Headteacher’s blog

Headteacher’s Blog #1

Tuesday 20th March 2018

There is always so much happening in a busy secondary school and the world of education generally that it’s hard to share it all. One strategy is blogging, which is not something I’ve done before. However, this is the first in what will be a regular feature on the school website. The aim will be to give an insight into what is happening at Swanwick Hall School, a hive of activity, inspiration and general busy-ness.

Teenagers tend to say it as it is. A potent cocktail of childhood innocence mixing with the first forays into early adulthood. Out of the mouths of babes…

They can be infuriating, inappropriate or incomprehensible. But they’re more frequently inspirational and informative. I’ve had several experiences of these in the last few days.
When on duty with one of our Sixth Form lunchtime supervisors last week, I asked her what she knew now that she didn’t 24 hours ago. This led to a discussion about demands for universal suffrage in the 1600s, Chartists, the Russian Revolution and how history will judge us in 100 years.

What do you think about the idea of shortening lunchtimes next year? This was one of five questions that each tutor group had to address in their most recent ‘pitch’ to win Form of the Term. From 40 presentations I got a clear sense of students’ views of the pros and cons, issues to consider and alternative suggestions. This was invaluable, but what was equally powerful was how confident and articulate all students were across the 11-16 age range.

When I see Year 11 students around school often I ask them to ‘tell me about a success story from your recent mock exams’. This has brought an overwhelming sense of positivity about their learning, valuing revision, and confidence about how they can improve even further over the next few weeks. There are also so many stories of marks and grades going up significantly from the previous set of exams.

Teenagers. Frequently maligned by ill-informed sections of the press. Selfish, ignorant and lazy. Maybe some are, so are some adults. But don’t worry, most of them are great. The future’s bright…

 

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