We have started the written exams. Our exam groups in Years 11, 12 and 13 have made a very positive start to their exams and are approaching them calmly and in a well-prepared manner. Well done to all - we are very impressed by your maturity and dedication.
Extended school day
For the academic year 2016-2017 Year 11 students will have an extra hour of after-school compulsory lessons four days per week starting September. I am currently working with staff, students and parents to ensure that any difficulties are dealth with. These include arranging school transport and providing a greater variety of after school activities for siblings. This will ultimately allow Year 11 students to complete coursework in good time, provide more practise of full exam papers, complete some of their homework with teachers on-hand to help and finally to thoroughly prepare for exams which will help them achieve their potential.
Hair colours and cuts
Our policy on hair has always been that colours are natural and that hair cuts are not extreme. As parents/carers we would ask that you do not allow your child to deviate from this as you will be asked to pay to get the cut or colour corrected. I will be checking standards on Monday; in addition to the cost and inconvenience of needing to correct any hair that does not meet our standard, your child will be placed in our unit until matters are resolved. Our standards are clear, you chose our school knowing that we have high expectations, please support us by making sure that your children comply.
Holidays in term time
I cannot authorise holidays during term time unless in very strict circumstances. I appreciate that it is cheaper to travel outside of school holidays or that work rotas are restrictive, but I cannot authorise absences in these conditions. Whilst I am aware of the court ruling I am awaiting further guidance from the Department for Education. I would emphasise that every lesson counts; missing classes is not good for our students as they miss crucial new information and can often fall behind as a result. There is a very strong link between good attendance and good progress. Good attendance is 95% but ideally we are aiming for 100%.
Last week Mrs Bowen gave assemblies on the Nobel Peace Prize winner Mallala Yousafzai. I think it is useful to remind ourselves and our students how lucky we are to have access to a good and free education, there are still many in the world who would gladly swap places with us. We need to value what we have and being in school is one of the ways that we can do that.
Dr Hatfield, Headteacher