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    Message from the Headteacher

     Mr J Taylor, Headteacher
    Mr J Taylor
    Headteacher

    Dear Parent / Carer,

    As the end of the school year is almost upon us, it is an appropriate time to reflect on our achievements this year. We are, of course, proud of all of our students’ achievements and throughout the year the concerts, Movement Evening, dance shows, drama productions, sports successes, Sports Awards Evening and DofE expeditions have given us the opportunity to celebrate the wealth of talent of our students, as evidenced in the recent end of year Celebration Assemblies. In the recent Rotherham Young Musician of the Year competition, Sienna Thorpe played extremely well and Kirin Howat came 2nd. These are great achievements considering that they were competing against students up to 18 years of age.

    With regards to summer sports, we have generally had a good season, competing in Rotherham Schools and English Schools athletics events across Years 7-10. We have averaged around 60 students per event, by far the best in Rotherham. There were notable successes with us retaining the prestigious Inter- Schools competition against Wickersley, Dinnington and Maltby at the Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster and the Year 7/8 boys qualified for the regional English Schools cup and finished a creditable 3rd against mainly private schools. There were also individual successes with 38 Rotherham Championship medallists (15 golds, 10 silvers and 13 bronze). We also had 19 students selected to represent Rotherham schools at the South Yorkshire Championships: the second best in Rotherham. As a result of this, Kristie Archer (Year 10) and Billie-Jo Harris (Year 13) qualified for the English schools final.

    In rounders, the highlight was our Y7 squad finishing as runners -up in the Rotherham finals while our mixed rounders squad made it through to the regional rounds and recently played in Leicester, representing the school with credit. At cricket, all 4 teams (Years 7-10) have enjoyed success this year. We have strong numbers and a really good Wath team ethos throughout, with all teams playing with great sportsmanship and enjoying taking part. All teams have won more games than they have lost; unfortunately 3 of the teams lost in the semi-final of the Rotherham Cup to strong opponents, however, our Year 9s made it to the final by winning 3 cup games.

    In terms of individual successes - Luke Breedon (Year 7) is the South Yorkshire ball throw champion and new South Yorkshire record holder, Kristie Archer is the South Yorkshire long jump champion and qualified for the National Championships and Billie-Jo Harris also qualified for the National Athletics Championships.

    The last few weeks of term have been very busy and the recent Year 11 and Year 13 Proms are certainly among the highlights of the year. Both were a huge success, enjoyed by students and the many staff who attended.

    As always, the end of year brings some sadness as we say goodbye to staff who are leaving to take up new posts elsewhere, for promotion or relocation, and also to pursue other avenues. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them all for the positive contributions they have made to Wath Comprehensive School and wish them every success in the future. In particular, Mr Riddle and Mr Lowiss are retiring from Science, as Head of Chemistry and Head of Physics respectively, and Mr Powell is retiring as Deputy Headteacher and teacher of Economics. We very much appreciate all they have done for the school and wish them well for their future interests.

    I would also like to pay tribute to Irene Hartley MBE, who is retiring after 35 years on the Governing Body of the school, the last 32 of which she has been Chair of Governors. This amount of voluntary service is exceptional and her calm but determined eye will certainly be missed; however, I know she will remain a keen supporter of the school.

    Of course, none of the extra activities in the school could occur without a very committed group of staff. We are working very hard to implement improvement plans to ensure every student makes the maximum possible amount of progress. We have a governing body who remain absolutely committed to our students having the very best educational experience. We are already looking forward to making even further improvements in our external examination results this summer. I am very proud to be working with such a committed group of people and I am confident that the school will continue to develop and continue to enjoy success in the years to come.

    As we fast approach the summer holiday, the school is looking forward to joining the Maltby Learning Trust next academic year and continuing the exciting journey of improvement, committing to many new ways of working both inside and outside the classroom.

    Next year, we will see a change to the school day, moving to five one hour lessons to allow for deeper learning and more time for the key subjects of English and Maths. The curriculum has been extended to offer greater breadth in the core subjects and discrete sessions in Life Skills (which focuses on careers education, personal, social awareness and healthy lifestyles). Whilst the start and finish times will remain unchanged, the movement time between lessons will be reduced, maximising learning time. In addition, the structure of the school day will increase the form time at the start of the day, helping to improve students’ readiness for learning.

    Over the final week of the year, your child will attend an assembly to support them to understand some changes that will be made to our behaviour system and the school’s ‘Standards for Success’. We have spent a significant amount of time reviewing other schools locally and nationally, and how they have addressed behaviour and standards. We believe that, by making small changes to our existing systems for September, we are best placed to support our students to be successful learners.

    Outlined below are the key changes that have been made to our ‘Standards for Success’ from September:

    1. We are committed to recognising students who go ‘above and beyond’ in terms of their learning, through a process of positive recognition. Students will be awarded E-praise points for going ‘above and beyond’ in lessons and around the school. In addition, we will communicate with parents on a regular basis when we believe students deserve recognition.
    2. We are committed to reviewing our existing rewards programme with students from September to ensure it is fit for purpose and acts as a motivator for effective learning. As such, student voice panels will be set up when we return in September to explore potential developments in this area.
    3. From September, we will be using a reviewed consequence system (please see the revised behaviour policy on the school website). Students who continue to fail to meet expectations during lesson time will be removed from the lesson and receive an appropriate sanction.
    4. It is our expectation that all students will come to school each day fully prepared for learning: this will include having all the correct equipment with them, including their school planner.
    5. We have reviewed our uniform policy and, whilst this remains unchanged, we have been very specific in our descriptions to ensure parents are supported to make the correct purchases over the summer period. We appreciate how stressful this can be and want to ensure that students begin next year with the correct uniform and footwear (black leather shoes not trainers). Additionally, we have worked with students to remind them of how we expect the school uniform to be worn (please see the school website for full details).
    6. The introduction of a ‘Conduct Card’ in September will give the opportunity for students to be rewarded for positive behaviour outside of the classroom. It will also record instances of negative behaviour. Where students choose not to comply with our expectations, they will be issued with a detention for the following afternoon for 30 minutes.

    In order to support students and parents with the changes to our Behaviour Policy next academic year, we have put several things in place:

    1. Students will have the new ‘Standards for Success’ shared with them in an assembly prior to the summer holiday.
    2. Our website will detail the full ‘Standards for Success’ and uniform guidance for parents to access.
    3. Students will revisit the ‘Standards for Success’ in assemblies in September and then across the course of the next academic year.
    4. Students will be supported via their form learning time and form tutor to ensure they are fully compliant with the ‘Standards for Success’ at the start of each day and are able to focus on their learning.

    Thank you in anticipation of your support in relation to these improvements. We believe that by making these changes we can support teachers and students to engage in conversations that focus upon learning and progress, and not compliance with standards, that in most schools and work places are basic expectations.

    Work has finally begun on a classroom extension to the main school building, beyond the existing Design Technology area. This is due for completion in January 2019. On 20th July, work will begin around the main school car park and main vehicular entrance from Sandygate. As a result of this work, access to the school will be via the bus turning circle during the summer holiday.

    As we approach the summer holiday, please note our end of term arrangements and some other key dates and information for the next academic year.

    End of Term Arrangements (Thursday 19th July 2018)

    The school will close on Thursday 19th July at 12.20pm and packed lunches will be available from Le Rendezvous for students who are entitled to a free lunch. Please note that these must be pre-ordered.

    The following Marsland Travel buses will depart from school at 12.30pm:

    • 647 Bolton and Thurnscoe
    • 648 Wentworth and Harley
    • 649 Wombwell

    First Day Arrangements (Tuesday 4th September 2018)

    The school will open to new Year 7 students on Tuesday 4th September at 8.20am. All Year 7 students will meet in the same area as they did when they arrived for their induction days - the playground at the back of the school, located between the dining area and youth centre.

    Students in Year 12 should arrive at school for 8.30am.

    Students in Years 8-11 & Year 13 should arrive at 9.50am and go to their tutor bases. We would ask that you ensure that your son/daughter does not arrive on site before 9.45am.

    Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support of the school as we work together to ensure the best education for all our children and young people both now and in the future.

    Yours sincerely,

    Mr J Taylor
    Headteacher