A very warm welcome to our 11-18 school and our amazing and talented pupils. Heathcote School and Science College has a clear vision and values statement which makes it clear what we stand for:
- We encourage our pupils to take pride in their learning and community – to work hard, pursue continual improvement and achieve to the best of their abilities. Pupils seek and embrace feedback and show tolerance and mutual respect to each other.
- We challenge our pupils to take responsibility for their learning, to be resilient to failure and to self-regulate their behaviour. All our staff and governors are determined that all pupils confidently strive for success and expect them to be present and punctual.
- We succeed when all pupils reach their academic potential and are thoughtful, caring and honest citizens; leaving Heathcote fully prepared for the next stage of their life – whether that be in education, training or employment. We succeed by letting them do so in a comfortable and safe environment where they take a proactive role and develop socially.
I have an excellent team of Senior and Middle Leaders, as well as Governors – many of whom are new in post - who are committed to driving school improvement to ensure Heathcote provides you and your children with the best education both academically as well as spiritually, socially, culturally and morally. This will ensure that all pupils can become the best they can be and doors will be opened to them in the pathways they wish to follow after school. In addition, my team of teachers and support staff are absolutely determined to provide the very best learning and teaching experiences they can ensuring lessons are typically challenging and inspiring. From the 2017-2020 School Improvement Plan, we have chosen six key objectives for this year to ensure we are focusing on the things that really matter. All levels of school improvement work this year will be based around these six objectives:
- Through a new Behaviour Policy and consistent approach, pupils develop respect for learning, self and others which leads to a positive learning environment and improves pupils’ conduct and leadership in the school and local community.
- Pupils and their families take responsibility for school attendance leading to attendance levels above the national average for all groups of pupils.
- Through bespoke CPD, the school ethos and a broad and balanced curriculum, teachers invest in ensuring lessons are typically at least secure resulting in challenging and inspiring lessons that improve progress for all.
- The school has a positive ethos backed up by clear systems and safeguarding which leads to a happy, ambitious and stable staff group which leads to a reduction in absence and reduced sickness.
- Leadership, including governance, is clearly focused on ensuring the right curriculum, progress and outcomes for all groups of learners which are in line with, or above, national average.
- The financial deficit is reduced in line with robust targets by ensuring the best deployment of physical and human resources.
The progress of our pupils at GCSE level has increased significantly over the last year and we are hugely proud of the impact of our new Behaviour and Learning and Teaching Policies, as well as some of the more practical things like our uniform changes, new canteen and PE Kit. We are particularly looking at stretch for pupils and the 2017-18 GCSE results also showed that higher ability pupils are making better progress. In addition, we are really looking this year at opportunities we can provide for pupils outside school, looking for example at increasing work experience opportunities at prestigious companies, as well as providing more opportunities to visit universities. In addition we are considering the role the Sixth Form can play in supporting and motivating pupils lower down the school. We hope to work more closely with the local community building exemplary harmonious relationships between the school and local people with our pupils being ambassadors in the borough. Pupils and parents regularly give us feedback about the positive changes in school and we constantly reflect on these changes to ensure that we adapt if we need to; ultimately to ensure that policies and procedures are absolutely right for our pupils and the school community. This will ensure the very best outcomes as well as ensuing our pupils are happy and safe.
As you are probably aware, we recently had a 2 day Ofsted Inspection and were delighted to receive good judgements in all areas. Pupils were extremely open and engaging with the Inspectors and clearly very proud of their school.
Our curriculum remains broad and balanced with the practical subjects like Drama, Music, Art and DT remaining an important part of the curriculum. In addition we are ensuring that pupils have opportunities to take at least one more GCSE - with a focus on the E Bacc - enabling them to aspire to greater things. In short, the curriculum has both romance and rigour.
We are looking to build stronger links with parents and carers this year to ensure that you too can be part of the school community and support us as we go from strength to strength. We have a number of Open Events for those of you with children in the later years of primary school, but please feel free to contact me to arrange a visit at any time. We are so proud of our school and would love you to be part of our journey.
Please follow us on Twitter on @Heathcotee4 and Facebook on https://www.facebook.com/Heathcotee4 . aim over this term to make the website as exciting and engaging as it can be as well as providing all the information you need.
Ms E. Hillman