I must begin by congratulating everyone involved in our three “Open Evenings” held last week as part of the School Organisation Review. Students (from all year groups), parent volunteers, governors, teaching and support staff all worked in partnership to provide a wealth of information and advice to prospective students and their parents. The school was a hive of activity combining a formal presentation with the opportunity to visit subject areas and experience the culture and ethos of the school. We were absolutely delighted by the numbers attending on all evenings and I received many compliments about our students – the option of a tour with sixth formers was clearly popular and much appreciated.
Our Transition Team (Mrs Bailey, Mr Everett and Ms Keeble) will now be establishing a dedicated section of our website to keep parents/carers informed and we will ensure that a “Frequently Asked Questions” sheet is delivered to all feeder schools by mid-October. The school requires a modest capital build (six additional classrooms as part of a two-storey block) and building work will begin in January 2015 to ensure that everything is ready for our new students.
Open Evening also presented the opportunity to emphasise our approach to the curriculum. We seek to promote breadth and balance across all year groups based on STEAM (Science, Technology. Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics). In the past week, 50 Year 11 students have had the opportunity to see Science and Technology at work during a visit to the Cavendish Laboratories at Cambridge University. Students attended a number of seminars and engaged in practical Physics which included handling the various components of a Rolls Royce jet engine as well as taking part in a simulated demonstration of radiotherapy. There were also “lighter” moments with the chance to make slime, fake snow and play with “spit balls” – polymers which absorb water. Students have been enthused and excited not only by seeing Science at work, but also by the University itself and the opportunities presented by Higher Education.
In the week ahead, Engineering is taking centre-stage as we host the amazing Bosch UK Roadshow. The school already has excellent links with the company through the Engineering- in- Education initiative and, on Thursday 2nd October, we become part of a nationwide project to inspire and encourage students to consider and pursue engineering as a career. Each session will be a highly interactive experience with students working alongside demonstrators who are truly passionate about their work. It promises to be a superb insight into the world of engineering and we will be posting photographs on the website.