Headteacher's Blog

1st October 2012

Last Wednesday saw the official opening of our new Sixth Form facilities and it was a great pleasure to welcome our MP, Dr Liam Fox, and other friends of the school to mark the event.  We were able to unveil the name for this building and it will be known as The Learning Curve.  This picks up both on the shape of the design and the building’s purpose.  I am proud that we have at last got the high quality environment for study that our Sixth Formers deserve.
At the other end of the school demographic we have been welcoming Year 6 students to the school for our Open Evening and Open Morning.  The Open Morning, in particular, is a fantastic way to see this school at work.  I was delighted to receive such positive feedback from parents who were impressed by the purposeful atmosphere, ordered environment and sense of excitement that learning at Gordano offers.
Our Governors have been discussing the issues raised by the shortage of primary places in the town and the consultation on the expansion of the High Down schools.  Our position is that we do not feel that we can expand to offer primary places ourselves as our site is already small for the size of our school population.  We are working closely with North Somerset Council to be able to respond to the demand for places when it reaches secondary stage but have not yet taken any decisions about the intake number for the school from 2016 onwards.  I know that these are issues of acute local anxiety and Gordano will remain positively engaged with our partners in the Primary Sector and the Local Authority.
After the controversies over GCSE grades in August I challenged exam board decisions in a number of subjects.  I do not expect any changes from our request for remarks in English, as the issue there is one of grade boundaries, but I felt the matter should be contested all the same.  I have submitted evidence for the legal challenge to Ofqual and have also written to our MP.  We have had a positive result in DT where we contested the changes made to our coursework grades in Electronics.  These had been reduced by two grades each but have now been reinstated following remoderation.  My confidence in the examining system is not high at the moment but I trust that urgent work will be undertaken to improve matters before the next exam season.
On a happier note, the wonder year of British Sport is continuing to be felt here at Gordano.  I must pass on my congratulations to Harry Sowden in Year 11 who has been selected for the British Cycling Inter Regional Mountain Bike Championships next weekend at the Olympic venue at Hadleigh Farm in Essex.  We wish him every success.

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