It never fails to amaze me how quickly after the summer holidays we get back into the swing of things at school. Those days spent having fun with family and friends quickly pushed to the back of our minds as we dive straight back into our core purpose; developing excellent learning opportunities for all of our young people.
In a change to the standard first staff training day of the new academic year we chose to engage with developing our teaching practice straight away. For those of you who follow us on Twitter @EGCS1973 you will have seen the tweets of teachers in classrooms learning. I am a firm believer in the principle of life-long learning and if we want to instil this in our students then as staff we should be modelling the way.
For our students the start of term was also different. With the introduction of the new House system we wanted the opportunity launch it with the gravitas it deserved and so we had a House launch day with team building activities and a whole House assembly to begin this new chapter of competition and community within the academy.
The students were super and I have no doubt the House launch helped our new Year 7s integrate far more quickly into life at Ernesford than may otherwise have been the case.
Two weeks into the new year and we are already focussing on the outcomes for our Year 11 students, who have all been provided with a timetable of additional ‘upgrade’ lessons that will take place after school (parents will also receive a copy in the post). In this most important period of their education so far it is vital that we provide the support and guidance that they will need in the run up to the summer exams which right now might seem a long way off but will be here before we know it.
One of the many privileges of being a Headteacher that I miss during the holidays is the opportunity to celebrate our fabulous young people and the effort they put into their studies.
This Friday I was able to resume my favourite activity of the week ‘Hot Chocolate Friday’ where a selection of students from each House are invited to join me for a drink and a chat about school. It is always a delight to listen to their views and opinions and to take these on board and look to see how we can improve school for our most important stakeholders – the pupils themselves.
So, as another academic year begins I look forward to seeing what will be achieved at Ernesford as we continue our relentless approach to improve standards, develop our vision of excellence and focus all our students and staff on a culture of learning.