News from Mr Ramsey

English Baccalaureate Success Recognised

I was delighted to receive a letter last Friday from the Right Honorable Nick Gibb MP, Minister of State School Standards congratulating us on our success in the English Baccalaureate in 2016.

The Baccalaureate is a suite of five GCSE examinations including English, Maths, Science, a Humanity and Modern Language which are recognised as the core academic subjects. The letter commended us for being amongst the top state funded schools in England for success in these subjects.

I have attached a copy of the letter to this newsletter and would like to commend pupils and staff for this success.

Uniform matters

This week I undertook a uniform check of pupils and was generally very pleased with their standard of presentation. Only a very few boys had let the school down by having unfastened collars or poorly fastened ties. However, it was noticeable that it had not occurred to a significant number of pupils that they might wish to have clean shoes. I wonder if parents could encourage their sons to clean their shoes weekly.

Mobile phones

Recent surveys have suggested that 75% of children sleep with their mobile or tablet computer in their bedroom and can spend up to 7 hours a day on their phone. This can have a very negative impact on wellbeing, sleep, learning, homework and of course family life! An application has been introduced to us that we feel would have a real benefit on pupil’s well being and gives parents the ability to limit phone use to a reasonable and sensible amount. “Our Pact” is a FREE app that can be downloaded onto a parent’s phone and then linked with your children’s

devices. It allows parents to limit the time children can spend on the internet and on apps that use the internet. It can also prevent usage at certain times of the day. Daily schedules can also be linked so that these apps ‘disappear’ during the times you set, for example 9pm – 7am. For more details, search ourpact.com, or use the apple or android app store.

Meetings and Communications

Whilst all staff endeavour to respond to communications from parents as quickly as possible, it is important to remember that the vast majority of a teacher’s time is spent in the classroom. It is, therefore, not always possible for staff to respond immediately to enquiries from parents.

In urgent situations, I will always try to be available to meet. Our Communication Policy states that staff will reply to all enquiries within 48 hours; senior staff will always endeavour to reply before this deadline. Similarly, it is usually not possible for teachers, particularly Heads of Year or SENCO to see parents without an appointment.

P A Ramsey

Headmaster

Letter from Nick Gibb MP

Mobile phone policy review

I am in the process of discussing the current policy with staff and governors as a small minority of pupils are not adhering to school rules. Can I remind all parents and pupils that:

  • Mobile phones should be switched off in school and remain out of sight;
  • Pupils may not make calls, text or use communication apps in school;
  • Only Years 10 and 11 may listen to music or play games and this may only be done at break or lunch times.

I will inform parents of the results of our discussions before the Easter holiday.

Sixth Form CPR training

Sixth Formers will be conducting CPR training to two members from each Form starting with Year 7 next week. Any interested pupils should ask their Form Tutor for details.