“Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardour and attended to with diligence” Abigail Adams

It’s hard to believe we are at the end of January already and we are talking in school about February half term. This Friday lunchtime I was asked several times by students “when do we have the next break?” The weather doesn’t feel very wintery right now especially in contrast to the snow scenes from North America last weekend. Life in school very much feels business-like as progress is made through courses, especially those with summer examinations looming. Year 11s have started their individual formal guidance meetings in school and I was struck this week how focused various students I met with were fixed on their hoped for pathways at Wyedean Sixth Form after GCSEs.

I think I have mentioned before how I was surprised by the large number of questions from students in September about my plans for uniform. As opposed to questions on learning or opportunities in school I had in mind as a new Head. I do believe strongly in school identity and students and staff feeling pride in their school. Well this week we had the Year 10 Careers interviews. These are supported by local organisations, employers, governors and local business people. It gives students the opportunities to meet with them and be interviewed and go through where they are right now. It is very powerful and necessary as we prepare students for the World outside of school. The Year 10s came dressed in “business wear” and looked very impressive in how professional they looked. I joked with a lot them that this could be the new uniform. Have a look at the school’s Twitter for an example.

In Wednesday’s Teaching and Learning briefing the Creativity Coordinator gave a rich talk on what she has done with the brief of Creativity and staff have lots of ideas already concerning the school’s “Creativity Festival” scheduled for early July. We are looking forward to our primary partners, local communities and even some of our international partner schools joining us in this celebration of creativity. Just after the briefing I caught up with my colleagues from English and MFL who had spent the previous day with the Classics Dept of the University of Bristol preparing for our Latin courses we are introducing. It is fair to say they were definitely buzzing from the day and ready to get going.

I was lucky to speak to a number of parents on Thursday at the Year 8 consultation evening and this is always a great way of being able to catch up – much more preferable to email. I sat with a number of individual parents who wanted to talk about how Wyedean can support the number of students from Welsh medium primaries who choose the school but would like to continue with their Welsh. Well, in what we think is a first for an English school, we are introducing the opportunity for these students to continue with their Welsh at Wyedean. I need to add here, and apologies for the boast, but last year from my school in Powys I did get Welsh onto Skype Classroom as one of their languages. The Music department are also working on the programme for the school’s Eisteddfod in March.

I get a number of emails from parents regarding homework/home learning and this week as part of our commitment to better digital learning, our digital learning coordinator came back from BETT 2016 with a great tool and app (Show My Homework) that will really ensure home learning supports and complements school learning. This will also support further independent learning for the student.

I have witnessed a battle royal of student leadership this week as the two respective Prom Committees for Years 11 and 13 have fought it out for the coveted “Valentine’s Disco” slot for lower school. Even dividing a brother and sister in those year groups though to see their student leadership in action is just a delight. It’s a big part of what makes this job so rewarding. Finally best of luck to Jessica Fudge this weekend in the area final of the Rotary Club “Young Chef” competition and I hope the weather is good for Year 7 on the French trip going out tomorrow. My thanks to Beky, Dai, Martyn and Gwenda for all of their hard work on this – early start tomorrow at 5am!


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