Headteacher’s News – 2017 10 06

At TWBS we find opportunities to develop leadership amongst the students, with our prefect system, house captains, clubs and societies leaders, and sports teams.   Our senior prefect team, all of whom had to apply to be selected for the role, ran their first charity event last week.  The Macmillan coffee morning was well supported by coffee and cake eaters and by GBBO quality cake makers. The senior prefects provide an important ambassadorial role for the school, regularly being asked to be the public face of the student body for visitors, prospective parents and young people.  They also run a range of functions within the school, like the student council, the Windsorian magazine, year 9 support and charity days.  On public occasions, like this week’s Open Evening, they host visiting families and represent the school in an excellent way.  The team is led by our head boy Jude Compton-Stewart and deputy head boy Jamie Jarvis, who is also captain of rugby.  I would like to thank them and all of their team for the really excellent start they have made to the year.

After a month of the new school year we are now well underway with academic teaching and learning.  This week marks the start of data collections for some year groups, which will be reported to parents in due course; the mock exams for year 13 and year 11 are being planned and checked; and year 9 have had interim assessments after their first month of teaching.  Walking around the school and into classrooms I can see that the majority of students are focused on their work and engaging in constructive learning.  As parents, please talk with your child about their learning and support their independent work.  It has a huge effect on their achievement.  We regularly survey a sample of students and talk with them about their learning.  At these sessions a senior member of staff looks at their books and discusses things that are going well and things that could be improved.  We find the students are very honest about what they think, but this is very helpful.  Heads of subject receive this feedback and are able to bring about improvements.  In the past we have surveyed parents, and we plan to upgrade the way we do this so that the feedback is more useful for all concerned.  All of this information, results, data and surveys, improves our ability to support every learner and at the same time develop what we do.

We had a very successful open evening this week, with many families visiting the school and hearing about what we do here.  The students and staff showed the school at its best and were able to answer questions and highlight opportunities.  The school recently has had its pupil admissions number (PAN) increased from 230 to 260 students per year group.  This may be good news in the next couple of years for those who live further away and in the past may have assumed they were too far away to get in.  This increase in admission number may provide opportunities to join us that weren’t there in the past. If you know anyone is considering the school on this basis, or simply who missed the open evening, please ask them to make an appointment to visit the school, be shown around by our prefects and meet with the headteacher. I’d like to thank everyone who made this week’s open evening such a success, again!

Please enjoy this week’s newsletter, which is full of the usual blend of extra-curricular activities, reports on recent events, notices about forthcoming events and announcements. Have a good weekend.

Gavin Henderson