Message from Executive Principal
Thank you for continuing to follow the procedures we have put in place to keep the schools as safe as possible. We recognise what a difficult period this is for people on so many levels. It is vital that we all play our part in maintaining COVID guidelines, particularly as we see other areas of the country and secondary schools deeply affected by the pandemic. We do not want anyone in our community to feel isolated, alone or unsupported. If you are struggling and need a friendly ear please get in touch as we have staff in each school who can listen and signpost you to support.
We are striving to ensure that provision is maintained. It is important for families to know that when we have COVID related staff absence, it is a real logistical challenge to cover this without compromising the integrity of the bubbles we have created or to put staff at risk. There is also increasing concern with school leaders of the increasing costs that are being borne by schools with no additional funding. Whatever anyone's political persuasion I would encourage families to be aware of this and raise it with their local MP. Ultimately it impacts on what schools can provide.
This week myself and Lynsey Holzer (CEO) have been carrying out school reviews to make sure our schools are safe and improving. So, I'd like to end the week with some real bright spots. Despite all the challenges we are facing as communities there is brilliant work going on in your child's school.
At the beginning of September, you may remember we said each school was having a strong focus on high expectations, whether this be behaviour or in learning. You may also remember that I reported back to you how impressed I had been with the children's behaviour - I will now tell you I was a bit worried that it might have been a honey moon period and the novelty would wear off. I was wrong! Not only have children continued to behave in a really appropriate way (we call this conduct), this week we were able to see some brilliant behaviour for learning; children concentrating, contributing to discussions, improving their work, asking questions, focussed on independent tasks etc. You should be very proud of them - we are!
Likewise, we were able to see some real progress in the quality of education. Many schools have reported how difficult it has been to manage COVID and drive forward school improvement. We have not used COVID as an excuse to standstill. Despite the huge challenges the leaders face, there is really strong evidence of good progress in the way children are being taught to read, the way teachers present learning and provide feedback and the way subjects are structured and sequenced. It is very heartening to see.
School improvement is not possible without collective effort; children, families, different staff teams and the leaders. I want to take this opportunity to thank you all and to commend the sheer graft the school staff have put in. So many of you have been positive and encouraging and you have no idea how helpful that is. We are lucky also to have very supportive and skilled governors who help us on our journey. It is also very helpful that we are in the family of schools in Evolution s this really does provide good support to enable us focus on improvement.
I remain very ambitious for your children in our schools and hope you will help us to continue to improve. There is still work to be done and there always will be. All schools MUST be 'learning organisations' where everyone is a learner. This means that we will always strive to improve and develop.
I hope you all have a really safe but bright weekend. Please do share our pride in your children.