Letter From The Headmaster – Easter 2019
Our Calendar for Trinity Term 2019 will be in the post to you shortly. Please remember that any amendments to it will be found on the on-line calendar, accessed via the Parent Portal or the website.
As we come to the end of another incredibly busy term, I want to thank you for your continued support for the College. There are many highlights as always, but some that stand out for me are: the numerous successes on the sports field, the wonderful performance of Little Shop of Horrors; the tremendously enjoyable Oscars ceremony and the mammoth effort by over seventy Sixth Form students and staff to raise money for Mary’s Meals by walking 24 or 40 miles over recent weekends. Donations are still coming in and we are hoping to raise over £10,000 with your continued support. We are incredibly proud to hold the UK school record for raising money for this wonderful charity.
As the current prefects and subject ambassadors step down I must, on behalf of the whole Princethorpe community, thank them for all they have done to make Princethorpe a better place. Lizzie and Tom have been wonderful heads of school and tremendous role models for us all. We thank them and all the outgoing prefects and ambassadors for their time, effort and dedication towards making Princethorpe a better place.
As for our new prefects, we congratulate them for being elected to their roles and ask that they remember there are many fine students who weren’t elected. They have been called upon to serve the school and we wish them all well for their term of office. My challenge to the new prefects is to work together as a team to really make a difference to the pupils at the College.
As you are aware, about 65% of parents completed a detailed questionnaire in the last term – many thanks to you all, this feedback is invaluable to us. We were pleased with the response on the most important pastoral and education questions.
My child is happy in school – 97% agreed or strongly agreed
My child is well looked after at school – 98% agreed or strongly agreed
My child is making good progress at school – 95% agreed or strongly agreed, and on the question, Would you recommend Princethorpe to your friends, 79% of parents said definitely and 16% said possibly.
Although very happy with the above statistics we are, of course, still concerned with the small percentage who are not happy; the Senior Leadership Team have read all of the individual comments that were made and we are using all this feedback to inform our planning and school development plan.
For the 50 specific questions asked, the average levels of high satisfaction were 87%; well above the 80% threshold ISI Inspectors use.
There were some noticeable areas where the satisfaction levels increased – E-safety education (98%), the school policy on mobile phone use (85%) and support and assistance available for parents (87%).
Areas which fell below the 80% threshold were quality of food, Sixth Form girls’ uniform, Parents Evenings, parking and transport. I will give you feedback on our plans to address these areas after the Easter holidays.
We are keen to continue to improve our communication with parents and will be trialling a new method of communicating rewards and conduct. Notifications will be sent to parents via an email should your child receive a reward or be involved with low level disruption during the school day. Can we ask that you discuss with your child any notifications concerning any negative behaviour and how they can improve in readiness for their next class. If you do receive a notification email regarding a low level disruption and wish to discuss it further, please contact the member of staff identified in the email or Mrs Sharpe directly. We are very keen to support our pupils in engaging with their learning in all lessons, and your support with this is gratefully received.
Over the Easter holiday, please can I ask you to check your child’s uniform; there were a few pupils who were looking a bit ragged or shabby toward the end of term. Children often grow quickly and the summer term is a good time to replace any damaged, missing or ill-fitting items. The list of expected uniform items can be found within the Information Booklet for Parents and Pupils.
We are now all ready for our holidays, but as we close the term, our thoughts turn to all those involved in GCSEs and A-levels; on either 15 or 22 August they will pick up an envelope with their results in. There is no doubt that the grades they achieve will inform the direction their lives will take in the future. I am sure that those parents who have children involved in public examinations will help to ensure they use the Easter holiday wisely to achieve a careful balance between work, rest and play.
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Greg Hunter, our Assistant Head (Co-Curricular), who has been appointed to the role of Deputy Head at King’s School, Canterbury from September 2019. Greg has been a key member of our senior team for the past six years and has championed and taken our co-curricular offering at the College to new heights over his time in the role.
The College has many wonderful staff and continually invests in staff training and development. Greg’s promotion and that of other senior colleagues, Chris McCullough and Kenny Owen, who are also leaving to become deputy heads is testament to the quality of our staff and to the leadership skills and professional qualities we value so highly here.
Finally, I wish everyone a happy Easter. We send our best wishes to all, but particularly to those who have only one more term left before they leave the College. Please do also keep in your thoughts and prayers all members of the Princethorpe family who are ill or in need of our support.
E D Hester