Chair of Governors Update
Chair’s Update June 2019
We are already well into the second half term of the year and the exam season (thankfully!) has finished. The staff in the College have worked incredibly hard to try to prepare the students for these exams and now that both GCSEs and A levels are almost entirely examined at the end of two years of study, I know that this can be quite a stressful time for both students and their families. I am sure it must be an immense relief for many of you that they are now over.
Looking ahead to the rest of the term, we have a number of superb occasions to celebrate the achievements of our students. On 20th June the Rotary Club hosted “Summer Showtime” at The Pavilion which was a fantastic evening featuring many of our talented musicians and performing arts students. On 26th June our Sports Awards evening will celebrate all our sporting achievements over the past year and on 2 July we have our annual Vocal Concert in the Quad. From the 25th to the 28th June there will be the opportunity to see the Art and Photography display from our Post 16 students (I went myself last night and it really is a superb exhibition) and then on 11th July the Celebration of Achievement Evening is the culmination of our “Awards Season”. In the last week of term, we have Activities week and, just prior to this, the Year 11 and 13 Proms. All of these demonstrate the wide range of opportunities we continue to offer our students in sport, academic excellence and performing and visual arts as well as showcasing just how talented so many of our students are. I hope that you will be able to come along to many of these events – details are posted on the College website.
Looking back on the year there has been so much going on it would be impossible to list all the activities and achievements here. As well as the fabulous performing arts productions (e.g. Rotary concert, The Blend and Les Misérables) our many triumphs on the sports fields, innumerable trips both in the UK and abroad and many visiting speakers and events in the College, this year we also had 12 students complete the gruelling Ten Tors 35 mile challenge. Currently, 52 students are in the process of completing their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award whilst a further 10 students are aiming for Silver and Gold. In May our Cadets had their pass out evening at the Life boat station after a year long programme. 12 students from years 7-9 were involved this year. The scheme gives them the opportunity to understand the job role of a Police officer and how the service works within the community and with other services. Amongst other things they had the opportunity to visit Police headquarters and the Helicopter search and rescue unit where they witnessed an emergency call come in and the quick scramble of the team and helicopter. Not only has the course been a lot of fun but they have achieved a First Aid certificate and developed their team work and leadership skills.
None of these would be possible without the tireless efforts of our team of staff who do so much to add an enormous range of enrichment activities to the day to day academic work in the classroom. We are incredibly lucky to have such a committed group of people working for the College.
The College has done much this year to develop its communication channels. Our new website, Facebook pages, Instagram and Twitter accounts all post information and updates about all aspects of College life on a regular basis and I really hope that you have found these helpful and a useful source of information. Additionally, the Principal, with his senior team, have continued to hold parent forums; there have been two so far and approximately 50 parents and carers have attended to discuss a wide range of topics from the vision for the College through to uniform changes. The final parents and carer forum will take place later this term and if you would like more details please contact Julie Proctor on firstname.lastname@example.org
This year has also seen the launch of the Citizenship Awards where we seek nominations from the wider community to recognise a student or group of students who have performed a random act of kindness/selflessness in the community and tag our Facebook page. This automatically nominates them to receive a reward for them and their families. Four awards have been made so far.
You may have seen in the local press that recently we have set up an alumni group through Future First. We are very keen to make contact with former pupils as this helps our current students broaden their horizons and helps them to imagine a world beyond their own. Former students, having grown up in the same community and sat in the same classrooms are ideal volunteers to be such role models and interaction between the two can boost young people’s confidence and motivation, helping to transform their life chances. If you were a former pupil please do stay in touch with us by going to www.futurefirst.org.uk.
Plans to redevelop the lower part of the Green Close site continue. This will provide a much needed replacement for the current humanities, food tech, science, drama, reception and library areas. This is being led by the Department for Education, at an approximate cost of £11 million. I know that we announced this build quite some time ago and it may feel as though it has been a long time coming, but, inevitably, builds of this size and expense require a lot of planning work. However, we are now expecting the work to commence in Spring 2020.
The College works hard to try to make the transition from Primary to Secondary as easy as possible for our youngest students. Our new Year 7 students will have a welcome day in the College on 1st July. This is a lovely opportunity for them to meet their tutors and tutor groups and to give them a chance to experience the College when it is a little quieter, since our Year 11 and 13 students have finished their exams and be enjoying a much deserved rest.
This year has seen some significant changes to the Governing Board. Ray Davison left us after an astonishing 34 years as a Governor. In that time, he both chaired the Finance Committee and was Vice Chair of the Governing Board. His experience and understanding of the College and the issues it faces has been invaluable over the years and he will be missed a great deal by us all. Clair McColl, Suzie Loader and Malcolm McDonough also had to leave the Board this year due to work commitments and joining us as parent Governors are Clare Tate and Elizabeth Dymond. I am also delighted to be able to say that Liz Lee, who was our Chair of Governors for 16 years, has returned to us as a Community Governor after what she describes as a five year “break”. Finally, in terms of the Governing Board, we are very proud of our Clerk to Governors, Michaela Savage, who won an award from the National Governors Association in the category “outstanding clerk to a governing board” and went to the House of Commons to collect it in May. Any of you who have worked with or know Michaela will, I am sure, agree that she thoroughly deserves this award and I am really pleased that she received such deserved recognition. As you know, all Governors are volunteers and are usually juggling jobs and family life alongside contributing to the Board’s activities. Our ability to do this is in very large part due to the fact that Michaela does such a good job for us.
Thanks as ever, to you, as parents and carers for your support of the College throughout the year. I hope you all have a fabulous summer and, in particular, my very best wishes to those of you awaiting exam results.
Chair of Governors