Headteachers' Blog

Week commencing 26th June 2017

Oh, the joys of a balmy summer!

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Last week we basked - or baked - in temperatures not seen since the 1976 heatwave. Unfortunately, I am old enough to remember it well. A summer holiday that year to a Butlin’s holiday camp in Filey, Yorkshire, mostly involved standing in the outdoor swimming pool. I say standing because the whole camp appeared to be in the pool. There was no room for the breaststroke and attempting the front crawl resulted in you nearly decapitating your immediate neighbours. Getting out of the pool took nearly the entire length of the holiday!

I often ask students for their opinion on how we could improve the building and facilities at SPH. As we are very fortunate, they often struggle for an answer, but, if they offer one, it is usually a swimming pool. Boy, could we have done with one last week. Unsurprisingly, second on the list would probably be air-conditioning. Students often ask why we don’t have air-conditioning in each of the rooms. We are more fortunate than most schools in that it exists in about 20 rooms, including our learning resource centre and ICT rooms; however, it is not a feature of most of the ‘traditional’ classrooms. Unsurprisingly, it comes down to money. High temperatures of the type we have seen recently do not happen very often and it is simply not cost effective to install them. I guess it is a similar reason as to why we don’t have snowploughs in the number required in countries like Switzerland and Austria.

Many questions were asked by the students last week. “Do we have to work? Are you going to close the school because it is above 32 degrees? Why can’t we wear our PE Kit like other schools?” Circumstances in all schools are different, but all headteachers make decisions based on the needs of their specific community. We did our best to carry on as normal, whilst, as always, allowing students to remove their blazers and by giving them good access to water. On the hottest day, Wednesday, we even rewarded them for their resilience by giving each of them a lolly.

Thanks for the many supportive comments that were sent to the school and posted on social media.

Intensive Day - Thursday 29th June

On this day, we will be following a condensed timetable and the day will run as follows:

Period 1            08:30 – 09:10am
Period 2            09:10 – 09:50am
Period 3            09:50 – 10:30am
Break                10:30 – 10:50am
Period 4            10:50 – 11:30am
Period 5            11:30 – 12:10pm
 

There will be no Period 6 and all students will be dismissed at 12.10pm.

Time in the afternoon will be allocated for staff training and development, while some staff will be involved with Subject Based Student Led Conferences.

Subject Based Student Led Conferences for Year 7 - Thursday 29th and Friday 30th June

This is an opportunity for our Year 7 students to share their learning with parents and guests. We are looking forward to welcoming visitors for this event, which brings home how very close we are to the end of the academic year. Good luck to all our Year 7 students as they reflect on their learning journey, and prepare for their meetings.

School dates for 2017-18

Dates for students for the next academic year are as follows:

Autumn Term

Tuesday 5th September

Year 7 first day

Year 12 external and internal enrolment, 8.30am to 3.30pm

Wednesday 6th September

Normal timetable for Year 7

Year 8, 9, 10 and 11 Preparation for Learning Day

Year 13 enrolment 9.00am to 1.00pm

Thursday 7th September

Post 16 induction P1 and 2

First day of full timetable for KS3 and 4

Friday 8th September

Normal day for all

Autumn Half Term

Monday 23rd to Friday 27th October 2017

Last day of Autumn Term

Wednesday 20th December, students dismissed at 11.40am

Spring Term

First day of Spring Term

Thursday 4th January 2018

Spring Half Term

Monday 12th February to Friday 16th February

Last day of Spring Term

Thursday 29th March, students dismissed at 11.40am

Summer Term

First day of Summer Term

Monday 16th April 2018

Summer Half Term

Monday 28th May to Friday 1st June

Last day of Summer Term

Wednesday 18th July, students dismissed at 11.40am

One Inset Day, 6th October, has been allocated. The dates of others are yet to be finalised, and will be shared with parents as soon as possible.

Teach Like A Pirate – Friday 6th October

We are delighted that Dave Burgess will be visiting us on 6th October to present a lively conference entitled ‘Teach like a Pirate’! Dave is a New York Times best-selling author, whose books include ‘Teach Like a Pirate’ and ‘P is for Pirate’. He is a highly sought after keynote speaker well known for his outrageously energetic performance style and inspirational, yet practical, message. We look forward to welcoming guests for this uplifting event, and of course some of our own staff will attend as well. Friday 6th October will be one of the 2017-18 INSET days, and all staff will be involved in training during the afternoon.

Lost Property

There is an amount of lost property including uniform and PE kit accumulating at Student Reception. If your child has lost any item please ask them to come and reclaim it. All property remaining at the end of term will be recycled or disposed of.

Thank you for your support.

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 Inhibit
The numeracy word of the week is Alternate Angle


Week commencing 19th June 2017

News from Ofqual

Last week, I, like all headteachers, received a letter from Sally Collier, Head of Ofqual. It was both reassuring and worrying in equal measure. Reassuring because it appears that the current Year 11 and Year 13 students will not, quite rightly, be disadvantaged by the changes to GCSEs, with the same percentage achieving the new grade 4 in English and Mathematics as did the grade C. The same will apply to the new A Level with, “in general”, a student getting a B this year if it was deserved last year. Worrying, however, is the fact the letter identifies that there will be in-school variation. We agree with the statement that it is “normal for schools and colleges to see some variability in their own year-to-year results – either up or down.  It can be due to many different factors, including differences in the ability mix of the students, different teaching approaches, changes in teaching staff or teaching time.” In an ideal world, no student or school should be disadvantaged by the change towards terminal examinations; however, it is likely that some students and schools will be more affected by a move away from coursework, controlled assessments and modular exams.

The letter also draws attention to the “small number of errors” in examination papers this year. We are certainly aware of these mistakes, and my colleagues feel that there has been a greater number in comparison with previous years. This is likely to be because these examinations were brought in too quickly and without the time for adequate planning. By and large our students have coped well with these errors, but where there has been the slightest chance of any student being disadvantaged, we have registered our concerns in the strongest terms.

Let us hope that the marking of exam papers doesn’t cause any issues. The full letter can be read by clicking on the link below.

www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/619839/15_June_2017.pdf

Welcome to new readers of this Blog

On Saturday morning we welcomed the next intake of Year 7 students. The transition from primary school to secondary is both exciting and daunting, and we aim to make the change a really positive experience. New friendships and opportunities await these children, and they will grow in confidence rapidly as the autumn term begins. We were delighted that the morning was so successful. Uniform was on sale, although we understand that one of our supplier’s tills broke down during the morning. This was unfortunate and led to longer queues than we would have liked, for which we apologise.

We are looking forward to seeing our incoming Year 7 students again on 5th July for our Induction Day.

Calling all amateur or professional upholsterers...

Could you help us with a project? We are planning a creation which involves upholstery skills, and we are looking for a generous person who could come along for an hour or two, sometime in the next two weeks, to lend a hand to our team in upholstering a piece of work. If you think you could pitch in to help us with this, don’t hesitate but email the Heads’ PA Mrs Stocks dstocks@suttonmail.org or call 020 8647 5842 x 227. All offers very much appreciated.

Sainsbury’s Active Kids vouchers

We have been busy counting, and we are jubilant that our total now exceeds 11,000 vouchers. Thanks to all parents and friends who have helped us reach this amount. We are still collecting, although the scheme has ended in stores and no more vouchers will be handed out.

If you have any vouchers at home, please send them into school before the end of June, when we will submit our order.

We expect to obtain tennis and cricket equipment, and we will share details in a future blog.

International Afternoon

Year-7-International-Afternoon-Landscape

Parents and friends are welcome to join us for International Afternoon, when our Year 7 students will share music and dance performances, and food treats from around the world. We hope you can join us. The event takes place this Wednesday 21st June, 4.30pm to 6.00pm.

Diary Reminders...

Intensive Day Thursday 29th June

We will be following a condensed timetable:

Period 1            08:30 – 09:10am
Period 2            09:10 – 09:50am
Period 3            09:50 – 10:30am
Break                10:30 – 10:50am
Period 4            10:50 – 11:30am
Period 5            11:30 – 12:10pm
There will be no Period 6 and all students will be dismissed at 12.10pm.

Student Led Conferences for Year 7 Thursday 29th and Friday 30th June

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 Inhibit
The numeracy word of the week is Alternate Angle


Week commencing 12th June 2017

 

Finding their wings, taking off and flying

There are many very rewarding parts of being a teacher. Our annual Sports Day took place last Friday. It is always immensely enjoyable to see young people taking part in a sporting event. There is always the competitive spirit; to try hard and do the best for your team, but alongside there is a considerable collective support and encouragement for others. Very well done to all those of you that took part and good luck to those that will represent the school at the Borough Sports later this month.

I would like to say thank you to those parents that came along to support on what was a rather mixed day in terms of the weather. Whilst I walked around speaking to a few parents I recognised an ‘old’ face, Lewis Farley, so I went over and had a chat. Lewis was able to remind me that he spoke during my headteacher’s talk at my first Open evening in 2005. He left us in the summer of 2012, having done very well in his GCSEs and A Levels, and pursued his ambition to become a commercial pilot. I was delighted to be informed that he had recently completed his training, achieved his dream and will shortly be making his first flight as a co-pilot for Easyjet. I have invited Lewis back to our Celebration Evening – more on this below - in July. I hope his Easyjet scheduling allows him to attend.

We would love to hear from other ex-students. Please get in contact and tell us how you are getting on.

Celebration Evening

Our revamped Celebration Evening will take place on Thursday 6th July and will recognise the effort, achievement and progress of students across all subjects and year groups. Invitations to approximately a hundred nominated students have been issued, and we look forward to celebrating their success in a few weeks’ time.

EFC – ‘The Sky’s the Limit’

Our Year 7 EFC groups have been working on a drama project called ‘The Sky’s the Limit’ in which they have been working hard to produce their own play as a mini school. They have been given complete creative control of the process from writing the script, designing and building the set, creating the costumes, performing and marketing the play. Parents are warmly invited to attend a performance. Days and times are:

Performance – Monday 12th June at 2.30pm
Trade – Wednesday 14th June at 2.30pm
World – Thursday 15th June at 2pm

We hope to welcome a good audience on each day.

Geography Trip to Dorset

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We are delighted with the Geography fieldtrips that have taken place recently. During half term, our Year 12 geographers spent three days in Dorset studying the stunning coastal landscapes and sand dune formations and also carried out urban studies in Weymouth, focusing on tourism, the 2012 Olympics and local regeneration. Last Monday and Tuesday, all 80 Year 10 geographers visited Littlehampton, where they too studied coastal landscapes and processes, conducted a beach profile and identified the main urban characteristic of the town.

All students collected valuable primary research data, which will now be used in forthcoming lessons. As expected with all Geography fieldtrips the weather represented all seasons, with heavy rain, 50mph winds and even 30+ degrees temperatures experienced! Despite this, we are happy to record that all participants took part with enthusiasm, and behaved superbly, representing the school in a creditable way.

Reminders...

Year 10 Study leave will begin on Monday 26th June and last until Friday 30th June.

Student Led Conferences for Year 7 on Thursday 29th and Friday 30th June

In preparation for the event above, Thursday 29th June will be Intensive Day, and we will be following a condensed timetable:

Period 1            08:30 – 09:10am
Period 2            09:10 – 09:50am
Period 3            09:50 – 10:30am
Break               10:30 – 10:50am
Period 4            10:50 – 11:30am
Period 5            11:30 – 12:10pm

There will be no Period 6 and all students will be dismissed at 12.10pm.

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 Impeccable
The numeracy word of the week is Rational Number


Week commencing 5th June 2017

Half term holiday

We hope you all had a wonderful half term holiday and benefitted from super weather at home or overseas. During the break there was an educational visit to Morocco. Students had the opportunity to experience a wide range of environments, from the snowy isolation of Mount Toubkal in the Atlas Mountains to the heat of the Sahara Desert and, finally, the crowded hustle and bustle of Marrakech.

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Our students enjoyed a fantastic time and represented the school superbly. There will be more information about these visits in the news section of the website shortly.

During the half term break our older students will have spent a lot of time revising for examinations that will continue to be sat throughout the next three weeks. We continue to wish them all every success.

The second half of the summer term is always very busy. Below you will find details of various forthcoming events, and in future Blogs we will give details about more, such as Celebration Evening and Sports Personality Evening, which mark highlights in our year.

Reminder from the Maths department

The next two Maths exams on 8th and 13th June are both calculator papers. All students will require a scientific calculator, e.g. Casio fx85GT. Parents are reminded to ensure their child has all the required equipment for their Maths exams. This includes a protractor and a set of compasses.

Many thanks for your support.

Changes to morning access to school

A reminder that we have started a new morning routine, and we will be opening the front doors at 7.45am, fifteen minutes later than previously. Students will not be given access to the building before 7.45am, as supervision is not in place.

Students are strongly encouraged not to arrive early and wait outside.

Thanks to parents for your cooperation.

Year 8 Options Evening Thurs 8th June

A reminder that our Year 8 Options Evening takes place this Thursday, 8th June, from 5.30pm to 7.30pm.  Year 8 parents and carers will have received a letter explaining plans for the evening.  There will be two talks, the first at 6.00pm and the second at 6.45pm. We look forward to seeing all Year 8 families, and hope that you can join us.

Sports Day this Friday, 9th June

This Friday we are looking forward to Sports Day. Year 7 and 8 students should arrive at school wearing their PE kit instead of school uniform. There is no need to send uniform for the afternoon as Year 7 and 8 students may wear their PE kit for the day. They will compete during Periods 1, 2 and 3 (8.30am to 11.20am).

Year 9 and 10 students should arrive wearing usual school uniform and change into PE kit at Period 4. They will compete during Periods 4, 5 and 6 (11.20am to 12.10pm, and 1.30pm to 3.15pm).

Year 9 and 10 students will attend lessons 1-3 as normal.

Parents are warmly invited to join us. Please come to the front reception desk. For security reasons, guests must be in the company of a member of staff at all times, and groups will be accompanied to the spectating area at the following times:

8.40am, 9.30am, 10.30am, 11.30am, 1.30pm and 2.30pm.

Please make arrangements to meet your child afterwards outside the front of the school, as no parents will be permitted to stay unaccompanied in the spectators’ area or the school.

We hope for good weather on the day. Any postponement of the event due to the forecast will be posted as an announcement on the school website on Thursday afternoon. In this eventuality, school will operate as normal on Friday. We hope that this will not be necessary, and that you will be able to join us.

We wish all our competitors the very best of luck.

Further ahead...

Year 10 Study leave will begin on Monday 26th June and last until Friday 30th June. We hope that all our Year 10 students will use this valuable time to prepare for their exams. Please support your child by giving plenty of encouragement. Please see the Exam Preparation section of the website for useful tips.

www.stanleyparkhigh.org.uk/278/exam-preparation

Thursday 29th June will be Intensive Day, and we will be following a condensed timetable:
Period 1            08:30 – 09:10am
Period 2            09:10 – 09:50am
Period 3            09:50 – 10:30am
Break               10:30 – 10:50am
Period 4           10:50 – 11:30am
Period 5           11:30 – 12:10pm
There will be no Period 6 and all students will be dismissed at 12.10pm.

The time created in the afternoon is allocated for teacher training. 

Student Led Conferences for Year 7 on Thursday 29th and Friday 30th June

Parents of Year 7 students will receive a letter early this week about their child’s Student Led Conference. These will take place after school on Thursday 29th June and all day on Friday 30th of June. The letter will explain the purpose of Student Led Conferences, how to make a booking.

We remain convinced that this process engages students from an early age to take responsibility for their own learning, and helps to develop the habit of self-appraisal. Thanks to all parents involved for your support to your child and the school.

Rewards

Students are awarded reward points for excellent effort, behaviour and attendance. We are delighted to see that the totals are mounting up, and we hope to reach the 25,000 mark soon. Do encourage your child to help us reach this total by trying hard. Figures for the week before half term are shared below.

  Year  7 Year  8 Year  9 Year 10 Year 11 Total
Beeches 1634 1772 1147 763 741 6057
Carew 1644 1907 1150 868 697 6266
Oaks 1377 1649 937 644 650 5257
Wandle 2160 1641 1025 740 827 6393

Duke of Edinburgh Award Raffle

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Stanley Park Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) students will soon be selling raffle tickets to raise money for equipment and resources for their expeditions.  Each raffle ticket is £1 and can be purchased from DofE students or through ParentPay.  The grand prize is £100 and second prize is a Marks and Spencer’s Hamper. Please help support this organisation and group of students by getting involved by purchasing a ticket. Thanks and good luck to all.

Our latest displays

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We are delighted to see the school environment being transformed around us by our artist in residence. Thanks to Sarit Barnard for her creativity and inventiveness. These latest examples of her work are from the Maths and Science areas of the school.

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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 Impeccable
The numeracy word of the week is Rational Number