Headteacher Weekly Bulletin 24th January 2020

Good afternoon and happy Friday!

Or not so much in my case as I type this from home feeling pretty rotten.  I hate being off and have that intense feeling of FOMO, as they say, but under the circumstances it was undoubtedly the sensible option; I won’t go into graphic detail, particularly before the ‘watershed’.  It is my own fault for bragging recently about how well I’ve been feeling due to my new commuting routine and how I can’t recall going so long without feeling even remotely unwell.  I tempted fate!

Something of an irony here too as Mrs Copeland and I with our SLT colleagues have been discussing attendance recently and a dip last term compared with the same period in previous years.  There was that nasty illness going around that affected a good number of students and colleagues before Christmas and contributed to our figures, and I’m sure we reflect the Trafford / National picture, but we have always had high levels of attendance and are suitably paranoid about the risk of allowing this to slip.  You at home are crucial in this respect.  Can we make a plea not to take holidays in term time and not to arrange medical appointments etc. during the school day if at all possible.  We accept that at times the latter is unavoidable.  As well as the national data available, we have an increasing amount of our own that highlights the correlation between absence and underperformance in public examinations.  None of this is meant to be patronising as I know the overwhelming majority of parents ‘get it’ and continue to support us in this way.  It is also, as you will doubtless be aware, one of the School’s aims to build greater resilience in our young people as it is clear that issues around anxiety and well-being can lead to absence from School.  The work of the team in the Hub, our school counsellor and so many others (as it is a whole-school focus) is having an impact but more needs to be done. 

So, what’s been in the Welly news this week?

We took a break from the series of parents’ evenings last night in order to hold the KS4 Options Evening for parents of Year 9 students.  Mr Fenwick did a grand job as always delivering a most informative and clear overview of our approach to Key Stage 4 and the options process over the coming weeks.  One parent did make me chuckle when he asked on the way in if he was expected to choose his child’s options on the night.  Of course, that wasn’t the purpose of the evening but I suggested he may wish to do so out of sheer devilment.  I’m not sure how that would go down with said student however! Maybe we could run a version of ‘Mr and Mrs’ (showing my age) and see if the young person’s choices match their parents.  Anyway, I hope last night proved useful and any feedback is always appreciated. 

Just had a glance at other items submitted by colleagues this week.

Well done to all the Year 10s who have made it onto Mr Travis’ Wall of Fame.  In the main, the year group have settled well into KS4 and it’s great to see their efforts being acknowledged.  Keep up the good work.  I took an assembly for Year 10 yesterday which required a degree of audience participation.  I have to say their response i.e. a distinct lack of ‘audience participation’ was in stark contrast to the Year 8s with whom I did something similar last week.  I find it fascinating that over the space of just two years those adolescent inhibitions creep in, that sense of awkwardness that prevents a teenager wanting to stand out.  This is nothing new and quite natural but nevertheless worth considering.  Thank you to the three or four brave souls who did raise their hands and showed impressive knowledge of current affairs. 

Lots of great stuff going on in English as always, I notice; this week Year 7 get a mention.  Well done to all the students and teachers involved in the homework projects and the writing competition.

Mr Holt’s annual Year 9 Careers’ Carousel went well again this week and you can read further details from the man himself.  Our visiting speakers and the Wellington staff who took sessions spoke highly of the enthusiasm and attentiveness of the students, so well done Year 9!  This event is part of the whole careers / options process I referred to earlier and I do believe we do this particularly well at Wellington, allowing our students and parents to make informed decisions moving forward.  A big thank you, of course, to Mr Holt for organising the event.

A pretty good week on the sporting front.

Both the Under 16 and the Under 13 girls’ football teams progressed in their respective cup competitions and made a step closer to claiming some silverware.  Well done, ladies!

After Wednesday night, I’m grateful for any positive football news!

The Year 8/9 boys’ basketballers were also victorious against Sale Grammar but unfortunately the Year 10/11 team suffered a narrow defeat.  You can find more detailed sports reports in Latest News or via the emailed bulletin, including news of ice-skating success for Alice Stephens in Year 7.

I have enjoyed hearing rehearsals for ‘Annie’ progressing from my office over the last few months and after all that hard work … it’s showtime!  I do hope, whether your child is performing or not, you will come along and support those involved next Wednesday or Thursday.  Ms Bennett has been pleased with ticket sales but there are still some available.  It will be a great show once again so let’s make it a full house and give the brilliant cast an audience they deserve.  If it’s an incentive to any of you, there will be a bar of course!

Right, well that’s more than I intended writing at the outset.  I’m off for more water and a very dry digestive biscuit.

I hope you have a lovely weekend; I think my plans may be stifled somewhat rather annoyingly. 

S Beeley