April round-up from the Principal
The summer term has arrived! The longer evenings and the warmer weather help create an even more positive atmosphere as it makes it feel like there are huge opportunities to participate in the vast array of experiences that are available for students.
Celebration events: Film Friday and Afternoon Tea
At Manor we are determined to recognise the vast majority of our students who work hard and contribute so much to our school. On the last day of the spring term the top 20% of students with the most achievement points in each year group were invited to Film Friday. Here they got to watch a film with popcorn and a drink in the auditorium for the afternoon session. Congratulations to all those students who were invited – we hope you enjoyed it – and keep up the hard work so you get a repeat invite in the summer!
Of the students above, on Friday 26 April I was delighted to host the 15 students who had accumulated the most achievement points between September and April, along with their parents, at our inaugural celebration afternoon tea. These students, representing all year groups from Year 7 to Year 11, amassed almost 22,000 achievement points between them! Incredible stuff. It was a really pleasant afternoon and it was brilliant that so many parents were able to join us to make the celebration extra special.
The afternoon tea event marked the end of the old rewards system at Manor School with the new REACH system being launched for the summer term. REACH stands for resilience, empathy, aspiration, curiosity and humanity, forming the characteristics that we value and want to support and encourage in our students at Manor.
Therefore, going forward, all rewards will relate to how well students demonstrate the REACH characteristics both within and beyond the curriculum. To support this we have developed our own internal app ‘Praise+’ which will make it much quicker and easier for teachers to award students their achievement points. Eventually, this facility will also include an ‘email parent’ function which will enable parents to receive notification of the rewards in real time. Exciting times indeed.
Summer examination period 2019
Our Year 11 and Year 13 students are in full-on examination mode and I’d like to take this opportunity to wish all students completing exams to make the most of the experience. It is not luck… students have worked very hard over many years to build the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to be successful.
Thank you also to all of the staff who provided revision sessions for students over the Easter break. The huge turnout suggests that students really appreciated them and the feedback we’ve had has been positive. After-school sessions continue this term in the core subject areas of English, maths and science.
We continue to encourage all students to make best use of these sessions, however as my own son is currently in Year 11 I also recognise the need for balance. Wellness is a core strand of our provision at Manor School, and so plenty of rest, good quality sleep, frequent revision breaks and continuing with the activities you enjoy are crucial elements in maintaining good health and a positive outlook at a time of potential high stress!
Upgrade of facilities and environment
In recent weeks and over the Easter period we have seen more work completed across our campus by both external providers and our site team.
Excitingly the old, run-down tennis courts have been completely resurfaced with a sand-based astro-turf providing a high quality facility for hockey, netball and tennis to be played throughout the year. The official opening is in May, however the students are already making good use of it and the feedback has been great!
Improving the environment of the toilet facilities was a key request of the student parliament and student executive. As a result, we pushed this aspect further up our maintenance plan and the toilets in the design technology block have been refurbished with new flooring, decoration and fittings. This work has had an enormous positive impact in this environment – it is now up to the students to play their part in helping to look after the facility. In addition, the work on the student toilets in the vocational block has also been completed.
Finally, I’d like to thank all parents and carers for their continued support. Every week I receive positive feedback and emails of support from a range of parents. We are truly grateful for this and we always pass on the ‘shout outs’ if any staff are named.
We are increasing the frequency and range of parental engagement opportunities all of the time. Your views are important to us and I would encourage you to attend our upcoming events if you can.