Headteacher Weekly Bulletin 23.11.18

Good afternoon, folks,

A bit busy at the moment setting up for Sunday’s Christmas Fair so I’ll have to be particularly quick this week.  I hope many of you will be able to join us to begin the festive season and raise a few pennies for our students and for charity in the process.  Doors open to punters at 9.30 (adults £1, children free).  There’ll be the usual array of 30+ stalls, Santa’s grotto, games organised by our Year 7s, the choir singing Christmas carols and some culinary delights.  

Judging by the bulletin, there’s been lots going on as always but I’m not entirely sure whether colleagues have had chance to report on all these events and activities – I’ll look forward to opening the app this evening to find out:  Mr Holt’s been busy with his primary school quiz (well done to the winners, Heyes Lane) and with the last of the Year 5 Apprentice Challenge events for this year, delivered so effectively by former Assistant Headteacher, Mr Shaw; Year 10 Geographers have been pounding the streets of East Manchester on a field trip guided by the very same and seemingly ubiquitous Mr Holt; our A level physicists attended a ‘Physics in Action’ event; their Maths counterparts took part in a Maths Challenge at the University of Manchester; over 100 Year 9s have expressed an interest in taking part in Bronze Duke of Edinburgh this year and the Year 11s have been showing off their foreign language skills with GCSE speaking tests.  Of course, this is a mere soupçon of what’s been happening at Wellington this week.

It appears to have been a very busy sporting week at Wellington and I won’t spoil your anticipation ahead of reading the match reports for yourselves.  Our netball, handball, football, swimming and rugby teams have all been in action this week.  Just a quick word about the Year 8 rugby yesterday to save me writing a separate report.  Ordinarily, Mr Higginson would have accompanied the boys to this Cheshire schools round-robin tournament at the Grange School in Hartford but, as you will be aware, he is currently incapacitated with his leg in plaster.  It was a privilege to take a squad of 16 Year 8 boys with an additional 5 Year 7’s thrown into the mix to boost numbers as I have not had chance to see these boys perform since I took the team in Year 7.  Great to see new faces like Kaiden, Jonny, Iwan and James performing so well alongside the old-stagers.  The Year 7s (Alex, Adam, Ollie, Charlie and Dom) acquitted themselves exceptionally well and didn’t look at all out of place; they have their own version of this tournament at Chester Rugby club next Tuesday and I’m optimistic about our prospects.  We won 2 and lost 2 on the day, with the boys improving as the games progressed.   If only more of these boys trained each week on a Tuesday afternoon, they could be a very effective unit but without the benefit of these sessions, they will always lack the cohesion required to perform well.  It really is up to you boys how well you want to do!

It was a bit of an unusual and particularly varied day yesterday (just what I love about my role) and possibly a little atypical for most Headteachers, I would suggest.  The rugby was a very pleasant afternoon spent in the Cheshire sunshine but prior to that I had mentored some Year 11s, had a data committee meeting with two Governors and did an hour and a half’s work on our anniversary garden with parent and garden designer, Helen Drake (and her wonderfully dynamic and exuberant mum).  The garden is nearly complete (missing some seating and the water feature) but I really can’t wait to see things start to flower in spring time.  We planted 30 saplings yesterday which will inevitably take years to grow to a decent height but, as I’ve said previously, what a fabulous legacy of our 80th year this will doubtless prove to be.  Thanks to 6th formers Tom Winwood-Rooney and Sam Pavey for giving up a free period to pick up a spade and lend a hand.

On the subject of contributions to the community, a big thank you to the Year 7 and 8 students who came to MAD Club today; we headed down the passageway that runs between Wellington Road and Moss Lane to do a litter-pick.  I have never known such enthusiastic litter-pickers and we managed to fill 5 bin bags!  A big shout out to the 21 6th formers too who have volunteered to help out at the Christmas Fair on Sunday.  Finally, I was approached by a group of eager Year 9 girls at the end of lunch today with a petition to reduce or even cease the use of plastics by our school caterers.  Given the well-documented environmental impact of single-use plastics, I will certainly give their campaign my full support and meet with the catering manager from Chartwell’s next week.

Great to see our students ‘making a difference’ in lots of ways.

Year 13s begin their mocks on Monday and I wish them the very best of luck.  They’re a fabulous bunch but I sense they’re getting a bit stressed out at the moment.  If you are a parent of a Year 13 student, please reassure them that they are doing brilliantly!  Of course A levels are challenging but our students work exceptionally hard (most of them) and they are well taught, consequently they WILL achieve great things next summer.  Mocks are just a means of identifying where we are at at this moment in time, a diagnostic tool if you like, so let’s prepare well for them but also maintain a balance.  Anyway, good luck one and all.

Time to get back to Christmas Fair preparations, I’m afraid.

Have a lovely weekend and I hope to see you on Sunday.

S Beeley