Headteacher Weekly Bulletin 31st January 2020
There has been so much going on this week, I was on the verge of saying, “I don’t know where to start!” However, without wishing to offend anybody or undervalue any other event or activity in the slightest, there is really only one place I can begin, and that’s with this week’s performances of ‘Annie’. It was truly spectacular! The cast of students ranging from Year 7 to Year 11, although predominantly Year 7 and 8 quite staggeringly, displayed their full array of theatrical talents with a production of the highest standards on all levels. There really were too many outstanding performances to single out any individual (that would be unfair given a performance like this is the ultimate in team work) but I think my favourite moment of all, that had me in absolute stitches, was Sinead McColl’s dance moves as a member of President Roosevelt’s cabinet; comedy gold! Definitely some of Mrs Simpson’s signature moves in that little routine. A massive congrats to all the cast and to my wonderful colleagues; Mrs Simpson, Miss Spencer, Mrs Norbury, Miss Grey (for her artwork / staging) Miss Lee and Dr Chard for their part in the orchestra, Mrs Moorhouse (Musical Director extraordinaire once again) and, of course, our new Head of Performing Arts, making her school show début / taking her bow, Ms Bennett – no pressure!
I have never seen the Adshead Hall so full before and consequently we had to put out extra chairs last minute (N.B. please can EVERYONE buy tickets in advance in future). This is a clear indication of the quality of performance (word certainly got around following the first performance on Wednesday evening), and of the fabulous sense of community we have here at Wellington. Thank you for coming out to support our young people.
The audience voted to allow the cast to come in late this morning after an exhausting schedule, which began on Sunday and included full dress and technical rehearsals, a performance to our partner primaries and two evening performances (and, of course, it wasn’t the shortest of shows either). The Year 7s involved had a Geography trip into Altrincham this morning, so I will be interested to see if they made it in for that! I did offer to cover the staff involved this morning so they could have a bit of R & R, but unsurprisingly and to their credit, they chose to come in as usual. Not only that, they have already been discussing the next show. Absolute troopers, and I consider myself (and judging by the comments / emails from parents, so do you) incredibly blessed to have such colleagues at Wellington. Roll on next year!
I mentioned the Year 7 geography trip into Altrincham; it’s been absolutely lashing down so they will no doubt be returning shortly a little damper than earlier. I look forward to Miss Hennessy’s report on their experiences.
Our other Humanities subject, History, have also had a busy week with the Year 11 GCSE-related visit to Sale Waterside to watch the play ‘The Doctor’ on Monday, and our customary participation in the Holocaust Memorial Day event, also at Sale Waterside, on Wednesday. I believe they both went well and I look forward to reading the reports. Events and activities around Holocaust Memorial Day are so important, now perhaps more than ever. The figures that reflect the increasing number who doubt the Holocaust occurred or that it was exaggerated are quite startling, not to mention sickening. It is one of our many responsibilities as educators to ensure that the Holocaust and other more recent incidences of genocide, such as the horrors of Srebrenica, are not forgotten. We must continue to learn from history.
Tuesday saw the next in our series of parents’ evenings; Year 7 this week and I was on ‘active duty’ for once with my absolutely gorgeous 7H French class. They are a veritable delight and having now met the parents (without wishing to be sycophantic), I can see why; what a lovely bunch you are. Lots of comments about how well the children had settled, how happy they are, how they seemed to be flourishing and what busy schedules they had established (in a good way) due to the wide range of activities on offer. Inevitably, there may be a few who don’t feel that way just yet but Mrs Dunne and her KS3 colleagues will address any concerns our young people and their parents may have.
There was another lively School Council meeting on Thursday and I hear that Isabel Oultram wowed the audience with a presentation about young carers. Although not one herself, Isabel has second-hand experience and a detailed knowledge of the challenges facing this under-acknowledged and perhaps under-appreciated (sizeable) group of young people in society. Awareness raising on such matters is essential and so we thank Isabel for her input. Making A Difference!
Mr Holt, with his careers hat on, arranged for members of the BBC workforce to come into School this morning, and the team presented to and answered questions from Years 8, 9 and 10. The initial feedback (via my MAD club) is extremely positive. I’ve never heard of him personally but a Radio 1 presenter by the name of Jordan North was amongst the ‘panel’! I didn’t get to meet our guests but I certainly spotted these ‘creative media types’ down the corridor. Mr Holt is a busy boy today but promises to write a few words about this event for next week.
Sports news next!
Well, what can I say?! Mr Higginson and I travelled over to Stockport Rugby Club to play Bramhall High School with the Year 7 and 10 rugby teams yesterday, and both sides were victorious. It was a bit of a one-sided affair for my Year 7s, winning 16 tries to 2, with Dylan Hanrahan, Kieran Lineham and Matthew Ryan having particularly fine games. The other thirteen squad members on the day were also excellent. I rarely get to see the Year 10 team, who were formidable I recall when I took them in Year 7. I caught the last 10 minutes yesterday and saw them snatch a 26-20 victory with the last play of the game. Luis Tait and Ben Lewis impressed me enormously in the short spell I watched. This bodes well for the tour to South Africa at Easter with a number of our Under 15s coming along.
Continuing with the rugby theme, there is, of course, a huge game on Sunday. No, I do not refer to France v England on the first weekend of the 2020 6 Nations tournament, but Warrington Under 18s v Wirral Under 18s, which will doubtless be the title-decider for this year’s North West Colts League. We have myriad absentees through injury and other factors and these wet conditions may not suit us but, nevertheless, I would expect the boys to deliver and retain their ‘champions’ tag. It goes without saying that we have brought the kick off forward to allow us to hit the clubhouse afterwards for the England game at 3 o’clock.
Well done to Mr Morgan’s Year 9 footballers for progressing in the Greater Manchester Schools Cup against Audenshaw. I’m sure he will provide a more detailed report.
There was handball too this week for the Under 13s (combined Year 7 and 8) with a tournament at Sale High. I haven’t had chance to ask how the boys went on but unfortunately the girls had no female opposition as no other school turned up. They ended up playing the boys’ teams and did ok for themselves, Miss Kelly tells me.
Well, I think that’s about enough for this week. I need to throw my (now luke warm) cup of tea down my gullet and head off to supervise Friday night SLT detention. Just to clarify, that is not a detention for naughty Senior Leaders (although that may have been warranted on occasion) but an escalated sanction for students (can you believe they exist?!) who may have made the wrong choices, shall we say, for my colleagues. Anyway, I shall go and have a chat with those lucky individuals who have won the dubious prize of an hour of my company and discuss the error of their ways.
Have a great weekend.
P.S. Thought it best not to mention Brexit Day!