yr8 football champions trophycropAs we start the second half of the summer term I cannot believe how quickly the school year is going! On the last day of last half term on a bright and sunny May evening in Southampton, the Harrow Way School Year 8 football team were crowned Hampshire champions after a thrilling 1-0 win over Hounsdown School. In what was an exact rematch of last year’s final, our boys played their hearts out to lift the county trophy. A huge thank you to all the families and Harrow Way School staff who came to support the team.

Thank you to all the parents who completed the annual questionnaire. The summary is available to view here. Parental input is essential if the process is going to be truly meaningful and the evidence we collect helps to determine the priorities for the year ahead and the longer term. The information we receive from the questionnaires will be fed back to you via the school newsletter and will be discussed at Staff Meetings and Governors Committee Meetings to form the basis of the next School Improvement Plan.

I was very pleased to learn recently that we will be welcoming a full year group into Year 7 for September 2014. In fact we currently have a waiting list! I am delighted that Harrow Way continues to be the first choice for the majority of families in our area.

This year we were asked to become members of the The PiXL Club (Partners in Excellence). The PiXL Club is a collaboration of school leaders, headed by Sir John Rowling; this is a club that some have said to be “the best thing they have seen in education”. Partners in Excellence work with over 800 secondary schools and 280 Sixth Forms. The focus is on raising standards at GCSE.

The PiXL Club aims to support the promotion of excellence for students. The club is about sharing new ideas with school leaders; it is a partnership of focused, determined and dedicated professional practitioners. This year we have used a number of strategies to support students who have examinations in 2014.

You may not be aware that Harrow Way Community School has its own Twitter page – you can follow us at: @harrowway

Last term we appointed our new prefects and senior prefects. From a very competitive field we have appointed Katie Guilford and William Cooper to the posts of Head Girl and Head Boy respectively with Hannah Allmark and Alexander Morling as their deputies.

It is always a privilege for me to be able to make these decisions. I know much the students, parents and staff value these positions in the school. It is a tough job representing the student body at this level and working with me, the Headteacher, to promote the school and represent all our students to the visitors we welcome.

Last year, following a careful and systematic review of behaviour management policies we updated our practice so there is greater consistency across the school, enabling all students to make rapid progress in every lesson. As a Level 2 Rights Respecting School, we involved the students last year in putting together a document called our Core Values. This is based on rights and responsibilities. Most of our students consistently support the school’s values and ultimately are rewarded with excellent examination results and greater career opportunities. However, where students do not support these core values, there will be a new progressive level of intervention. We will be reviewing these procedures again during the summer term.

Finally with the world cup looming, TMB Bank have launched a new brand vision “Make THE Difference” by making a film to inspire people to start thinking differently, with a hope that they will start to Make THE Difference to their own world. This film is based on a true story about a football team in 1986 that lived on a little island in the south of Thailand called “Koh Panyee”. It’s a floating village in the middle of the sea that has not an inch of soil. The kids here loved to watch football but had nowhere to play or practice. But they didn’t let that stop them. They challenged the norm and have become a great inspiration for new generations on the island.

We are looking forward to the rest of the summer term with lots more exciting opportunities and successes for our students and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support.