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Principal's Blog 24th May 2019

Well, we made it through to half term and although it has only been a five-week term I know how hard everyone has been working so I think it is safe to say that the break will be timely and well earned. It is always a busy time of the year as we try to prepare our Year 11 and Year 13 students for their external exams but we have made things even busier by taking on some major pieces of work at the same time.

In preparation for September we are now well on the way to changing our structure from a vertical tutoring system to a horizontal one. This has been really well led so far and it is pleasing to see how staff have got behind the changes. Alongside this piece of work, we are making a few changes to our behaviour management systems to ensure that all students are able to come to Lipson every day and not have their learning disrupted by a small minority. I am very confident that both these organisational changes will have a big impact on the school in a relatively short period of time.

We are also working hard to simplify the work that teachers have to do in the classroom. We have some fantastic teachers here and we need to look after them properly.  Again, I think a few simple changes to every day classroom practice could make everyone’s life a bit easier but also improve the quality and consistency of teaching here.

On the enrichment front, last weekend saw our Bronze and Silver Duke of Edinburgh students undertake their practice expeditions before the real thing in a few weeks.  Led by Dynamic Adventure, students showed great maturity and resilience in navigating their route whilst carrying their heavy kit.  I look forward to letting you know how they get on with the real assessment.

We have 4 very excited students and an even more excited Miss Geraghty preparing for the Gold Duke of Edinburgh expedition this half term.  On Sunday morning Flora MacDonald, Charlie Beeson, Sammi Demuth and Hayley Kelly will be travelling to Geneva for what I’m sure will be a life changing experience.  I am very much look forward to sharing some photos of the girls travels upon their return. 

On Wednesday our under 13 girls’ football team represented Plymouth in the County finals at Coach Road. This came as a result of coming in the top two teams in our local Plymouth Central Venue league for the second year running. What an achievement!  The standard at Coach Road was very strong, including county players and above. The girls put in some impressive performances on what was a very hot day, with wins over West Exe and St Luke’s. Unfortunately, we came joint second in our group but didn't go through due to a head to head decision.  Great goals from Fern Orchard and Maya Felgate showed just how strong we can be when attacking. The link up play between these two girls and Charlene Everson was slick to say the least!  Mia White, Amelia Hambly, Neve Mitchell, Phoebe Carew, Hannah Friend and Darcy Higgins all played a huge part in defending our goal at crucial times.  The heart and enthusiasm these girls show at training and matches is overwhelming and it only matches the pride Miss Geraghty has told me she feels when watching them play. They are a real credit to themselves, their parents and Lipson. 

Well done to your Year 8 Rounders team who beat Tor Bridge High (29 - 10.5) and All Saints Academy (19 - 8.5) last night.  Fantastic fielding and batting mean that the girls have won four out of their five games. Miss Geraghty will keep us updated on their final league position.  Great effort girls.

I was very impressed to hear about Year 7 student Molly Lane who won the under 12s South West Mountain Bike championships at Haldon Forest last weekend.  Molly has been asked to represent the South West in the inter-regional mountain bike championships in Leeds in August, an under 16s event, one which Molly wouldn’t normally be considered for because of her young age.  Well done Molly, what an achievement!

On Thursday the 23rd of May our Jazz Quartet from the Co-operative Big Band were invited to play in front of an audience at Plymouth University. The theatre was packed with the Lord Mayor, governors, teachers and parents from local primary schools.  Mr Twyman played bass, Mr Martin played trumpet, Dan Marshall was on the drums and Christo Pattinasarany on the piano.  They performed on their very first public 'High Profile' engagement. The Lord Mayor and audience were very impressed with our students’ mature and professional performance.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank parents and students for making me feel so welcome in my first term at Lipson and thank staff for their efforts in going the extra mile to increase the outcomes for our students.  Finally, I would like to wish everyone a lovely break next week.

 

Mr Brook, Interim Principal