As the new Headteacher of Denefield School, it gives me great satisfaction to be writing the first ever Headteacher’s blog.
Although the summer holidays may seem a long time for many, for schools there is always work to be done. A successful transition camp was run by Mrs Jackson, significant changes in the environment of the school took place and the very important A Level and GCSE results were delivered.
As has become the norm at Denefield we were thrilled with the continued improvement in progress of our students at both A Level and GCSE. We are very proud of all of our students, the work ethic and commitment to learning that these young people have shown really has provided each of them with the platform for their future. Their teachers should also feel proud, as they too have challenged, supported and worked relentlessly to give every student the very best chances. If you have not yet had the chance to read the A Level or GCSE press releases on the website please take some time to, as there are many individual successes to celebrate.
The start of term on 2 September was a positive one, with students arriving for school across all year groups looking smart in their new uniform and school shoes. The new regulation skirt, I am pleased to say, has been embraced by the vast majority and the girls really do look smart. I would like to thank parents and carers for your support with uniform. As I say regularly, uniform is the basis of attitude and the high standards show the ambition we have for this school to be truly ‘Great’.
The staggered start to the day enabled our new Year 7 students to familiarise themselves with the school once more, before the rest of the school arrived. I would like to extend my thanks to the many volunteers across all years who opted to surrender their final lie-in and come to school to help our new students and their tutors: a true reflection of the community that Denefield has become. I would like at this point, to take the opportunity to welcome all new students and their parents/carers to the Denefield community and hope that through close collaboration the next seven years will be fruitful.
On their return to school, our students have been excited to see some of the hard work of our site team and support staff over the summer and early indications suggest that they feel extremely lucky to have such wonderful facilities.
Our high performing Sixth Form students have returned following their super AS and GCSE results, to a newly furnished area and are demonstrating great respect for the facility which I am sure will help them to focus and secure good outcomes throughout the year.
Our Year 11 students now have access to their own common room, fully furnished, carpeted and comfortable. We are now in the process of recruiting the common room committee, who I have no doubt, will be keen to extend the levels of responsibility they have already to create and sustain a mature atmosphere. They even had a special treat from our new caterers, Harrison Catering, who popped in to serve hot chocolate and warm muffins on Thursday.
All students and staff have commented on the quality provided by our new caterers who cook everything fresh on the day of service and use the very best local produce. The canteen now has a real adult feel which the students appreciate, one commenting to me, ‘I feel like I’m in Starbucks Miss’. Of course there is more to look forward to as the canteen will be refurbished and extended and surrounding areas improved for the students’ return after Easter.
On Friday 4 September I had the privilege of opening the newly refurbished library with the author of the ‘Nowhere’ trilogy, Jon Robinson. Workshops for students and a staff cream tea concluded the day and drew to a close a positive start to the new academic year.
Week two has seen all students adapting to the routines of school, meeting their teachers for the first time and discovering new friendships.
Year 10 have had the opportunity to participate in a team building day with the Army as part of their transition to KS4 and GCSE courses. Feedback suggests it was a worthwhile and engaging day for all.
As the second week concludes I continue to observe students demonstrating outstanding attitudes to learning, their community and each other, responding to the CHARACTER that I am asking them to show each day. I will elaborate on both our new strap line and the aspects of CHARACTER in my next blog in preparation for the assemblies that I will deliver the following week to students.
Finally, I would like to formally invite any current parents as well as parents/carers considering Denefield for their Year 6 child to our Open Evening at 6.00pm on Monday 14 September. As always we will open the whole school for parents/carers and students to tour, either on their own or with student leaders. I shall look forward to welcoming you on the evening and showing you everything that Denefield has to offer.
Miss L Dawe
HeadteacherReturn to blog