Headteacher’s Blog – Wednesday 9th September
Headteacher – Mr M Rhatigan
Today has been a fantastic day for students and staff.
It is always special to welcome Year 7 students, beginning their first day of secondary school. The majority of Yr 7’s had attended the summer school so knew the school layout and some staff; they had also made some new friends. Naturally, most students were a little nervous but there were many smiles at the end of the day!
After the Yr 7’s arrived and mum/dad/grandparent dropped them off, they were welcomed in the school Hall by the Heads of House. Each of our five Houses has a non-teaching Head of House, who will ensure the students are safe, happy and working hard! I spoke to the students about my first day of secondary school in a small town in Western Australia that my family had just moved to, (a very long time ago). I told them that I did not know any other students when I arrived but by the end of the first week, I had friends who remain my friends today. In fact, I catch up with them when I return to Australia on holiday.
After the assembly, the Yr 7 students had the opportunity to meet their form tutor, who explained the school rules, layout and procedures and distributed their planners and timetables. As the older students did not come in until 10 am, the tutors were able to get to their Yr 7s and they also were taken to the canteen to get their biometric fingerprint.
Years 8 to 11 joined the Yr 7s in their form rooms for period 2 and they received their planners and timetables also. The mixed age vertical tutor groups create a real “family” atmosphere in the school, as students get the chance to mix with students of all ages in a safe, controlled environment. I was touched by the number of older students saying hello to the Yr 7s today and helping them find their classrooms in a big school!
Periods 3, 4 and 5 were lessons as normal and the SLT and I visited all classes; there was some excellent learning for the first day. Yr 7‘s in particular, made an excellent start. A highlight of the day was the use of our exciting new exercise books for all students. These books have been specially designed and printed to ensure students have the best guidance and presentation. Mrs Cross, Assistant Headteacher, will provide more detail about the exercise books in this week’s newsletter.
All year groups attended a Year assembly where Mr Turner (DHT), Mr Mallet (DHT), Mrs Cross (AHT) and myself spoke. Students were reminded about behaviour and uniform expectations; they were also informed about the new books, mobile phone policy and rewards system. Students’ behaviour in assembly was first class.
I want to thank parents for the support in ensuring their son/daughter was in correct uniform. There are only a handful of students who need to get the correct shoes and the mobile phones were put away as expected. Maintaining uniform standards at this level will enable the staff to focus on learning and achievement, and that is exciting!
Mr M Rhatigan