Headteacher Weekly Bulletin 12.01.18

Good afternoon

I hope the first full week of work of the new year for many hasn’t been too exacting.  At Wellington, we are certainly back in full swing, epitomised by the business-like and focused sense of dynamism that pervaded Year 11 parents’ evening last night. Following their first mocks in December, the students received the results of these exams last night to provide a real sense of direction and purpose for the term ahead.  I am confident, even in these times of uncertainty and volatility in the public exam system, that the team of teachers, students and parents will once again ‘deliver’ this summer.  I wish them all the best of luck for this term.  The A level mock results and parents’ evening will, of course, follow in a couple of weeks.

I feel I must address one particular issue before I go any further.  You all received an email from Mrs Copeland earlier this week informing you of the activities of a group of youths in the locality; to our knowledge, two Wellington students and a boy from another local school have been assaulted in the last week.  It is believed that it could be the same group that perpetrated each of these assaults. The email aimed to raise awareness and provide sound practical advice as to what one may do to avoid such incidents if possible and how to respond if unavoidably faced with a situation.  As is the norm in such situations, this ‘intelligence’ and guidance was forwarded to the Local Authority and cascaded to all other schools, many of whom shared it with their parents and students.  This was borne out of our concern and eagerness to educate, safeguard and protect our youngsters, even beyond our ‘jurisdiction’ in school.  I was asked to comment on BBC Radio Manchester yesterday morning and explained the rationale behind the email as above.  The presenter suggested that as a parent she might be tempted to adopt a ‘vigilante’ approach on receipt of such information; of course, I suggested that the response should be left to the police and associated agencies such as Safer Communities (N.B. you should by now have received a statement from local councillor Laura Evans with whom we are liaising on this matter).  The presenter, I felt, was also attempting to have me acknowledge that the police response was inadequate; I did not concur with her insinuation and I am confident that the authorities will take the appropriate steps to address and ultimately eradicate such anti-social behaviour, and Laura Evans’ statement should reassure parents and youngsters to that end. 

I was made aware of one comment on social media that ‘Headteachers need to get together to eradicate this sort of behaviour’.  I repeat what I said previously; it is our job to educate and this, of course, takes many forms.  Our aims and values at Wellington are very much founded in the spirit of community, shared ownership and responsibility and a desire to create good citizens who can contribute positively.  We are not a law enforcement agency nor, despite our best efforts, able to cure all the ills of society.  I also read that my comments on the radio ‘played it down’ i.e. perhaps I wasn’t taking the matter seriously.  Nothing could be further from the truth; as a school NOTHING is more important to us than the safety, welfare and well-being of our young people.  We demonstrate that day in day out.  But naturally it is essential on these occasions not to enflame, incite and, indeed, over-react.  Fortunately, to our knowledge, this type of incident is relatively uncommon in Altrincham, Timperley and the surrounding area, and together we will ensure it stays that way.  If you have any further information, please do share it with the School or directly with the police.

So what’s been happening on a more positive note at Wellington this week?

Well, it’s good to see our psychologists back in School today following their trip to Poland.  The feedback seems to suggest it went extremely well and I am sure a report will follow shortly from Mrs Taylor-Crooke.

Several reports also of the fabulous achievement of our students whether it be the English half-term heroes, the UNDEFEATED Year 10/11 basketball team whom I had the pleasure to watch on Tuesday evening against BTH or, in MFL, Mr Hennessy’s Year 7 French lot and Jess Stansfield’s German work.  I am also very much looking forward to receiving letters form Miss Rostron’s Year 7 French class.

We had an extremely animated and productive 80th anniversary committee meeting on Wednesday evening; we even had to get out the ‘emergency’ chairs, in Peter Kay speak.  There are numerous events and activities in the pipeline but, at this stage, the ones for your diaries are the Sponsored Walk on Friday 23rd February, the Fashion Show on 26th April and, the climax, the Anniversary Bash at the Cresta Court on Friday 6th July.  These will be great community events but also a fabulously fun way to raise funds towards that £80k target.  You will receive information very shortly (maybe even today) about the bash in July, so don’t hang around, rally your friends and family and reserve a table asap.  It will be great night and one we hope to hold annually. Parents are also more than welcome to join us for the Sponsored Walk.  Why not get sponsorship yourself and if your employer can ‘match fund’, even better?  Further information to come in a few weeks about the Fashion Show.

Please note Mrs Copeland’s plea for you to vote for Wellington in Tesco in Hale and Altrincham by popping a token in the appropriate place.  We stand to gain at least £1000 towards various community projects but the £4000 top prize would be marvellous.

A team of students and I will be getting our hands dirty tomorrow morning helping the ‘Friends of Pickering Lodge Park’ do some planting.  We would really like to get involved in many more projects in the community so if you have any suggestions please get in touch, and if you’re around between 10.30 and 1.00 tomorrow, I’m sure all assistance would be gratefully received.   

Well, I have to be elsewhere this afternoon, so I will look forward to checking my emails later this evening to see what other Latest News has been submitted by teachers. 

I wish you all a very pleasant weekend and, as always, don’t hesitate to get in touch with news of any sort that you may wish to share.

Let’s endeavour to be a genuine community and all that it embodies; it is, after all, in the very best interests of our young people.

S Beeley