The first half-term this year was very positive and saw a large number of students working hard and achieving well.

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Our E-Praise system is now a part of daily life in College and we share students’ successes in house assemblies every fortnight.  I am leading assemblies with students this week and I will be challenging them to consider how they compare to some quotes we now have on display around the College. We have paraphrased (and slightly shortened) Aristotle’s quote which is “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.’ My challenge to students in the assemblies I am leading is to make excellence into a habit; it is only through always putting maximum effort into improving our work and behaviour that we will do better. This is the same for staff as it is for students and we will return to this throughout the year. 

We are still visiting lessons every day to see how students are working and this Thursday we will host visitors from Untied Learning, who will come in to see lessons, talk to students and challenge us to continue to improve. I will be able to update parents / carers with feedback next week.  



We are moving swiftly towards the end of term

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We are moving swiftly towards the end of term and another school year is nearly over. I am currently working with all leaders in the College on our improvement priorities for next year to make sure that we build upon the high expectations we are embedding. We will have a team of ‘Lead Practitioners’ next year to help improve the quality of teaching across the College.

It has been a little while since I last added to this blog and a lot has happened since then. I have also written to all parents recently to update you with regard to life in the College.

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The GCSE exams are now over and I am very pleased with the attitude our Year 11 students showed towards these exams. Their attendance was excellent and they appeared to be reasonably unfazed by most of the exams. I look forward to sharing their successes in the summer. 

The last six weeks have gone by very quickly and I feel a lot has been achieved over this half-term.

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Expectations of students’ behaviour, work and effort are much higher and I can see a tangible difference to learning and progress in every lesson I visit. We will maintain our focus on this area as this is now part of our everyday practice. 

In addition to expecting more from students in lessons, leaders and teachers in College are working to make sure that the level of challenge is high in every lesson too. This means that each lesson has one challenging learning objective, which is aimed at the most able students in every group. We are also catering for every student through making sure activities are appropriately differentiated for all. Our drive, though, is that all students must be challenged to achieve their personal best and we will only accept their very best work. 

The weeks are passing by very quickly and we are already over half-way through this term. I am pleased to report that students’ levels of engagement and progress are very good and improving in lesson

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We are moving ahead with a new system to reward students’ good work, effort, attendance and behaviour. The system we will move to is called ‘E-Praise’ and it allows students to exchange reward points they receive for prizes.

The list of possible rewards is currently being discussed and agreed by our student council and I hope they will be able to launch it in assemblies in the week before half-term.

Last week was a particularly busy and also a very positive week in College

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We were privileged to host a Holocaust survivor on Thursday afternoon, who came in to College to speak with all Year 9 students and Year 11 RE students. Students found the talk very interesting and it gave them a real account of a dark period in recent history.  We have also completed Futures Interviews with Year 11 students and have the highest number of first choice applicants for our sixth form in the last few years.  We also hosted visitors from Sky Sports last week and ran a programme of activities for some of our Key Stage 3 students, which involved a range of activities throughout the day. 


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