October half term
Today sees the end of our first half term of this academic year. It is no exaggeration to say that from a school’s perspective, it has been one of the more challenging experiences we have faced. The adjustments we have made in respect of our normal routines have been difficult at times, but the boys and the staff have dealt with them in the responsible way we associate with West Hill. I must also extend my appreciation to the parent body. We have not been able to engage with parents and carers in the way many will have been used to in the past. That can be frustrating, but the support we have received has been very much appreciated. It has been a particular challenge for our Y7 families, as for many this will be their first experience of West Hill. I am confident that the commitment from our Y7 pastoral team has been thorough, and I hope has helped ease some of anxieties that may have been present.
Yesterday we hosted our Y7 parents’ consultation. Our Y7 families were able to speak, albeit remotely with their son’s form tutor, and this communication helps us ensure the positive transition to West Hill School this first half term will continue in a similar vein moving forward.
In terms of the transition from West Hill, it was heartening to receive the destinations data for our 2020 leavers this week. We have an outstanding Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) programme at school. This helps boys prepare for life after school and is recognised widely, and our IAG team have received accolades over many years. We have been awarded the ‘Quality in Careers Standard’, to recognise the work our IAG team does. Mr Musiol, our Careers progression Advisor, was able to inform me that every one of our 2020 cohort is now confirmed in an approved post 16 setting. Very few schools are able to get close to matching our success figures in this area. We consistently achieve 100% figures in relation to boys being in education, employment or training. This is a tribute to the work done in the months prior, and then immediately following exam results being awarded to secure appropriate destinations for our boys. But more importantly are the foundations built by Mr Musiol and our IAG Coordinator Mrs Sherrington, in school over the 5 years the boys are with us.
Finally, we recognise it has been tough at times for our families directly affected by the covid virus and for us the responses we as a school have had to make at times have been testing. We are likely to face further challenges over the winter months ahead of us. We will continue to ensure we do all we can to maintain an environment for our boys that reduces risk wherever we can, but providing the education they deserve. The staff have done more than could be asked of them to deliver on our commitment to care for our boys, and I give public thanks for that. I am encouraging everyone to take a break and recharge their batteries ahead of what may prove to be a tough winter term across our region. But I believe that if we continue to work together, and provide mutual support to one another, our West Hill family will navigate through this successfully.
Our boys will return to school on Tuesday November 3rd.
Posted by Mr Owens on 23 October 2020
Category: Headteacher's Log Book