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November 2019 Principal's round-up

As the weather begins to turn colder and our thoughts start to turn towards Christmas, the pace and effort at Manor School continues to gather momentum. This round-up gives just a snapshot of the rich and varied opportunities that Manor School students get across a wide range of activities.

Parents Evening

For the Year 11 and Sixth Form students, practise examinations have started and this is really the beginning of the final run in to the Summer. I was delighted to meet so many of the Year 11 and Post-16 students and their parents at their respective Parents’ Information Evening during November. The evening really reinforced the student–parent–school link and gave opportunities for us to share positive, subject specific strategies in how to be fully prepared for the challenges that lie ahead.

Remembrance Service

Earlier in November, we were privileged to have the attendance of representatives from the Royal British Legion for our remembrance service. This year, the ceremony was in two parts. Firstly, we are delighted to have been donated a ‘Tommy’ and an accompanying plaque by Mike and Vivienne Clements. We have proudly erected these in our centenary and memorial garden in the quad at the school and had a small service attended by members of the Royal British Legion and school leaders as well as the student executive.

The second part saw the whole school coming together in a poignant service of Remembrance. This important ceremony allowed us to remember those who have given their lives and served in conflicts around the world as well as providing an opportunity to reflect on some of the key issues that challenges us in Britain and the world today. The student readings and outstanding performance of the Last Post created the respectful mood as 1000 students, staff and guests came together in remembrance.

Celebrating the Arts

The Whole Child Project has been a resounding success for another year, with students across Key Stage 3 and 4 making use of specialist advice and tutoring in dance, drama and musical composition to further their skills. A major highlight from the work included the creation of a song about the importance of dealing with climate change with the help of Sarah Bishop, whose enthusiasm for the project was commented upon by the composer who came in to work with the school. Rebecca Knight’s GCSE drama group creating a very humorous recreation of a section from a Midsummer Night’s Dream and Rachel Howes’ work with a choreographer from the Cats musical allowed for some of Manor’s most-able dancers to perform a piece from a West End musical.

Nov 19 JDA round up pic

The music department and their students have had a really busy time representing the school in the local community and beyond. They have performed at the Christmas lights switch-on ceremony in Raunds, as well as a County Council charity event held by Cllr Hughes. The Year 10 GCSE students attended the Albert Hall for the Music for Youth Proms, with Year 9 students playing at the Rotary Club Carol Service at St Peters Church.

I’d like to thank Melissa Baron, Director of Music, for the continued commitment to providing excellent opportunities for young people and support to our community, through music. I would also like to extend an invitation to you all to our Christmas Concert on Thursday 12 December 2019 at 6:00pm. Tickets can be purchased via the following link:

Curriculum Developments

We continue to develop and refine our Work. World. Wellness. curriculum to ensure that Manor students have the best possible opportunities to be happy, healthy, employable and develop a positive view of the World. In school, all students have had the opportunity to hear a number of visitors speak as part of our weekly lecture series as well as following their WWW pathways. We are also getting increasing recognition externally. I had the pleasure of speaking at a recent #NEDTalks event run by Educating Northants and we are hoping that further opportunities will arise in the near future.

Sixth Form Application Processes

In the coming weeks we will be launching our Sixth Form application processes for September 2020 intake. We have invested heavily in our Sixth Form facilities, curriculum, leadership and staffing to ensure that Manor School provides a wide range of pathways for all of our students beyond Year 11. The prospectus will be launched before Christmas and we will have our Sixth Form Open Evening on Tuesday 14 January 2020. I encourage everyone in the upper school to attend and get a feel for our post-16 offer.

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As always, we continue to welcome the parental support we receive and thank you for positively reinforcing our messages regarding the standards we expect.

Jay Davenport