Monday 13th November 2017
It was great to welcome so many students and parents of last year’s Year 11 cohort to the GCSE Presentation Evening last Wednesday. This was an opportunity to congratulate students on their brilliant success in the summer exams. We were also privileged that Ben Smith, of 401 Marathon ‘fame’, was our guest of honour. He presented the certificates and spoke about some of the challenges that he had faced in life that led to him taking on such a huge endeavour. Hearing from someone speaking so openly about these personal challenges had everyone captivated and provides a lesson to us all about there being strength in showing our vulnerabilities and that it’s perfectly normal to struggle as we work out who we really are – a message that not only resonated with the 16/17 year olds in the room, but with us all, I am sure. We are hugely grateful to Ben who, as a Portishead resident, is a real supporter of the school and what we are trying to achieve.
A number of our Sixth Formers and Year 11 students have been taking part in the annual Liam Fox Debating Competition. It is a true test of public speaking and robust debate, and particular congratulations go to Esme McGowan and Lennon Manners-Lolley for making it through to the final that will take place early next year in Parliament itself.
The Sixth Form Open Evening is coming soon – Year 11s have been engaging in some important thinking about their choices next year alongside preparing for their mock exams, and I hope that Thursday 23rd November is clearly marked in their diaries as a really important event to engage more with the broad and brilliant Sixth Form offer that they have here.
Finally, a note on the recent changes to our electronic behaviour system. We have moved to a different ‘platform’ since half term, this has largely been very smooth, but the system for notifying parents has changed slightly. We’ve been looking at this carefully and will be sending a separate communication to parents on this. An advantage will be that parents will now be notified of merits as well as behaviour ‘points’, which is something that many have been wanting for same time.