As I write it's a lovely sunny day so I hope that the boys and staff at Alton Towers are having the same weather and making the most of it. I also hope we get the same for the next seven weeks! Good weather means it's easier to encourage students to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. One thing they might be doing outside is Pokemon Go. Just in case parents are feeling as baffled as I am about this new craze here is a link to some information about the app and some advice about how to keep your sons safe:
It's also worth my while re-iterating the College policy on mobile phones: when a student brings a phone into the College the phone must be switched off and out of site. I am afraid this means no Pokemon hunting at school even at break time and lunch time.
Councillor Ian Bowyer Leader, Plymouth City Council and Judith Harwood Assistant Director (Learning and Communities) have asked me to pass on a letter about penalty notices and term time holidays. I have placed it on the College website here:
The letter explains the impact of the recent Isle of Wight court judgement and Plymouth CC's response. Parents will see that the letter makes reference to an OFSTED expectation that attendance is 95%. I don't think schools or parents should be making decisions to make OFSTED happy but rather to ensure a good education for students. My own view on attendance is that students should aim for 100% attendance, not 95%, and only be absent when it is absolutely necessary. (I am not talking here about approved sporting activities which obviously have an educational benefit which I am happy to authorise). That is why I only approve absence from school for holidays during term time for exceptional circumstances and even then not if attendance is already a cause for concern.
I would also like to bring you up to date with some changes in responsibility in the College for September. Next year we will be operating with a smaller leadership team as follows:
Deputy Headteacher: Mr A Davies
Assistant Headteacher (Teaching and Learning): Dr A Summers
Assistant Headteacher (Pastoral Care): Mr R Ramage
In terms of subject leadership there will be 5 Curriculum Directors:
Director of Maths and Computing: Mr P Scott
Director of English and Languages: Mr P Trimmer
Director of Science and Technology: Mrs F Walton
Director of Humanities (RE, Geography, History and Social Sciences): Miss R Blackshaw
Director of Performance (PE, Music, Art, Drama): Mr P Greenway
Each curriculum Director will be assisted by a second in each area.
Second in Maths and Computing: Ms V Taylor
Second in English and Languages: Ms V Phillips
Second in Science and Technology: Mrs S Lee
Second in Humanities (RE, Geography, History and Social Sciences): Ms C Redfern
Second in Performance (PE, Music, Art, Drama): Mrs J Wills
Parents will know that Mr D Ousey has already taken over as SENCO.
In terms of pastoral care, Year Leaders will be as follows:
Sixth Form: Mr S Tew
Year 10 and 11: Mrs L McLoughlin
Year 8 and 9: Mr R James
Year 7: Mrs K Swann
Joining subjects together in wider "Directorates" will give the 5 leaders bigger teams of teachers to work with which will enable us to continue to improve the College. The arrangements for pastoral care make permanent the joining together of year groups we have tried this year.
The prayer theme for this week is "Praise" and boys will be using this prayer with their Tutors.