29th March 2012
We have had a most cultural couple of weeks at GordanoSchool. Last Thursday we had the Media Showcase and saw the very interesting, and in some cases chilling, films produced by 6th Form students of Media Studies. I had the great pleasure on Saturday evening of attending the North Somerset Music Service Spring Concert at All Saints Church in Weston super Mare where Rachel Hinchliffe from Year 10 was the soloist in Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto. Rachel had won the North Somerset Concerto Prize and her reward, if that is the right word, was to play with the Music Service Senior Orchestra at the Spring Concert. What a great performer she is! The audience greatly enjoyed a superb rendition of Haydn’s wonderful music. As Headteacher of Gordano School I was very pleased to see the orchestra and various ensembles dominated by Gordanians.
The cultural theme has continued through this week with a delightful Dance Showcase on Tuesday night and a very lovely Music Recital evening on Wednesday. The arts are such an important aspect of what we do in this school and I am very proud indeed of all the young people who contribute with such enthusiasm and talent to our achievements in music, dance, drama and fine art.
We held a long day of interviews last Friday to decide on the appointments of Head Girl, Head Boy and their Deputies. This is the second time that I have faced this challenge and I can honestly say that on both occasions I found it more difficult than most staff appointments. The quality of applicants this year was incredibly high and after a searching process I have asked Adam Grey and Ellie Thornhill to be Head Boy and Head Girl with Esme Tuttiett and Tom Clough to take on the role of Deputies. They will be tremendous assets to the School and also, acting as governors, they will be involved in all our decisions in the coming months. While on this topic, I will add that Tom Clough has had a fantastic week as we had the news that his essay on ‘Chemical Conundrums: Making Life Better on a Global Scale’ has been long listed for the Academy Excellence Awards 2012. This is a prestigious prize and it is an honour for both him and the school that his thinking and work has been recognised at this level.
RAG Week is dominating life in school with its usual mixture of exuberance, wit and, inevitably, fancy dress. Our charity this year is the Za Foundation which is a South African charity working with people affected by HIV/Aids. As always, our students have been enthusiastic and generous and yesterday’s Rag Fair raised £900 alone. I look forward to telling you what the total for RAG week has been after Easter but must thank, in advance, the Sixth Form Committee and our Head of Sixth Form, Mr Inman (today dressed as Superman).
The week began with the launch of cashless catering which was remarkably straight forward. Almost all students had either money lodged on their Parent Pay accounts or were able to do so using the cash revaluation units in school. I talked with friends from the GSPA on Tuesday evening to get their feedback and one of the actions that I will undertake following that conversation is to make it more straight forward for parents to set a daily spending limit on students’ cashless accounts. The limit is currently £4 but can be set to any threshold and I will made sure that there is a mechanism to advise how much they would like students to spend each day in our catering facilities.
The good weather has not helped the smart appearance of students and their uniform.Lesley Greenwayand I have been exercised in making sure that tutors strictly apply our school uniform expectations. All students in Years 7 to 9 should be wearing clip on ties and you will recall from my letter at the beginning of the year that we have specific requirements for the material and tailoring of girls’ skirts. Our Heads of Houses will be pursuing the issue of uniform and I shall be writing to any parents whose children are not complying with school uniform expectations. Can I thank you in advance for your support on this matter. Maintaining a smart appearance in the school is one of the foundation stones for our high standards and achievement and I depend almost completely on the support of our community in being successful in this.
We have all worked very hard this term at Gordano and I am conscious that many of our students are heading into the Easter holidays with a lot of revision ahead of them. For parents of students focussing on examinations this summer I would encourage you to make sure that students are very explicit in organising their revision timetables and seeking your support in achieving the conditions at home to allow them to undertake their revision effectively. This may well involve switching off computers and social networking sites and perhaps setting very clear limits of when friends visit. Approaching Easter revision with the right level of formality will keep the work in bounds and allow students to really enjoy the times that they can set aside for rest, family and friends.
With very best wishes for an enjoyable Easter.