Headteacher Weekly Bulletin 16.12.16
You will notice that I have adopted a new approach to my weekly ‘blog’; items have been forwarded by colleagues throughout the week and uploaded onto the website under Latest News as soon after the event as possible. These items have also been added to an email allowing you to select which you wish to read. As I mentioned in an earlier post, you will soon be able to ‘subscribe’ to particular categories of news, e.g. Year 7, and then receive notifications each time a news item is released. My own contribution, therefore, will become a reflection and a summary of the previous week and the multitude of happenings (there will inevitably be some waffle / soap-boxing / meandering contemplations of a middle-aged man). I hope this new approach will keep you even more informed and up-to-date with life at Wellington. I have certainly been impressed with the staff response so far. I have asked that reports are kept brief and that there are photos whenever possible. I hope this meets with your approval. If there are large number of photos for a particular event or activity, then these will be placed in the Gallery section of the website.
Well, it has been lovely to keep abreast of events in school over the past 5 days almost as they’ve happened and under this new format I have no intention of commenting on all of them or repeating the thoughts of colleagues but there a few things I would pick out from this week before looking ahead to the final two and a half days of term.
The Year 7s had a great time at their Christmas disco last night by all accounts (unfortunately my disco pants were in the wash so I couldn’t make it) and Mrs Haley speaks very highly of their behaviour and the sheer joy and enthusiasm on display. She was also particularly complimentary about the 6th Form helpers. She writes; “Please can you let the below pupils know that they were FANTASTIC last night!
They really pulled out all the stops and were brill with the Year 7s. The music team danced all night long encouraging the Year 7s and getting them involved (which was difficult at the beginning, I can tell you!!). They were fab!
The tuck shop girls and the side stall crew worked endlessly and looked after the Year 7s making sure they had a good time (whilst they ate sugar laden sweets & got more hyper!) and the ‘greeting girls’ at the front door smiled and managed the parents arriving and leaving.
So a BIG THANK YOU to them all. I will sort out a little reward for them as a thank you – but it might have to be in the new year (but tell them I won’t forget!!):
Olivia Smith (Front entrance); Holly Rundle (Front entrance); Rachel Whyte (music & dance); Bethan Lamb (music & dance); Joshua Wykes (music & dance); Chris Bennett (Name the Teddy side stall); Emily Holt (Pin the nose on a snowman side stall); Ella Hardy (Pin the nose on a snowman side stall); Georgia Jackson (Tuck shop); Megan Thompson (Tuck shop); Emily Paulson (Tuck shop).”
It is wonderful to see our more senior students getting so actively involved in the development of their younger counterparts. Just the sort of ‘giving something back’ we would expect from the Wellington community.
Thanks also must go to Mrs Hayley herself as organiser in chief.
It’s been a particularly rewarding week for sport and you can read all the match reports attached. I say rewarding as two performances in particular demonstrate the determination and resilience we aim to engender in our students. On Tuesday, my Year 7 rugby team, despite being the better team for most of the game, found themselves 3 tries to 1 behind away at AGSB on Tuesday with barely 10 minutes to go, but they dug team and levelled the scores at the death. Wonderful stuff! Then last night, Mr Tomlinson’s Year 10 football team, although excellent in their own age-group, faced a very able team on tour from Western Australia with players between the ages of 15 and 18. They battled to a 1-1 draw, with a most animated Mr Tomlinson, Mr Manifould, Jayden Barrington’s mum and I watching on with true admiration and pride.
Miss Hitchen’s report on the cinema trip has also added another film to my list of Christmas holiday things to do; as a closet Harry Potter / J K Rowling fan, Fantastic Beasts sounds like a great way to spend a couple of hours one evening. Not sure my children will be as keen; I’ll be Billy no mates in the cinema … again!
Due to the re-arranged rugby fixture on Tuesday, I was unable to make the Year 7 and 8 ‘show and tell’ event. Mrs Beese and Miss Hitchens tell me the pupils were fabulous and were, understandably, very keen to show their parents some of the beautiful work they have produced this term. We have endeavoured to put on more of these events for different groups of students and I would thank the staff and, especially, the parents for taking the trouble to come along. It means so much to the young people; taking pride in one’s efforts and having that acknowledged is a great foundation for future success.
I have to say I was blown away by the Year 7 projects produced by Miss Spence’s Year 7 English classes and the website doesn’t really do them justice. The theme, as you can read, was Cirque du Freak and the effort the students had gone to was incredible. As a parent myself who has spent many hours overseeing project work, buying materials, designing, arguing over it etc, I really appreciate the support you give the students. I’m sure you love it really! It is my intention to have these projects displayed somewhere prominent in School.
Anyway, you can read more about those items in the separate reports.
So, half a week to go but it will doubtless be a hectic one. I hope as many of you as possible can make the Carol Service on Monday evening at Christ Church, Timperley. It really is a lovely evening and the staff and students put in a huge amount of preparation, so a swelling congregation would be a fitting acknowledgement.
On Tuesday, we have our first ‘own clothes day’ for many years (you should have received a letter / email). We decided that, although they will not be our main charity for this year, because we have developed a very close relationship with the Teenage Cancer Trust, we could do something to raise further funds and show our support. Students will pay £2 to wear their own clothes (no pyjamas, onesies, fancy dress etc) and staff will make a donation of at least £2 for the same ‘privilege’.
As is customary at the end of term, there will be rewards assemblies and one or two other things next week to wrap up the term and send the students on their way. We finish, of course, at 12.35 on Wednesday. I shall not be writing a bulletin next week but we will post items under Latest News.
Dr Chard heads off on maternity leave next week and we wish her well with the baby brother or sister that will join little Evan sometime in January.
It is with more than a note of sadness and enormous gratitude that we will say farewell next Wednesday to the long-suffering, indomitable, patient, tactful, tolerant, delightful, charming (I could go on but you get my drift) goddess amongst mortals that is Mrs Tasker, my P.A. for the 4 and a half years of my Headship. She, of course, also served under Mrs Armstrong prior to September 2012. I shouldn’t even begin to try to put into words how wonderful she has been and what she has done to support me, the staff and students of Wellington School. I quite literally couldn’t have dreamed about remotely fulfilling my aims for the School without her. I have countless anecdotes about Mrs T which I won’t share in this forum but suffice to say that anyone who has attended a Sports Dinner, the Bridgewater Hall, a family fun night, the Christmas Fair and so much more besides will appreciate her contribution to the wider life of School. On another level, she has consoled distraught staff and students, offered her wisdom and guidance willingly when sought, kept us fed and watered, assuaged the concerns of parents and quite simply been a dear friend to so many. They really did break the mould when they made Auntie Jackie. We wish her well in her retirement and I know she will keep herself exceedingly busy.
It just remains for me to wish you a very merry Christmas, one that brings you much peace, happiness and something that is often a rarity, certainly for me; the chance to spend some precious time with those closest to you.
But before then, have a lovely weekend.
S P Beeley