Headteacher's Message, Friday 24th February 2017
On Wednesday, I attended the OAT East Headteachers’ meeting at Stoke High in Ipswich; I see a lot of Ipswich these days. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but these meetings are so valuable for sharing ideas, planning for the future, working out areas where we can collaborate and just as importantly chat about general issues. They are also a good opportunity for colleagues to check the well-being of each other as work-life pressure applies to all members of staff including Headteachers.
Due to the strong winds, Year 9 options evening on Thursday had to be postponed. Storm Doris damaged the sports hall roof and the forecast was for the winds to continue. Apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused, however, it would have been too much of a risk to continue. We will publish the new date on the website within the next few days.
You may recall that following last year’s review of site security and in the interest of our students, we made necessary changes to the back of the school. As I said at the time, this was not due to any safeguarding. The second stage of this was to review the front of the school and our first step was to close the gate that leads into the special needs area and the back of the canteen during the school day. The school put in a bid for funding that is ‘ring fenced’ (pardon the pun) for site security and this is being completed in two phases. A new set of gates and fence have been erected further inside the school grounds. The second phase, over Easter, is to turn these into automated gates that will be closed during school hours. Staff and sixth form students will gain entry with key cards, visitors will use the intercom to speak to reception staff before gaining entry; it is a common system. The new positioning of the gates is to allow space for queuing cars or large vehicles to wait rather than block Eaton road. Parents and taxi drivers will need to drop students off and collect them from outside the school making the car park area safer as well. The aim is to simply make the site a bit more secure for our students and staff.
Finally, it has been a busy week for the school and quite an emotional one for me personally. You don’t get to announce your retirement very often so Monday was far from easy despite all the thought and planning that went into my announcement. I have always believed that there are ‘watersheds’ in life and often you can see them coming; this was certainly one of these occasions. There is sometimes a sentience to life that the time is right as all the factors have come together - this was certainly one of them. As I said in my message to you all, I am retiring from Headship but intend to remain involved in education in various capacities and look forward, when the time comes, to many new challenges. Meanwhile, I will be ‘busy as usual’ doing everything I possibly can for our brilliant school. My thanks for the many emails and texts I have received, they were very touching and meant a great deal to me.
This weekend, I will be watching some rugby in the hope that Scotland can do to Wales what they did to Ireland plus doing some work on my minor scales (harmonic and melodic) with my saxophone.
Hope you all have a restful weekend.