Friday 16th September 2016
Term has well and truly started and the school site is bustling with activity. We have had a good start. Already Year 7 pupils seem to have mastered the layout of the campus and negotiated the lunch queues with confidence. Clubs and activities are starting up and I hope that you will encourage your son or daughter to sign up for as much as possible.
We were pleased with exam results. We saw a rise of 6% in our A level outcomes at A* to C grade and recorded the highest points score per entry in the county. You may have seen the news of our top performing pupils on the website in August. I had to omit mention of Dan Edwards who had been offered a place to study Archaeology and Anthropology at Magdalen College, Oxford. We were very sorry to see Dan miss his offer by one grade on results day. I am delighted to say that the subsequent re-mark raised his grade to a very strong A and that his place at Oxford has now been confirmed. He has been through a great deal of unnecessary stress in this process but I am glad to give him the recognition that he deserves.
Our GCSE grades also showed how well our pupils have progressed. We saw record progress across all grades and exceptional performances in English and Maths. In English and Maths about half of our pupils were making 4 levels of progress. The key new school measure is now called Progress 8 and I will not attempt to explain the Byzantine methodology behind it but when it is published in October we expect it to be very positive.
All indications show positively for Gordano and I know that we enjoy the confidence of our community. For this reason, I have been very concerned by the implications of Mrs May’s announcement about the return of selection and reintroduction of secondary moderns and grammar schools. We have a huge amount to lose in Portishead and Portbury from such a development. I have booked a meeting with our MP, Dr Liam Fox, to express my disquiet and I trust that many of our friends will want to voice their feelings too.
To return to the smaller details of school life, can I ask parents not to drop or pick up children at the school gates. Our start and finish times have caused gridlock on some days. If it is necessary to make a car journey to school, please try to avoid the gates which block so easily.
Lastly, I look forward to our Art Show tonight. The creativity of our pupils always lifts my spirits and with the run of grim education stories in the news it is good to remind myself what our goal is: releasing the potential of our fantastic students.
Gary Lewis, Headteacher