Headteacher Weekly Bulletin 18.05.18

Good afternoon

I can type a little more leisurely this week, without the pressing need to shoot off to a meeting or, like last week, on a Duke of Edinburgh expedition.  On that note, what a weekend it was!  The students acquitted themselves exceedingly well on the whole (a minority may need further fine-tuning of their navigation skills by way of an additional walk), with most groups completing each day’s walk in good time.  Thankfully, we avoided the rain pretty much until we were all tucked up in our tents on the Friday night, and then Saturday was absolutely glorious of course.  Rivington is a beautiful spot and although they were exhausted by the end, I’m sure the students have developed a greater appreciation for the outdoor life and some even suggested they may drag their families up to that neck of the woods for a light stroll – I would highly recommend it, particularly the home-made cakes in the tea rooms!

Our industrious and perhaps a little anxious Year 11 students finally began their GCSEs this week, and what a busy week it has been; some will have completed a third of their exams already by the close of play this afternoon.  I have to say that, once again, we have been mightily impressed with their attitude and application.  Even in these times of great (examination) uncertainty, it SHOULD still be the case that ‘you get out what you put in’, so we are all confident (with several body parts crossed) of success this summer. 

Year 13s, in some cases, have sat re-sits this week but, in the main they begin their A levels in earnest after half-term.  I delivered my final assembly to them this morning, offering a few words of encouragement and good luck.  Like the Year 11s last week, it does seem that they are in a good place.  Enjoy your final week of lessons at Wellington, Year 13, and I hope you do get what you deserve ultimately in your exams.

It’s been quite a busy sporting week, if not the most successful one.

Last Year, our Year 8 girls’ and boys’ handball teams reached the national finals, but despite a commendable effort, you can read (in Mr Morgan’s report) how the boys fell at the final hurdle (Trafford and Greater Manchester champions but unfortunately lost narrowly in the North West tournament to a school from North Liverpool).  I have yet to hear how the girls’ team have fared.

Equally disappointing, was the outcome of the Year 7 boys’ Greater Manchester Schools Football Plate final against Hazel Grove on Monday.  I personally thought we were the better side overall but their big, powerful number 14 proved unstoppable with numerous strong runs culminating in two very late goals.  I think our boys ran out of steam on a very warm evening to be honest.  I believe there is still some other silverware to play for.

The resurgence of the Year 9 football team was in full swing on Tuesday night, as the boys were leading 3-2 against AGSB, 8 minutes into the second half of the cup final.  Sadly, Josh Wilson dislocated his knee in a challenge and the game had to be abandoned.  Thankfully, a police unit in the area, equipped with the appropriate medical gear, came to the rescue in the absence of a paramedic /ambulance.  Josh’s team mates should be commended for their response and their comforting words and the ‘boys in blue’ (the police not the Year 9s themselves, obvs!) were able to pop the knee back in with the help of ‘gas and air.’  We wish Josh a speedy recovery and let’s hope his team mates can win the re-played final in his honour.

I was hoping to gate-crash the Year 8 History trip to the slavery museum in Liverpool yesterday, particularly as I’m teaching the topic this year, but unfortunately I was otherwise engaged.  From Mr Gerschler’s report, it sounds a truly fabulous experience thanks to a most engaging and knowledgeable guide. Maybe I’ll make it next year.

I’m sure, like me, you have seen some of the TV programmes over this last week marking the anniversary of the Grenfell Tower disaster and the Manchester bombing.  Unbelievable to think a whole year has passed!  I actually glanced back at emails sent to parents and staff, advice we gave to students and the words I wrote in bulletins at the time; it certainly brings it all flooding back and makes your heart bleed for those bereaved families.  I’m sure we will all spare them a thought at this time.  The message of tolerance, acceptance, patience and forgiveness remains as pertinent as ever. 

Our fundraising efforts continue, of course, and we have four colleagues (Dr Chard, Mr Little, Miss MacGlinchey and Mr R Williams) taking part in the Manchester Run this weekend.  If anyone is moved to sponsor them, they can do so on our Virgin Money Giving page. 

Well, what an exciting weekend ahead!  Two rugby union semi-finals tomorrow, Warrington v Wigan up in Newcastle at the rugby league ‘Magic Weekend’, the FA Cup final and I believe some minor royal is marrying an actress that nobody has really heard of.  I jest of course.  I shall be donning my wedding suit and raising a glass of Pimms in honour of a fellow ginger and the delightful Ms Markle (Suits is one of my all-time favourite series, although I prefer Donna to Rachel).  As somebody suggested on the radio this morning, whether you’re a royalist or not, it’s good to feel that sense of joy around the country when there is perhaps an over-emphasis on the ‘doom and gloom’ at times.  Anyway, who doesn’t like a good wedding.

So, something for everyone this weekend and hopefully the weather to suit too.  Have a great time whatever you get up to.

S Beeley