July round-up from the Principal
Reflecting with Pride
I have been hugely proud of all that we have achieved this academic year at Manor School. As a school we have achieved a lot.
The opportunities and experience available to students grow year on year. Our students continue to make us proud every single day. In their lessons, the students are embracing the rigour and challenge provided by the lessons and our expectations and we have witnessed, daily, the positive impact of this. This year has seen a huge increase in the number of other schools coming to look at what we do and without exception our visitors comment on the calm, purposeful environment and the quality of the attitudes of our students.
Beyond the school day, the commitment to the full and growing range of experiences that they are able to access in school and in our community has been exceptional. I look back with pride that I have been given the privilege to lead this school.
REACH Rewards, Movies and Afternoon Tea
The summer term has seen the launch of our new REACH Rewards. REACH represents the values we hold dear at Manor School, standing for: Resilience, Empathy, Aspiration, Curiosity and Humanity. It is by demonstrating these values that students at Manor School receive their rewards. We are delighted that we have been able to develop our own App called REACH+ which will enable us to give out, collate and analyse the rewards data very efficiently.
To recognise the students that have achieved highly in demonstrating these values, we held two important events at the end of term. The top 20% of achievers were invited to attend a movie and popcorn afternoon and they very much enjoyed the experience of the big screen! On Wednesday 17 July we also invited the parents as well as the top 3 performing students in each of the 5 REACH values to attend an afternoon tea, with Senior Leaders and Progress Leaders. It was a wonderful afternoon of celebration.
Summer Concert and Celebration Evenings
It was an absolute privilege to be able to attend the Manor School Summer Music Concert, which was a little extra-special this year. Stunning individual and group performances across helped us celebrate the contribution that John Bickerdike has made at Manor School over the past decade.
Musical and dance production and performance combined to make this a truly sensational example of why it is vital we maintain high profile Arts in school. The opportunity for students from across the age range to come together and work alongside Manor and peripatetic staff is truly special. The grand finale when several bands from the last decade returned to pay tribute to Mr Bickerdike is something that I’ll remember for a long time and I wish him well for the future.
We have also competed our Sports and Key Stage 3 celebration evenings in recent weeks and we were delighted to recognise so many of our students for their endeavours either in the classroom or within their sporting environments.
The afternoon tea and celebration evenings are just some of the ways in which we want to engage positively with parents. We see parental engagement as an essential part of our work and this year we have held several parent forums and questionnaires to gather views about a range of elements at Manor School including ASD provision, the inclusion strategy and mobile phones. We use the parental lens as a key part of our strategic development and decision making and I thank all parents who have contributed. We have several more forums planned for 2019/20.
Developing cultural capital is an important part of our school vision and some of the centrepieces of our provision are the residential trips that we provide for students. Last week saw students from Manor School travelling across Europe as well as further afield.
This year saw the return of the biennial Music and Dance tour, and this time they had an Italian adventure. The students were able to perform in several stunning locations across Italy and the exquisite scenery was matched by the quality of the performances. In addition, the annual trips to Germany and Spain were enjoyed by students from Key Stage 3 and 4 and the feedback we’ve heard from students since their return has been fantastic.
To add to this we have a group of students currently in Ecuador completing project work with Camps International. The students have worked tremendously hard alongside Mr Guest over the last 2 years to raise funds for this experience and what an unbelievable opportunity this is! If you’d like to follow their progress, Miss Hustwait is providing regular tweets which can be accessed through the school Twitter feed @Manor_School.
This year, again, we are in the business of creating memories and whilst the academic profile of our school is very important to us, we also celebrate the experiences and opportunities that we provide for our students that enhance their school experience and their lives.
Sports Day and House Cup 2019
Once again we able to complete a really successful sports day, despite some threatening looking cloud cover and some early morning rain. The field events and longer track events took place in the morning and there were some exceptional performances. In the afternoon the rain held off to allow the whole school to come out to support the competitors and the PE team for the sprints and relays. Huge congratulations must go to all competitors, and especially those in the winning Sports Day house – HOLMES.
Sports Day is a great whole school event that truly demonstrates the community spirit at Manor School. Special thanks go to Ms Rate and the rest of the PE staff for organising the event so well.
The House Cup competition runs all year and combines all the points accrued by students as individuals and in their house competitions. Once again this has been competitive all year and a very close run thing!
The winners of the 2019 House Cup are MACARTHUR – congratulations go to all students from MacArthur House who have managed to pip the other houses to this prestigious title.
Looking Forward with Excitement
In a climate where schools are struggling due to a lack of funding and a tough recruitment environment, Manor School is flourishing and, looking forward to next year, there is a huge amount to be excited about.
Unlike many schools, we are fully staffed with subject specialists for September and our ‘Work. World. Wellness.’ curriculum is now fully developed and is gaining lots of positive attention from across the county and beyond. As a result, there will be extensive further opportunities for all students in their everyday lessons and outside of the taught curriculum.
We are also well-engaged in an extensive programme of building works. This will see the development of enhanced facilities and dedicated area for the Sixth Form, an enhanced and refurbished canteen area, a dedicated music centre and an upgrade to various other staff and classroom areas. It is vital that we continue to invest in the facilities and infrastructure of our school as we continue to grow and this is an exciting next step.
Thank you as always for your continued support of Manor School Sports College, and I wish you a wonderful summer break. We look forward to welcoming our new intake and all our current students back on Wednesday 4 September 2019.