Headteacher Weekly Bulletin 20.10.17

Good afternoon.

Well, I did suggest last Friday that this week would prove to be particularly busy and so it has turned out to be (no winding down for half-term) and that’s exactly how we like it.  Consequently, there is plenty to read on the website / email this week, which will doubtless lift the spirits over a forecasted wet weekend.  Of course, you don’t need me to add further commentary on each report; my co-authors are far more creative and entertaining.

I must, however, make reference to the passing of Mrs Jo Timmins and her 30 plus year contribution and devotion to the lives of so many Wellington students.  Jo was an incredibly passionate and caring teacher who was loved by students and colleagues alike.  There are many who knew her far better and longer than I who have paid her tribute this week, and I thank them for all their kind thoughts and memories.  Jo’s funeral Mass will take place at Southern Cemetery on Monday 30th October at 4 pm followed by a cremation.  Requiescat In Pace.

It was a privilege to have helped with the Year 9 Bronze Duke of Edinburgh expeditions this year and, therefore, a further privilege to attend the presentation of certificates and badges last night, organised by Mr Gubbins and Miss Challinor.  We were also joined by Steph Ashcroft, one of the D of E regional co-ordinators, who very kindly travelled from Liverpool to say a few words and hand out the awards.  It is a real testament to the efforts of Mr Gubbins, Miss Challinor and over 20 other colleagues that we had a record 85 students taking part in the Bronze award this year, with a further 15 completing the Silver.  It is hoped that we may soon have a cohort going all the way and achieving the Gold award before they leave Wellington.

I hope the students are suitably proud of their considerable achievements.  Very well done.

Before the D of E evening, I popped into the Year 7 Halloween disco in the Vale Hall.  I really must be getting old as I hardly recognised a single song!  What’s more, how times have changed; apparently boys dance these days!  Anyway, everyone seemed to be having a marvellous time, particularly Mrs Dunne and Mrs Hamlin.  There are demands already for a Christmas Disco, so I’m sure we can manage that.  I might even get my best flares out.

So what else has been going on over the last 5 days:

The English department have been busy this week promoting National Poetry Day; MFL appear to have been exceptionally creative judging by their singing, their work around Halloween and the Roald Dahl reviews in French; there has been the ubiquitous Careers event thanks to Mr Holt; Miss Spencer’s Year 7 Aim Higher adventurers seem to have had a fab if rather wet time in the Peak District; the PE department have been busy both with competitive fixtures and the start of Inter-form competitions and two events in REP caught my eye in particular.

I love the idea of the ‘Scholars’ breakfast and tea-party’ for Mrs Stephen’s RE A level students and was appreciative of Mr Harrison for his organisation of the radicalisation play and work-shop for Year 9.  I understand it was very hard-hitting but make no apology for that; it is absolutely necessary that we address these issues with our young people as schools and the realities of contemporary society cannot be kept apart.  Students will have the chance to discuss and make sense of the issues raised in future REP lessons.

Great news of individual sporting achievement on the international stage too; well done to Will Greaves in Year 12 on his selection for the England Under 17 lacrosse tour to the U.S. and also to Tahlia Blake in Year 7 for her bronze medal in the karate championships in Poland last weekend.  Thanks also to Tahlia for taking the time to come and show me her medal earlier this week.

In her piece, Mrs Moorhouse provides details of the community choir, which will be starting after half-term.  Please pass on details to any friends, family, former students or anyone else who might be interested in coming along.  The more the merrier.

Miss Carter leaves us today to pursue a career outside teaching and thus provides her last ever STEM report.  We wish her well in her work with a Manchester-based cycling club (her real passion) and thank her for all her work in the D&T department and with the STEM initiative.

Miss Spence also begins her maternity leave today and we wish her well and hope it’s not too long before her first-born, Zac, has a little brother or sister to play with.

Our 80th anniversary plans continued to gather momentum this week when Mrs Copeland and I met with Denise Laver.  Denise came to Wellington as a student, taught here in the 80’s, served as Mayor of Altrincham for two years and is now Chair of the Hale Civic Society (and much more besides by the sound of things).  Denise had lots of wonderful ideas how we might celebrate our 80th, raise funds for our three charities and build the Wellington community.  She also mentioned that former student, war veteran and winner of the Victoria Cross, Bill Speakman, turned 90 a few weeks ago, something I regret being unaware of and therefore not marking appropriately at the time.  It is my intention, however, to take a group of students to visit Bill in London where he now resides with the Chelsea Pensioners.  It would remiss of us not to recognise the achievements of such a renowned Wellingtonian, particularly one who graced the corridors at the very beginning.

So, a rather hectic 7 weeks done!  If you were to read back over all 7 of this half-term’s bulletins (and I don’t suggest you do), it would be mind-blowing to reflect on how much we have accomplished since the start of term.  The students and staff of Wellington never cease to genuinely amaze and inspire me.  Yes, this is hard work, yes, we get totally fed up and hacked off at times and yes, we all look forward to our holidays but, my goodness, we will all make our way home tonight knowing we have given it our best, that we have achieved so much and that we have made such a difference.  Oh, and although the grass may sometimes seem a little greener elsewhere, this is still one of the best and most satisfying jobs, in one of the best possible schools, one could hope to have. 

To all my colleagues, our young people and their families, have a great weekend and a well-deserved rest (if indeed you’re getting one) next week.

A final word of thanks to Mr Fenwick; my wine rack is looking rather sparse but he very kindly handed me a nice bottle of French Malbec earlier today, which will negate any need to stop off on my journey home. 

Whatever, you have planned for this evening, enjoy!

S Beeley