16th March 2012
It really is a very important year in terms of making appointments and the chat lines in Portishead may already have reported the news that Gavin Ball, our much loved Deputy Headteacher, has secured a Headship atFromeCollegeinSomerset. We have advertised for two Deputy Head vacancies and although replacing Gavin Ball and Lesley Greenway will be a tall order I know that Gordano School will attract superb applications from some of the most talented school leaders in the country and I look forward to bringing in new colleagues to sustain and strengthen the excellence that we pride ourselves on. On a personal note I am delighted for both Gavin andFromeCollegeas I know that he will be a superb Headteacher there.
On a similar note, we have just finished the two day interview process for Assistant Headteacher /Head of Sixth Form. Tom Inman leaves us in September to resume his ‘globe trotting’ and I am delighted to tell you that I have made a superb appointment to be his successor. Mrs Jeanne Fairs who is currently Director of Sixth Form atClevedonSchoolwill be joining us in September and I know that she will continue to build on the incredible work that Tom Inman has done.
Also joining us, but with immediate effect, is Ian Callaghan who has been elected as a Parent Governor and Trustee of the Academy. Ian has a background at director level in a number of well know national businesses and we look forward to the skills and insights that he will bring to governance with us.
I have just been into the main hall in school to see the process of registering students for the cashless catering system. I very much hope that when we commission the system it runs just as smoothly as the registration system is doing today. Our aim with this initiative is to simplify our method of paying for food in school so that parents can avoid the search for change in their kitchens every morning and we can eliminate queues from the dining hall. Those students who have opted out of biometric registration will be issued with cashless catering cards and will still have full access to the catering facilities. Once again I would like to stress that we have not taken a fingerprint from anyone, the system simply makes a measurement of several intervals but insufficient data is taken to reconstruct anything like a fingerprint image.
The pressure of exams is of course beginning to raise its head in school and I know that a great many Sixth Formers either celebrating or regrouping after receiving modular results this month. You will appreciate just how hard staff in school work with our students to make sure that they are fully prepared for exams and I am very fortunate to count on the wholehearted support of so many of our families. If you have a student in your home preparing for summer exams, can I repeat the advice that was given to me at university and which I have passed on to virtually every exam class that I have ever taught: “The battle will be lost or won in the Easter holidays!”. Facing up to the reality of this situation is turning point for so many students on the path to success and I would urge you to think about how your home can support students in conducting regular and focussed revision over the coming months. Teachers and tutors at the school will delighted to support you with advice should you want to discuss the best way forward for your son or daughter.
On a lighter note, we are looking forward to Sixth Form Rag Week in the last week of term and for me that captures the special mix of qualities that we have in this school. We know that the great majority of our students are hardworking and ambitious but we also take great pride in the way that they conduct themselves in extra curricular activities, engage wholeheartedly in charitable activities and express their deep commitment to fancy dress.