June 19th 2014
I’m always amazed about how many things go on at any time in the school and the near frenzy of activity currently leaves me scratching my head about where to start with this letter to parents. Let me choose the obvious one and begin by offering my congratulations to our Dance Academy who won the Great Big Dance Off national finals in Oxford earlier in the month. This is the only national schools dance competition so our young people can justifiably call themselves national champions. (You will find a report on this success elsewhere in the newsletter). I am really proud of what the Dance Academy has achieved and am delighted that Kirsty Lloyd’s work and inspiration has been rewarded.
No doubt you will have heard that we have Sports Day this Thursday. I’m limbering up for my own very slow last leg of the staff relay but I also look forward to an uplifting and competitive school event when our students can wear their House colours and cheer on their friends. A great deal has changed in education in recent years but some things have stayed reassuringly the same, and Sports Day is one of them!
Our school is committed to some of these old fashioned values and you will know of my own strong belief in the worth of extra-curricular activities and education in its widest sense. We have recently taken some steps to put greater practical capacity in place to match our ambitions. In September we shall be launching the Gordano Guarantee to new Year 7 students. This is a promise that the school will provide 10 key enrichments during the span of a student’s time in the school such as an international experience or a visit to the theatre. You will hear much more about this over the next year and we will hope to include existing students in the main school in the spirit of the Guarantee. We have also appointed Mrs Beth Davis from our Sixth Form team to promote extra-curricular participation across the whole school. Mrs Davis runs the superb Sixth Form Electives programme and in the autumn she will be launching Gordano Extra to provide greater publicity and structure to our offer. I am very excited about this.
By the time of the next Newsletter we will hope to have Sixth Form teams in both Peru and Kenya. We are watching the situation in Kenya day by day but hope that our visit will not be affected by the troubles there: Kissi, our host village is in the extreme west of the country as far as it is possible to go from the Somali border and the coast. The students have worked very hard on both visits and I hope that they will all have a wonderful time.
Lastly, I need to offer my thanks to Alison Wood and her team who organised our Year 10 Interviews Day on Monday. We had over 40 local employers in school to run mock employability interviews with our students. This was both stretching and inspiring for the young people and is a terrific benefit to the school of our Business Partnership.