Thursday, 21 July 2011

And now, the end is near, ...

I am astounded that an academic year has passed. It is a cliche, but where has the time gone?

Last year, on Friday 24th July, I stood in front of the entire school community and bade a fond farewell to those leavers, and made the bold and daring claim that, come this year's leavers' service, I wanted to stand in front of the assembled community with a positive OfSTED report in one hand and a letter recategorising the school in the other. Will I be able to make good?

More of this later. First, we must, surely, wax lyrical about this year's band of leavers.

What an amazing bunch of young people. What a thoroughly, thoroughly pleasant and decent set of individuals. And what amazing friendships. Quietly, almost stoically, some of these guys have had to face the most unbearable personal circumstances. Yet they have managed it. And they have managed it together.

It has been nothing but a privilege and a joy to watch these young people blossom and grow. As I said last night, I'm really going to miss the fun. Stay young - stay children - as long as you possibly can.

But let us not be sad. No, no. We shall not shed a tear. Let us instead cheer and shout from the rooftops the plain and simple facts:


In case you missed it, I said best SATs results ever, including reaching the national average in mathematics.
- First cohort to leave the school with 27 APS (technical, but let me assure you, very very important).
- Not a single, not one solitary exclusion. Not even an hour.
- Books shared with other schools to demonstrate what "Good" year 6 learners should be doing.
- Attendance above the national average, including a 100% SATs week.
- Performed not once but twice at the Colston Hall, and in Wales during St David's Week.
- An utterly nice bunch of people.

What of the rest of the school? did we neglect them? To quote a famous dog, "Oh no no no no". What did the rest of the school get up to this year.

- Reception outcomes were above the Local average for the second year running;
- Key Stage 1 results were up in every indicator by an average of 25%;
- Progress in reading in every year group;
- Progress in writing in every year group;
- Progress in maths in (you guessed it) every year group;
- APS = 4.17 (trust me, that's good).

Overall, not bad you would suppose. Yet wait, there is more.

- Not one but two successful OfSTED visits;
- Three consecutive "good" grades at progress review;
- Investors in People award;
- Financial Management Standards award;
- Every Child a Reader award;
- Best attendance since records began.

A year, as I said earlier, a fast disappearing year of amazing and significant improvement and achievement. I am extremely proud and pleased to be the head of such an organisation, and my intention is to kick on to the next phase.

So will I be able to make good on my claim from last year? Now, there's a story.

I most certainly will have the OfSTED report I sought in one hand. And in the other? There will be a number of documents which I will share with the school community. But that's for tomorrow.

Let me conclude a year of furious blogging by simply stating thus: thank you all; for your effort; your determination; your commitment; your enthusiasm; your passion; your kindness; your resilience; your smile; your shoulder; your heart. Thank you. Thank you. Simply...thank you.

For one year of amazing achievement, whilst we look forward to another, that is all.

Have a great holiday. Stay safe.

That really is all.