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Head’s Corner – Newsletter December 2007

December 19th, 2007

I am delighted to present this, my tenth edition of Head’s Corner, which is published in both leaflet and web form.  This has been another extremely busy and productive term in all areas of the school and even more so in the run up to Christmas.  The term began on a real high because our outgoing school leavers achieved the best GCSE results in the history of the school with 54% gaining the equivalent of 5 or more good GCSEs.  This is testament to the hard work and commitment of both students and teachers and is an indicator of how our school improvement programme continues to go from strength to strength.  In addition to the work of the subject departments in delivering and sustaining high quality teaching and learning the calendar has been busy with extra-curricular enrichment activities, presentations and performances.  Shortly after the half-term break we held the Shakespeare in Schools project.  Since then we have had music performances and our annual Dance competition.  Last Friday evening we hosted an extremely successful and inaugural Christmas Fair and, at the time of writing this, we are looking forward to the BTEC Performing Arts presentation this evening.  May I take this opportunity to recommend a visit to our excellent website at www.harrowway.hants.sch.uk where you can find archive material and details of future events as well as a very wide range of school related matters of information and interest.

School population

As the school becomes increasingly successful and popular we continue to grow and we currently have 740 students on roll. We will become full when the number reaches 900, 180 in each year group.  I am delighted by the confidence and trust that the families of Andover are placing in our school community.

Specialist School Application

At the time of writing we are in the very final stages of assessment to gain Maths & Computing Specialist Status in time for September 2008.  The announcement as to whether or not we have been successful will be made in the Spring.  It would be a fantastic addition to our other recent major success, which was the acquiring of the Artsmark Gold standard, awarded by the Arts Council in May.

Staff

This Christmas we say goodbye to Mr Peter Marston, teacher of Modern Languages, and Mrs Michelle Crumley, teacher of Mathematics and the school’s Numeracy Manager.  Mr Marston has been one of the school’s longest serving teachers.  He began his work here over 28 years ago in September 1979.  He will have seen huge changes over the years of his incredibly long service and we wish him and his family every success for the future. Similar good wishes go to Mrs Crumley who is moving to Germany with her family.  Mrs Crumley has made a huge contribution to the Maths Department and to the school and we wish her well.  Staff who have joined us since the last Head’s Corner include Mr Martin Cunningham, Science Technician, Miss Vicky Thompson in the English Department and Mrs Lorraine Ripley in the Learning Support Department.  We are looking forward to the following staff joining us in January 2008: M Anthony Le Cam, teacher of Modern Languages, and Mr Markus Konrad, teacher of Mathematics.

Primary School Links

We continue to work very closely with our family of Primary schools, both inside and outside the curriculum.  Now that families of Year 6 pupils have made their choice of secondary school, primary schools and ourselves will be seeing a lot of each other as we implement our transition programme and as we look forward to welcoming them as Year 7 students in September.

Premises

In line with our programme of school improvements, we are continuing to develop our premises to make them increasingly fit for purpose and to increase the facilities, comfort and safety of the school campus for all who visit us.  We are currently having installed a perimeter fence which will run across the entire northern boundary of the site.  During 2008 the sports hall will receive a new roof and new floor and we are also having a brand new Food Technology room as a result of a radical refurbishment opposite the school Library.

Parent Consultation Day

Our next PCD is scheduled to take place on Wednesday the 9th January 2008.  I have recently written (10th December) to all families to inform them of the day and to explain the procedures. If parents require any clarification of these please would they contact their child’s Head of Year.

Uniform

I continue to receive many favourable comments about how smart our students now look throughout the school.  We are always looking at ways to improve students’ dress and I would like to draw your attention to my end of term letter which you should have by now received. 

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all members of the school community for their continued support and on behalf of the Governors, Staff and Students we wish you all a very happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

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