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    Message from the Headteacher

    Mr J Taylor, Headteacher
    Mr J Taylor
    Headteacher

    Dear Parent / Carer,

    As we approach the final half term of the school year, the examination ‘season’ is well under way. The Year 11 GCSE examinations have already started and a programme of revision sessions will continue to run throughout this period. The A-levels for Y13 students begin in earnest after the half term break; with external examinations then running through until the end of June.

    Year 13 began their Study Leave following their final assembly on Friday 17 May. Students gathered with their tutors in the sixth form study area to hear tutors present their awards and Mr Shaw, the Head of Sixth Form, prepare them for their final exams in the sixth form and, indeed, at school. There will be a major celebratory event for Year 13 students on Friday 12 July, when the year group comes together for their ‘Summer Ball’ at the Crowne Plaza Royal Victoria Hotel in Sheffield. However, the final event for the year group will be the Presentation Evening, in late December, when all the year group will be invited back to be presented with certificates and awards following the publication of external exam results.

    Just before the written examinations started, Year 11 students had a final opportunity to meet together in their own final assembly. This was an occasion where staff and students could share memories from their years together at Wath. Students received certificates and awards in recognition of outstanding attendance and motivation. The awards were interspersed with entertainment items. It should be noted that lessons will continue as normal for Year 11 students, unless there is an exam commitment, as we feel our students will be best served by continuing to work with their teachers, in school, in preparation for those exams. There is also a full revision programme running in school throughout the half-term holiday. The major celebratory event of the year, the Year 11 Prom, will be held after the exams, at Rotherham United’s New York Stadium. In addition, Year 11 have their own Presentation Evening, in November, where GCSE certificates and subject prizes for attainment and progress are awarded. The number of applications for Wath Sixth Form from Year 11 students is at their highest ever level.

    I would like to take this opportunity to say a particular thank you to the contribution Year 11 and Year 13 students have made to the extra-curricular life of the school, and the example they have set to our younger students. There have been significant contributions in terms of sport, music, drama and dance.

    I would like to comment on the latest progress data for Year 10, from the last Learning Cycle. I am delighted to report that their ‘Progress 8’ score – the government’s main measure of progress – shows an improvement through the year, currently standing at a significantly positive value. This is for all levels of ability. There are end of year exams for both Year 10 and Year 12 students, for two weeks, from Monday 17 June.

    The school has been working hard to develop a culture of excellence in behaviour for learning, with teachers then being able to focus on delivering quality teaching in the classroom. It would not be appropriate for any single student to be able to disturb the learning of others. The introduction of more rapid removal from the classroom and ‘next day’ detentions has had a significant impact in improving, still further, conduct in school. As a result, the figures recorded at every level in our consequence system have significantly improved this year and we intend to seek even further improvement in this area. Students should carry their ‘Conduct Card’ with them at all times, which is used to record lateness to lessons, incorrect uniform and inappropriate behaviour in unstructured time, such as break and lunchtime.

    Out of the sixteen Local Authority secondary schools, Wath has some of the best attendance figures, with 95% attendance; however, we continue to strive to improve towards our target of 96%. Our young people need to be in school to have the opportunity to learn. Please do keep the Attendance Office advised if there are genuine long-term reasons for absence. Wath is currently experiencing a three-year trend of improving attendance against a national back-drop of declining attendance.

    Following a recent survey of parents attending parents’ evenings, I am delighted to report that:

    • 95% of parents believe their child is happy at Wath
    • 98% of parents believe their child feels safe in school
    • 98% of parents believe their child is making good progress in school, and
    • 99% of parents believe that their child is taught well in school.

    Maltby Learning Trust and the Governors of the school have appointed Mr Dale Jackson to the new post of Executive Principal. This new post is intended to give additional strategic leadership to the school as we continue to strive for our students to have the opportunity for further progress. Mr Jackson has a track record of securing outstanding progress for students and will formally take up his appointment on 1 September 2019.

    As we plan ahead for the next academic year, we are looking forward to welcoming our prospective Year 7 students to Wath for 3 days between 3 & 5 July. They will get the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the school and get a flavour of the range of subjects they can look forward to in September. Similarly, our current Year 11 students who have applied to join the sixth form will be joined by external applicants for their own induction days on 27 & 28 June.

    May I offer my very best wishes to all students taking examinations. I am sure that they will reap the rewards they deserve following all their hard work. I would particularly like to thank all the staff for the tremendous amount of time and effort they have given, not only in lessons but also after school, at lunchtimes and in the holidays, in support of our students. We are very fortunate to have such a committed and dedicated group of staff; I am sure that their efforts are much appreciated by our students and yourselves.

    This half term ends at 2.45pm on Friday 24 May and students return at 8.25am on Monday 3 June. A-level examination results will be published, and available in school, on 15 August, with Year 11 examination results on 22 August.

    Yours sincerely,

    Mr J Taylor
    Headteacher