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Headteacher's Update - 17 July 2020

07-09-2020

Coronavirus - 17 July 2020 

Dear Grey Court Community,

As we come to the end of an academic year like none before, we should be genuinely proud of what we have achieved.  The support we have received from all stakeholders, the emails, the messages written on the pavement, the friendly waves and well wishes in the local area have all been instrumental in maintaining our stamina and the subsequent quality of our educational provision.  On Wednesday, I wrote to all parents outlining the general principles and changes that will come into effect from September.  For those who have not yet read this, click here.  Please pay particular attention to the year group specific changes i.e. the timings for the school day and the dates for returning to school.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank our team of committed governors who have been available on a weekly basis during the imposed shutdown.  They are our critical friends and always gauge the correct balance between support and challenge.  

I am very pleased to announce that we have committed to several capital projects that will be taking place during the summer break.  We will be adding an additional languages classroom, revamping and reconfiguring the library, redesigning and adding capacity to our Food Technology suite and finally replacing three very dilapidated sets of toilets with brand new ones. The students who will return in September deserve an outstanding environment and these refurbishments will certainly enhance their everyday experience.  These projects would not have been possible without the parental contributions that have been generously donated to the school along with the creativity and diligence of our site team who organised the scope of works during the lockdown.

I am pleased to announce that we have built a partnership with a local charity who will be providing summer camps at Grey Court during the break.  For parents who may be interested please follow the link to the flyer which provides fuller details.

It is with sadness that we say goodbye to some members of staff as they leave to join other schools or to explore other occupational pathways.  I would personally like to thank Tracy McCormack who has been dutifully managing student attendance.  She has been a key member of the associate staff for over a decade and we wish her a long and healthy retirement.  Another member of staff leaving is Linda Andrews who has been a learning support assistant for over 10 years.  I know the students will miss her kindness and compassion.  Like Tracy, we hope Linda enjoys a well deserved rest and benefits from more time with her family. 

As you will know, our Deputy Headteacher, Ms Jackson, will be leaving to take up the role of Headteacher at Hollyfield school.  Her contribution to Grey Court cannot be overstated.  From transforming the Science department, to leading on Learning and Teaching, becoming a lead Inspector and our Ofsted guru, her verve, enthusiasm, and commitment to the school has been unwavering.  Amy was always destined to become a headteacher and Hollyfield is lucky to have her.  However, with her still within the trust, we will be able to use her experience and expertise whenever necessary and will remain in close contact.  We wish her every success in her new role and will also be there to help and support when needed.

The vacant Deputy Headteacher position has been filled by Richard Clements who will bring his skills and emotional intelligence across to the lower school. The new Head of Sixth Form position will be undertaken by Jane Higham who has played such a key role in establishing our flourishing and over subscribed sixth form over the past four years.  We are truly lucky to have such a depth of talent within the teaching body, and although Amy will most certainly be missed, I am confident that her successors have in abundance the key skills and competencies needed to drive our school forward.  Congratulations to them both.

All year 10 students and parents have been issued with the revision booklet for the exams that they will be sitting on the week beginning 14th September.  As previously stated, we do expect students to have a restful and relaxing summer and only return to their studies towards the end of the long break.  It is, however, vital that they prepare thoroughly for these exams.  Interventions and booster sessions will be launched following the results of these assessments so it is of paramount importance that the students do their best as this will enable us to accurately identify areas for development and intervene accordingly.

I hope you take the time to read this final eBulletin which contains its usual plethora of information on student achievement.  This edition truly encapsulates what makes our school and our community so special.  I wish you all a happy and healthy summer break.  Please keep our young people's behaviour socially responsible and above all, safe.

Take care.

Yours faithfully 


Chris Rhodes
Headteacher 

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