Start of term - News and thanks

Thank you for your support in making the start of term so positive.

Our slightly staggered start worked brilliantly, and enabled us to spend some time with each year group before they made their way around school and into lessons. This was of course particularly helpful for Year 7, who benefitted hugely from being the only year group in school on Monday.

Pupils have responded brilliantly to three important sets of adjustments we have made for this year. The first concerns expectations for behaviour in lessons. Following extensive discussions with pupils, parents, staff and other groups, we have made small but significant changes in this area that are being applied consistently across the school and will make a real difference. Details of those expectations can be seen in the poster below.

We have also adjusted the school's rewards (also known as commendations) and consequences systems, so that they too are applied consistently and connect with our expectations. Commendations for meeting or surpassing expectations include text messages and email certificates home, weekly staff commendations in the same vein as Star of the Week, and termly rewards including vouchers and experiences. Whilst we are recording details of any behaviour that does not meet our expectations, throughout this week and next we are not issuing detentions for what we consider to be lower-level issues. This gives our pupils time to learn and adapt to the new systems, before they are applied in full.

The final set of changes concerns movement around our largest building, A-Block. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the increase in pupil numbers in recent years has led to difficulty in navigating the corridors of a building designed for approximately 40% of the people now using it! We have therefore introduced a simple (and well signposted) one-way system within the block, which has already made a marked difference.

Next week the School Update will be back, with details of activities and events of the week, and perhaps most importantly details of pupils who have received staff commendations during the first two weeks of the year.

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