THE NEW TERM
Term has started really well; thank you for all you have done to give us this great start. It has been lovely to welcome the new Year 7s who have distinguished themselves this week. I have also been so impressed by our older students. It has been a joy to watch them guide and support the new students. It says so much about their maturity and the culture and climate in school that, without being asked, students in Years 9, 10 and 11 have chosen to demonstrate such a kind welcome to their younger peers.
TRAINING DAY ON MONDAY 3rd SEPTEMBER
Staff started back on Monday with a training day. As well as continuing to secure consistent approaches across school for Positive Discipline and Purple Zone we had two important presentations from colleagues in TGAT. The first was from Sir John Townsley, setting out the Trust priorities for the year, and the second was from David Holtham Executive Principal for Post 16, starting to lay the foundations for the opening of Elliott Hudson College at Boston Spa Academy.
I have done assemblies for all year groups this week. The assembly started with our three big causes for celebration, our excellent GCSE results, our outstanding A Level results and formally joining TGAT on 1st September.
The conversion was a year later than we had anticipated, but obviously we are delighted that this has brought a complete end to all plans Leeds City Council may have had for mergers, closures and reorganisations. It is lovely to have had the Governors’ strategic direction of our school endorsed at Ministerial level, and to be able to set off into a new academic year with the politics and politicians set aside, and the focus once again on just pupils and progress and to be doing so from such a strong base of academic achievement is a joy.
The second part of my assembly focussed on the part students will play on our move to becoming an outstanding school, which will be found in the quality of their books. I explained how we would be looking for evidence of their progress, for their precision and accuracy, for their productivity in the quantity of work produced, for pride in their work, such that they are pleased when a visitor picks up their books, all of which will earn praise.
ASSEMBLIES LED BY MRS GRIFFITHS
The TGAT Executive Principal for Secondaries, Leanne Griffiths, led assemblies for years 7 to 11 today. She described her assembly thus, ‘I firmly believe the greatest gift we can give our children is the ‘gift of choice’: the ability to learn effectively and ultimately to go on to acquire qualifications that allow them to choose their next steps, rather than have avenues closed off due to a poor skill-set or a lack of qualifications. It is this ability to choose, in my opinion,that supports true happiness. As professionals and parents/carers we have a duty to support our young people in considering their vision and ambition for the future and, in doing so, to reflect upon the importance of the actions one must take today’.
We are really pleased to welcome some new staff this week. We welcome three members of staff who were here as a part of The GORSE Initial teacher training programme: Miss Coleman in English, Mr McDermott in Languages and Mr Barnard in Maths. Miss Shepherd joins us from Bradford Academy as Head of Year 10. Mr Easton re-joins our History team, having trained here in 2016/17. Mr Ayes joins us to lead Media from Oakwood Academy, Miss Yellow joins Science from the University of York and Miss McKenna joins English from Leeds Trinity University. Miss Clark joins us as a maternity cover in Food Technology, and Miss Stephens and Mr Glaves join us as Cover Supervisors taking lessons for any absent staff. You can be assured that we have recruited well, and are delighted to welcome all these new staff.
ADVICE FROM THE POLICE
We have received a letter from the Police this week, asking for your support in reducing the number of reports of missing children. They write the following:
‘Within Leeds District the Police deal with an enormous amount of missing children every week. Every incident is distressing and traumatic for the family involved. The police are asking if you could help reduce the number of missing children by ensuring that when your child’s friend stays overnight at your home address, you have personally spoken to the friend’s parent/carer/Guardian to ensure they know where their child is staying.
We want to keep young people safe and avoid the upset of having officers attending at your address in the early hours to find a young person who has been reported missing. Young people do not always tell their parents where they are staying, they may have said they have permission when in fact they don’t.’
Last term ended on a really high note with our most senior football team representing the Leeds United Foundation winning the league.
With 5 games to go they had a huge task in front of them, with Mr Swales setting the target of winning all 5 for a chance of silverware.
3 games later and with 9 points in the bag the biggest game of the season came with a strong Bradford City visiting us. This was the one that would scupper our chances of the title as we were confident of beating Rotherham in the final game, but we won a tight game 3-2.
After winning our final game away to Rotherham we still needed Nottingham Forest to lose, but Barnsley beat them to clinch their second place, we were crowned champions!
A fitting end to a fantastic season which saw us lose only 2 games at home and exceeded our pre-season target.
You can give feedback on our school to Ofsted through ParentView