As I write this blog on the evening of Sunday 17th November, Mrs. Evans has just emailed to say that our contingent visiting the World War 1 battlefields have arrived in France. We look forward to hearing about their adventures when they return to us on Wednesday.
As a school we are making trips across the English Channel rather frequently at the moment - Ms. Knight, Mrs. Ragan and Mrs. Wilber spent time in Paris at the beginning of the half term break. The students had a life changing experience and the staff spoke about how brilliant the students went about the trip with fantastic attitudes. It is one thing the school providing opportunities; it is another thing when staff spend time preparing and giving up holiday time to make foreign trips happen. It is something I shall never take for granted - and to have 8 students descend on my office first thing on the Monday we got back after half term to tell me about it was wonderful. Furthermore, to see the album that Mrs. Ragan has put together suggests this is a trip that nobody will ever forget. Thank you to Ms. Knight and to everyone who made the trip the success that it was!
In my last blog before half term I wrote about the number of visitors we had coming up. Firstly, we had two Trust Board Members who toured the school talking to students and staff. They were very complementary about the school and thought that the young people they spoke with were fantastic. In a similar vein we had our first visit from our leadership consultant from our involvement with Leading Edge - in short this is a network of the highest performing schools in the country. Alan Yellup OBE loved the school and talked about exemplary young people and expert teaching. He said some great things that help evidence we are on the right track in making this school the truly remarkable place we all want it to be.
We have also had three unbelievable events in school. Ms. Moran organised a fabulous Solutions Not Sides visit whereby young Palestinian and Israeli people came in to present to our Year 10 and 11 students and answer questions. This thought provoking event was special and students asked some remarkably mature questions. Another experience that the young people involved will never forget.
Ms. Alleyne organised an Interfaith Day for Year 9. This included a raft of representatives from different faiths. The students were involved in a series of workshops that included a ‘Question Time’ style panel with questions and answers, presentations on forgiveness, debating and many other things. The feedback Ms Alleyne got from staff, students and visitors was first class. On the same day we welcomed Lord Nazir Ahmed to present our world champions with their certificates for successfully competing in the Genius Cup and Vocab Express. I’ve mentioned before that Mr Hussain coached, guided and provided opportunities for the students to claim two international honours. It was fitting that a distinguished visitor such as Lord Nazir presented the awards. He toured the school and was able to see the interfaith day live in action. He said it was a terrific event and passed on his congratulations to all involved. This coming from a life peer who has spent a lot of his time in the House of Lords establishing interfaith work was high praise indeed.
When you look at the amount of things happening - alongside Year 11 mocks - it really is quite staggering. I have a number of praise meetings with parents lined up for this week for excelling students.
I look forward to seeing you soon and if you would like to see our school - please get in touch.