As the school year draws to a close we can reflect back on another outstanding 12 months of progress here in Tring School. We had a wonderful celebration of success within the annual Prizegiving where many students received rewards; it is always so very pleasurable to acknowledge the students’ efforts and progress. The annual Sports Evening was another roaring success celebrating so many students’ tremendous achievements. From students who are already elite athletes to students who try their best and make fantastic progress, we had a remarkable evening. We all know that there are many other students who may not have received rewards at these events but have also been very successful and I have the regular pleasure of meeting many through the Headteacher’s Commendations. I am always truly astonished and impressed with the high calibre of students who compete, persevere against the odds and succeed in their specialist areas. As parents I know you’ll be very proud of your children and likewise so are we.
During the last 12 months we have seen many more developments take place in the school. Our development plans for the curriculum, pastoral care and the premises have continued to make rapid progress and step by step we are refining, improving and constantly getting deeper into our systems so that the ‘bar is raised’ and standards improve. This year we have introduced Show My Homework and this has received many positives from students and parents. SIR marking has come in and students are reaping the benefits of receiving strengths and improvements within their work. I know this isn’t perfect and we are working on getting greater consistency. IT and the use of technology is changing, we have been experimenting with mobile devices in lessons and further developments will happen with this next year. As you are aware the success of the government’s building programme brought huge jubilation to us because we have worked incredibly hard to get Tring School recognised nationally. We are at the early stages of securing the right personnel around us to help lead and make our premises vision a reality; all very exciting stuff! Of course it’s going to take time to build, yet the momentum this project brings to the whole school is inspiring and your children will benefit from each stage the school goes through as we transform the facilities.
Learning and Teaching remain at the forefront of all we do and I’m pleased to report that 92% of lessons have been graded as ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’. This is a fantastic achievement and the quality of practice in the classroom has shown year on year improvements which we are very pleased to see. Training, monitoring performance, supporting colleagues and developing best practice are all well-established making our provision the best it can be. Securing great staff is essential and a lot of energy and effort goes into the recruitment process; ‘rightly so’, I hear you say! The cost of recruitment is huge because we never wish to appoint anyone unless we feel they can meet our standards.
The negative press that teachers and the profession as a whole receives, is having a detrimental effect on recruitment across the UK but particularly in areas like ours where the cost of living is so high. The government are considering a redistribution of monies from London schools to the outer and fringe areas like Hertfordshire. I’m sure there will be many arguments presented by London schools for this not to happen, but the funding for schools like ours remains unfair and we deserve more for the children in Tring. For those of you who do donate to the school on a regular or adhoc basis, we are very grateful and your contributions definitely help us to deliver the education we provide.
Within the near future we will be facing many changes within education with the introduction of numbers to replace grades as well as students arriving here without current KS2 levels and so on. Our students starting GCSE Maths and English are embarking on new specifications and the same is true for many A’levels which commence in September. Whilst we are managing all of this change, I want to remind all of you to be mindful of the volume of planning and preparation which is going on behind the scenes to meet these new requirements. We keep as our focus the belief that well planned lessons with a clear structure which assist progress will give the right outcomes for students whether it is a grade, a number or anything else!
Within the last few weeks we have seen the events of Tring 700 occur – wow! What an array of events we had to entertain, commemorate and celebrate! As a school the ‘Tring Trek’ was a very special event with 3000 children taking part. My thanks go immediately to Mr Andrew Dobberson, Mrs Kathy Little (Head at Aldbury), Mrs Sharon Sanderson (Head at Grove Road), Mr James Edwards (Head at Dundale), Mrs Debbie Stevens (Head at Goldfield), Mrs Sally Roycroft (Head at St Bartholomew’s), Mrs Clare South (Head at Long Marston) and Mrs Linda Hardman (Head at Bishop Wood). Everyone pulled together to create great experiences and memories for our students. Then there was the Art exhibition here at Tring School with students aged 3 -18 taking part. Miss Gomersall, Mr Woolf, Mrs Otto and Mrs Julie Leaver did a great job in supporting the primary schools with this project. The Commemorative Church Service was special and again Tring School musicians were a central part of the event.
‘A school that stands still will always go backwards’. I think this is true of any organisation and I remember my very first Headteacher sharing those words in a staff meeting when I was a newly qualified teacher, and I’ve never forgotten them. As I come to the end of my 4th year in leading this school I have worked with our Governors and my senior team to help shape and drive our school further forward. Our next step is to alter the strategic responsibilities of the core leadership team and to assist this I have appointed Mr Iain Rogers as an Assistant Headteacher. This will add capacity and strength to the core leadership team and Mr Rogers has already hit the ground running within his new role. He will lead our learning and teaching, quality assurance of our standards, academic data and interventions for learning eg. marking, monitoring homework, pupil premium.
Adjusting our roles within the leadership team will assist our progress and add further challenge and refreshment to all areas of the school. Next term the following colleagues will be responsible for certain areas:
Mr Barlow will lead our curriculum, options processes, timetabling, pathways, partnership programmes in Dacorum and deployment of staffing. Mr Barlow will remain in charge of Child Protection matters and will continue to develop our IT strategy.
Mrs Raybould will lead our pastoral care, behaviour/rewards/inclusion and she will keep an overview of SEN. She has already shared with parents and students the uniform expectations for the start of the September 2015. Please do check the letter regarding uniform so that your child is dressed appropriately for school next term.
Mr Dobberson will continue to lead our Christian Ethos and induct our new Chaplain. He will develop and improve our enhancement and enrichment programme further and he will manage our day to day ensuring that all events occur seamlessly.
Mr Gibberd will continue to oversee the finances, academy business, premises and student leadership programmes. Mr Gibberd will be overseeing the new build project as a major part of his role. The next stages are the scoping, feasibility and procurement resulting in bricks being laid!
Mrs Ambrose will lead teacher performance management, Ofsted/SIAMS inspection planning, and the overview of curriculum, pastoral and learning and teaching.
I will continue to lead and manage the school’s strategic vision and direction, close liaison with governance, community and links with the DfE. Ultimately I oversee all strategic and operational actions for the school.
Within the extended leadership team we have the following colleagues:
Mr Lickfold – Director of Learning – he will oversee Maths, English, MFL, Media and Asdan.
Mrs Golla – Director of Learning – she will oversee D&T, H&S Care/Construction, PRS, Geography, History, Psychology/Sociology and Life Skills.
Mrs Curtis – Director of Learning – she will oversee Science, Art, Music, Drama, PE and IT/Business/Economics/Leisure
(Miss Ramsden – Director of Learning is on maternity leave)
Miss Monger – Director of CPD and 6th form – she will lead the training for all staff and she will oversee the Head of 6th form.
Miss Lynes – Head of 6th form – Sally Lynes is returning to Tring School as our new Head of 6th form and her new married name will be Mrs Kay.
As the term ends we will be saying farewell to some colleagues:
Mr McEvoy will be moving to a new school and joining his fiancé in Kent after 26 years at Tring School.
Mr Norton is relocating to the Wiltshire/Somerset borders and will be teaching English in his new school.
Miss Guy is moving to a school nearer her home after five years with us.
Miss Gregson is going off travelling after being with us for four years.
Mrs McKenna is also moving to a school within walking distance of her home after three years with us.
Miss Cassidy is also moving to a school nearer to her home after three years with us.
Miss Ladd who has been with us for two years will be embarking on a PGCE course to teach PE.
Mrs Watson has been with us for one year with Ms Lawrence, Ms Moss, Miss Wilson.
Miss Cash made a return trip from Mexico to be with us for the last 2 terms and now she will be returning to Mexico with her new husband.
We wish these colleagues all the best in their new roles and I know they will stay in touch.
We also have some new colleagues joining us and they are:
Mrs Simler – English
Miss Fleming – English
Miss Nicklin – PE
Miss Keeley – Geography
Mrs Barber – Maths
Miss McErlane – Science
Mrs Vora – Media
Miss Santos Carro – Business St
Ms de Brito – Science
Mr Higginson – D&T
Miss Livingstone – PE
Miss Rolph – Art
Mrs Esler – MFL
Miss Burgess-Wilson – English
Miss Clapper – English
I know you will join me in thanking all of our staff for their dedication, commitment and the enthusiasm that they share with our students. I would also personally like to add my sincere thanks to our Governing Body who dedicate themselves to the school and continue to support and challenge the strategic direction and regularly attend many of the functions that take place throughout the year.
A2/AS results are available from the sixth form centre on Thursday 13 August 2015, and GCSE results are available from the LRC on Thursday 20 August 2015.
In preparation for the new term please can I draw your attention once again to the uniform letter (sent out 3 July 2015), the start of term arrangements letter (sent out 3 July 2015) in summary this says:
Year 7 and Year 12 start school on Thursday 3 September 2015
The rest of the school returns on Friday 4 September 2015
Have a wonderful summer break.