Welcome Back and Happy New Year
A very warm welcome back to everyone. We very much hope you had a very wonderful Christmas break and enjoyed the time spent with your young folks. We are very much looking forward to welcoming them back and as ever are excited about the term ahead. But I can't move forward without looking back.
Last term was as eventful as ever. The Christmas show was an absolute delight. So many parents told me how wonderful it was to see their youngster participate. The reading, songs, costumes and art work were all a credit to students and staff. And as ever the staff seemed to take as much pleasure in it as the students. It's great to enjoy your job!
And of course, I am sure the students enjoyed the Christmas disco, Christmas celebrations and all the fantastic things that happened during the month of December. I know the students enjoyed making the fabulous Christmas products such as the Christmas cards, Christmas wreaths and Christmas tree decorations. The giant advent calendar, at the front of the school, was particularly eye catching and magnificent.
We also observed staff teach - one of the methods used to check on the quality of what your young people receive in the classroom. We have external visitors to the school to support us in this; to make sure our judgements are accurate and, of course, as an Ofsted inspector, I am used to doing this sort of thing. I am delighted to say that all those observed teaching achieved a good or outstanding grade. Needless to say, all staff received an improvement target, even those who are outstanding. We always want to improve and do our very best for you and your young person.
So to the term ahead. Classroom projects will very quickly begin as soon as term starts. We are trying to develop a more therapeutic curriculum, particularly within the art subjects, in order to help reduce any anxieties students may have.
We have also begun the process of considering classes for next year. Every year we spend a long time doing this knowing the absolute importance of getting it right. We will, of course, fully involve you in this process.
Finally, we are clear we are moving forward into a future where funding for schools will be much reduced. We shall endeavour to manage this to have the least impact on our students and their families.
With very best wishes,
Deirdre Fitzpatrick and Trudi Herridge
Headteacher and Acting Chair of Governors