Headteacher’s Blog 08/09/17
Buoyed by a great set of GCSE results September 2017 has seen a wonderful start to Stowmarket High School. Our new Year 7’s have arrived and already made a great impression on us, and our Sixth Form has immediately benefitted from having our record breaking GCSE students arriving into Year 12.
I have spent the week firstly spreading the message to all staff and students that the improvements that we have been making to our school are bearing fruit. I was delighted with the responses I received from my audiences. It is not just me that senses the new optimism – colleagues from County have already been in and following a day in the school have reported what a calm, focussed and energised place it is.
The Sixth Form results showed us that the new examinations are much harder, and that the previous policy of allowing students who were below the entry criteria entry into the sixth form, just can’t be maintained. It is in no-one’s interest to spend two years studying for a course that will ultimately prove to be too difficult. We have had some very difficult conversations, but we are resolute in our determination to make the right decisions for all concerned.
This year our literacy policy focuses on oracy – helping our students to become more adept at talking appropriately to different audiences. The ability to effectively communicate is a vital life skill, and critical for employment, so we are working hard on building many more opportunities for students to practice and improve this attribute. Many would say young people do not need any practice learning how to speak! We at Stow are working specifically on the ability to reason, articulate in a coherent and appropriate tone, and use ever more expansive language – this will give them the edge!
This year will hopefully see the new build taking shape, and also us becoming an Academy – a process that I firmly believe will accelerate our progress. We are holding a consultation on the 12 September –please do come along and I and key leaders of the Waveney Valley Trust will be able to answer any questions you may have.
I am very proud of what we have achieved so far, but there is much more to come. Anytime you wish to find out about what we are doing here, just give me a call and I will be delighted to meet you.