Headteacher's Blog 10th January 2020
It is very pleasing to report that on the whole we have had a really positive start to the new term and the new year, although it has to be said that having been back for a week it is already difficult trying to remember that Christmas actually happened. The students have come back really settled and have enjoyed a round of assemblies where, alongside talking about our new year resolutions, we have reminded them of the standards and expectations we require of them.
Staff have also returned to work in a positive frame of mind despite the dark mornings and it is great to welcome three new members of staff; Mr Diskin used to work as a Teaching Assistant at Lipson some time ago and returns to us as a History teacher. Mr Reynolds has relocated from London to be closer to his family and will also teach History. Mr Hunter joins us as the new Business Manager and will be shadowing Mrs Bailey who is due to retire at Easter after many years of dedicated service to Lipson. I would like to offer a very warm welcome to all our new staff who I know will complement the fantastic people we have working at Lipson already.
Staff training this week has centred as it should, on our attempts to further improve the quality of teaching and our School Improvement Partner, Dr Richard Steward will be running another session with us next week.
We have had visits this week from a number of local schools who are becoming interested in our approach to managing the behaviour and attitudes of our students. They are particularly interested in the emphasis we are putting on the development of positive relationships and on our insistence that everything we do is underpinned by kindness. Our reputation in the city and beyond is certainly improving week by week which is really important as we try to re-establish Lipson as a school that we can all be really proud of.
Unfortunately, in striving to improve standards for everyone there are inevitably going to be a few casualties and I had to make the very difficult decision this week to permanently exclude a student in Year 8 who could not meet our expectations. Sometimes difficult decisions have to be made for the greater good.
The next few weeks and months are of course particularly important for students in Years 10,11 and 13 who will be taking their public exams in the Summer term. Preparation is well under way and I have to say that if they continue to apply themselves as they have done so far, we are confident that a large number of them will be celebrating when their results come through in August.
On Thursday we will be holding Year 8 Parents’ Evening. This first opportunity of the year for parents to come and talk to staff about their child’s progress is vitally important. I understand we have 78% of families booked to attend at present and I would encourage the rest of you to do so. This is especially important in light of Year 8 Options Evening taking place on 10th February, where students will get the chance to decide which subjects they would like to go on to study at GCSE level.
I would finally like to wish you all a Happy New Year and hope that you can feel and share my optimism for the very bright future of our school.
Martin Brook Headteacher