For the last few years, the school has run a trip to Thorpe Park or similar as a celebration of success. Last year another venue was offered in response to feedback and Dinton Pastures was included alongside the Thorpe Park offer. The number of students taking up the option and the in-house programme was again reviewed following this trip and a decision was taken earlier this year not to run the Thorpe Park and Dinton Pastures trip this year.

When the trip took place last year, not all students participated and the rate of student absence reported by parents on that day was very high. It is clear that offering the trip in its current format is not meeting the needs of all.

We are committed to recognising and celebrating student success and have offered a number of opportunities for doing so across the year and in many different ways.

We are planning a Goal Setting day for all students and this is not a replacement for Thorpe Park, rather something new. On this day, students will spend one-to-one time with their tutor, reflecting on the last academic year and setting personalised goals for the next. Setting clearly written goals will help your child to focus on how to achieve them. The setting of goals has proven to increase learning rates as demonstrated in John Hattie’s book “Visible Learning and the Science of How We Learn“. During a study, students were proven to learn up to 250% faster when challenge goals were set than when they were merely told “to do their best”. Students will also have the opportunity to attend in school sessions focused on creativity, performance, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) and well-being. This builds upon existing criss-cross style provision. This goal setting type day is a new initiative we are trying for the first time, which we hope will help to focus students before they begin the academic year providing tutors with feedback on what children hope to achieve.

In the future, moving forward, we may well revisit the idea of an end of year reward day, but this will need to be more inclusive and more varied than just a trip to Thorpe Park.

Yours faithfully,

Raising Standards team