Mr Bevis' Words Lent 7
Education has taken a bit of a battering in the press this week with Headteacher’s resigning over school budget cuts, and the Education Select Committee criticising the government's teacher recruitment and retention planning. Fortunately we at Claires Court have no issues over staff and teaching resource budgets but we have noticed that teacher recruitment is getting more difficult.
We are fortunate in that we are known to be good school to work in, where teachers are free to prepare creative lessons and not be restricted by a narrow curriculum or an unhealthy fixation on grades as the only measure of progress and development. We are entering the major teacher recruitment phase but I am confident we will recruit very well where we need to.
On Tuesday Year 11 parents and pupils received detailed feedback on the recent mock examinations, and clear advice on what now needs to be done to ensure a smooth run up to the summer GCSE exams. For parents it is very much about providing a quiet environment with reasonable space, food and ensuring that their child has enough sleep. There is no doubt that leaving the mobile downstairs will have a really positive impact on sleep and concentration.
Whilst talking things mobile I would like to reiterate that pupils are expected to keep their mobile phone in their locker during the school day, from 8.45 - 17.10 (if attending an activity). Please understand therefore that you should not be attempting to phone your daughter during the school day, and that she will not receive a text until after the end of her school day. If a message needs to be passed on please use the School Office.
The pervasive nature of social media and its addictive impact upon teenagers is presenting a great challenge to social relationships, family life, mental and physical health and learning. On Wednesday 1 March we are hosting an Internet and Social Media talk at the Junior Boys School. Although primarily focussed on the Junior age groups parents of Year 7s and 8s are welcome to come along and listen to Paul Hay, one of our most experienced and knowledgeable external consultants. Enabling children and young people to manage their online lives can only be achieved with the active engagement of parents.
Looking forward to seeing Year 9 and parents at the Parents Evening on Thursday. This is an important evening as well as gaining information on academic progress it is a final opportunity to discuss GCSE choices.
Our cultural and sporting life continues. Next week Year 8s are off to the Ashmolean and Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, and Year 10 musicians are going to the ENO for a performance of Rigoletto.
The sporting highlight of the week has been the success of our Junior Under 11 hockey team (year 6) who won a recent Under 12 RBWM tournament by beating LVS and Charters School 6-0 and 5-0 respectively. The same team achieved a fantastic bronze medal in the County Championships. Our U14A hockey girls versus Charters resulted in a huge win of 12-0 and the U13A County Hockey saw the girls get knocked out at the semi final stage of the Plate Competition but they played exceptionally well.
The PTA AGM meeting was held last night and I do have to give an enormous vote of thanks to Anna Taylor-West and her committee. They are such a dedicated bunch of volunteers and they are a sheer joy to work with. Nothing ever phases them and everything is done in a calm, enthusiastic and highly collaborative way - a huge thank you.
Culture is the widening of the mind and of the spirit. Jawaharlal Nehru