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Head of School's Blog

Welcome back to the start of the Autumn Term 2017

September 21st 2017

Welcome back to the new school year. The first couple of weeks have been busy and very productive with both the new and returning students settling quickly into their work and the atmosphere across the school very positive.

Transition

We can certainly see the benefit of having our new Year 7 students in for a full week in July, before the holidays started.  Our students were able to get to know their fellow students, make new friends, meet their teachers and find their way around our school during this time and were able therefore to make a flying start to the term.  Many thanks to those of you who provided us with feedback about the start of Year 7.  Almost without exception, families were very positive about the change.

Uniform

The updates to the uniform have also been very well received.  Lots of students, not just in Year 7, are wearing the new skirt and trousers with the school logo on them. Not only are they very smart, they will make buying uniform items much simpler for families.  We have also ensured you can purchase these items from more than one supplier so that you will have choice and that the pricing remains competitive.

Exams

Once again the results achieved by our students in Year 11 and in the College (Year 13) have maintained the high standards set in recent years.  Whilst there have been a number of changes to the exam system nationally with GCSE English and Maths moving to 1-9 numbers instead of grades and changes to the arrangements to A/S levels, these do not appear to have impacted on the quality of work that Falmouth students have achieved.  Our children in Falmouth are continuing to achieve outstanding results and we are all very proud of their achievements.  

Attendance

One point I would like to raise relating to exam results, is the importance of attendance at school.  In our Year 11 group this summer we had a very small number of students who did not attend school as much as they should or needed to.  The graph below explains this in a little more detail;

AAG

The graph is just for Falmouth students in Year 11, comparing attendance of the students against the exam grades achieved, regardless of ability.  The findings are quite stark.  Students with good attendance have done really well, regardless of ability. Students with attendance on or better than 97.5% have done particularly well, which is what we would want to see for all of our students.  

Students dropped a grade on average this year if their attendance dropped below 95% ( the national average) and the small number of students with very poor attendance dropped by almost 3 grades.   As clearly evidenced by the figures, good attendance at school is essential if students are to reach their potential.   We will therefore continue to make every effort in school to ensure our students attend well and would hope that you will fully support us with this.

Improving Facilities

Over the break we have invested a £270,000 grant to improve toilet facilities for students and staff in school, with these improvements now almost finished.  Our other main investment over the break was to install tiered seating in the Hall and to replace the dining furniture, thus giving our students much improved accommodation for lunchtime, assemblies and presentations.

Sports Development

The major Sports Development work continues.  After what has been a lengthy process, we have concluded the design contract works and will now move to the construction phase in the next 2 to 3 weeks for both the 3G pitch and pavilion.

Multi Academy Trust

As you are aware from previous information, we have been working closely with King Charles and St Francis over the last 12 months to form a ‘trust’ of schools called a Multi-Academy Trust or MAT, based locally in Falmouth.  Falmouth MAT officially started on 1 September 2017.  Two of the key drivers to form the MAT was to ensure we keep local people involved in the responsibility (‘Governance’)  for providing education for our local families and also to ensure that 100% of the resources allocated to our children goes to our children.  Over time, many more benefits will develop through our primary and secondary school partnership that we will aim to share with all the children in Falmouth schools, not just those in the trust.  With an already strong partnership in place with Falmouth School and the local Falmouth and Exeter Universities, the MAT further secures the opportunities over time for the very best provision locally, from early years to post 16 and beyond to university.

Communication

Please continue to visit the website and look at our social media feeds for information and news.  Please also check that you have given us an up to date email address as so much information is now sent out to parents by email.  If you haven’t already done so, I would recommend that you also put the ‘Gateway’ app on your mobile phone so that you get daily updates about how your child is getting on in school.  You can still continue to contact us by phone or in writing, if that is your preference.  

As with previous years, I will continue to send out information throughout the year, so please look out for the updates.

Posted at 13:10 on 21st Sep 2017 Back