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    Message from the Headteacher

     Mr J Taylor, Headteacher
    Mr J Taylor
    Headteacher

    Dear Parent / Carer,

    I am delighted to be able to advise you of another strong set of external examination results from last summer. We finished top in every measure across the Local Authority (LA) in our Year 13 results. 22% of A-levels were graded A*–A, 53% A*–B and 83% A*–C. Our A-level Average Points Score per entry was our highest ever. Our applied subjects enjoyed similar success with 85% graded D*-–D and 99% D*–M. These are very impressive Year 13 results, which allowed the vast majority of students to access their chosen courses at universities across the country. We are very much looking forward to hearing how they are settling into university life when they return to school for the Year 13 Presentation Evening at the end of term.

    At GCSE level, we were particularly pleased with the increased proportion of our students obtaining at least grade 5, the government’s new ‘strong’ pass standard. In the major attainment measure of grade 5+ in English and Maths, we improved by 7%, to give a figure of 47% against an LA average of 38%, and finishing second in the LA. We were also second in the LA for grade 5+ in two or more Science subjects, again with 47% against an LA average of 38%. We have a very good track record of providing opportunities for students to go on to access sixth form, apprenticeships or college.

    My heartfelt congratulations go to all the students and staff – a well-deserved reward for all the hard work that went in to achieving those results. However we are not complacent and we will be working very hard so that our students enjoy continued success. Across our school community, we continue to focus on raising academic standards and opportunities, remaining fully committed to our aim of ensuring that all of our students receive a high quality educational experience and can leave us able, active and qualified. The target date for academisation has been pushed back again by the DfE – this time to 1 December 2018 – however we are already working very closely with executive leaders from across Maltby Learning Trust, our sponsoring trust, to ensure continued success.

    We currently have 313 students in Year 7, our highest ever figure starting with us in Year 7. The school’s new extension is due to be completed during this academic year, which will then provide the additional capacity for our target of 330 students in Year 7 in September 2019. In order to give as many parents as possible the opportunity to experience life at Wath Comprehensive School, we hosted a Year 6 Open Evening on 11 October and had almost 600 visitors to the school. This was then followed-up with the opportunity for parents to join us for a guided tour during the working day. The feedback has been very pleasing.

    Once again our new students have settled in quickly, adjusting to life and routines. In order to gain the maximum benefit from the extensive opportunities available, we encourage as many students as possible to get involved in extra-curricular opportunities and, especially, try something they haven’t done before. Year 7 seem to be really stepping up to this challenge. Year 7 parents have had the opportunity in this first half term to come into school, meet the Form Tutor and hear feedback as to how students have been settling in. We also welcomed a large number of new students, from other local secondary schools, into Year 12 and hope that they also embrace the opportunities on offer. It is always particularly pleasing when the attraction of the sixth form brings new students from across local authority boundaries, such as from Barnsley and Doncaster. In addition, I also offer our new staff a warm welcome and very best wishes for a successful and enjoyable career with us.

    It is a particularly busy time for Year 11, given that their external exams begin shortly after the Easter holiday. Parents and students were invited to a Revision Festival on 4 October and the Y11 Students’ & Parents’ Consultation Evening with subject teachers is scheduled for 6 November. The Y11 Preliminary Exams then  commence on 26 November – these are vital internal preparatory exams for the later external ones. Students in Years 10 to 13 will have their first measures of academic progress formally recorded before the end of this half term.

    As I write I am looking forward to the Performing Arts faculty hosting a Murder Mystery Evening in the final week of the half term, this year with a Halloween theme. I am also delighted to report about the very large number of our students from the school involved in the National Citizen Service programme last academic year – the highest number from any Rotherham secondary school. The programme of activities are a real opportunity for building independence, confidence and to work with others from different communities. I must also congratulate the team of Spanish students who recently won first prize in a completion for language students across South Yorkshire, hosted by Sheffield Hallam University.

    Some important forthcoming dates:

    • 26 October: INSET day: school closed to students
    • 29 October: Half-term break begins
    • 5 November: Second half term begins (for students and staff)
    • 6 November: Y11 Student & Parent Consultation Evening with subject teachers
    • 15 November : Y11 Presentation Evening (for last year’s Year 11 students)
    • 20 November: Y13 Student & Parent Consultation Evening with subject teachers.

    Yours sincerely,

    Mr J Taylor
    Headteacher