14th October 2011
You may have noticed a comment on the last blog entry from a visitor to our Open Evening. I would like to echo her sentiments and thank the many parents who sent me such complimentary emails. Gordano is a great school and it is a pleasure to showcase it to our community. Of course, the people who make the best case for the school’s excellence are our passionate and gregarious students. Well done to them!
As always, the school is bubbling with activity. Our Yr 9 Comenius Project students are just back from Italy and I look forward to meeting them soon to hear about their exploits. We are also well into rehearsals for the School Production of Bugsy Malone which runs from November 8th to 10th. When it is over we will miss notices such as ‘Miss Hancock needs to see the bad guys at lunch time’.
Last Tuesday we held the official opening of the new English Block. It is named the Silverthorne Building in honour of my predecessor, Graham Silverthorne and it is great that Graham and his team are recognised in a permanent way in school. It was highly appropriate that Graham’s good friend Paul Jacobs was able to unveil the plaque. Paul is the Assistant Director of Children and Young People’s Services in North Somerset.
We are grateful to North Somerset for the more than £2 million that they invested in our site and this project and I am very proud that we have been able to improve our facilities in this time of cuts.
Gavin Ball has returned to Gordano to resume his responsibilities as Deputy Headteacher after a year working with North Somerset on secondment. Any of you who know Mr Ball will be aware that to describe his return as ‘hitting the ground running’ will not do full justice to his levels of energy and impact. Parents of Year 9, 10 and 11 students will be glad to see the work that he has been doing to coordinate our approach to Controlled Assessments at GCSE and we hope soon to be able to issue personalised information to students and parents on how these tests will fall to allow for better planning.
If you are wondering when Gordano is next due for an inspection, so am I! We had a letter last year telling us that because the school’s performance had been strong we would not be inspected that year. I had rather expected an early visit this term but the phone has not yet rung with that news. My view and that of the whole staff is ‘bring it on’. We are proud of what we do and look forward to engaging with the inspectors to have our self assessment externally validated. If and when the call does come I shall, of course, be in touch with parents to let you know and to invite you to share your perceptions of Gordano with the inspection team via their questionnaire.
You will know from the news coverage that ballots of teaching and support staff are taking place in advance of a ‘day of action’ on pensions changes across the public sector on 30th November. Without in any way prejudicing the outcome of these ballots or seeking to take a position either way, can I encourage parents to think ahead to consider what arrangements they would need to make if Gordano were to be forced to close on that day. That would only happen as a last resort but as all the unions are planning action this time, I have got to say that I consider it to be a real possibility. Let’s hope for a negotiated outcome!