Principal’s Blog: The First Week

The first week of the new term is over. Our new Year 7, the 55th year group to start at this school, are finding their feet and feeling part of the academy and the number of requests to help find classrooms has dropped to a trickle.

The weather this week has felt more like the summer term and made it possible for everyone to get out at break times to play games or just sit enjoying the sunshine. It may seem relaxed but all the older year groups know that the pace will soon quicken as we start the journey of preparation for public examinations. The one thing we know about the exams is they get harder each year, more demanding in terms of knowledge and concepts and with ever higher expectations of coursework. Our students can cope but there is no time to be lost. That is why we insist on attendance every day – at 90% attendance, a student will have lost 45 lessons, enough to completely miss an important concept in maths for example, that is forever a mystery after that. Paul Merton, taking part in a panel game and finding that his fellow competitors kept winning points because they knew more than he did, after conceding he knew nothing on the topic for the 5th time, quipped “I must been away the day we did that at school.” It was a great line – and he was absolutely right about the holes that appear with ragged attendance.

We begin our Open School events next week and on Tuesday we have Pirate FM broadcasting live form the school. It is a great opportunity for our students to showcase the great things about the school and for Year 7 to describe their experiences so far. If you have a son or daughter in primary school, I hope you will take the chance to visit either in Open Evening or in the school day.

David Parker, Principal