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    Headteacher Newsletter: April 2019

    Dear Parent / Carer

    As Easter is almost upon us, we can reflect upon another very busy term. There are a wide variety of exciting opportunities available for our students to get involved in and they really do bring a real benefit to a successful all-round education. As I write, I have just had the pleasure of attending the Rotherham Schools’ Finals for both netball and football. It was quite an achievement to get netball teams through to the finals in Years 8, 9 and 12. All three teams performed admirably, but perhaps a special mention should go to the Year 12 team, that narrowly missed out on a medal in an 8-7 defeat to Aston in the last minute. In the football, both our 1st and 2nd XIs were in the finals. The 2nd XI quickly went 2-0 down, but fought back magnificently to make it 2-2 for most of the game, before ending up as runners-up after conceding late goals. The 1st XI, comprised mainly of students who had also played football for the school throughout Years 7-11, also fell behind, before fighting back to 1-1 and finishing the stronger of the teams. With no extra time, unfortunately Wath lost 4-3 on penalties to Maltby.

    I am sure all the students involved in the finals day were very appreciative of the large amount of support from parents and staff. I would just like to thank all of the students involved for the commendable way in which they conducted themselves. Their attitude towards the officials and the opposition was outstanding and certainly made those supporting them feel very proud of their achievements.

    In March, Year 11 Dance students gave an excellent recital evening, in preparation for their external assessment. This was an opportunity to perform in front of an audience, and hone final improvements, ahead of their examination performance. Everyone was left wondering how they had managed to memorise the moves of multiple dances. ‘Science Week’ has been celebrated in school and a special evening was put on for parents of Year 8 students, the ‘Next Three Years Evening’, to advise on Key Stage 4 subjects – GCSEs and applied subjects – that these students will embark on in Year 9. Our current Year 9 students visited the Beth Shalom Holocaust Centre earlier this half term, while all Year 12 students enjoyed a week of Work Experience. These type of activities help to enrich our curriculum and provide our students with a broad range of experiences, beyond those that are experienced directly in school.

    Students in Year 11 have sat a second set of Trial Exams this half term in preparation for the impending final summer external exams. An extensive programme of support and revision has already begun for Year 11 to help with this preparation. It runs every evening, and lunchtime, until the end of the examination period. Year 11 parents have received a timetable and a letter informing them which sessions students should attend. Parents of Year 11 students will also be notified of the study programme that will run through the Easter and May holidays. We have been pleased so far with some of our students’ responses to these extra sessions but urge all Year 11 parents to ensure that their child takes full advantage of what is on offer. I am very appreciative that staff in all subject areas are giving of their time so willingly to support students, not only beyond the school day but also in the holidays. The external exams have already started, with the MFL Speaking Exams; however, the written exams begin on 13 May, less than three school weeks away, and then continue until 28 June.

    Years 9, 12 & 13 have had a parents’ evening this half term. Year 12 students should be beginning their preparations for their own Trial Exams in June while Year 13 have already had their Trial Exams this half term and should be making final preparations for their own final external exams, that also begin on 13 May.

    When I last wrote, I had mentioned that the proposed date of academisation was 1 March 2019. Again, that target date was missed by the Department for Education, however, I am pleased to advise you that Wath Comprehensive School did academise on 1 April and we are now Wath Academy, a sponsored academy within Maltby Learning Trust. Once again, just to keep you advised, there will be no change to the Wath uniform or the motto on our school badge, ‘Meliora Spectare’ – ‘Aspire to Higher Things’ – as relevant now as it has always been; and hence our desire for every student to leave us ‘Able, Active & Qualified’.

    We have continued to work closely with executive leaders from Maltby Learning Trust (MLT) in order to secure even further school improvement, particularly with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Trust, Mr Sutton, who is also a National Leader of Education. From the end of this academic year, Mr Sutton will be focusing more on his CEO role and therefore MLT and the governors of the school have taken the decision to advertise for a new post of Executive Principal for Wath Academy, commencing on 1 September. This is intended to add still further to the strategic leadership of the school as it continues to build on the work already started over the last two years.

    Attendance at school has consistently improved over the last three years and is now above the national average. Similarly, punctuality at the start of the day has improved, not least because of our immediate late detention requirement when a student is not on time for registration / assembly. However, we want to work with parents to improve attendance still further – please do encourage your child to attend if the only concern is such as a cold, sore throat or slight ache: often symptoms do subside as the working day progresses.

    Thank you for your continuing support of the school. The end of this term is 2.45pm Friday 12 April. May I take this opportunity in wishing you a very Happy Easter.

    Yours sincerely

    Mr J Taylor

    Headteacher

    Dates for Your Diary

    • Year 7 Students’ & Parents’ Consultation Evening with Subject Teachers: 3.15-6.15 Tuesday 30 April.
    • May Day Bank Holiday: Monday 6 May – school closed.
    • Y11 & Y13 summer external written exams begin 13 May, and continue to 28 June.
    • A-level results published 15 August.
    • GCSE results published 22 August.

    The Headteacher's Newsletter will also be published in our Easter edition of 'The Torch'.