10th June 2011
I had lunch on Tuesday with six of our Year 9 students who took part in the French leg of the Comenius Project last month. It was extraordinarily uplifting to hear how much they benefitted from this experience. Comenius is essentially two things: it is a series of projects where young people from different countries in the EU come together to address an agreed theme (the French project examined conflict), but it is also a good old-fashioned school exchange. The students are hosted in the homes of families in the town and stay with students also involved in the project. Our Gordano students thought this was brilliant and the pages of Facebook are buzzing with correspondence between new friends from overseas. I really hope that Comenius will breathe life back into the concept of exchange as it is by far the best way to make educational visits that really make a difference. You can see the report on the Comenius visit here.
I would like to thank parents for the significant role that they play in supporting us in achieving strong school attendance. The old line goes that the first step to success is to turn up and that is absolutely the case in education. The best indicator of success in school is attendance at school. It is therefore a pleasure to tell you that our attendance for the year to 27th May was 95% which is very significantly above national and local averages and a record for this school. As well as reflecting good procedures for monitoring attendance I think that it speaks strongly of the enjoyment that our young people have in their learning here at Gordano.
Academy transfer is continuing to progress smoothly. We have now signed a funding agreement with the DfE and look forward to meeting our July 1st target for taking full control of our funding and assets. The Governors have also begun to draft a ‘statement of intention’ to capture the ethos and culture of this school as we convert to Academy status. We have said all along that we intend to operate within the existing relationships and values of the school and I hope that this statement will be reassuring to the community that there will be great continuity at Gordano. You can view the draft statement here.