Friday, 16 December 2016

Principal's Blog - December 2016

Dear Parents, Carers & Guardians

Welcome to my December 2016 Blog.

It has been another exciting and spectacular half-term in respect of students excelling in the arts, science, sport, community service and charity fundraising. I hope you have enjoyed reading about our successes, on the website and through our Twitter feed, as much as we did creating them for you!

Once again, our Year 11 leavers have purchased a specially designed leavers’ hoodie. The hoodie is allowed to be worn in place of their blazer. Again, the 2017 hoodie has each student’s initials embroidered on the front. Your co-operation in helping to maintain the now established high standards of uniform, together with attendance and punctuality, from the outset of the Spring Term in January will be much appreciated. In this respect it is worth remembering that students should wear their blazers at all times, in addition to any school jumper or cardigan, unless instructed to do otherwise by a member of staff. 

Hopefully, all students will hit the ground running in January with regard to their academic studies. Please encourage your child(ren) to undertake some on-line learning, catching-up on any work missed and revision (mock examinations for students in Year 11 are planned to take place, at this stage, in late January). Talking about revision, we held a Super Learning Day for all Year 11 students on Tuesday 13th December, on how best to prepare for examinations having identified one’s strengths and weaknesses. This was a fantastic day with superb levels of engagement. It would be great if the parents, carers and guardians of Year 11 students could do some further work to support this process. Remember, there is no substitute for hard work! We will also be continuing our campaign, during 2017, to educate everyone connected with the school what bullying is and what it isn’t, together with convincing all concerned of the virtues of being a ‘telling school’.  

Miss Jill Pulleyne our new Data & Attendance Officer started work at the school on 14th November. She has settled in quickly to her new role. If you have any issues with regard to your child’s attendance, please don’t hesitate to give her a ring on 01757 244802. At the end of this term we will be saying goodbye to Mr David Martin (English teacher) and Mr Christopher Powell (Mathematics teacher). Mr Martin is going to pursue a career outside of the teaching profession and Mr Powell’s maternity cover contract is coming to an end with the return of Mrs Sellars and Miss Kirk. I am sure you will wish to join with me in wishing them every success in their future undertakings. Mrs Alix Charlton, our new English teacher, will take up her post at the start of the new term in January 2017. We are looking forward to seeing her achieve great things with our students!

I should like to take this opportunity to remind you, that in the advent of adverse weather conditions, a decision as to whether or not to open the school will be made, at the latest, by 6.30am. If closure is necessary, an announcement will then be made on BBC Radio York & Minster FM. The school’s website will also carry information about any school closure and we will tweet and SMS message you with information. Once the school is open it will remain open until the end of the day unless it becomes clear that students risk becoming stranded, because of any worsening conditions. If the school has to close we will make a decision, whenever possible, by the end of the day in question, about the prospects for the following day.

I don’t know about you, but at this time of year I always find my thoughts turning to those people who are less fortunate than ourselves and in this regard I am incredibly proud of the school’s record of raising money for numerous charities. This term our collective and in some cases individual efforts have been simply fantastic. I know we have great things planned for the next term, but in the interim why not visit our website and look at all the charities we have supported whilst raising the fabulous sum of £64,500 during the last thirteen years.

Construction of The Eckersley Centre’, which includes new male and female changing rooms, six new classrooms and additional office and storage space, notwithstanding the additional work required on the sports hall walls, is progressing really well. We are still on schedule for a February half-term completion. The underfloor heating is on and beginning to dry things out. I will send some up-to-date photographs out in January once the new windows are all in and the cubicles have been installed. Exciting times! Incidentally, I should say how proud and honoured I am that the Governors have decided to name the new centre after me.

Finally, I appreciate that Leeds Road is extremely busy. I would however, ask you to be mindful of the fact that we are situated in a residential area, and to be considerate to our neighbours when parking, especially if you find yourself blocking their driveway.

As we say at Selby High School, as we look forward to 2017, it is more important that we are more successful tomorrow than perhaps we have been today! So we are looking forward to an excellent and outstanding 2017. On that note I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the staff and governors to wish you a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

Paul Eckersley

Important Dates for Your Diary

Tuesday 3rd & Wednesday 4th January
Training Days – School closed to students
Thursday 5th January
School re-opens
Wednesday 11th January                            
Young Voices at Sheffield Arena
Tuesday 24th January
Year 7 MFL evening
Friday 27th January      

Year 11 Taster day at York College
Wednesday 1st February
Year 11 mock exams start (provisional date)
Thursday 2nd February
Intermediate Maths Challenge
Tuesday 7th February
Year 9 Parents’/Carers’/Guardians’ Consultation evening
Wednesday 8th February
Robot Competition
Tuesday 14th – Friday 17th February
Year 9 trip to Battlefields
Wednesday 15th February             
ISA in a day
Friday 17th February                             
Year 10 mock interviews
Friday 17th February                                       
School closes for holidays (3.25pm)