Welcome to the start of the autumn term and our 175th anniversary. We look forward to a year of celebrations, beginning with the Old Wellingtonians’
It is also the Centenary of the Corps of Drums and we are excited by the prospect of their march to the Menin Gate for the Last Post Ceremony on March 15th coinciding with the annual Year 9 trip to
Looking back over the summer, our A-level students once again performed outstandingly well with a record-breaking 19% at A* and 45% at A* and A grade. 26 students gained 3 or more A*s and As, that is over a third of the year group. The A* is particularly hard to achieve since an average of 90% needs to be scored on A2 modules.
We were also pleased that nearly all of our students got into their university of choice and that the clearing system worked far more efficiently than ever before. I would like to thank Dr Daniel, Mr Millington, Mrs Dean, Mr Duggan and Mrs Luxton in particular for their close attention to students over the last weeks of the holidays and throughout the year.
The A level results were followed by a strong performance by our Year 11 pupils. 48% of grades were awarded A* and A, a quarter of the year group gained 9 or more A*s and As. Although it is clear from a close analysis of results that grade boundaries in subjects have been changed this year, and especially in English, I am pleased to report that 99% of students secured a C grade and above in English.
Be prepared for sustained conflict between Heads’ and Teachers’ Associations with the Government and Examination Boards over the coming months as reforms are put in place. No doubt all involved care deeply about our children’s future. However, it is vitally important that we, as parents and staff, do not diminish the achievements or the hard work of the children by devaluing qualifications. Please continue to stress the importance of determined preparation and practice.
Congratulations to all those who took exams this year and, of course, to their teachers. Plaudits to individuals will appear in the first newsletter. For a detailed breakdown of results, please consult the school website.
There was a very successful cycling tour in
We would like to welcome the following new staff to the school: Mr Fasham to teach Mathematics and to be STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Co-ordinator and Mr Hallows as Deputy Head (Pastoral) and to teach Biology. Miss Randall will be undertaking the Graduate Teacher Training Programme in Art.
Our new graduate assistant this year is Miss Menhenoett. Miss Jones continues as a graduate assistant and is also assistant in Overside. James Carson is going to be helping out with sports coaching and some boarding duties until Easter. We would also like to welcome our language assistants, Miss De Toro Escobar
(Spanish) and Mr Beauchot (French).
Staff in new roles:
We wish Mrs Tabb well as Head of Biology and Miss Collins in her role as Housemistress of Fox’s, and Mrs Dean as Housemistress of Linden. Mr Stevens will be Assistant Head of Sixth Form and Mr Reade will be Assistant in Lights.
Congratulations to Miss Miller on her marriage. She returns to
The maintenance department has been busy with the necessary refurbishment and maintenance of our many old buildings, especially staff accommodation and the Avenue roof. Chemistry Room 1 has been re-configured to improve learning and teaching.
Several of the gates and railings have been repaired and galvanised. The main gates are now on an electronic timer and will be closed between 10pm and 6am. Gradually we will be replacing and adding gates and railings along
Work has continued in the boarding houses with improvements to rooms in Willows and Lights and more furniture will arrive at half-term.
During the year, we hope to re-structure the main office and to significantly improve the entrance to avoid the clutter of parcels and clashes of elbows that is too often the experience encountered.
Parent Portal and Communication
Following a successful pilot, we have decided that we are going to ask all parents to sign up to a parent portal. You will receive a letter from Mr Shaw about this very shortly. This links our management information system (iSAMS) with our communications. You will be able to access timetables, examination timetables, contact addresses, and, if you choose, receive email notifications of your child’s merits and demerits and attendance. Letters can be tailored to recipients far more easily, so we will gradually phase out parent mail by Christmas. All grades and reports will now be electronic.
I hope this will improve communication significantly. Please remember, however, that teachers are teaching and leading activities so dealing with emails cannot be immediate. Please think very carefully whether the question you wish to ask is really important or whether the information can be found elsewhere. This will avoid teachers being distracted from their main tasks by hefty inboxes.
We will be launching our new website during September, which I hope you will find is much easier to use. The majority of the material, which was formerly under the ‘Current Parents and Students’ gateway, will now be accessed via the Parent and Pupil portals. This will enable us to separate the external marketing and internal communication functions.
Throughout the year we review our policies and procedures and these are now overseen and scrutinised by the Governors’ Governance and Management Committee. The main policies are available via the website and portal. Should you wish hard copies, these are available from the School Office. Changes have been made to the following policies:
Child Protection Policy: clarification that the new Designated Persons are Mr Hallows and Mrs Burton in the Senior School and Mrs Scott and Miss Read in the Junior School. Mrs Tamsin Humphreys is the new governor responsible for safeguarding. There are some minor adjustments to the appendices which give guidance to staff.
Complaints Procedure: this policy has been revised to give clearer lines of communication and time lines, the need to communicate exactly the nature of the complaint and proposed resolution at the formal stage, and the role of the Headmaster.
Government regulations require us to inform parents of the number of formal complaints the school has received during the preceding year. A formal complaint is defined as one which has progressed to Stage 3 of the Complaints Procedure, the Governors’ Panel Hearing. There were no formal complaints in the academic year 2010-11.
Please note that your child’s tutor is the first port-of-call for matters of concern.
Dates for the diary
Open Morning Saturday 22 September 09.30-12.00
Tell me on a Sunday 16 and 17 October 19.30
Please may I recommend Tell me on a Sunday, a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber. This features Old Wellingtonian, Old Beechie, and School Captain (07-08), Alys Metcalf. Alys won prizes for the top performer throughout her time at Guildford School of Drama and it would be excellent to give her full houses for these shows.
I would like to wish you and your children well for the new academic year.