Reflections Before Our Long Weekend
It has been another very busy week at the Weald of Kent this week. Over the last weekend, 92 of our students carried out their DofE expedition, camping out overnight and navigating their specific routes. The weekend went really well, and I would like to commend all of the students who completed it successfully, but also thank all the staff and parent volunteers who enabled this opportunity to go ahead.
Over the last two weeks I have delivered my Welcome Assembly to all of the year groups across both campuses. The assembly allowed me to indulge in my passion for the work of John Keats and to share a reading of ‘On Sitting Down to Read King Lear Once Again’ with the whole school. For an English Literature teacher, it was a matter of pure indulgence. However, I was also able to encourage the students to reflect on the year ahead of us all and to think about what each of us wants to renew this year and how we can reaffirm what it means to be a member of the Weald of Kent school community.
We have had a busy schedule of events and there have been Team Building and off-curriculum days taking place at both campuses this week for specific year groups. I particularly enjoyed seeing the pictures of the Year 12 students at Sevenoaks engaging in their various hoop-based activities in groups. What has been lovely has been to hear the wonderful feedback that external facilitators have given on how great our students are to work with.
I know that the Trustees have written to you all this week to share the details of the School’s Improvement Plan that we are implementing. We had an external consultant, who is a former Kent headteacher, attend our Senior Leadership Group meeting this week to support us all in our preparations for a possible Ofsted Monitoring Visit in Term 6 and his expert knowledge and support was very helpful to us all. We are working tirelessly in school to deliver the changes required to implement the actions we have set out in our SIP.
Today, Miss Hardman and I went on a fact finding visit to a local Kent school who have done significant work on building a positive behaviour culture within their school, and we were both really impressed by what we saw and heard as we toured the school and met senior leaders. It has given us both lots of ideas as the review of our Behaviour Policy continues.
Our Parents’ and Carers’ Information Evenings continued this week and conclude next week, and it has been lovely to meet those of you who have attended. Thank you for your feedback on them, we warmly welcome hearing your views, so we can continue to improve.
Earlier this week, the English Department took a group of our Year 13 students, including those who study both English Literature and Theatre Studies, to Stratford Upon Avon for a fantastic super-curricular opportunity. Many thanks go to those staff who arranged the visit and accompanied the students. Yesterday, the students returned to school inspired and enthused by the experiences they had had. I subsequently had two hours in a classroom yesterday, exploring how to write critically on Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’ with some of our Year 13s allowing them to contextualise their learning. Our students never fail to impress with their confident articulation of complex ideas succinctly. It is a privilege to work with such talented students. The English Department now intends to start planning to arrange their next trip to Stratford Upon Avon in 2023.
I am mindful at this time, of the fact that next week will be a four-day week and that the country as a whole will be united in remembering the life of a monarch who has shaped the country and society that we have in Britain today, particularly on Monday during Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral. This is certainly a period of reflection and change for our nation.
I wish you all a very restful weekend and I look forward to seeing the students return to school on Tuesday morning.
Mrs SA Clark