Headteacher Weekly Bulletin 14.07.17

Good afternoon

Only four more get-ups for the staff and students of Wellington School before a well-deserved summer break but, as I alluded to last week, there is no sign of the pace slowing as we head towards next Thursday.  As you will see in ‘Latest News’, it has been another action-packed, fun-filled extravaganza at Wellington over the past week.

Before I forget, you should all have now received an email / letter regarding the end of year reports.  We now employ an online portal for parental access to reports and I hope you are in possession of your log-in details.  Those in Years 8, 9 and 10 should already be familiar with the system.  Should you require any further assistance or have any feedback on our reporting system, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

I mentioned last Friday that I was heading to the A J Bell stadium on Sunday with Mr Higginson and Miss Challinor along with our Year 7 cheerleaders and Year 10 sports leaders.  Salford Red Devils rugby league team were playing Leeds Rhinos in the Super League and our students provided some half-time entertainment and helped with other activities, as part of our partnership work with the club.  The Year 7 ‘Wellington Wildcats’ put on a stunning display of dancing and acrobatics, so very well done, ladies.

Thanks to Mr Higginson and Miss Challinor for their supervision and organisation; the latter heads off again this weekend, this time for a 2-night Silver D of E expedition with 20+ of our Year 10s.  Hope the weather stays fine for you, folks.

 We ran the Extended Project Qualification with our Year 13 students for the first time this year and it proved remarkably successful, with some outstanding projects and presentations delivered by those involved.  The process is now underway with our next cohort; 27 (almost double last year’s number) Year 12 students have opted to embark on this challenging yet highly rewarding journey and have already engaged in several activities, including visits to Manchester Central and the John Dalton libraries.  On Thursday of this week, Mrs Wilson and Mrs Cook organised our second EPQ skills day with presentations from a number of staff on practical topics that would be of benefit over the course of the programme.  I hope the students found it to be of interest and of use; I certainly enjoyed myself and they seem a very committed and dynamic bunch.

It’s been a week of careers events with the Year 8 Dragons’ Den and in fact two events for Year 10; the Enterprise Challenge and the Armed Forces and Healthy Living day.  Mrs Mackay, as always, provides us with a few words about these activities, and it would appear that, once again, the students have appreciated the lengths that she and her team have gone to to provide them with such opportunities and give them the ‘edge’. 

It is also Rewards Trip season and Years 8 and 9 took themselves off to Blackpool Pleasure Beach this week, to be followed by Years 7 and 10 next week.  Judging by the photos I’ve been shown, everyone had a fabulous time and we seem to have acquired a ‘menagerie’ of cuddly toys.

Led by Mrs Allen, our team of 40+ francophone staff and students have spent the last 5 days ‘outre-Manche’, returning late last night.  I believe a fabulous time was had by all and I look forward to receiving more feedback, perhaps in the form of a ‘Latest News’ report next week.

Congratulations to the PE department and everyone involved in sport at Wellington #teamwelly; you can read the details in Miss MacGlinchey piece but, in short, we have been awarded the Sainsbury’s Gold Award for sporting participation and competition.  We are one of only two schools in Trafford to have received this accolade, the other being Ashton-on-Mersey (a sports college incidentally), so we should be incredibly proud of our achievements.  I do like a bit of sport, as you may be aware, and its positive impact on a school’s culture is very evident, so this recognition of the considerable efforts of so many at the end of a highly successful sporting year, is the proverbial music to my ears.

Mrs Moorhouse certainly gets around at the weekend; last week it was dance exams and reports of our students’ success and this week she relays details of music exam gradings.  Very well done to all those mentioned in Mrs Moorhouse’s report.  I love hearing about our students’ achievements outside of School, so would encourage parents, other family members and friends to share their stories with us.

I popped down to Pickering Lodge park on Wednesday to take a look at the artwork a group of our Year 12 students had designed and were painting / spraying onto one of the buildings down there.  Under the guidance of Miss Grey and Mrs Kearney, the ‘artists’ were working exceptionally hard and they really have done a splendid job of brightening up a rather dour looking structure.  The artwork was a culmination of several Wednesday afternoon sessions as part of the 6th Form enrichment programme, in which there are a number of community based projects.

I hope you have all received my email about our plans to celebrate Wellington’s 80th year beginning in September.  One of the primary focuses of the year, will be a charity fundraising target of £80,000 to be shared between the three charities we have worked and bonded closest with over recent years; Prevent (formally Genesis breast cancer prevention), the Teenage Cancer Trust and the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.  Mrs Copeland and Mr Holt met this week with the familiar faces of Judi, Sabina and Angela from the charities to discuss events in addition to our annual sponsored walk.  We really do believe it possible to raise this target amount in our 80th year given that we always manage around £35-40,000 as a matter of course from the sponsored walk alone.  So, let’s get our thinking caps on (lots of feedback and great ideas already) and do our best for these three great causes.  We really do want to use our anniversary as a catalyst to encourage our young people to be even more active in the community.

Just by chance (via former PA Mrs Tasker’s dog walking actually), we got wind of a Wellington School Old Girls’ Society for ladies who attended the girls’ school between 1939 and 1989 when it merged with the boys.  With a view to involving as much of our Wellington community, past and present, in our celebrations, we invited President of the society, Irene Healey, and former Headmistress, Honor Mallinson, in for a cuppa and a chat.  It was an honour to meet Honor, a delightful and venerable former Head and we shared many an anecdote.  Mrs Copeland worked under Ms Mallinson in the girls’ school and was moved to meet her former boss.  I hope the link between this group of ladies and other Wellingtonians can be forged over the next year.

I mentioned a few examples of the great opportunities Mrs Mackay has provided in her role as careers coordinator in the School over the last few years (her second stint at Wellington).  We also know her as a fabulous Maths teacher too.  She is one of several colleagues who will be leaving us next Thursday and I wish them all a very happy final few days with us.  Mrs Mackay has served a remarkable 34 years in total and has made a huge contribution in so many ways to life at Welllington, but our other departees, Mr Ashworth, Mrs Beese, Mrs Haley, Miss English, Miss Dalton, Mrs Smith, Mr Fellowes and Miss Wilson have also given so much of themselves in their spells here.  I’m sure they will keep in touch and will miss us as we will miss them.

Looking ahead to next week, Wednesday sees our talent show (this year rebranded as ‘Wellyfest’).  Mrs Moorhouse and the students have been putting in lots of audition and rehearsal time so I hope you can come along and offer your support – it’s always a great night.

I don’t know what I’ll do this weekend without Open Mornings or British Lions rugby matches to watch but I’m sure I’ll find something to fill my time; the way I feel at the moment, it could be a 2-day hibernation.  Enjoy whatever you’re up to. There’s light at the end of the tunnel.

Mr S Beeley