School Comment on Social Media Video

Dear members of the community

I am sure many of you will have seen the video of a small number of students circulating on social media sites and are disappointed to see our students behaving in this manner. Students in our school are increasingly frustrated that the behaviour of a very small minority of the school is being used to judge their school whose values of ‘Respect and Pride’ they both devised and uphold. Staff have also expressed their concerns and I have every sympathy for my students and staff; we have worked hard together to move the school forward as we believe in our vision and values and our students’ potential.

The school has investigated the incident at length and it origins were a falling out between girls, property was taken as a spiteful act designed to disrupt the victim’s lesson the following day. On leaving school, discussions between students took the original act further in an act of bravado. It is also clear that many of the students present and featured in the video had little or no idea of who the property belonged to. Their focus was on the act of increasing the fire's draw rather than the motivation for starting it. I am able to confirm that no coursework from any subject was amongst the items burnt and therefore GCSE outcomes are unaffected as the notes are being replaced.

In applying sanctions I have used the school’s behaviour policy as a guiding principle and taken into account the intentions and motivation of the students involved. Parents have been fully informed and supportive and have received letters confirming the actions taken against their child by the school. I am also mindful that as educators we have a responsibility to help students to put things right when they have done wrong so opportunities for apologies and atonement are being provided. On reflection students have realised this act was a huge error of judgement on their part and have been shocked that their act has attracted a social media storm. This has been a steep learning curve for them all.  The victims of the theft are also being supported as we make every effort to make sure their hard work and studies are not compromised.

We have also involved the police whose investigation is on-going and who use civil law to decide on any punishments or sanctions due. The incident took place in the community and their investigation may take longer to conclude as it is a more formal process guided by the framework of the law. The police will continue to work alongside the school in support.

I hope for our students’ sake that we will be able to put this incident behind us and the focus will move on to the very many students I have in school whose talents and abilities deserve to be recognised for the good they do.

Liz Cook

Reports and SIMS Learning Gateway

Dear Parent/Carer

We have made the decision to publish all student progress reports via the SIMS Learning Gateway (SLG) for which all parents have a unique login. This will enable us to upload all reports from this academic year forward which will mean that you will have an electronic copy of all your child’s reports from this year onwards. It also enables us to load any explanatory information about grades etc. and they will also be permanently stored there for you to access at any point.

Three Year Key Stage 4

Dear Parents/Carers

Three Year Key Stage 4

In line with other schools nationally and locally we have decided to shorten the amount of time students spend in Key Stage 3 to two years and increase the amount of time spent in Key Stage 4 to three years. There are a number of reasons behind the decision to extend the time our students have to study their Key Stage 4 courses.