Home > News > Headteacher’s Open Evening Presentation – September 2013

Headteacher’s Open Evening Presentation – September 2013

September 26th, 2013

Below is the presentation made to parents and prospective students at our Open Evening on 24th September 2013.

To view the accompaning slideshow presentation click here.

Good evening ladies, gentlemen and prospective Harrow Way students and a very warm welcome to our School. My name is Mike Serridge and I am delighted and proud to be the Headteacher of this very special school. This is my second year as Headteacher of Harrow Way having previously worked into 2 very successful Hampshire Schools – both graded outstanding by Ofsted. I am also a qualified Ofsted Inspector and was designated a specialist leader of education in 2012.

As a parent myself I know what an important choice you have before you, in choosing a secondary school for your son or daughter. With this in mind, I want to ensure that you leave here tonight with a thorough understanding of what Harrow Way Community School has to offer. Parents who choose Harrow Way have entrusted us with one of the most important and rewarding jobs in the world – that of the welfare and progress of your child. We take this responsibility very seriously.

If you are a regular visitor to Harrow Way, and if you have a child here already, you will already know what makes us so special. If you are a first time visitor I hope you will find out this evening.

We are a school very much on the move – many of you will have seen the headline in the Andover Advertiser recently “School celebrates after glowing Ofsted report”. We were delighted in July 2013 to be graded good in all areas under the new extremely challenging Ofsted framework. You will also have seen in the local press we are also celebrating a record year, which saw us achieve our best ever GCSE results. I am sure you can see the delights on the student’s faces as the opened up their envelopes

Opportunities for students to develop leadership skills are given great value here and you will meet many of our students tonight. Hopefully, you will also have a chance to meet our Deputy Head Girl and Boy, Senior Prefects and our Peer educators. I am incredibly proud of them all.

The rest of the teaching staff are at their posts of responsibility in different areas of the school. You will, of course, have the opportunity to meet and talk with them as you go on a tour of our school. Once you have met them, I am sure you will agree with me when I say that you will not find a more dedicated and committed group of teachers anywhere. They, and our wonderful team of support staff are, of course, the very backbone of The Harrow Way’s success.

So, I talked in my introduction of my values and principles and you see these encapsulated in our mission statement in the prospectus. Our guiding principle is learning for life and success for all. At Harrow way every student really does matter.

We want everyone to be successful – we want our students to leave with the very best qualifications and achieve success in all that they do.
We expect everyone to try their best – this is important if students are to achieve success. We set ourselves extremely high standards – you will see reference to this in our Ofsted report. We set high expectations in all that we do.

We also believe that there is more to school than just helping young people achieve good grades. I was delighted to have a phone call from a member of the public last week who phoned up to thank the Harrow Way student who helped her up when she had fallen over.
We want our students to be…..Kind, polite, considerate responsible and courteous. These are very important qualities that we expect from our young people

I was delighted that Ofsted recognised this and you will see on screen the comments that were made.
“Students behave well and their attitudes to learning are positive. They are courteous, polite and respectful to one another as well as to their teachers and visitors.”

Our mission statement talks about confident individuals, achieving academic success and becoming responsible citizens – all very important in the world we live in today. The underlying belief that guides my work as an educator and Headteacher is that receiving an excellent education can shape who we are and our future.

We strive towards excellence in all that we do. On screen you will see the success factors that make Harrow Way what it is and we will be building on these over the next few years. It’s hard being a teenager and there are many distractions. We work in partnership with parents so that our students feel confident and secure. We also work hard to instill a determination to succeed in each student, encouraging positive attitudes to learning.
A high quality curriculum is vital because it is what generates student learning. Ofsted described our curriculum as exceptional. In addition to this focus on the core curriculum, you will be aware that Harrow Way has great success in many other subjects including the Performing Arts.
The success of this aspect of the school continues to grow. In addition to our highly popular summer school, we have a gifted and talented programme. We all know that students progress at different rates and have different skills and talents. At Harrow Way, the progress and aptitudes of the students is tracked rigorously to ensure their needs are met.

Part of a quality education is developing the whole child and that is why, at Harrow Way, we feel it is important to provide a wide range of extra–curricular opportunities.

As well as an innovative curriculum, we also focus on the delivery of high quality teaching. You will see, from the variety of imaginative and interesting displays in the various subjects around the school, the commitment the staff have to the quality of teaching and learning. We were delighted Ofsted were very complimentary about the quality of teaching at Harrow Way. Staff really enjoy teaching at our school, their focus will continue to be on learning and progress.

Excellent Guidance and support are also crucial to our success. Our recent Ofsted inspection judged behaviour to be good. We have the highest expectations of behaviour, uniform, and attitudes to learning. Ofsted Parent view –indicated that 100% of parents indicated that their child was happy at school. I believe that students learn best when they are absolutely clear of the expectations, and staff apply a behaviour policy fairly and consistently. The emphasis is on reward and a positive approach stemming from high quality teaching.
We pride ourselves on being a listening school and we are keen to ensure that everyone can tell us of any concerns or worries. We invest heavily in our pastoral system. In each year there is a Head of Year and Team of tutors to guide and support the students and in addition, we have non–teaching members of staff who form part of our inclusion team and offer support through our flexible learning centre.

Working alongside parents to ensure that every child succeeds is key to our philosophy at Harrow way. New Harrow Way students are helped to settle in, through a variety of transition events organized by our very experienced transition leader Miss Escritt. These include Year 5 taster days, teacher visits to primary schools in the summer term, new intake day, transition summer schools, gifted and talented summer schools and a new intake induction evening. All of these enable familiarisation for both parents and students.

We all know that academic success is a key part of a high quality education. Last year when I addressed parents, I highlighted the continued rise in examination results in the school at our 5 A*-C rate and the new gold standard the 5 A*-C with English and Maths. Well, this year I am thrilled to report that the results have risen again with 54.4% students gaining those all important 5 A* – C including English and Maths. This is a 10% rise in two years. This year English Results went up 9% and Maths results went up 11%
To give you a flavour of the high quality of our Harrow Way education, 8 students achieved A*/A across the board. Our top achieving student in Year 11 achieved 9A*s and 3 A’s even rivalling local selective schools.

I have made no secret of the fact that my aim is to ensure that Harrow Way offers an outstanding education to all children.

So, ladies and gentlemen, you have heard all about the school. I am obviously very proud to be the Headteacher here and I hope you have a clear understanding of what the school has to offer your child.

I hope that what you’ve seen and heard tonight will inspire trust and confidence in me and the staff at Harrow Way Community School. I am really looking forward to working with you all in the future in what will be a very exciting educational experience.
If you would like a tour of the school please contact us to make an appointment, alternatively you can download our Prospectus here.

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