Last night we held our Class of 2026 Transition Evening.  In previous years we would have hosted 170+ families of Y6 boys looking ahead to starting West Hill in September.  We have had to repeat last year’s approach of hosting this event virtually.  Boys and families were able to receive information in live broadcasts from their respective form tutors.  This is supported by information being issued via other means, to ensure the boys are as well prepared for their new school as we can, given the current circumstances.  Even though the event was planned with great attention to detail, a software issue caused some parents to fail to connect.  Mrs Barton the Head of Year will host an additional meeting tonight to ensure no family misses out. Many of the boys are already involved in completing tasks and challenges ahead of the September start, with the vast majority already signed up for an August summer school.  It is not ideal preparation, but we are committed to ensuring the boys will make as smooth a transition as we can towards becoming a West Hill boy.

Another group also impacted by constraints, is our Y10 boys. They have been completing mock examinations that have been a major success despite significant logistical challenges. They will be starting their work experience programme on Monday.  It has been a feature of our careers provision for many years at West Hill.   It has helped develop our boys, enhancing their academic studies as well as embedding many of the soft skills we value so highly.  In addition it has helped forged excellent relationships with local employers, and proven to be mutually beneficial as we prepare our boys for life beyond West Hill.

This year has been a real challenge to organise.  In all honesty it would have been so easy to cancel, but thanks to the commitment of Mrs Sherrington and Mr Musiol, all our boys will now benefit from a programme that fulfils our commitment to the boys. 

These are 2 examples, of many, in which our staff have approached challenges with adaptability and flexibility.  This last week those characteristics have been truly tested, as we have had several positive covid cases, resulting in a significant number of boys being identified as close contacts and being required to self-isolate.  This is an issue nobody welcomes.  Staff at all levels need to respond swiftly in these circumstances, with communications being key.  We endeavour to balance the need to protect the community, but also recognising the impact on our boys and their families.

The driving force throughout has been the motivation to support our boys and ensure any negative impacts on their experiences can be minimised.  To me this illustrates that even in the final few weeks of what has been a challenging and at times frustrating year, our staff remain committed to supporting our boys every step of the way. 

Mr Owens

Posted by Mr Owens on 2 July 2021

Category: Headteacher's Log Book

Tags: Careers Headteacher Class of 2026