“Enjoy the little things in life because one day you`ll look back and realise they were the big things.” Kurt Vonnegut

Well the first signs of the new academic year are manifesting at the end of only the second week back – coughs and colds. I have had a sore throat this week but I am fairly sure that it is the amount of talking I have been doing after a near monk’s like silence in comparison through the summer holidays. I am sure I read once that in the course of an average school day an educator will speak and interact with around 200 people. It is one of the absolute pleasures of the job to be able to speak to students, staff and parents daily so I am more than happy to risk a sore throat for the weekend. Besides my children will be pleased as it means I can’t nag them to tidy their rooms on a Saturday morning. Walking around the campus this week I have seen great learning across the school this week although slightly disappointed at missing the smells and explosions in Science as I dropped by. Early days in the autumn term yet though. I have seen a lot of parents this week over a number of issues and I do need to say thank you to the parents who have donated sofas for the Year 11 common room. More still needed please. This week we also saw the school’s case study for significant improvement and excellence in the annual “Parliamentary Review” report (follow the link below) on education published. There is a link to the press release on the school’s website: Parliamentary Review

In school the new Year 7s and 12s seem to be more than established at the end of the second week of the academic year. The Learning Areas when they are not involved in the day to day of teaching are preparing their analysis reports from the summer results ahead of the meetings with the Leadership Team over the next two weeks looking at what went well and what we need to do to improve as part of our school improvement plan. I had a really good meeting with one of our new art teachers as we discussed ideas for the next phase of developing Creativity in the school and I am pleased to finally see flags of the World up in the school’s assembly hall as we continue to develop as a centre of excellence for global learning. As a part of our digital learning strategy “Show My Homework” is now the online platform for all home learning. In conversations with parents the overwhelming consensus is they absolutely love Show My Homework. Homework can be seen that has been set, if it has been undertaken by the student and it also allows more stretch and challenge as well as independent learning. To the Year 10 boys who had a moan to me this week about it meaning they now have to do their homework and can’t “get out of it” – in the words of Socrates “tough”.

The “great debate” in education rumbles on following the Green Paper last week and the proposal in introduce more grammar schools and allow schools to select. One education leader has asked “what happens when all schools can select? What happens to those students not selected? Where do they go?”. It was commented upon in Parliament this week that as a policy proposal it has united more or less the teaching profession including the ex-Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan, but not Michael Gove. And was it coincidence that David Cameron quit Parliament on the same day as the announcement? I am curious to see where the debate will develop following the new incoming head of OfSTED, Amanda Spielman’s signalled intentions to consider scrapping the top inspection rating because she was “quite uncomfortable” about “some of the effects I see it having in the system”. How many schools, including this one, have set their aspirations to be “outstanding”? For Wyedean School this label always means “high performing” in all that we do for the best possible outcomes and opportunities for our students. Hopefully we are always aware that the little things are the big things right now – especially in our school.


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