Principal’s Blog: Celebration

This week I really enjoyed the Celebration Assemblies which are a real highlight of the term. Seeing our students entertaining their peers and receive awards and praise for what they do every day is a real pleasure. These assemblies are an important part of maintaining the ethos of our school; the ‘celebration of our children’ and I think it’s vital that they know how well they’re improving all the time.

Last week was our school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. As many of our students and parents saw, it was an incredible success. Shakespeare is no easy achievement for any performer and to watch our students tackle it with such confidence and ability was a real treat. Well done to Mr Tew and the whole team for another triumph.

Our Year 11s have taken over the Sports Hall this week – led by Team Thomas – to work on their Ballroom Dancing  in the run up to their Leavers Ball in May. It’s great to see 200 young people come together to work on something like this and it creates a real fun atmosphere around the school.

Thank you to our Year 7 parents who joined us for what was a hugely successful Parents Evening this week. This was in response to a growing request for parents to meet teachers, we want to give every one of you the opportunity to do so. We hope this additional date helped the process – please feel free to pass any feedback you may have of our Parents Evenings onto Mr Chris Knipe, cknipe@penrice.org.uk.

Many of you will remember Pete Banfield, who trained with us and spent last year with us as an English Teacher. I’m pleased to announce Mr Banfield will return after Easter as a Geography Teacher here at Penrice Academy and we’re really excited to see him back.

I will be writing to you next week about our emergency evacuation procedures at school, be it for fire, snow, gas or more serious critical incidents, as were are currently updating our policies following advice from local government services. Your help on this incredibly important matter is greatly appreciated. On that note, today we staged a fire drill at the end of break. To see 1600 people evacuated from the school building in total silence, in less than 10 minutes, at an unusual time on a Friday morning is an unbelievable effort and I am incredibly proud of everyone here at Penrice. It is a testament to the relationships between students and adults, well done all.

After a full on week of the usual Sport fixtures –  read Mr Jenkin’s Sport Report here – the week has just ended with Sport Relief, put on by our brilliant Year 7s in the Sports Hall. Young people caring about health, sport and charity and encouraging their friends to take part – what could be better?

Over the coming weeks, one of my main areas of focus is to look at the Budget from Mr Osbourne and monitor the implications his decisions will have on our school. Regardless of political speak or the press coverage you may see, schools are without a doubt experiencing cuts to their budgets. My role is to ensure this does not impact on our students’ enjoyment of education at Penrice.

Richard Baker, Principal