Headteacher’s Blog – Friday 12th October 2018

This week has flown by and we have had so many activities happening.

We had our second week of exams for Business and it was clear our students have developed high standards when it comes to exam etiquette. More exams happening very soon for our students as well as on-going practical examination work too. It is Year 11 Parents Evening next week so we are looking forward to sharing our children’s progress and their next steps with parents. I know I am looking forward to meeting my children’s parents to discuss their homework, their revision patterns and their areas to really focus on and develop.

Wednesday saw the school close early so that we can organise ourselves for Open Evening. This year saw our Year 11s and Year 7s taking centre stage. Our Year 7s were involved in such a wide variety of activities in classrooms and our Year 11 Prefects were our tour guides. Our Year 7s were a credit to their school and their parents. They were confident, engaging and were so excited to be a part of our Open Evening – it is lovely to see how they have blossomed in such a short space of time and how they had no inhibitions in engaging with the parents and the Year 6 children.

Our Year 11 Prefects were absolutely brilliant. From the Head Girl/Boy and Deputy Head Girl/Boy speeches to welcome parents and Year 6s to Marsden Heights to the Prefects’ tour guiding, they really were a quality act. Their honesty with parents about our journey and where we are heading is always a pleasure to hear. Staff and students recognise that we are developing all the time and we never pretend to be anything that we are not. Parents and Year 6s would have been met with honesty and frankness throughout the night. Our Prefects are to be celebrated for their confidence, their eloquence, their ability to make children and parents feel comfortable and their enthusiasm. All our children and staff made me very proud on Wednesday evening, as they always do.

Thursday saw members of our Senior Leadership team training in Ramsbottom, looking at curriculum design with other schools. We are developing leadership at all levels and it clearly begins with the SLT. We have been on a course with Teachfirst for the last 6 months to develop our skills and our abilities in order to maximise the chances for our young people. This evening certainly gave us some food for thought.

On Thursday we also had a visit from United Learning to set targets with us for next year. Having gained 57% this year, clearly our next steps have to be the 60s and we are looking forward to the challenges. The learning walk undertaken was very positive about the curriculum we are offering our students and its breadth, the teaching and learning, the displays around the college and inside the classrooms. Combined with the improvement in our results from 37% to 57% in the last 18 months and our continual focus on teaching and learning, we are rightly proud of the changes we have made so far … we are really looking forward to our continued progress.

Friday saw us have a visitor in Textiles all day with Year 11, James Fox. I think it is safe to say that his work absolutely blew us away. Without a doubt I would have wanted to remain in Mrs Lees’ room all day. Our students were learning fantastic new skills and were so excited by his potential impact on their mock exam work. I am hoping in my next blog to be able to show you the impact. So for the moment here are a few pieces of his collection. The portrait is an example of freehand machine embroidered and is truly stunning.

Next week sees it being Red Week and our last week of term. During the holidays we have a Year 11 residential to Haworth, West Yorkshire, for deep revision and preparing for exams. This is the first of many different ways we will be working with our students to help support them on their journey to the summer so that they feel resilient, prepared and confident.

So with that … hope Storm Callum is kind to you and enjoy your weekend!