Headteacher’s News – 2018 03 23

Last week it was a pleasure to host Councillor Natasha Airey, the RBWM Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, on a visit to view the school buildings improvements.  RBWM have spent nearly £2m on the school to increase its pupil admission number for 2018 to 260, in readiness for the demographic bulge in Windsor predicted to hit us in 2020.  It is always a pleasure to have politicians visit the school and see the fruit of their decision making, and in this case it was apparent to the councillor just how well-spent  that money had been.  The new maths classrooms and block are a delight and have a terrifically modern feel to them; the new library is well-used, and the canteen extension has transformed the dining experience.  The admin areas and the staffroom have provided a welcome boost to the working conditions of staff.  And the sixth form study area is a delight and a place where students find it easy to work and focus on exam preparation.  Overall, all the objectives and improvements we wanted to achieve have been realised, and have had an impact, as well as creating five additional classrooms.

The school business manager and I have been working hard with senior managers at ABM Caterers to improve the canteen provision at break and lunchtime.  We presented over six pages of feedback, good and bad, as well as ideas for development to them, which they found very helpful.  They have welcomed the suggestion of a termly face to face feedback session with students and staff.  They have appointed a new manager for the area, who is going to focus on a series of specific improvements, provide the training needed for the canteen staff and also solve some of the staffing issues that have blighted the service.  He seems tremendous and has come from one of the very best school canteen providers I have ever seen.  The queuing issue from a few months back has been solved and we have created much more eating and sitting space, reducing queue times significantly and making everything calmer.  There are plans to develop things further, like creating a sixth form serving area, and they plan to put on taster events to win back confidence in them with younger students and parents.  We have much more confidence that things will improve over the coming months, but we have made it clear that a lack of progress will result in us looking for alternatives.

This week has been very busy, with students in year 11 and 13 getting closer and closer to the ‘main event’ of exam season, and Monday night’s Yr 11 Parents’ Exam Information Evening was extremely well attended.  Details of Easter revision will go out next week, and assemblies have been focusing on revision techniques.  Next week is only four days long but packed with events for all years, culminating in house activities on the last day.

We are still waiting for the Ofsted report to be published with eager anticipation.  Have a good weekend.

Gavin Henderson