School Improvement Update

The theme of this week’s blog is very strongly on school improvement and our post-Ofsted journey as we continue to work on implementing our School Improvement Plan.  This week we launched officially with students, parents and carers our new ‘The Weald Way’ approach to embedding a positive behaviour culture at Weald and our new WEALD behaviour management process.  The students were introduced to this new initiative during assemblies led by two of our Assistant Headteachers, Mrs Swaffer and Miss Hardman.  On Monday night at Sevenoaks and on Wednesday night at Tonbridge the senior leadership team, members of the trust board and I were delighted to welcome parents and carers to our Positive Relationships Meetings.  The evening consisted of an opening speech from me on my vision for embedding a positive behaviour culture at Weald moving forwards and how we are addressing key concerns that were raised in the Ofsted report from April 2022.  Mrs Kinnersley, our Safeguarding Trustee spoke at Sevenoaks and Mr Doyle, our Chair of Trustees spoke at Tonbridge to outline the trustees’ support for the changes that are being introduced in the school and then Miss Hardman at Sevenoaks and Mrs Jones, two of our Assistant Headteachers, shared with parents and carers our new stepped approach to managing behaviour in school.  We ended the evenings at both campuses by taking questions from the audience, so that we could respond immediately to the specific queries that parents and carers had in relation to what had been shared.  We know as leaders that it is essential that we implement necessary changes and know that changing a culture will not happen overnight, however, we are committed to making sure that what needs to be improved is addressed with urgency.  I would like to thank all the parents and carers who attended, all members of the senior leadership group for their support with this work, all the members of staff who have been involved in the behaviour working party and Mrs Kinnersley and Mr Doyle for their attendance at the meetings.  I would particularly like to thank all those parents and carers who took the time to feedback to us so positively about what we are implementing.

Whilst continuing to focus on school improvement, this week we welcomed back to Weald, Mr Holden, who is a former Headteacher and HMI, who is working with the school on our preparations for our next graded Ofsted inspection which will probably occur in the academic year 2023 – 2024.  Mr Holden led a training session for all middle and senior leaders on Tuesday after school on the Ofsted framework and how to navigate the particular requirements of the evaluation schedule.  It was an extremely informative session and was very helpful to us all as leaders.  On Thursday we welcomed Mr Holden back to Weald, to do a deep dive of the History Department at the Sevenoaks Campus in the morning and to spend the afternoon working with all our Heads of Year on the pastoral priorities that have emerged from our most recent student survey that we have carried out in school this term.  In the New Year, Mr Holden will be working with our Trust Board to help them also prepare for our next Ofsted inspection.  Looking towards next year, Mrs Ricks, Mr Macsporran and I will be spending a morning in January planning the next phase of our pastoral improvement strategy which we will be sharing with you all in the Spring Term.

Friday this week saw the culmination at Tonbridge of all of Ms Micallef’s planning for the Weald World Festival.  This was a fantastic cultural experience, and it was wonderful to see the joy and engagement that the students were all exhibiting.  I was so impressed by the beautiful array of clothing that members of school community were wearing.  There were so many fabulous different taste sensations that the students, parents, carers and staff were able to savour and this amazing event could not have happened without the phenomenal support of so many of our parents and carers.  I would like to thank all those members of the community who helped support this event and gave up their time to take part.  I would also like to thank all the members of the support and teaching staff teams here who helped in supporting the planning process for this event and finally, I must thank Ms Micallef who has been the guiding light for this opportunity and it was an absolutely brilliant occasion.

Please do not forget that this Sunday is our PTA Christmas Fair from 12pm – 3pm at the Tonbridge Campus.  I am greatly looking forward to being on the Acting Headteacher’s cake stall and have roped my very long-suffering husband in to help me.  Mrs Paddington has also volunteered to help us on the cake staff, so do please come over and say hello if you are attending on Sunday.  Thank you to all of you who have donated cakes this morning, I was so impressed by the donations.

We also this week saw Year 13 go on a History Seminar Trip to London, members of Year 11 went on a trip to Maidstone’s mosque and Year 9 and 10 Drama Club delivered their performances.  I would like to thank all of the students and staff who were involved in making these events happen.

Do have a fabulous weekend.

Yours sincerely


Mrs S A Clark