Monthly Archives: July 2017
That’s it then – the curtain comes down on the academic year 2016-17. An ‘interesting’ year is how I would sum this past year up as being…..
Looking forward, I am really excited about 2017-18. Early signs are really positive with a dramatic surge of late applications to the school, across all year groups, in readiness for the new school year. I would like to take this opportunity to publicly congratulate James Harrington who has been confirmed as the school’s Deputy Headteacher. I have worked closely with James over the past 9 years and believe that his promotion is very well deserved.
It has been an action packed past two weeks, as is always the case at the end of the summer term – check our website out for all the up to date news. A headteacher’s life is certainly far from dull….with numerous social engagements ranging from taking part in ‘soak the teacher’ at The Chase Summer Fair to Bhangra dancing at the Year 7 multicultural day. I managed to avoid the staff relay on Sports Day which was a relief – maybe next year, after I have done some training for it!
There were two highlights during this period which especially stand out for me. Firstly – I was delighted to be invited to attend the Malvern Hills District Sports Awards with a number of our PE staff and young sports leaders. It was an inspirational evening which was rounded off with The Chase winning Sports School of the Year 2017. A great accolade – especially considering we were up against local schools including Malvern College who were runners up. This award is a very timely and well deserved acknowledgement of our outstanding PE Faculty. All of our Chase PE staff are unsung heroes – dedicating many hours of their own time into running sporting fixtures and extracurricular clubs outside of normal working hours, including weekends. Well done to Gwyn Thomas and his team.
The second event which I wanted to mention was the Year 9 Commendations. The Headteacher’s commendations is a regular event on the school calendar, in which I meet with selected students and their parents, in order to acknowledge and reward the students for their focus, attitude and commitment during the year. The Year 9 students in question, who had been nominated by their form tutors, were all fantastic examples of the type of student we have at The Chase. I was particularly struck about how modest they all were and in some cases, actually somewhat embarrassed about being praised in this public manner. I really want to try and develop a far more reward based culture at The Chase in which everybody openly celebrates and embraces success. One thing which will be re-established is the annual Speech Day, rebadged as the Awards Evening which has been scheduled in the calendar for Monday 18th December 2017. This will allow us to celebrate the examination results from this summer (fingers crossed!).
Can I finally use this as an opportunity to thank everybody for the tremendous support you have offered me and my colleagues, and the unwavering loyalty and commitment you have shown towards the school during this past year. Please have a restful and recuperative summer, in preparation for 2017-18.
Welcome to the very first Headteacher’s blog….
A challenge I have set myself as the new Headteacher of The Chase is to write a news blog every two weeks to coincide with the fortnightly news bulletin which we produce for staff and parents. This will help to address one of my key aims as Headteacher – to improve the lines of communication between school and parents.
Where to begin with so much news to communicate? I must start by expressing my thanks and gratitude for the overwhelming positive support I have received since the news of my appointment as Headteacher. I really appreciate all the fantastic messages that the school has received during the past few weeks from parents, students (past & present), and many former colleagues of The Chase. I must especially thank the current staff of The Chase for their tremendous loyalty and support during recent months. I hope that I can do this important role justice – it is such an honour and privilege to lead this wonderful school at this time. Amazing to think that I am only the sixth Headteacher of The Chase since it opened back in 1953!
This is always a very busy time of year in the school calendar though it somehow feels even more so this year – perhaps due to everything else that has happened. There are only two weeks left of the current academic year, and still so much to do! Interestingly, considering that the school announced possible redundancies back in the early spring, this has thankfully not been required. The necessary savings have been made this year with the non-replacement of teaching staff who are leaving the school for a range of reasons including promotion, relocation and retirement. We wish them all well. The great news I can share is that we will be starting the new academic year with a full contingent of excellent specialist and experienced teaching staff – no mean feat in this time of teacher shortages, especially in certain subject areas.
A few highlights to share from recent weeks – firstly the Year 11 Leavers Prom at Stanbrook Abbey, which was a huge success. The students looked amazing and behaved impeccably in the glorious setting of this amazing venue. A great memory to finish off their time in school. Hopefully we will see many of them returning in September to our outstanding Sixth Form.
We also welcomed our new Year 7 students for September who attended an induction day last week, followed by a meeting with parents who were introduced to their child’s new form tutor. A number of our current Year 7 students spoke brilliantly at this event – helping to reassure new parents of how quickly they settled into life at The Chase. As part of this year’s transition process I visited 15 of our feeder primary schools during May and early June in order to meet with our new students. I thoroughly enjoyed these visits, and meeting and talking to our new Year 6 students. It is something which I will aim to repeat next year. We have also been busy welcoming Year 5 students from all the local primary schools to The Chase, with two action packed taster days organised for them, including designing and making paper aeroplanes and bunting, baking fruit buns and playing Ultimate Frisbee.
Finally – I must include a few words about my visit last weekend to our Year 10 students who were camping near Ledbury as part of their Bronze and Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award. This practice expedition takes place before the ‘real’ thing which will take place in Shropshire in September. I was really impressed by the number of students involved in the weekend – 65 in total from Year 10, and their level of commitment and enthusiasm. Impressive, considering they had just walked 10 miles over Worcestershire Beacon from The Chase with heavy rucksacks! Apart from a few blisters and a bit of sunburn – all managed to complete this event.
Two more weeks to go before the summer holidays – the countdown has begun!