Headteacher Weekly Bulletin 05.10.18

Good afternoon and happy World Teachers’ day!

I’m sure you already had the date flagged in your diary.  I’ve actually put a link on a separate article should anyone wish to show their appreciation to any of my wonderful colleagues; with a few quick clicks, you can send a postcard free of charge to a teacher (s) of your choice.  I do receive numerous emails and letters each year to this end and invariably share these with my colleagues but an additional metaphorical pat on the back such as this goes a long way.  I know the teachers and support staff at Wellington are simply ‘doing their job’ but they do go that extra mile, and beyond, and I am constantly in awe and very much in debt of their seemingly infinite capacity to care and do their best by our young people.  Anyway, if you have a spare minute or two over the weekend …

It’s been another hectic week at Wellington and you will no doubt enjoy reading about the Primary Boys’ football tournament, our own sports’ fixtures, the Careers’ Fair for Year 11, the School Council meeting (a cast of thousands it would appear last night) and more besides. 

It’s been a busy morning too, as Mr Holt welcomed 30+ families who came to see ‘Wellington at work’.  Prospective families who either couldn’t make Open Morning in June or fancied another look around.  Our Year 12 students were brilliant guides and spoke with enthusiasm and pride about their time at Wellington, and the feedback from our visitors was excellent; there are always very positive comments about how immaculate the School is and how calm the atmosphere is.  It’s very affirming to hear this; this is our perception but it’s always good to have that vindication from others.

I’ve mentioned on more than one occasion how I feel the Year 7s have settled in well to ‘big school’ and all the associated rules and routines; our annually reviewed and subsequently tweaked transition processes definitely seem to be doing the trick.  Last night, the new starters dragged their parents along to our Family Fun Night, featuring a rather challenging quiz and five games of bingo (with huge cash prizes on offer!).  Well, we had our biggest crowd to date at this event and a good time was had by all (particularly the parent who took the opportunity to celebrate / lament /forget the end of their school’s Ofsted inspection).  The bar takings were certainly up.  Love it!

I often think that events such as this are a clear indication of whether we really are establishing that sense of community we’re so keen on and value so highly.  It goes without saying if School has the unconditional support of parents and each of our children has the support of both home and school, then success (in all its forms) is pretty much a given.  There was lovely atmosphere last night, a real buzz, and I hope that is sustained in all respects for the next seven years.  Well done to all those who took part and particularly the winning quiz teams, and thanks for coming along, everyone, and being such great sports.  I hope, now we’ve snared you, you’ll come along to other ‘social’ events. 

In my efforts to not bore people (again) by going on too long at the end of the evening, I completely neglected to thank the glamorous SLT ladies for selling bingo books and marking quizzes, Mr Fenwick and Mr Holt respectively for their polished performances as quiz-master and bingo-caller extraordinaire, governors Emma Firth and Simon Carter (plus, as always, Mrs C and Lucy) for their bar-tendering and, most importantly, the person who does all the work behind the scenes, without whom both me personally and the School itself would probably fall apart, Mrs Roberts, my PA. 

At our SLT meeting before school this morning, Mr Holt delivered the results of the ‘Make your Mark’ national campaign for school children, or rather the results of our own Wellington vote.  If you recall, this is where students are presented with a list of ten topical issues and vote on the one they think is currently the most relevant to them. The ‘winning’ topic is then debated by the National Youth Parliament down at Westminster.  For the last three years, ‘A curriculum to prepare us for life’ has been the most popular topic.  This year, ‘End knife crime’ was overwhelmingly the most voted topic here at Wellington, perhaps for obvious reasons.  With my MAD club at lunchtime today I raised this issue and we discussed reality versus perception, media influence, policing, whether this was a local or national issue and other matters pertaining to the issue of knife crime.  I was most impressed with the maturity shown by those in attendance (all Year 7 and 8) and how well-considered and expressed their contributions were. Perhaps you may wish to further such discussions at home.  Our conclusions seemed to be, and I hope I’m not misrepresenting the group, that, yes, the threat of knife crime is a reality (lack of police presence was one contributory factor suggested) but it is somewhat exaggerated by the media and by social media groups.  The students don’t think there is a climate of fear locally but they all acknowledged what they ought to do if they were confronted with such a scenario and they all recognised the importance of passing on information to the relevant authorities for their own safety and for the greater good.  A great discussion with some fabulous young people, I have to say.

FYI, the 2nd and 3rd most popular choices were, ‘Equal pay for equal work’ and ‘Proper funding for mental health services’.  Discuss.

I think I’ll stick to teaching as my weather-forecasting talents are clearly lacking.  I was convinced I’d read / heard it was due to turn cold last weekend and yet we had a glorious day on Saturday.  It was a ‘long’ day, shall we say, as I attended a pre-match sponsors’ and coaches’ luncheon at my rugby club.  I slept particularly well that night before being awakened bright and early on Sunday morning to carry out my domestic chores!

I’m sure I won’t be alone on Sunday when I face that biannual and one of life’s greatest conundrums; who do I want to lose out of City and Liverpool?  Hopefully, it will be a dour 0-0 affair with 3 red cards per team, but that’s just my jealousy kicking in; I need to be mature about these things and just acknowledge that both those teams are playing football the right way (and not the Jose way!).

Anyway, none of that really matters as Warrington Wolves annihilated Saint Helen’s last night to reach next Saturday’s rugby league Grand Final at Old Trafford!  Come on the Wire! ‘It’s always our year … etc’

Before I get too carried away, I’ll leave it there.  Five weeks gone already, who’d have thought it? It’s been a wonderful journey so far though.  More excitement next week, I’m sure.

In the meantime, have a lovely weekend.

S Beeley