Monthly Archives: December 2017
15th December 2017
So finally…..Christmas is almost upon us. This will be a shorter than normal blog as my time has been focussed upon completing my speech for the school’s Awards Evening which takes place on Monday evening. I am really looking forward to meeting with old students and staff and celebrating the school’s recent successes. Our guest speaker is Adam Hatton, a former student of The Chase, who designed the new Jaguar XE sports car. It will be an honour to meet Adam and find out more about his story since leaving The Chase in the early 1990s.
We had our first snow days in 7 years earlier this week, and my first ‘difficult’ decision to make as Headteacher, in whether the school should close or not. I think that this time round it was a relatively easy decision to make, as the school site was covered in at least 15cm of snow which was made more treacherous by icy conditions. Ultimately the safety of our students and staff comes first, and the consideration of whether they are able to travel to and from school safely and whether the school site will be safe.
Thank you to all the Year 7 and Year 11 parents who recently attended the school’s parental consultation evenings. We have had a lot of positive feedback about the school’s new online booking system which after a few further tweaks will be used to make appointments for all future parents’ evenings. We have also received some very positive results from the questionnaires which we ask parents to complete during the evening. All respondents agreed that their child was happy, well looked after and felt safe at school. All Year 7 respondents and 98% of Year 11 parents also said that the school is well led and managed and that they would recommend The Chase to other parents. High praise indeed.
The school breaks up for the Christmas holiday at 3pm on Tuesday 19th December, with students expected back at school on Thursday 4th January 2018. I would like to take this opportunity in my final blog of the calendar year to wish everybody a very happy Christmas and prosperous New Year. Enjoy the holiday and start 2018 re-energised and ready for an action packed and great year ahead.
M J Fieldhouse
And so the Christmas countdown begins……School life is always hectic, though this always seems to intensify at this time of year as the excitement and sense of anticipation starts to build amongst our young people. Sometimes gentle reminders are needed that school is about education and that it is business as usual right through until the final day of the term. This is extremely pertinent for our Year 11 and 13 students who continue with their exam preparations apace.
How do we ensure that the quality of teaching in our classrooms at The Chase is at least always good? James Harrington, our Deputy Headteacher has overall responsibility for coordinating and leading a comprehensive monitoring programme which aims to ensure that the quality of teaching in school is always consistently high. Along with Faculty and Subject Leaders, all of the senior staff spend much of their time carrying out learning walks and lesson observations across the school to ensure that this is achieved. Regular work scrutinies are also scheduled, in which the students’ books are checked for quality marking and feedback. Where concerns are noted and issues raised, teachers are supported and helped by implementing tailored professional development training programmes within school. This may include providing a teacher with a coaching partner or directing them to observe experienced colleagues who are considered to be outstanding practitioners. We have also started to work more collaboratively and closely with colleagues in other Worcestershire schools in sharing good practice and quality assuring each other’s work. I must say that I am always overwhelmingly impressed with what I see in our classrooms as I walk around the school. Having worked at The Chase for 20 years, I am more than happy to assert that the quality of teaching now is the best that I have known. The aim is to continue to strive for even higher levels of consistency, to ensure that we provide our children with the best education possible. If parents have concerns about any aspect of their child’s education please do not hesitate to contact the relevant faculty or subject leader (contact details can be found on our website under the curriculum section).
And finally, you might be interested to hear that we have once again received another invitation from the Department for Education for The Chase to participate in the 2018 Parliamentary Review. If you remember, we received this invitation last year to feature in this national glossy publication, which we politely declined due to the cost involved. Dyson Perrins took advantage of their invitation and as a result received some positive news exposure in the local press. I am still not convinced that this represents good value for money, and at a time of diminishing financial resources feel obliged to decline this offer once again.
One more blog to go before we break for the Christmas holiday…Don’t forget The Chase Christmas Fair on Friday 8th December between 6-8pm. There will be lots of Christmas gift ideas on offer so make sure you are there to grab a bargain!
M J Fieldhouse