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Headteacher's Blog, 4th October 2021

Hello, and this comes to you on the other side of the weekend this week, as I was training all day on Friday and did not get to post the blog. I have been preparing to deliver on the National Professional Qualification (NPQ) suite of courses in conjunction with the Alban Teaching Alliance. We are a Lead Partner with them and as a part of this, we will be delivering training here in North Hertfordshire for these qualifications.    

Last week saw the very welcome return of face-to-face open events for the parents of potential Year 7s for next year. I am always really pleased for people to see the school in action during the day, and our appointment system meant that we were able to really spend time with each group of parents, chat and answer their questions.

We have two more events this week for Year 6 parents and their children and, as always, are hoping for fine weather. There have been so many positive comments from our visitors about the levels of engagement that they saw in our classrooms, and also about the sense of calm and purpose throughout the school. Many thanks to all our students and staff for making these visitors so welcome again.    

The Covid vaccination day last Tuesday was very busy but also went smoothly, with more than 350 vaccines being given. There were some issues with staff numbers from the NHS and not everyone who wanted to be vaccinated was able to be accommodated. We are waiting to hear from the immunisation team about how they are proposing to implement a catch-up.  

Next, a plea from me about contact with our Reception team. There has been an unprecedented number of phone calls to Reception over the past few weeks, and this has meant that it has proved difficult to fully meet the needs of everyone. Please try to only call Reception if absolutely necessary; much of what they are being asked has previously been communicated by email or in our newsletter. If you are concerned that you are not receiving these communications please see here about whitelisting our email address with your email provider.

Friday was European Day of Languages and staff were wearing badges informing everyone of any additional languages that they speak and at what level; this was to encourage conversations in some of the many languages represented in our school. There was also a quiz during tutor period for forms in all year groups.  

Also last week, Aimee Dimmock, accounts auditor for Fowley Kingham and GKP chartered accountants, came in to speak to Sixth Form students about her apprenticeship in auditing.  A number of our students were very keen to speak to her afterwards about accessing roles such as hers via apprenticeships.  

A quick reminder that this Friday there is no school for students, as we have a staff INSET day, where we will be carrying out performance appraisals, Prevent training and other personal development activities.   

And finally - I would like to congratulate Mr Jackson in Physics who has successfully completed his National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership. This course  requires a considerable commitment of time and work, and includes a whole-school project as part of the final assessment. Many congratulations to him.  

Wishing you all a good week. 

Frances Manning, Headteacher