11th April 2011
As I write the Easter holidays have just begun and many of the students and staff at Gordano are enjoying a well earned rest (apologies to any GCSE or A Level students who are reading as I know that you will be working flat out!).
Our Governors have taken the decision to apply to the DfE for Academy status and we have already had a meeting with our solicitors to set that process in motion. I would like to stress once again that this represents a change in the legal basis of governance for the school and will give us some guaranteed freedoms about how we operate as a business but it will not alter the character or nature of the school at all. We are and will continue to be the community comprehensive school for Portishead. Our governors will be making sure that the legal documents that act as the constitution of the school reflect our aims and secure the broad basis of governance at the school, we will for example continue to have twenty governors and we shall be taking steps to protect the elected element of the governing body.
The secondary school tables for curriculum were published last week and some parents may have seen the Evening Post’s coverage of the story in Bristol where it emerged that both Modern Languages and the Humanities are in sharp decline. It was a cause of some pride, then, to see Gordano’s figures which showed that of last year’s 281 GCSE students 210 were entered for a Modern Language and 200 did either History or Geography. Under my predecessor Gordano resisted the temptation to ‘go with the flow’ in curriculum and this independence of mind has meant that our students are well served by a liberal curriculum that offers genuine personalisation. It is exactly this autonomy that we will be protecting through our Academy status.
The more fun aspects of school in recent weeks have included a brilliant BBC School Report Day when our budding journalists produced a great news programme about national and very local news. You can see it on our website here. The last days of term have seen the very surreal events of Sixth Form Rag Week and that has passed off with the usual blend of fancy dress and high jinx. Once again there are photos and a short report available in the news section of the website here.
We finished our term with a brilliant whole school assembly and were able to celebrate the huge range of achievements that our students have had in the last few months. As always our Head Boy, Will Ash, and Head Girl, Lauren O’Dwyer, fronted the event and that now marks their last official duties. They have been great fun to work with and outstanding ambassadors for Gordano. They have also played an important role in representing our students on the Governing Body. I wish them all the best as they prepare for their exams and look forward to many other important roles in their futures at university and work.