Heads Weekly update 17th May 2019
Sunday 19 May 2019
After the glorious weather that opened the week, I have had the fortune of being able to attend the ISA National Conference on Thursday & Friday. Amongst other things (such as an 80s themed evening with a guest appearance from Brian Blessed), we had talks from a number of speakers covering the role of DNA in academic success and personality traits and, perhaps most interestingly, a talk from Robert Verkaik and Professor Francis Green (both of whom have previously written extensive pieces on their issue with the independent system). Suffice to say, the latter talk had a few interesting questions from the audience of independent school Headteachers.
A speaker this morning – Mr Lee Warren – challenged the heads in the room to move away from talking about what their school does but to begin speaking about why it does it. As you’ll imagine, this resonated strongly with me as it is something we have as a real strength at ALS. Rather than talking about “excellence”, at the heart of our school is a belief in the importance of happiness, an understanding of the importance of valuing choices and character rather than innate talents and an absolute belief in our community.
I am delighted to share that we have recruited Mrs Mariana Hunton to join our languages team. Mrs Hunton teaches both French and Spanish up to examination level and I am thrilled to have been able to appoint another exceptional member of staff to our school team. We are just confirming Mrs Hunton’s start date and this may be September 2019 or January 2020. Should Mrs Hunton join for January, for the Autumn Term 2019, we will bring in a cover teacher to bridge the gap. Whilst I appreciate having a teacher for just one term isn’t ideal, I am sure you’ll agree that it is worth the wait to ensure the staff that join our school meet the very highest standards for your children.
From Monday 3rd June, pupils in Years 10 and 12 will be venturing out on work experience. This is a crucial part of any child’s education as they are offered the chance to see the world of work and begin to understand the paths they may wish to pursue in the future. My thanks to any parents who have kindly supported the work experience of our pupils. If your child is involved in work experience and you have any questions, please get in touch with Mrs Bottrill, Miss Hill or Miss Bliss.
Next week, our mantra comes from Amicus: Respect everyone and their contribution. As ever, I trust that sharing the weekly mantra serves as an opportunity to engage with our school ethos and culture at home as much as we do so in school. Taking the time to respect the contribution of those in our lives and to thank them for their contribution is, I think, particularly important.