Headteacher Weekly Bulletin 08.09.17

Good afternoon

‘Happy New Year’ to you all and a very warm welcome to autumn term 2017 at Wellington School.

I trust you all had a suitably relaxing / exciting / revitalising summer break and are once again ‘raring to go’ in your respective roles.

A particularly warm welcome, of course, to all our new Year 7 students and their parents.  I have to say we have all been mightily impressed so far with our new starters; their behaviour and appearance have been impeccable, they are showing boundless energy and enthusiasm for school life and their beaming smiles are proving infectious.  On only the second day, a group of particularly smiley girls ran up to me at break time to announce that they had already forgotten about their primary schools as they were enjoying Wellington so much.  We have had numerous messages via phone call and email and conversations out and about in the locality with parents that seem to support the initial very positive feedback of our students.  Well done to all the Year 7s for a great start and a huge thank you to all the staff, particularly Miss Hodges (Director of Year), Mrs Dunne (Pastoral Manager), their team of tutors and Mrs Cooper (SLT lead for Key Stage 3) for easing the transition process for our youngsters.  It’s early days but things bode well for this next generation of Wellingtonians.

Welcome to all our new staff too and I hope they’re not too exhausted after their first full week at Wellington.  In no particular order they are: Miss Spencer and Mr Gorman (English); Miss Jones (Geography); Mr Cawley (History); Mr Hodson, Mr Morfee, Mr Talbot and Mrs Dean (Maths); Miss Crump and Mr Brown (REP); Miss Tierney and Dr Short (Science); Miss Lloyd (Teacher Support Assistant) and Mr O’Neil (site team).  We wish them the best of luck and a successful and enjoyable time with us.

On the sporting front, there’s been no hanging around for the Year 7s; rugby training on Tuesday (I had 28 eager and very able young men) ahead of our first match away at Ashton next Thursday, followed by football and netball trials / practices on Thursday, again with great numbers in attendance.  It was, of course, straight into training for other year groups as well.  On the back of the South Africa tour at Easter, a good amount of silverware gained during the season and probably our best sports awards dinner in June, one would have to conclude that sport is at all-time high at Wellington and we are all very much looking to another successful season with ever-growing numbers participating in both competitive and recreational sport. 

Please do let us know about success, in any form, that our students enjoy outside of school, sporting or otherwise.  We like to celebrate all their achievements.

Talking of achievements!  We were once again delighted with both our A level and GCSE results this summer. 

Our Year 13s achieved record results, particularly in a massively impressive leap in the percentage of students achieving the top grades of A*-B.  There were countless individual success stories, far too numerous to mention here, that we will acknowledge and celebrate in due course.

Under the new performance measures at GCSE and with new exams and grading system for Maths, English and English Lit adding to the uncertainty, it is nigh on impossible to assess how well we have done at this stage.  However, all the indicators suggest that we have performed exceptionally relative to both previous years at Wellington and against other schools locally and nationally.  For example, in ‘old money’ (5 A*-C including English and Maths) we surpassed our previous best of 76% with a whopping great 82%.  Well done Year 11 and all the staff who played such a vital role. 

This cohort is now making the transition into the Wellington 6th Form and, like their Year 7 counterparts, appear to have made a very positive start.  Inevitably, having achieved so much at GCSE level our expectations and hopes are high for the next two years.  I wish you all the very best of luck.

Of course, we have an opportunity to celebrate the success of the ‘class of 2017’ at our Awards Evening at the Bridgewater Hall on Tuesday 19th September.  The new Year 7’s will also get the opportunity to perform for the first time and be inspired by their high-achieving elders.  I’m sure it will be another fabulous night and one of the highlights in the Wellington calendar as always.

Thank you for a fabulous initial response to my request for contributions to our School Fund.  On behalf of all the staff and students, can I express my gratitude for your generosity.  Please keep the donations coming in next week with a view to raising an amount which will genuinely enhance what we provide for our students.

On the subject of fundraising, you will be aware from various ‘mailings’ that we have entered the 80th year of Wellington School (in actual fact, the boys’ school as the girls’ school opened its doors the following year in 1939).  We would like to use this anniversary to explore opportunities of various kinds to benefit both our students and the wider community.  A piece will be appearing in the local papers very soon advertising a meeting later this month where representatives from our three chosen charities (Prevent Breast Cancer, previously Genesis, the Teenage Cancer Trust and Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital) will be addressing anyone interested in helping us to raise our target amount of £80,000 in our 80th year!  Ambitious but do-able with the support of local people and businesses, in my opinion.  We like a challenge here at Wellington. 

The charity work is only one aspect, given a significant one, of our ‘celebrations’.  There will be numerous projects in school and others to engage and support the local community.  Please do get in touch with any suggestions or information; maybe you have some old school reports, photos or stories to tell? Perhaps you know of an acclaimed old-Wellingtonian?  Alternatively, you may be an employer that wishes to take this opportunity to tap into the fabulous pool of talent we have here at Wellington? There are endless possibilities for what we may accomplish this year – all suggestions welcome.

Anyway, it’s been a long day of discussion as we’ve had our first of the three termly SLT review and planning days, and as much as I enjoy the company of my colleagues on the leadership team, I really need to get home and crack open a bottle of red (I’ve got a bit of a sore throat and sniffle i.e. man-flu and I believe that’s what the doctor would prescribe!)

I hope you’ve all had as splendid and productive a week as I have, despite the diminishing memories of warmer climes and longer days.  I do enjoy the rigours, the routine and the stimulation of school life (call me sad), so in many ways I’m glad to be back.  I just have the gut feeling that it’s going to be another outstanding year at Wellington (we seem to have the formula) and hope you will all assist in making it so.

Have a great weekend.

S Beeley