Heads Weekly Update 14th June 2019
Friday 14 Jun 2019
With the recent Open Morning, our Reception settling in sessions and a significant number of pupil tours, I’ve had the chance to talk to a vast range of people about what we stand for at ALS. As you know, we are, first and foremost, a happy school. We’re a place where we value the way people feel when they step foot into the building and we understand that it’s only when someone is happy and confident (this goes for grown-ups, too!) that they can fulfil their potential, be challenged to achieve and do their very best. Our values of Hard Work, Honesty and Kindness (and, of course, our House System!) all link back to our belief that character matters more than anything else. For us, we value the choices pupils make to be honest, to be kind and to be hard working. We are hugely successful at this and it allows pupils to be happy, safe and confident in school.
As proud as I am of our ethos and culture, it really is just the beginning of what makes us so special. It is because of the way our pupils feel each day that we can then have the level of academic rigour and challenge in school that allow all of our pupils to flourish. Our academic value added (the grades pupils score in examinations beyond their targets) is higher than in the majority of other schools (you’ll note most won’t share this data publically). Our exceptional academic value added is down to our culture, our community and our class size. A pupil who feels valued, is happy and confident, taught by an exceptional teacher and in a class of, on average, 12, is always going succeed. For some of the prospective parents that I’ve met recently, they were so taken aback by just how happy our pupils were, they missed the Machiavellian plan that goes with it; we don’t want our pupils to be happy just to be happy – we want pupils to be happy to allow for academic success, high aspirations and growing confidence.
After a week of rain, I am most hopeful that the weather improves for our upcoming Sports Day (Friday 21st June). On the chance that there is heavy rain forecast for the day, we will postpone Sports Day to later in the term but we’re very much hoping that this will not be necessary. This week, we’ve had our Junior School pupils taking part in a county handball tournament, Year 10 leading a bake sale to support the charity Mind and our musical pupils rehearsing in preparation for our upcoming music performance (the Beatles theme gig on Thursday 20th June). A busy week, as ever!
Mr Smart’s Readathon project was a huge success and I have to thank all of our brilliant Junior School pupils in their efforts. Our Junior School has managed to raise £1,400 for the Read for Good charity which supplies books and literacy services to children in hospitals across the country. Not only does the initiative encourage the wonder of reading, it does so whilst supporting a wonderful charity. I hope your child enjoyed taking part in the Readathon.
I would also like to thank ALPA who funded the new lighting rig used in the very successful performance of Arabian Nights. Covered by both the Leamington Observer and the Leamington Courier our drama department is in the spot light.
As Year 11 head off (we’re all preparing for their Leavers’ Dinner on Saturday evening), we will be interviewing for our new Head of School and Deputy Head of School from amongst our current prefects. Aaron High-Stevenson (Head Prefect) and Luke Seager (Deputy Head Prefect) have done a fantastic job as role models for other pupils and have set a high bar to follow. Each year, the selection process includes a formal letter of application, an interview with myself and the Senior Leadership Team as well as a staff vote. Good luck to all who apply!
Our recent Open Morning was a huge success with the largest number of prospective parents attending in recent years. Considering how much growth we’ve had in the last few years, this is quite the achievement! It was particularly impressive to see how well coordinated the morning was by our business team as it was timed well to avoid too much clogging in corridors! Do please continue to refer us to friends and family whose children would benefit from an ALS education – your testimonial can make all the difference in getting people to come and have a look at what we do at ALS!
I am delighted to announce that Miss Hazel Burcham will be taking up the position of Junior School SENCo from September 2019. With Miss Richards moving to be Assistant Head, we will have a Junior School SENCo and an equivalent Senior School SENCo to continue the excellent provision we have in place. Congratulations, Miss Burcham!
Finally – as I know I’ll get emails asking where it is if I forget to share it! - next week, our mantra comes from Amicus: Forgive mistakes; we all make them. Don’t forget if you’re interested in knowing which house you’d be in, you can request to take the house quiz and have your score sent back. If you’d like to do this, please get in touch with Mrs Nunn.