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Headteacher's Blog

16th July 2018


Message from Mr Amin

I am delighted to introduce myself, as I prepare to take on the role of Acting Headteacher at Stanley Park High in September. I feel extremely honoured to have been chosen to continue, and build upon, the success the school has achieved under the superb leadership of David Taylor over the past 13 years.  Whilst we are not saying farewell at this time, I am sure you would all like to join me, along with the Trustees, Governors, staff and students, in taking this opportunity to thank David for all his work during his time as Headteacher.  I have had the privilege of working with him to witness the journey the school has been on since before 2005, and what a journey it has been. 

It is through David’s passion, drive and determination that the school is where it is today; unique in terms of our innovation and practice, underpinned by the strong belief that we will always do what is in the best interests of our students, no matter what. David will continue to provide me with support, advice and guidance for another two terms, as I embark upon my first Headship. I appreciate his support, and would like to thank him on behalf of all here at Stanley Park High.

Since my appointment, many people have been asking me two questions:  ‘How do you feel?’ and ‘What will you change?’

In response to the first question, I think back a couple of weeks ago to our Year 6 Induction day.  Students admitted that they felt slightly nervous, but very excited and they were looking forward to the new challenges ahead at secondary school.  For me, the feelings are very similar.  Whilst I have been at the school for many years, just like the Year 6 students this is a new beginning for me.  I am thoroughly excited at the prospect of leading the school and whilst I appreciate there will be challenges along the way, I look forward to celebrating huge successes in the years to come. 

What will I change?  Well, my answer to that question is ‘wait and see’.  There is much that is good about Stanley Park High, but inevitably, there will be some change.  What I can say is that I truly believe in the values of our school, and these will always be at the forefront of everything we do.   One immediate change from September onwards will be the shift of our tutor time period from the middle of the day, to the end of the day. This will have an extremely positive impact on student-tutor relationships by allowing pastoral issues to be discussed as well as allowing tutors to reinforce any important messages before students make their way home.

As we approach the end of another year, we say farewell to colleagues from across all areas of the school. These include Mr Mayanja (Geography), Miss Newell (Programme Leader for Trade), Mr Sheridan (Science), Ms Alam (Science/EFC), Mrs Knight (Mathematics) Mr Rodbourne (Art/Photography) Mr Ford (PE), Mr Walker (Horticulture) Miss Jefferis (Languages), Miss Frost (Ignis LSA) and Miss Shukla (SEN LSA).  I would like to thank them all for their work and wish them the best of luck for the future.

I wish you all an enjoyable and relaxing summer holiday and look forward to seeing everyone back safely in September. 

Year 8 EFC Graduation Interviews and Ceremony - Monday 16 July and Tuesday 17 July

The first two days of the week sees our year 8s taking part in their Graduation interviews, in which they will proudly present their achievements to parents, teachers and invited guests. Their Graduation Ceremony will take place on the evening of Tuesday 17th.  Doors open at 6 pm for a 6.30 prompt start. We hope to see many parents and friends on the evening.

This is followed by a music event for the Year 8 students and parents in the school grounds.

End of Term - Wednesday 18th July

This will be a Mufti day in aid of charities chosen by students. Students will be dismissed for the summer break at 11.40am

Exam Results Collection Days

A-levels and L3 BTEC Results Day - Students will be able to collect the results on Thursday 16th August from 9.00am until 11.00am

GCSE Results Day - Students may collect results Thursday 23rd August from 10.00am – 12.00 noon

Good luck to all our students. We hope they achieve the results they have worked so hard for and we look forward to celebrating their success.

Thank you to the SPH Friends

Once again, we would like to say a huge thank you to the SPH Friends’ Association for their hard work this year in fundraising and supporting the school at key events.  Their help is invaluable and the monies raised have gone to support numerous departments, providing additional activities and resources for our students. These include: resources for the art and PE departments; workshops for history and science students; equipment for our DofE expeditions and furniture for the school learning resource centre. We are very grateful to the parents on the committee who give up their valuable time to support the school for the benefit of our students.

The Friends of Stanley Park High are very keen to hear from anyone who would be interested in joining the committee or just being on hand for occasional help. If you’d like to get involved, please email sphfriendsassociation@gmail.com; they would be very pleased to hear from you.

Save the Dates – The Friends Fundraising Events

We are pleased to announce on behalf of the Friends of SPH that there will be two major fundraising events in the next school year; a Winter Festival on November 29th and a Race Night on March 8th 2019.  These have proved to be very popular in the past, so make sure you put the dates in your diary! More details will follow.

Going for Gold

Many congratulations to Ben Springall, who is the first student from Stanley Park High to achieve a Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. We were very proud and pleased to hear about his success.

Achievement Points

Students are awarded achievement points for excellent behaviour, attendance, effort and achievement. We are delighted to announce that the highest numbers of points this year were won by Year 8, and overall Wandle beat Carew to the top place by a very narrow margin!

Well done to all students. These totals represent some very hard work and team spirit. Keep up the good work next year

Dates for the Start of Term

Monday 3rd September

Inset – staff training

Tuesday 4th September

8.30am - Year 7 first day
8.30am to 3.30pm - Year 12 internal and external enrolment

Wednesday 5th September

8.30am – Year 7 in school
Years 8 to 11  -  Preparation for Learning Day
9.00am to 1.00pm  - Year 13 Enrolment

Thursday 6th September

8.30am - Post 16 Induction in Spotlight
Normal day on usual timetable – Years 7 to 11
School finishes at 2.25pm as usual

Friday 7th September

All students on normal timetable


We wish all families a pleasant and refreshing summer holiday, and we look forward to seeing your child back in school in September. . If your child is leaving Stanley Park High this summer, we wish them all the best for the future and we are always pleased to hear from ex-students with updates about their news and progress.

Enjoy the break.

9th July 2018


My Last Blog as Headteacher of Stanley Park High

Having written my first weekly blog on 14th November 2011, this will be my last. In advance of his September start, next Monday will see Mr Amin write his first Headteacher’s Blog. Whether the current weekly format will continue into his headship, I will leave him to decide. It may become one of a number of changes, all of which I will fully support, but I know he will be looking to continue the Stanley Park High way.

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In my first blog I wrote about staff visiting our new school, which at the time was nearing completion for our January 2012 opening. Being given the opportunity to reimagine and open a new school is undoubtedly one of the highlights of my headship. In 2006, I was humbled to be the headteacher of one of only 38 Building Schools for the Future (BSF) One School Pathfinders, particularly as I had only been in post for one academic year. I am proud of the fact that SPH has remained loyal to the original concept of the pathfinders. Not only have we developed a state-of-the-art-building and learning spaces, more importantly we have transformed the educational experience of our students through our unique curriculum, learning and teaching, and assessment procedures. Deserved recognition came to the school when we were voted School Building of the Year in 2012 and TES Secondary School of the Year in 2016.

As with all schools, there have been ups and downs. Regrets? Inevitably, there are a few, but my biggest is that the One School Pathfinders were unable to achieve their set objective of transforming education in England. If they had, we wouldn’t have an increasing number of ‘Factories for Learning’, schools so eloquently described in Christy Kulz’s recent book of the same name. We would have more schools like Stanley Park High, human; places that are at the centre of their community and where the uniqueness of each individual is known, valued, cherished and celebrated.

Thank you so much for all the support over my 13 years of headship. I have had a fantastic array of relationships with students, members of staff and parents, both past and present. The vast majority have created so much pleasure and I will miss them dearly.

Over to you Mr Amin; the school is in very good hands.

Diary dates

This week sees the start of a very busy period.

Thurs 12 July Sports Personality Evening 6.30pm for 7pm

Doors open at 6.30pm and this event, marking the achievements of our many talented young sportsmen and women, will begin at 7pm. We shall be presenting some of our students with awards to celebrate their amazing effort, perseverance, example to others and sporting achievements over the past year. This is always an inspirational event and we are extremely proud of all those selected.

Monday 16 July and Tuesday 17 July

EFC Graduation Interviews, in which our Year 8 students proudly present to parents teachers and invited guests examples of their work during the Excellent Futures Curriculum programme.

Tues 17 July EFC Graduation Evening at 6.30pm and ‘School’s Out for Summer’ Music Event

Our Year 8 students are all looking forward to presenting their achievements at the end of their two year Excellent Futures Curriculum programme. Students have participated enthusiastically and produced some fantastic work. This is really something to celebrate and we are looking forward to this lovely annual summer event. We hope to see many parents and friends on the evening. Doors open at 6.00pm and the event will begin at 6.30pm.

This is followed by a music event for the Year 8 students and parents in the school grounds.

Weds 18 July

This will be a Mufti day in aid of charities chosen by students. Students will be dismissed for the summer break at 11.40am

Mini Olympics

Last Friday, children from local primary schools joined us for our annual Mini Olympics event.  The morning started with the Opening Ceremony, and children took part in a number of events including 60/100/200 metre sprints, javelin, shot putt, long jump and relays.

It was a happy occasion with a wonderful atmosphere.

The winner was Jamaica from Stanley Park Juniors. Thanks to Miss Carter for organising, and well done to everyone who took part.

End of Term

The last day of the summer term is Wednesday 18th July, which will be a Mufti Day in aid of charities chosen by the School Student Council. Students will be dismissed 11.40am.

We wish all families a pleasant and refreshing summer holiday, and we look forward to seeing your child back in school on one of the dates below. If your child is leaving Stanley Park High this summer, we wish them all the best for the future and we are always pleased to hear from ex-students with updates about their news and progress.

Dates for the start of term

Monday 3rd September

Inset – staff training

Tuesday 4th September

8.30am - Year 7 first day
8.30am to 3.30pm - Year 12 internal and external enrolment

Wednesday 5th September

8.30am – Year 7 in school
Years 8 to 11  -  Preparation for Learning Day
9.00am to 1.00pm  - Year 13 Enrolment

Thursday 6th September

8.30am - Post 16 Induction in Spotlight
Normal day on usual timetable – Years 7 to 11
School finishes at 2.25pm as usual

Friday 7th September

All students on normal timetable

 

Words of the Week

Every two weeks, the school focuses on new words which broaden the vocabulary.

This week, the literacy word of the week is Dubious, and the numeracy word of the week is Arc.

2nd July 2018


Hello and Goodbye

This Wednesday sees us welcome our incoming Year 7 as they join us for their Induction Day. In the evening we also welcome their parents to an information meeting. Doors open at 6.15pm and the event starts at 6.30pm. Both of these are very important events, especially for a school that is built around the primacy of relationships.

Later that same evening, a fantastic array of vehicles will transport students in ball gowns and tuxedos as we celebrate the Year 11 Prom at the Hallmark Hotel, on the site of the old Croydon aerodrome.

Behaviour and Belonging, and ‘Factories for Learning’

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I am currently reading ‘Factories for Learning’ by Christy Kulz, which focuses on research in Dreamfields Academy, a pseudonym used to protect the name and location of the school in which the author undertook her research.  This research is used to draw attention to the impact of recent educational reforms in creating a mechanistic and non-human approach to schooling, which I will return to it in greater detail in the final blog of my headship later this term. However, one particular aspect I would like to address now.

Dreamfields is very rule-driven, exemplified, as it is, by high degrees of regimentation. For example, students are required to walk to lessons in line and in silence, and they are required to chant the motto of the school at the start of each lesson. Whilst Stanley Park High has rules, we have baulked at some of the oppressive structures that are often encouraged and rewarded by some of those in positions of power. We have chosen to remain human.

One area where it could be argued that we are regimented is in our strict ‘no mobile phones’ policy, something that the French appear to be moving towards and something our Culture Secretary, Matt Hancock, recently stated should happen in this country. There remain four options:

  • Allow mobile phones, but during lessons only
  • Allow mobile phones, but during social times – breaks and lunches – only
  • Allow mobile phones at all times
  • Ban mobile phones altogether

Whilst we revisit this issue annually, and see the potential benefits of mobile phones as an aid to learning, we notice with concern the impact they have on face to face relationships. Our students talk to each other rather than stare into a small screen, and they benefit immensely as a result. This is particularly noticeable at break times and lunchtimes, and is universally commented upon by the many visitors – see below - we get from home and overseas.

Consequently, we politely remind parents that our Mobile Phone Policy will remain as it always has:

All personal electrical items, including mobile phones, iPods, iWatches, smart tablets and smart watches are banned from the school site.

Any personal electrical items brought onto the school site will be confiscated and placed in the school safe. These will be held for a minimum period of seven days. Parents must request the return of the item in writing after this period has elapsed.

Recently, a few parents have objected to the confiscation of their child’s mobile phone. We understand your frustration. No student likes to be without their phone, but neither the school nor the police will return the phone until the seven days has elapsed.

Both I and Mr Amin, as he embarks on headship, would appreciate your full support with this matter.

Many Visitors

We have recently been very busy welcoming visitors from home and overseas.

In the last few weeks we have welcomed colleagues from Jack Hunt School, Peterborough, and Excelsior Academy, Newcastle. Tomorrow we welcome a group leaders and teachers from Brighton Grammar School, Melbourne, Australia. All of them are shunning the factory approach to schooling and are seeking inspiration from what we do.

Congratulations to Max

Many congratulations to Max Barnard, who has been selected to play with Merton Youth Concert Band and Merton Youth Jazz Orchestra at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon, for the semi-finals of this year’s Wimbledon Tennis Championships. We are thrilled that Max will have the opportunity to perform at this prestigious event, and we wish him every success.

Very Hot Weather

As advised last week, during this beautiful hot weather, students will be given permission to remove their blazers in school. Please consider sending your child with sun cream, and remember to supply them with a water bottle. Students are being reminded to fill their water bottles before school, and at break and lunch times. If your child is a hay fever sufferer, please remember any medication in the morning. Thanks to all parents for your support.

Lost Property

Please remind your child to come along to Student Reception and reclaim any lost property before the end of Tuesday afternoon. Unclaimed lost property will be included in the Uniform Sale. Thanks to all parents and carers for your support.

Second Hand Uniform Sale

This Wednesday, from midday, a second hand uniform sale will be held. Unclaimed lost property will be included in this sale. If you would like to donate any items of your child’s uniform to the sale, which must be in good condition, please bring to Student Reception. Proceeds will be donated to the Friends of Stanley Park High, who provide funds for additional school activities and equipment.

End of term

Students will be dismissed on Weds 18 July at 11.40am.

Dates for the start of term

Monday 3rd September

Inset – staff training

Tuesday 4th September

8.30am - Year 7 first day
8.30am to 3.30pm - Year 12 internal and external enrolment

Wednesday 5th September

8.30am – Year 7 in school
Years 8 to 11  -  Preparation for Learning Day
9.00am to 1.00pm  - Year 13 Enrolment

Thursday 6th September

8.30am - Post 16 Induction in Spotlight
Normal day on usual timetable – Years 7 to 11
School finishes at 2.25pm as usual

Friday 7th September

All students on normal timetable


Words of the Week

Every two weeks, the school focuses on new words which broaden the vocabulary.

This week, the literacy word of the week is Dubious, and the numeracy word of the week is Arc.