Headteacher Weekly Bulletin 21st February 2020

Good afternoon

This will be unequivocally the shortest bulletin on record; we’ve just seen the final stragglers off-site at the end of the afternoon session of Sponsored Walk 2020, and quite honestly, I’m exhausted.  Sensibly, we brought the Key Stage 3 walkers in early this afternoon given the less-than-ideal conditions.  Despite the weather, the students have been brilliant all day, showing the grit and resilience one would hope for.  Disappointingly, a very small number of our Year 8 students let themselves and the School down and have been dealt with accordingly, but that cannot take the gloss off another successful walk.  Thanks must go to Gemma Atkinson, Wes Butters and Hattie Pearson from Hits FM (Gemma is obviously more widely known for appearances on the telly box over the years) for starting our walks. Wes got a little carried away with the starting pistol and Hattie struggled to cut the ribbon but apart from that, they made a decent fist of it.  The ‘Cash for Kids’ ladies, Michelle, Sophie and Jess (but which one was Courage the Cat?) should also be acknowledged for their support today.  All our visitors commented on the buzz amongst the students and how great they thought the school was.  Mr Holt is poorly sick and been off for a few days but I’m sure the personal ‘ get well soon’ message Mrs Cooper asked Gemma to record will perk him up!

The hard works starts now and I would ask you at home to get behind our fundraising efforts for the benefit of all those young people in Greater Manchester who need our support.  I really do think we can crack the £40k total again. 

Thank you to the parents of Year 9 students who attended our last parents’ evening of this academic year last night.  It was a particularly significant one, of course, as this marks the end of the Key Stage 4 options process, with those final choices due in next week.  I know how great my colleagues are and appreciate them enormously, but it was great to be stopped by numerous parents as they left last night confirming exactly that.  Comments such as, “Mr Beeley, I just can’t tell you how wonderful you’re staff are!” and “I can’t believe how well his teachers know my son” are music to any Headteacher’s ears.  As I always, my colleagues care about what they do and the young people they teach, and that shows on occasions like this.

I’ve not had chance to peruse other items yet but I do know we’ve enjoyed some sporting success this week.  Although, our Year 7 rugby opponents cried off yesterday as they couldn’t raise a team.  I’d like to think they’d heard of our fearsome reputation! I’ll catch up with other news on my bus journey home.  Oh, on that note, I’m pushing myself a bit more in the mornings now; rather than the slow 10-minute jog down the hill to the nearest bus stop, I’m actually running a bit further along the route.  Perhaps if I increase by one stop per day, I’ll be running all the way to School by 2025! This pales into absolute insignificance compared to Mr Fenwick’s exploits this weekend; as I type, he will be starting a 90-mile race across the peaks and valleys of Snowdonia.  Last time it took him a mere 22 hours but given the conditions it might be a little longer he suggests this time.  Madness! However, admirable, awe-inspiring madness nevertheless. 

Year 11s and Year 13s have begun their final mocks this week and, in the main, they seem to be coping well.  Good luck, guys, for the next couple of weeks. 

I would ask for parental support with exams; no, they are not easy and yes, they can be stressful, but that is the absolute inescapable reality.  We cannot skirt the issue.  These are mocks and, therefore, an essential rehearsal and means of diagnosing what is needed over the final few months.  Over recent years, and it’s the same across the country, there has been an increase in parents ‘sanctioning’ absence at this crucial time because their child ‘doesn’t feel up to it’.  We fully appreciate and address issues around mental health and anxiety but there is no special dispensation from the regulators for feeling nervous; nervousness, that adrenaline rush, those butterflies … it’s all quite natural.  As that book title once advised, ‘Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway’!   

Anyway, have a great weekend and endeavour to stay dry if you can.  I’ve just had a hot Vimto (a heavenly elixir) before I drag my weary limbs to Altrincham Interchange.  I might see some of you at tomorrow’s Year 9 Bronze D of E training day.  Thankfully, it’s indoors.  England v Ireland in the 6 Nations on Sunday and Warrington Wolves play tonight in Super League; it’s all go!

S Beeley