Headteacher Weekly Bulletin 04.05.18

Good afternoon

I say ‘afternoon’ but it is in fact 7.12 on Friday morning; I envisage a particularly busy day ahead and thought it best to grab a few minutes for bulletin-writing prior to the madness and mayhem ensuing and the weekly SLT meeting at 7.30.

I apologise for my brevity last week; as explained in my sorry attempt at a bulletin, I was on the D of E Bronze practice expedition and, I have to say, a cold, wet field in Culcheth isn’t conducive to said task. Suffice to say, it was a fabulous, if at times challenging, two days and thanks must go to the 13 members of staff who gave up a big chunk of their weekend for the students and no doubt spent the remainder of it recovering.  Well done to the overwhelming majority of our students who certainly rose to the task.  Bring on the assessed expedition next Friday! 

Just as an aside, a few of my colleagues commented on the lack of ‘thank yous’ as students were collected from School on the Saturday evening.  This isn’t the first time that this has been brought to my attention and it is a little disappointing.  One of the many things that makes Wellington such a great place to be is the dedication of my colleagues, who go above and beyond on so many occasions and in a multitude of ways.  They give up their time willingly and ‘gratis’ because they see the difference it makes to our young people and, of course, because they themselves gain a sense of satisfaction and enjoyment.  I don’t think it is too much to expect a word of gratitude.  It really does make such a difference, trust me! 

Thursday seems to be becoming a particularly pivotal / seminal / simply exciting day in the Wellington week.

Two weeks ago we held the spectacular Afternoon Tea for former teachers and students and last Thursday evening, as you will have read last week, saw our first ever Fashion Show in the Vale Hall and by all accounts it proved to be a resounding success; the ladies (I think there was one gentleman present) had a proper (Prosecco-induced) giggle and a good sum was raised for our 80th anniversary charities.  Just a quick reminder that tickets are still on sale for our Anniversary Bash at the Cresta Court on the 6th July.

This Thursday was also a busy day / evening in School. Last night the Vale Hall was filled with around 100 Year 11 students attending a Biology ‘masterclass’ with Mrs Hoogenberg.  At the same time, another 93 were in the Adshead Hall with Mrs Shelley gaining some invaluable Chemistry input.  I must say, given my earlier point, I did hear a number of students expressing their appreciation to our two fabulous Scientists as they left.  The sessions, which will be reversed next Thursday, and the Physics equivalent held in School last Friday morning, are illustrations of the staff commitment I spoke of earlier and our desire to get the very best out of our students, particularly as public examinations fast approach. 

In a similar vein, I’ve just come from Miss Tidbury’s Year 11 assembly, in which she quoted from Matthew Syed’s latest book by way of motivation.  She spoke of how to handle the ‘pressure’, controlling one’s anxiety and, quite simply, relishing the exams as an opportunity to show off exactly what you’re capable of.  I do think that the students in Year 11 and Year 13 are in a pretty good place right now and should be confident of reaping the rewards of their considerable efforts.  I’ll be speaking to them in the final pre-exam assembly next Thursday.

Also last night, our Admissions officer, Mrs Roberts, and the Appeals Panel held an information evening for parents whose children weren’t offered a place at Wellington but who wish to appeal.  I sympathise with these poor folk as we really do appreciate what a stressful time this is for whole families.  It may be of no consolation, but Trafford is blessed with so many fine schools.  We do, however, take great pride in being a popular choice amongst parents in the locality and this inevitably leads to over-subscription.  I wish the families the very best of luck with their appeals but would assure them that, with parental support, their children will succeed wherever they may pursue their secondary education.

Mr Holt, Assistant Headteacher, is always a very positive, up-beat kinda guy, but yesterday his positivity was on another level following the Year 10 Mock Interview Day.  I have spoken repeatedly about how good I believe our careers programme to be, built by Mrs Mackay prior to her retirement and continued by Mr Holt, but in Mr Holt’s view yesterday was particularly uplifting.  One could sense the nervousness of the students before their interview as they prepared but then their evident sense of relief and achievement afterwards.  There was literally a spring in the step of most as they left the Adshead Hall.  The 40 or so interviewers brought in from a range of sectors and professions, were hugely impressed with the School but especially with the Year 10 students themselves; they really did do themselves proud. I hope this gives them a sense of focus, direction and aspiration as they approach the end of Year 10 and head into the challenging world of Year 11 and GCSE exams.

If you have a child in the 6th Form who happens to drive to School, could I ask you to remind them to park sensibly on Moss Lane?  We have had another irate resident contact us, unhappy that students have parked over driveways preventing or at least rendering access rather difficult.  This does not reflect well on the School or the individuals concerned.  Please be a good neighbour.

Mrs Roberts is requesting items for the now annual (bumper-sized) Newsletter which will be published after half term, and inevitably this means a slight tail off in contributions to this weekly bulletin.  There will, however, no doubt be several other items reflecting this week’s sporting, academic and other activities for you to peruse over the weekend and I will leave you to enjoy those. 

This is my first rugby-free weekend (as coach of the mighty Warrington Under 16s) and as it is also a day longer than usual, I really intend to make the absolute most of it (after marking the Year 13 EPQ projects that is!).  I hope you all do the same.  Fingers crossed the positive weather forecast proves accurate (ooh, chilled Sancerre and a BBQ in the back garden?)

Have a great weekend.

S Beeley