I would like to welcome you back to another academic year at Osborne and also to welcome all the parents of new pupils starting this year. I know many of you will be thinking where has the time gone; my young person is growing up so quickly, either moving to the next year group or starting secondary school. To reassure you, I am confident that they will all settle very quickly and will fully embrace all that Osborne has on offer.
As a school I am sure this year will be as successful as the last. We are expecting our second visit from Ofsted at some point this academic year. I was very pleased with the results this summer for our KS4/5 pupils and delighted that some of our pupils gained some GCSEs. I am sure you would like to join me in congratulating them on their hard work. We also received good news this holiday in that Rubiks Cube, our school choir, has earned a place, for the second time, at the Music for Youth Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in November, so well done to all of them. They recently played the Manchester Symphony Hall (photos below).
We have a number of new developments taking place this year, the most innovative being the opening of our new provision at Kings’ School for some of our year 10 and 11 pupils. Everyone is very keen to see this develop and I will keep you up-dated with the progress.
We are also starting to use a new assessment system which will allow us to give you more detail about your child’s progress over the year. We will be trialling it during the Autumn Term and if successful it will result in the annual reports at the end of the year looking very different to those that you have had previously.
We are introducing well–being dogs into the school and their names are Bessie, Bridget and Bailey. They will take it in turns to come to school and will be introduced to children in a very controlled and calm way. This allows both the dogs and the pupils to become familiar with each other. We have done extensive research into the use of dogs in school and it is evident that it allows pupils to remain calm in difficult situations, show respect and learn how to care for living things. I do hope you will agree this is a good step forward and I am sure you will have an opportunity to meet them when you visit the school. To reassure you we are very aware of the pupils who dislike dogs and we will ensure that pupils will only see the dogs if they wish to do so.
We are reintroducing the house point system to allow pupils to earn tokens within lessons, lunch and break times, which are linked to the whole school values. This will hopefully ensure pupils fully understand, and work towards, the whole school values and are rewarded for hard work in all areas of the curriculum.
Whilst I don’t want to cast doom and gloom at the very start of the year, the financial situation remains the same as any other school in the country. The government has recently announced a cash injection into schools but at the time of writing this letter we are unsure what this looks like for us as an individual school. I, along with other headteachers, are continuing to campaign through the Worthless campaign to try and resolve the problem. In the meantime, if you would be so kind as to ensure that your young person comes to school with all the appropriate equipment such as pens, pencils, etc, it really does help. Could I also please ask that all trips, dinner money and any other purchases are paid promptly so that the cash flow in school runs smoothly.
Now enough of that, please can I remind you all that if you have any questions, concerns or queries please do not hesitate in contacting the school and someone will always try to help in the quickest time possible. We have an open door policy at Osborne and you are welcome at any time; we want to ensure that you and your young people are happy, enjoying their secondary school experience and progressing with their education. With that in mind, could I also remind you that requests for holidays during term time can only be agreed in very exceptional circumstances.
We do have a vacancy for a parent governor; if anyone is interested please see the attached letter. You can volunteer to be part of the Friends of Osborne School committee (Parent Teacher Association) and we do also encourage parents/grandparents to volunteer in the school in any capacity. Please just email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested and want to find out more.
That just leaves me to say once again welcome back and I hope that we all have a successful year.
Sonia White, Osborne School Headteacher