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Headteacher’s Blog, January 2014

January 14th, 2014

Happy New Year! Welcome Back for the Spring Term

A Happy New Year to all! I trust everyone had a restful break and I am confident that the students have returned with enthusiasm and confidence to make 2014 a personal success for each of them. For Year 11 who have public examinations this year may I take this opportunity to wish your child every success with their studies and exams and please rest assured that the school will do everything it can to help your child achieve his/her full potential.

We had some amazing and outstanding success during 2013; notably our GOOD Ofsted in all categories and our best ever examination results! We are hoping to build on these achievements in 2014.

Attendance and academic progress at HWCS
I would like to thank you for your support and hard work in ensuring your child attends school as much as possible. I am confident that this increase in attendance will have a positive impact on the progress that our pupils will go on to make.

At the beginning of a new year many of us start to think about family holidays and look to book these up as a reward and incentive for working so hard throughout the year. I would like to take this opportunity to remind you of the changes of the law with regards to the authorisation of family holidays taken during term time. Harrow Way School will not authorise holidays that result in pupils missing any school days. Schools have also been given the authority to issue fines of up to £300 to anyone who takes their child out of school for a family holiday.

We appreciate that children are unwell from time to time and that there can be exceptional circumstances for absences, but we ask that you think carefully about keeping your child out of school. There is a strong connection between attendance and achievement at school. Absence is proven to have a significant negative impact upon a child’s educational attainment. It is for this reason that we request all medical and dental appointments be made outside of school hours. The graph below shows how attendance affects examination results. As you can clearly see, the more students attended school the more GCSE high grade passes they achieved.

attendance-graph

I hope that you appreciate how crucial good school attendance is to your child’s progress, achievement and chances in life and we look forward to working with you to ensure that your child’s attendance is the very best it can be.

If you feel there is anything we can do to support you or your child to improve their attendance, or would like to discuss this matter further please do not hesitate the school. Thank you for your continuing support.

Fayef International School in Ghana
Our Peer Educators have been working with an organisation called Volunteer West Africa (VWA) to set up a partnership with Fayef International School in Ghana. Fayef sent us a letter, which accompanied a short video introducing themselves and their school. Harrow Way also created a video introducing our school to their students and through film, scrapbooks and letters the students have built up a relationship. Although Fayef has some computers, as yet, there is no internet link but communication between the two schools is creative and has enabled both to learn more about what it is like to be a student in the individual schools.
We are hoping our relationship will continue to grow and students are starting to put plans in place and fundraising activities to visit the school next year. Teachers are also looking at joint curriculum initiatives.

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