Dear Parents,

As we arrive at the end of my first half term as principal I have inevitably reflected on the last 8 weeks, and what I have learnt. I feel I have gained an enormous amount of insight into the school, its strengths and weaknesses, and I am extremely grateful to the many families who have given me their time, along with their candid opinions and ideas.

I hope you have been able to get a sense of me and an understanding beyond the silly google headlines! I have one priority: to make this the best school on the island, a centre of excellent education and outstanding teaching for your children. Of course, behind that broad aim lie many strands and layers. I have spent a lot of time this term getting to know staff, getting to know the children, getting under the skin of the school. We have made some small changes but my focus has been on establishing myself as a determined leader, who listens and reflects, who leads with integrity and transparency, and who puts children - your children - first, always.

Next term my focus will be on the curriculum, ensuring we have the best and most appropriate one across the school, one that maximises learning and ensures a broad and balanced educational experience. We will continue to put high quality teaching and learning at the heart of our ongoing improvement, ensuring a consistent approach, setting sky high expectations and standards, exploring best practice. I will be finding the best way to ensure that you are fully aware of what your child is studying each term, in straightforward and easy to understand language (which will also help you to support them at home). We are looking at the length of lessons, on what is taught and when, on "stage not age" teaching (in particular in the primary school and for our students for whom English is an additional language) and, as you know, on the teaching of languages - which ones? how frequently? how? I will also be providing clarity on homework, on what our expectations are and ensuring consistency. We are going to be embedding the House system and have in place an exciting rewards structure across the school. And away from the classroom, but still an important aspect of school, we are looking at the canteen and the lunches we provide, with some exciting plans to radically improve the eating experience for our children.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my first half term here, but the undoubted highlight has been getting to know the children, talking with them, being in their classrooms, and my one-to-one meetings with Year 11 (and when I have met each of them I will be doing the same with every Year 6 student). They have impressed me with their politeness, their friendliness, their ideas and their talent. They have reminded me every day why I love this job and what a privilege and responsibility it is.

I wish you all a safe and happy half term break.

Kind regards,

Alison Colwell


BIC, Sa Porrassa