09 May Headteacher’s Message
We’ve had a busy start to the term with students enjoying various trips to exciting places. Our first ever skiing trip took place during the Easter holidays. By all accounts, the students were a great credit to the school. Many thanks to Mr Moore and…
We’ve had a busy start to the term with students enjoying various trips to exciting places. Our first ever skiing trip took place during the Easter holidays. By all accounts, the students were a great credit to the school. Many thanks to Mr Moore and all the staff and students for making it a great success. Mr Gilbert is already getting organised to run next year’s trip – look out for further information. The Year 10 Geography trip to Iceland was another successful adventure; I’ve had numerous accounts from staff and students about all the amazing experiences they had. Once again, Highbury Grove students were superb ambassadors for the school. Thanks to Ms Menary for her great organisation.
150 Year 9 students have just taken part in our annual Outward Bound week in Aberdovey, Wales. It is so important for students to experience life outside the safe familiarity of their London bubble and we continue to be committed to outdoor education for all. It’s a vital element of our curriculum. I don’t really understand why some students opt to miss out on a free, life-enhancing trip to Wales; next year we will be expecting all of our current Year 8s to take part! The Highbury Grove School Foundation is devoting the proceeds from the Auction of Promises on Thursday 12 May to supporting our Outward Bound weeks. The range of lots on offer is quite staggering and we are deeply grateful to everyone who has given so generously to support us in this way.
As explained in my recent email to parents, we now have a Head of School for each Key Stage at Highbury Grove. The diagram illustrates the structure with Ms Leila MacTavish joining us this term to complete the team.
Teaching staff have begun discussing our priorities for teaching and learning and the curriculum for the coming year. In addition to implementing all the changes to GCSEs and A levels, we will be focusing on a few key areas including those listed below. We will discuss some of this at the next Parents’ Forum.
Explicit Knowledge: An important feature of the curriculum is for students to learn specific facts about the topics they study; facts they should know off by heart. All the new GCSEs and A levels are assessed through final exams so it is very important our students learn how to memorise things, building up their bank of knowledge as well as learning how to discuss and analyse what they’ve learned. We will be doing more work to spell out exactly what students should know in each subject.
Rhetoric/Speaking: Developing lots of ways for students to gain confidence with speaking, presenting and debating.
Reading: Planning lessons so that students in the lower school read from a wide range of sources in as many lessons as possible every day.
Excellence Exhibitions: We are planning a series of units of work across the year in all subjects designed to allow students to craft, redraft and polish excellent work. These pieces of work will be published for display to parents and the school community. It’s an exciting initiative that will showcase a lot of the wonderful work our students produce; it will give all students a chance to show the progress they are making.
Finally, I would like to reinforce the message in Ms Rous’ email to parents, that we are moving towards fully cashless payments after half-term. You will all need to have a School Gateway account to pay for school meals. It means you do not have to give your children any cash. To activate your School Gateway account please visit the website: www.schoolgateway.com and click on ‘New User’. You’ll receive a text message with a PIN number. Use this PIN to login to School Gateway. We’ll notify you by text or email when new items are available for payment.