Our core value for the term between now and Christmas is ‘Integrity’ and for this week, we are thinking about a subset of integrity – that is ‘honesty’.
Over the next four weeks, I start the long process of clearing my deskand handing over to the new Principal, Mr Arnell, Linked to our value and as I reflect on the past three years of working with the Trust, I reflect on a challenge that has occasionally been made towards the school and that has been regarding ‘honesty’ – honesty in relation to the site issues that th
e schools (primary and secondary) have faced. However, I can, with my hand on heart, say that at all times the school community – its parents, the students and our friends have been quickly informed whenever things, entirely outside of our control as a school, have changed and as soon as the school was made aware. Furthermore, the pace of these changes and altered plans, over the past two years, has been relentless. Although a new building for the secondary was first planned to be ready for September 2014; site, planning and contractor issues have delayed this many times over, but the problems are behind us. It is a huge relief to have been able to share the images of the groundbreaking, blessing ceremony a couple of weeks ago and now to be able to share (above and below) actual evidence that contractors are on site and digging the ground.
Everything is now currently on track for a handover to the school in May 2018. I take this opportunity to thank all involved, on behalf of the school and families, in finally getting this underway – not least Sue Archer at the Department for Education, who has been on board since the beginning, the Trust (our CEO, Nitesh Gor in particular) and of course our many lobbyists -many of whom are parents or prospective parents. And a very final debt of gratitude, I have said it before, to the parents of those early year groups who have stood by the school over the past four and half years.
Sixth Form Open Evening
Next week, on the evening of 24th November, the Assistant Principal (Head of Sixth Form and Careers Education) Paul Nash will lead the Sixth Form Open Evening. The school has also invited the new Principal, Simon Arnell and as of today, unless plans change, he fully intends to be there and to introduce himself to the parents/students of year 11 as well as those who join the evening from other schools. Paul, also joined by Deputy Nadira Morris, plans to issue the prospectus and also to present the curriculum and extra-curricular offer as well as say something about the future of business and University links and careers information, advice and guidance. There will be an opportunity also to ask questions and look at displays. Although not presenting on this occasion, I shall be around on the evening and really look forward to catching up with some of you.
We are thrilled to congratulate long-standing colleague Andrea Kahn who this week became fully accredited as our SENCo (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) having achieved the National Award for SEN Co-ordination – leading the school to now officially be an Accredited SENCo School. As well as being a great teacher, popular with children and a fantastic head of year, Andrea has already made a really positive start to her role as SENCo – taking over as she did in September from her predecessor Gina Richardson. Parents of children who present with additional needs or who are just in need of some additional support unanimously speak very highly of her.
I leave this short blog with a reflection around the sub-theme of honesty. As we all reflect on what can only be termed as a ‘frank, open and rather aggressive and personal’ debate for the American presidency and with the outcome that it achieved, I was left with the question in my mind, more than any other, “how do adults explain some adult behaviours to children as being ‘acceptable’ in anybody, but particularly a leader”. They do ask us – as parents and as teachers. Looking to philosophy and spirituality, to those that perhaps help some or indeed all of us to establish our ethical code and our moral compasses, I am left with inspiration from two of those who have helped me to set mine – as a human, a father, a teacher and a leader. I leave them with you.
Have a lovely remainder of the week and a restful weekend…