A New Term Begins

As ever in education, I had to think hard to remember this morning if we had only been back at school for a week, as it already seems a very long time since last week’s holiday.  I do hope you had a good holiday with your children and that you all got to do some lovely things together.  Personally, I managed to fulfil a long held wish to visit Haworth, to pay my own personal homage to the Bronte sisters and see where they lived and worked.  It was such a fabulous experience and I loved being able to bring that experience into the classroom this week with my own Year 13 students who have studied ‘Wuthering Heights’ as one of their NEA texts.

We had a Full Trust Board meeting on Monday evening this week, and it was a good opportunity for me to update the Trustees on the priorities that we have been working on during Term 1 and the areas of focus that we have as a senior leadership team for Term 2.  I will be writing to all parents and carers shortly with an invitation for you to hear more information at the end of November on the Positive Behaviour culture that we are seeking to embed at the Weald of Kent.  I and other senior colleagues, are looking forward to sharing our vision for this very important aspect of our improvement work with you all.

This term is always one of my favourites, as we move towards the Christmas holiday and the lead up to it, is such a time for community endeavours and anticipation.  On Wednesday evening, I met with our new PTA committee and volunteers for our second meeting.  I wanted to give you an update in relation to what they are currently working on and have planned for the future.  I sat in awe during the meeting as I listened to the most committed, driven, determined and focused group of parents pool their respective skills and attributes so that they can enhance the educational experience of all our students.  I am personally grateful that they have agreed to fund the improvements in Sixth Form facilities that are going to occur at the Sevenoaks Campus.  They are also going to help develop further the Drama provision at both campuses. In addition, they are looking to set up a system in the future where individual teachers/departments can submit bids to them for equipment, or financial support to provide opportunities, or resources that will enrich our students’ experiences.  The PTA are going to offer some Year 7 and 8 discos in the new year across both campuses.  In addition, they are going to survey other year groups to find out what the students would particularly like to see being offered.  They are working tirelessly on putting together this year’s Christmas Fair on 3 December at the Tonbridge Campus from 12 – 3pm.  The students will be encouraged to bring in items for the fair in exchange for a dress down day on the three Fridays leading up to the event.  The PTA would be extremely grateful if any of you are able to donate any potential prizes for the raffle or silent auction that they are hoping to run.  The donations we receive will directly benefit our students as they will increase the amount of money we can raise at the event.  Contact details for the PTA can be found on our website and have gone out in the Parent and Carer Bulletin today.

On Thursday, I met with Miss Stanley, who is the Headteacher of Maidstone Grammar School for Girls to discuss school leadership within a selective context.  Miss Stanley very kindly contacted me personally in July to extend an open invitation to me to meet with her if I thought it would be helpful.  I was so pleased by her generous offer that I was keen to take her up on it once this new academic school year was underway.  We had a very productive meeting, and I am looking forward to showing her around Weald in the new year. 

I drove straight from Maidstone on Thursday afternoon, to our Sevenoaks Campus for our Year 12 Information Evening where Mrs Swaffer and I delivered our presentation at 5.30pm and then drove down the A21 to get back to Tonbridge in time for our second presentation at 6.30pm.  It was a close run thing, but we made it on time.  We had a fantastic turn out at both campuses, and we look forward to working with many of the students who toured our campuses last night when they join us in September 2023.  I would like to thank all the staff, parents, carers and students who attended.  I would like to mention particularly the four students who spoke at the Sevenoaks and Tonbridge campuses yesterday evening. They were such a credit to the school and demonstrated unequivocally what being a Weald student really means.  We are opening our doors again to the public on Wednesday next week when we have simultaneous open mornings at both campuses.

I wish you all a lovely weekend.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Mrs SA Clark