25th July 2011
School is relatively quiet as I write today. Certainly we are missing the sound of students who have departed for the summer holidays. It has been a busy and tiring term and they will be ready for a rest after the demands of Activities Week, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) Fortnight, Community Cohesion Week, Enterprise Day and the many other events that we have seen in Term 6. Another noise has replaced their voices and laughter and that is the sound of construction as we have an ambitious programme of summer works and refurbishment being unleashed across the site. There are works going on in Science, Portland, the old English Block (now Social Sciences) and the Humanities Block. The school should look a lot smarter and be better configured when term begins.
We are also taking possession of the new English Block and very impressive it is. The classrooms are large and bright and beginning to be filled up with books and furniture. I look forward to hearing the students’ reactions in September and we will be holding an official opening on October 4th.
We have also had some fantastic and rather unexpected news this summer about a future building project. We were approached by the Local Authority at the very end of June with news that the YPLA (a government quango that funds Sixth Forms) had £30M available to fund capital projects in areas with a growing roll at post-16 level. We worked with some urgency to submit a bid by July 8th and we heard last week that our application was successful and that we have secured £2M to put up a new building to improve Sixth Form facilities. I shall be meeting architects this week and we will hope to go to planning on the project during August as the money comes with the string attached that it must be spent and the building completed by 31st March: an ambitious timescale!
We finished school on Friday with a whole school assembly and then some house assemblies. The Biscay and Fitzroy Assemblies were the last for their Heads of House. Mr Peter Lynch is moving to Brimsham Green School in Bristol as an Assistant Headteacher and we wish him success and happiness in his new role. Mrs Angela Smith is retiring after 30 years at Gordano. She will be greatly missed from her role but we hope to see a lot of her personally as she intends to continue to do some supply with us. Mr Lynch and Mrs Smith will be succeeded by Mr Paul Welch and Ms Louise Evans as Heads of House and I know that they will maintain high standards and bring much of themselves to their new houses.
Like many of my colleagues I will be fitting in a few weeks holiday before A Level results on 18th August and until then I will have my fingers crossed for great results for all our Sixth Formers.