Headteacher's Update as at 19 March 2021
Dear Parents and Carers
I am writing to you as we end our second week of full reopening.
The school has run for the last two weeks in the most calm, well-ordered way that we could ever have imagined. I have to thank my teacher colleagues for this – they have invested so much of their time in preparing wonderful lessons and excellent resources, as well as pulling together to provide the clear routines that have set our students up to succeed. A tiny handful of students have needed our support in returning to full reopening and the wider inclusion team have worked tirelessly. Your children have done well, too!
If I compare the records of rewards and sanctions with a two-week period last March, the number of negative points given for sanctions has more or less halved. This is comparing with a period during which we were all on red alert because we had Ofsted inspectors in school!
Amidst the confusion of the lockdown that was announced last minute in January, some Sixth Form students took their BTEC examinations in Sport and Business. The results arrived this week and these are exceptional. Well done to staff and students for such high standards in such challenging times.
Business: 75% Distinction or Merit, 100% pass rate
Sport: 100% Distinction or Merit
Our students have entered into the spirit of non-uniform so well and, evidenced by what I have said above, there has been no negative impact on their willingness to study at all. However, please may I remind everyone that we are expecting our students to return in full school uniform on 19th April.
Thankfully, the early evidence both locally and nationally is that students returning to school has not caused a growth in cases. The Government will continue to monitor, but we are pleased to report that both staff and student attendance is as good, if not better than normal, for the time of year. January-March can often see seasonal illness take student attendance below 94%, or even lower; at the moment it is close to 96%. Thank you to our families for supporting good attendance - we’ve all missed enough school for a lifetime!
Our major building project is in its final stages. Work is currently taking place to develop four new Science laboratories, refurbish and extend the Sports Hall changing rooms, refurbish the underground changing rooms and to develop the new dining room. We are optimistic that the works will be completed by the end of May, at the latest. The new dining room and picnic area are looking fantastic! There will be plenty of photos of the finished work.
After a few frowns, the students are adapting to the new toilets. The cubicles are totally private with floor to ceiling doors, but the handwashing area is open to the corridor. This makes supervision far more secure, resulting in cleaner, safer toilets. Contrary to rumour, the porta-cabin toilets on The Beach will be going when the building project ends!
Thank you to Buckinghamshire Council for the £2.5 million investment in our thriving school.
School Allocations 2021-22
School places have been provisionally allocated for our new Year 7 and we are delighted to confirm another over-subscribed year. We will have a full Year 7 of 210 students, with a longer waiting list than ever. It is wonderful to see so many siblings of current students due to join our proud school community.
I do tend to finish my letters by turning my attention back to the staff and this will be no exception. We have higher and higher expectations of your children, which they ably meet every time we raise them. The school only exists because of the students within and we are widely acknowledged as a child-centred, inclusive school, of which we are very proud. Without our staff, we could not operate and, yet again, I salute and thank them for their spirit and professionalism in coping with the enormous challenges of the last year.
With my best wishes
Mr A McGinnes, Headteacher
To view/download a copy of the letter, click here.