Headteachers Letter – 23rd September 2022
Dear parents and carers
Today is the official start of ‘astronomical’ autumn and to date this term we have been blessed with good weather. As we head into the darker months it is timely to note the following reminders:
- Uniform has been exemplary this year and we do not want cold or wet weather to be a barrier to dressing to impress! During inclement weather students are permitted to wear coats outside of lessons. Hoodies, sports tops, tracksuit tops and other branded sweatshirts are not permitted and should not be a substitute for an outdoor coat.
- When travelling to and from school we would always recommend that where possible students walk in pairs or small groups, particularly when it is dark.
- At breaktimes and lunchtimes when the weather is wet or extremely cold, students will have access to larger venues around school such as the main hall, sports hall, school canteen and LA5. If a wet break is called then access to form rooms will also be permitted.
This week, myself and the senior leadership team, have been updating our school self-evaluation document. It is an important part of our termly routine as it helps to set our priorities for the year ahead and later in the year to measure our progress. As we start a new academic year, the first one that has felt ‘normal’ in a while, our priorities are to ensure that the progress made under James Birkett’s leadership is maintained and now life has a degree of certainty about it, we focus on delivering excellence in education for our community.
Our three priorities are as follows:
- consistency in best practice in every aspect of school life;
- culture that reflects the values of kindness, community and ambition;
- to prepare every student to demonstrate successful and positive global citizenship– with a genuinely comprehensive and inclusive curriculum delivery that allows every student to reach a destination of choice.
We also are keen to ensure that parental, student and staff voice is integral in our self-evaluation and action planning and therefore you will be asked more regularly to contribute to our self-evaluation and I thank you in advance of these moments for sparing us some time to feedback your thoughts.
Any moment of self-reflection is always valuable, and I have been proud to reflect on the existing strength of our student leadership and also the degree to which so many of our students naturally act as ambassadors for the school. This is always exemplified during our annual open evening and the number of students that we have volunteering to be subject ambassadors and guides. Once again we have been overwhelmed by student volunteers. Shortly, parents will be receiving a consent form for students who have signed up to help and if this could be returned in a timely fashion then it does make our planning a lot easier! It is also not too late if your child would like to volunteer to be a tour guide- we can never have too many as we will have nearly 900 visitors on site throughout the course of the evening! Please email email@example.com if this your child would like to volunteer.
I have also been working on plans for a launch of a new student leadership programme that will enable students in all year groups to apply to be part of a student leadership group. There will be a number of newly formed groups who will have a specific focus, such as the Eco group who will lead our work towards becoming a recognised Eco-School. These leadership groups will sit alongside our existing groups such as our Sports Leaders and our Diversity and Inclusion group to name but two. The aims of the programme are to give students the opportunity to develop leadership skills, be a key part in the development of Wollaston School, to ensure that they can contribute meaningfully to the Wollaston community but also to experience being a citizen who has active agency in society. We will be hosting our inaugural Student Leadership Conference on November 17th following the application process. Miss Ayres will be in touch later in the term to provide you with more details.
Have a pleasant weekend.