adjusts to the inevitable disruption this will cause.
We will continue on developing the whole student so that our young people will develop and leave Rainford ready to contribute to the wider world. We are all looking forward to seeing everyone safe and ready to work hard in September for the coming academic year.
Senior Leadership Team and Key Staff at Rainford High September 2018
Principal- Ian Young
Vice Principal – Ian Murphy responsible for School Improvement and Progress
Assistant Principal- Mags Winn responsible for Teaching and Learning
Assistant Principal – Joe Kenyon responsible for Character and Culture including Behaviour and Attendance
Director of Business and Finance – Alex Marsh
Director of Special Educational Needs – Jo Burgess
Director of Curriculum Literacy and Assessment- Sara Wheelock
Director of Safeguarding – Terry Rigby Designated Safeguarding Lead
Director of Learning for English – Mark Wainwirght
Director of Learning for Mathematical Learning – Neil Brown
Director of Learning for Science- Amanda Shaw
Director of Sixth Form – Catherine Benbow
Self-Quizzing: 3 Easy Steps
1) Read and memorise the section. Read and re-read the section, say it out loud if necessary, until you are confident enough to use your practice book to write it down. For 20 minutes, actively memorise the knowledge until you are not getting it wrong.
2) Cover it up, and write it out. Close your knowledge organiser or cover up the section, and to try to recall the knowledge. Write out the section from memory in one colour of pen
3) Check it and correct any mistakes. Open your knowledge organiser and look at the answers – tick the ones you got right and correct the ones you got wrong in a green pen. Do the ones you got wrong again, until you get them right. You can use a different coloured pen to make them more memorable and stand out.