Dear Parents and Carers
It has been an exciting term with much going on at our school. We have enjoyed visits by numerous high profile speakers and visitors. We had a visit from the esteemed actor, Toby Jones, who played Captain Mainwaring in the remake of ‘Dad’s Army’. We formed a lasting association with Chris Riddell the Children’s laureate and political cartoonist for The Observer newspaper. Chris is also an illustrator and author. Examples of his books include ‘Goth Girl’ and the ‘Ottoline’ series of books. We had a superb day with him. Our wonderful library has a good selection of his books. Our library and literacy are the cornerstone of success in our school.
We have also sent our first group of students to enjoy a week with the Royal Marines at The Commando Training Centre Royal Marines in Lympstone, Devon. Our students had a fantastic time. We now have a full group of Sixth Form students who will also have the same experience with The Royal Navy next spring. We are now running the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme for our students. All of these activities add so much to our students’ lives. We will be continuing our work with both The Royal Navy and Royal Marines and for this I thank Chief Petty Officer Colin ‘Cass’ Clayton most sincerely for all of his help and support!
Music continues to be a huge strength as showcased on so many occasions and music pervades our School. Our Carol Concert was simply wonderful; thanks to Reverend Wyatt. Music is so vitally important in a school and it gives me so much joy to hear our numerous bands and ensembles. They give pleasure to us all!
It has been a delight working with our Primary Schools. The Snow White Production at Bursted Wood Primary School was incredible. Thanks to Mrs Dryland the Headteacher.
The Little Fish assemblies have been very successful. Thank you to the Rotary Club who also do so much for our School. Huge thanks must also be given to the Parents’ Forum for their tremendous fund raising activities.
Our mock examinations went so well this year and of course we wish our students great success.
On the sporting front we continue to enjoy huge success and opportunities for all our students. We work closely with the Youth Sport Trust for which I am a Headteacher Ambassador. From my own gym the Like2Box gym in Redhill we look forward to welcoming in the New Year Luke ‘Pocket Rocket’ Pearson. Luke is a superb featherweight who is aiming for the very top. Tommy ‘Sweet T’ Jacobs from Essex is also hoping to visit us. Tommy is also a Queensbury BL fighter who has his sights firmly set on a World Championship. Both of these men are superb role models and a testament to what hard work and resilience with vision can achieve. They are incredibly friendly and supportive young men who work with young people. Rugby continues to excel thanks to the Dartfordians Rugby Club and Kent Rugby who support us and so many of our players. We are now in the final of the Kent Cup with our Year 11 boys’ Football team. I cannot wait to see what marvellous football they produce in their final match in the ‘theatre of dreams’!
We are developing and preparing a bespoke Art Gallery to showcase our stunning Art. Art bejewels the walls here and is just incredible. Chris Riddell was stunned by the quality. Our Primary Poetry Competition was a huge success and we are now expanding this into the secondary arena. We plan more competitions to bring out the best of our student’s creative talents along with debating competitions and really develop the aesthetic arts.
On the curriculum front we are constantly reviewing our curriculum and planning more pathways at Level 2 in our Sixth Form to enable more of our students to remain with us and achieve success in Key Stage 5. I am particularly pleased with how our excellent SEND department supports our students right across the school.
We are absolutely relentless in trying to ensure the very best standards in lessons and ensure that there is always a highly visible presence around our school to ensure that our students are safe and well cared for. The House System continues to be popular with students and staff.
Parents’ evenings are very successful and I encourage as many of you as possible to attend these. The Year 7 settling in evenings were also successful. It was a pleasure to meet you during the open evenings and mornings. I thank you all for your support with uniform and our standards which aim to instil pride and high aspirations amongst our students.
The individual student remains at the centre of all we do. This is our core moral purpose and we take this very seriously as we support and encourage them all to do as well as they possibly can and succeed.
Henry Kiernan, one of the country’s top restorative and solution focused practitioners will be working with us from January to support us in developing our positive and aspirational culture. A huge thread here will be to develop our personalised provision. My clear vision over the next few years is to develop our personalised education systems so that every single child is catered for and we have as few exclusions as possible.
I am always happy to meet you at any time and take you on a tour if you wish. I am proud of our school and all we are achieving. I try to draw attention to our successes and activities on my Principal’s twitter feed which can be found on the front of our website. Please also glance at my Principal’s comments section where I celebrate the successes of our students.
I cannot possibly thank everyone here who works with us but I do thank our Mayor, Councillor Eileen Pallen and MP David Evennett for their huge interest and support for us here. CRIBS have led some stunning assemblies for us this week and our school Pastors do an incredible job both here and in the community. We are of course very much a community school and proud to be so.
I thank all of our staff for their exceptional dedication, our brilliant Governors and all of our students for their hard work. Huge thanks to Kier who keep our school looking lovely and Cucina who serve delicious food. I thank you as parents and carers because we could not succeed without your interest and support.
Staff have enjoyed the staff pantomime performed on Monday and Tuesday of this week.
I had a wonderful visit and enjoyable meeting yesterday with Juliet Lamin and Tobi Alabi yesterday. Anything we can do to prevent cardiac arrest is so incredibly important. They are both and always will be very special to our school.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you a restful and tranquil Christmas.