A brighter future

It is really hard for all of us at the moment to focus on anything other than the ‘here and now’, so intense is our preoccupation with the daily news and how that affects our working and family lives. Whereas in the spring the weather was beautiful and there was a real sense that together we could make sacrifices to defeat the virus, we now find ourselves filled with uncertainty over where our world is heading. So, it’s really important for our young people to know that these troubled times will pass and that we have faith in a brighter future.

At school-level, we want to do our best to ensure the safe operation of our community and the happy progress of pupils, whilst being sensitive to their current anxieties. Yet we also continue to plan ahead, with our eyes on the end-goal: to provide the best possible preparation in life for our pupils. And because life is ever-changing, a good school will forever be considering how it might do things slightly differently or better – hence the importance of development planning.

I shared the strategic objectives from the Trust Development Plan at the beginning of term, and these now inform actions and desired outcomes at school and departmental levels. We were pleased with some of the progress last year, building on extensive feedback from pupils, parents and staff. Having introduced a new Sixth Form programme, ‘Aspire’, we have begun to consider the curriculum at key stages 4 and 3, as well as looking at the shape of the school day. Other working parties will focus this year on rewards and sanctions, reporting, and well-being – using the Well-being Award for Schools to structure our planning. We shall continue to develop a new teaching and learning framework, complemented by a digital/ learning technologies strategy. And after half-term, I intend to form a diversity and inclusion group, led by both pupils and staff.

There is never a dull moment currently and the day-to-day stability of our pupils’ education rightly absorbs most of our attention. At the same time, plans, ambitions and opportunities should continue to sharpen our vision and to offer us all future hope.

Best wishes to you and your families for half-term,
John Watson

Headmaster and Principal