Dear Parents and Carers, As events around the world have inspired and shocked in equal measure this year, we have spent some time reflecting on the importance of ‘enjoying the journey’ as well as arriving at a destination this term. We have been reminding students that a reaffirmation of the enjoyment of learning is equally as important as learning to pass exams, in the final few weeks leading up to the examinations season.
I’ve been delighted that nearly every day a trip or event outside the classroom walls has occurred this term – some of the events are recorded overleaf – and that so many students have made the most of opportunities that have been afforded to them by the staff giving up their time and energies to provide these extra-curricular activities. If you’re not already aware, we always provide half the cost of trips and events for students who claim free school meals, and we will always try to assist with costs if finances are tight.
Some really pleasing evidence we have been collecting over the last 3 years is the feedback that we receive from parents and carers about what they think of our school. In 2011 only 79% of parents would have recommended Harlington to another parent – I am delighted that in 2014 more than 92% of parents would now do so. In 2009 only 62% of parents believed that their children were taught well – that figure has now risen to more than 93%.
We are keen to improve upon these figures even more, and would like to set up a series of parental focus groups in the summer term to discuss aspects of school life. In particular next term we’re interested in feedback about the school website, and also improving homework provision and gaining some feedback about this. If you’re interested in joining one of these groups, then please let us know by contacting our Business Manager Mr Ellis on [email protected]
One final piece of information that may interest you is that, buried in the Department for Education website is some information that shows how well children in different schools make progress compared to nationally. Our data shows that children from every ability range make better progress than the national average, from Year 7 to Year 11. We’ll be putting some further information about this on the website shortly.
Some family news to end my letter to you is that we were delighted to celebrate the safe arrival of Mr Bothwell’s daughter, who was born in February – we wish him and his new family well as they embark on their new journey together!
I would like to wish everyone in the school community a peaceful and happy holiday, and look forward to welcoming the students back next term.