Welcome back to 2020!
I’m absolutely delighted to be starting the new year as the permanent Headteacher of Prospect School and it is definitely my new year’s resolution to ensure that Prospect is the very best school that it can be!
I had a quick Google of the key things that we can look forward to in 2020: key sporting events such as the Tokyo Olympics, the European Cup and the introduction of the Cricket ‘Hundred’ format. For film-goers, we have Top Gun 2, the new James Bond film, and 1917, which is definitely on my list to see. My son is, as are no doubt many of our students, looking forward to the release of the new Playstation and X-Box consoles. Politically, we will very shortly be ‘Brexiting’ and, of course, the Presidential Election will be held in the USA. Finally, I can’t say I’m a fan (or even know what it is!), but there is apparently a winter series of Love Island starting very soon…
Teachers started back on Monday with an INSET day. As last year, our two core priorities are to ensure that ‘every lesson counts’ – through excellent teaching and learning, every student will be able to make maximum progress in every lesson and, secondly, a focus on ensuring high standards of behaviour at all times. It is very important that we are all aware of these priorities – teachers, students and parents as well – as we seek to move forward on our journey as a school.
I was delighted to see so many students at school on Tuesday, with their parents, for our academic monitoring day – this is a new format for us, and I hope that all those who attended found it useful. The form tutor has a key role to play for every student here, as they are the one person who sees them on a daily basis and is able to really get to know them, therefore I would strongly encourage parents to build that relationship. I will make no apologies for referring to this again and again: in order for students to get the most out of their education, they need to be here every day. I was very encouraged to see that over a third of our students had been here every single day last term and I cannot emphasise enough the importance of regular attendance; students simply aren’t learning if they’re not in school, and the evidence for this is clear. On average, for every 17 days lost – which is the equivalent of 89% attendance – one GCSE grade is dropped. Every student should be aiming to be here every single day, and whilst I accept that there are occasional genuine reasons for absence (and we will look after students who are unwell), there are simply no other reasons that should get in the way of coming to school. I want every student here to have the best possible life chances, and a sound and regular education is the best way to afford this. It is my pledge that teachers here will do their bit by teaching engaging, well-planned and challenging lessons; it is up to students (and parents) to do their bit by ensuring that they are here for those lessons.
We have much to look forward to this term, this year, this decade and I am very proud to be the Headteacher of such a wonderful school with so much potential. As I have said before, if there is anything that you would like to discuss, please do not hesitate to contact me and I would be delighted to meet with you.