It is hard to believe but we are already half way through this academic year! Given the extreme weather and subsequent flooding that much of the county has suffered in the past months, we need to be thankful we have fared so well.Our site team continue to work hard to further improve our school environment. Last half term for example we re-furbished the boys toilets, this half term is the turn of the girls!

Sunday saw the closing of the Sochi Winter Olympics and much could be said for the Olympic motto which is Faster, Higher, Stronger. During my last assembly week I was able to blend in some examples when discussing with students what could be achieved through hard work, determination and commitment. I talked about how Laura Dekker In January 2012 at the age of 16 became the youngest person to sail around the world alone. Overcoming high seas, heavy winds and legal action from the Dutch authorities who thought she was too young, she arrived triumphant in the Caribbean. I also mentioned Bradley Wiggins who : ‘At 12, I told my art teacher, I’m going to be Olympic champion, I’m going to wear the yellow jersey.’

Every half term, the Senior Leadership Team in addition to the normal monitoring and evaluation we carry out in the school also carry out a learning walk week where we pop into lessons to celebrate the learning that is taking place. We speak to students about what they are learning and how this lesson fits into their wider studies; we also ask them about their current level/grade and target level/grade and what they need to work on to make their work even better, so we can see how well they understand the feedback from their teachers. It is such a pleasure for us to see all the varieties of learning taking place at our school, the highly skilled, committed teachers at work and the magnificent attitudes to learning of our students.

The Spring Term, like others, is always busy, active and enjoyable. There are many activities and events that have taken place. I hope you will check the website and support as many of the events as possible. Our students continue to delight and provide magical moments that serve as reminders to us all – teachers and non teachers – why we chose this as a vocation. In a term that is heavily laden with controlled assessments, coursework deadlines, examinations the staff continue to give so much … their devotion is exemplary.

We were delighted at the very good attendance at our new subject based consultation evenings. Parents I spoke to and who completed the online survey on the iPads welcomed the engagement with staff and the advice they received from teachers.

Parent Survey 2013/14

As you will be aware last year Harrow Way started, running an annual Parents’ Survey to gauge parental satisfaction with the school and to gain feedback on subjects that are pertinent to the school’s development. In the next few weeks an on-line survey will be emailed to all parents on the school database via a web link and hard copies sent to those without internet access. A report on the survey results will follow later in the year and support us in looking at the school’s next 3-Year Strategic Plan.

Year 11 Examinations – 10 weeks to go!

Harrow Way Countdown to Exam Start Date:

As a school we have employed a range of resources to further support your child, including after school revision classes in various subject areas, mentoring and access to department staff external to lessons. Education experts say that the key factors for success in examinations are hard work and determination. Students achieve the highest results when parents are supportive and place a high priority on education as the ladder to success in later life. These parents insist on children doing their homework and revision and striving as hard as they can.

GCSE examination dates have been published to you and your son/daughter. These must be noted if your child is to have an organised approach to their studies. Some departments have set early deadline dates for controlled assessments and coursework. If your son/daughter misses these, he/she will find themselves overloaded with work to be handed in by the final date and consequently will fail to produce work which reflects their true ability.

Government Statistics show there is a link between attendance and punctuality and results at GCSE. We ask, therefore, for your support in ensuring that your child attends school regularly and is punctual. Parents should encourage their child’s good attendance at all times. Results show that poor attendance significantly impacts on attainment. Every day lost in attendance reduces your child’s chance of achieving at their best.