One Month at QHS

Dear Parents and Pupils,

One month into the new school year and there have been many enjoyable and successful activities, in addition to a great deal of purposeful and productive learning within the classroom. The three-day bonding excursion to Yorkshire for Year 7 proved a great success and our Junior School pupils have already made visits to Everdon Forest and the Butterfly Farm.  The Year 8 and 9 students have also ventured off site for the first in a series of House Bowling Competitions as we look to expand the range of activities provided at the school. Our sporting teams have all been in action and our musicians and choirs are busy working towards the exciting events of the Christmas season.

It has been wonderful to have had the opportunity to meet so many positive and optimistic Quinton parents at our start of year events. The afternoon cream tea events proved very popular and both the Revision Skills Evening and Back to School Evening provided much enjoyment in addition to education. Senior School parents have attended our ‘Target Setting Evening’ and we will soon be sending home the predictions of the most probable grade for each student in each subject based upon their recent Midyis, Yellis and Alis tests. The Reception and Nursery parents have already had one parents’ evening and we were pleased that a number of parents were able to join us for the Macmillan Coffee Morning in the Courtyard.

Just four weeks into the new academic year, the atmosphere within the school is one of positivity and progression. The potential areas for improvement are also increasingly apparent. We will be sharing the new School Development Plan with parents after half-term. This week we have invited our excellent Head Chef, Richard Ward, to attend our Senior Leadership Meeting as we seek to address the concerns that have been expressed by some parents about catering at the school.

The time is now right for the school to place its trust in the character and qualities of the young people as we seek to provide leadership opportunities and positions of responsibility for our Senior School students. The Prefects have been provided with Prefect training and we now look train and educate other student groups for positions offering personal development and a positive contribution to the school community.

Our members of the Bullseye Group will be taught the signs and symptoms of children experiencing bullying and anti-social behaviour and will work through a number of scenarios to encourage an appropriate response. Bullseye group members will be ‘on duty’ in both the Senior and Junior Schools to ensure that we have a school environment that is positive, inclusive and caring.

Our Reading Buddies will be taught to support children in their reading through instruction in the appropriate techniques and guidance on one to one support for children. The proven literacy developments that will be the outcome of these sessions will be extremely beneficial for the younger members of our school community, in addition to providing a valuable and enjoyable leadership experience for older students.

Our Digital Leaders will support the plans to incorporate greater use of technology into our learning and education programmes. We will look to provide E-pals with other Cognita schools across the world and the Digital Leaders will monitor the new Mobile Phone Policy ensuring that technology is used for positive and beneficial purposes, whilst avoiding the maelstrom of issues resulting from inappropriate use and postings on social media.

The school already has a programme of Sports Leaders assisting at extra-curricular sporting clubs and this will be extended for other activities, including those involving the Junior School pupils. Activity Leaders will play a significant role in ensuring the quality of our enrichment programme.

House Captains will also be expected to support the House competitions for our students. The introduction of House Bowling has been an excellent addition to the programme and we look forward to QHS students playing a proactive role in the success of these events.

A new rota for the use of the all-weather surface for recreational activities at break and lunchtimes will allow our students a much needed space when use of the grass is not possible. Restoring this privilege will demand that students adhere to the rules for the use of this area, including ensuring that they only wear training shoes rather than school shoes to play football.

Placing our trust in our young people will produce some outstanding leaders and will help to develop a community where the students support each other in fulfilling their potential. However, not all will be able to demonstrate the levels of responsibility and maturity expected of adults. Failure, error and accepting the consequences of their actions will produce learning experiences and opportunities for growth and character development.

I am sure that all members of the school community will join me in thanking Mrs Angie Duckett for her excellent service to the school in her roles as Head’s PA and School Office Administrator. Mrs Duckett’s knowledge and skills have been invaluable for me in the first month of the new school year and we wish her every success for the future as she begins her new role at the University of Buckingham. Mrs Sam Tipler will now take over from Mrs Duckett as Headmaster’s PA.

We also send our very best wishes to the Junior School Head’s PA, Gurdeep Rihal, as she will be absent for several weeks recovering from medical treatment. We look forward to Gurdeep being back at the school for the exciting Christmas events that you will have noted on your school calendar. Our new Administrative Assistant, Mrs Anne Swift-Clarke, will be covering many of Mrs Rihal’s duties and I am sure that you will all make her welcome at QHS.

Best wishes for October!

Tim Hoyle

Headmaster

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