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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 classes will continue to run throughout this period.  The A-levels for Year 13 students begin immediately after the half term break, with examinations then running through until the end of June. Year 13 will begin their Study Leave on Friday 25 May. Year 9 have already had examinations in the Main Hall for Maths and English, and the Year 10 End of Year Exams are in the week beginning Monday 25 June.

    Just before the examinations started, Year 11 students had a final opportunity to meet together in a celebration assembly. This was a very special occasion where staff and students could share memories and highlights from their years together at Wath. Many students received certificates and awards in recognition of such as outstanding attendance, motivation and achievement.  The presentations were interspersed with entertainment items, which included singing and instrumental performances – what a wealth of talent we have! Thank you to the students who contributed so willingly to this. It is no mean feat to stand up in front of the rest of (the 300 students in) your year group and perform. The whole staff involvement in a final, pre-filmed, event left a great deal to be desired in terms of the quality of staff singing and dancing! This lovely occasion ended with refreshments and an opportunity for photographs to be taken and memory books to be signed.

    I would like to take this opportunity to say a particular thank you to the contribution Year 11 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 music, drama and dance but, in terms of recent sporting achievements, the girls got through to the Rotherham schools finals in netball and the Year 11 boys contributed significantly to the 2nd XI football team that won the Rotherham schools’ final, on ‘sudden-death’ penalties, against Wickersley.

    We were pleased with the outcome of the Ofsted no-notice, one day, inspection on 9 March 2018. The letter from Ofsted, published on 27 March, is  available on the school website and recognises the progress the school is making. The last time I wrote, we were due to academise on 1 June. Please be aware that we have since been advised by the Department for Education that the planned date for conversion is now 1 August. Nevertheless, we are already continuing to plan for further improvement, working closely with our sponsor trust, Maltby Learning Trust, and its executive leaders. At the point of conversion, the school will become known as Wath Academy; however, there will be no change to the school uniform, either in Years 7-11 or in the sixth form.

    From September, there will be 5 hour-long lessons per day rather than 6 fifty minute periods. There will be two lessons before mid-morning break, one after, and then two following lunch. This will bring the school in line with other secondary schools within the Trust but also reduce the amount of time students are out of lessons, on corridors, and increase the amount of learning time. The timings for the start and finish of the school day, from September, will remain the same. We will add 5 minutes to the morning tutor period to enhance students’ preparation for learning for the rest of the school day, and that 5 minutes will be removed from the end of the existing lunch break. We will modify our dinner arrangements to ensure every student has the opportunity of eating their lunch before the start of the afternoon session. We are adding some further fencing around the school site to enhance security and safeguarding of students. Could I please respectfully remind parents to not bring their own cars onto the school site at the start and end of the school day as we do not have the space, and the vehicular entrance can get very busy, putting both drivers and pedestrians at risk.

    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 25 & 27 June. 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 28 & 29 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 25 May and students return on Monday 4 June. A-level examination results will be published, and available in school, on 16 August, and Y11 examination results on 23 August.

    Yours sincerely,

    Mr J Taylor
    Headteacher