Messages from the Headteachers
Wednesday 27th September 2017
Our blogs are always highly positive. It is never a challenge for us to find something good and celebratory to include in our increasingly irregular thoughts!
Unfortunately, this week, we find ourselves compelled to post a Heads’ Message to express some feelings of discontent, indeed of surprised disappointment…..
We had our first INSET afternoon of the year this Tuesday. Students went home at 12.40pm and staff worked to construct their Subject Improvement Plans and to complete the 2016/17 Performance Management cycle.
During the afternoon, however, we received 3 communications from members of the public reporting some inconsiderate or careless behaviour from members of our community.
A small number of students were seen behaving in an over-excited way in the Hart Shopping Centre and some of our younger students were reported to have displayed lack of care and attention as they crossed roads to return home.
One local resident felt the need to contact school to report inconsiderate driving by one of our parents who was en route to collect children at the end of morning school.
We are very proud of the usually exemplary conduct of our students and we talk regularly to them about the importance of considerate behaviour, both in school and within the community. Indeed, this is a fundamental expectation of The Calthorpe Way and one that is generally very well met by the vast majority of our young people.
Parents, please support us by stressing the need for care and consideration en route to and from school, whatever the time of day. We want all our students to be safe and we want them all, each and every one, to live up to, and embody through their actions, the phrase that we use so often – ‘our students are Calthorpe Park School’s best ambassadors’.
Friday 16th June 2017
School Closure for all students on the afternoon of Tuesday 20th June for Staff Training
and how staff will be spending the time
Parents will know, from our school calendar and the reminder notice that featured on our website last week, that we have an afternoon school closure for Staff Training (INSET) on Tuesday 20th June. In addition to the weekly programme of twilight (post-3pm) staff training and meetings that we operate throughout the year, we, as do all local Authority schools, have the equivalent of 5 days per year of school closure for staff training purposes.
We know that parents often wonder what the staff will be doing when we have our annual INSET sessions. Details of Tuesday’s programme are featured below, for your information.
- The day will be led by a national speaker and expert whose services we have commissioned
- We will be working on developing our curriculum and assessment practice in line with the requirements of the new national curriculum and the very significant changes that are currently taking place to our country’s GCSE exam system.
- In the morning, our Middle Leaders (mainly our Heads of Subject departments) will be using time gained during Year 11 examinations to consider wider curriculum reform and to work together to explore how the curriculum we offer at Calthorpe Park is one fit to support our continuing drive to ensure outstanding teaching and learning, excellent progress through the learning journey and the highest possible success for all students at the end of it, in GCSE examinations.
- In the afternoon, all staff will join the conference to further consider and develop strategies to translate theory into action.
- From 3pm to 5 pm, all staff will be working in their departmental teams to develop specific plans for action within their subject.
We hope that the above will provide a useful insight into how training time is used at CPS and we will be publishing our plans for our Staff Training Programme 2017/18 prior to the start of the next academic year. Look out for our programme for how we will use the first two days of the Autumn Term for staff training prior to students’ return to school on Wednesday 6th September 2017.
Friday 19th May 2017
We have had 3 bicycles taken from the bike-shed this week. Fortunately, one of the three was later found to have been ‘borrowed’ by a friend, and was returned to its owner.
Whilst we have CCTV in the vicinity of the bike-sheds this is not a fool-proof facility.
In both cases of potential theft, bikes were left unlocked by their owners. If your son/daughter wishes to leave their bicycle on site, please do encourage them to ensure that it is locked.
Mr M Amos and Ms M Hooper
Friday 5th May 2017
‘This school continues to be good’ - Ofsted, March 2017
You will be aware that Ofsted conducted an inspection of our school on 28th March 2017. We have now received the report which, because it was a single day ‘Short Inspection’, is written as a letter to us both, but is, of course, a reflection of the work of the whole school community.
We are delighted to say that we continue to be judged a good school. In light of changes to the inspection process and Ofsted’s ever-higher expectations of schools, this is a grading with which we are very pleased.
You can read the full report here but we would like, also, to draw your attention to some specific comments within it, of which we are particularly proud:
- You have a very clear vision for the school and are confident that the school will build on its strengths as it continues on its journey to outstanding.
- Together, with your senior leadership team, you have accurately, honestly and thoughtfully analysed every facet of the school’s performance. Consequently, you are knowledgeable about what needs to be done to improve the school further.
- Pupils appreciate the strong set of values and clear expectations on which your school is based. The ‘Calthorpe Way’, explained articulately and confidently by pupils, underpins the school’s work.
- You have created a very calm, purposeful and orderly school with the ‘business of learning’ at its heart, and pupils thrive as a result.
- Senior pupils spoke about ‘our staff’, reflecting both the respect in which they hold them, but also the strength of the ‘togetherness’ that they value.
- Your pupils are keen to learn, ambitious for their school, and unfailingly polite and courteous.
- Low-level disruption has been largely eradicated.
- Safeguarding: Leaders are relentless in pursuing excellence in this area and there is a clear commitment to (it) evident in the school.
- Disadvantaged students: The work being undertaken to improve outcomes for these pupils is a real strength of the school.
We are happy that Ofsted has acknowledged so many of the strengths of our school; that it has recognised a hallmark of our community to be the very strong working partnership between staff, students and parents and has highlighted the sense of pride and ‘shared ownership of their school’ that staff and students speak of.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank our excellent team of staff and governors for their tireless work and commitment; our mature, positive and articulate students who are such a wonderful advert for Calthorpe Park School and to you, our parents, for your continuing support and the many fantastic (and humbling!) comments you sent through in response to the Ofsted Questionnaire.
Melanie Hooper and Martin Amos
Monday 3rd April 2017
Old Leisure Centre - Student drop-off and pickup
Now that the new Leisure Centre has opened, the situation around students being dropped off or picked up in the old Leisure Centre car park becomes problematic. After Easter there will only be one point of entry and exit and the area will be used exclusively by School staff and some contractors.
To avoid congestion and possible accidents, we would ask that parents do not use the old Leisure Centre car park for the purpose of dropping off or collecting students.
It should also be noted that the new Leisure Centre car park has a 3 hour waiting limit with a fine imposed by a management company should this period be exceeded.
Thank you for your support and cooperation.
Mr M Amos and Ms M Hooper
Friday 17th March 2017
After many months of conjecture and behind the scenes activity, we are delighted to be able to report that the building of a new sports hall for the school’s use will commence sometime during this year. This new facility will be built on the car park that currently sits behind the Hart Leisure Centre.
Once completed and available for use, the current facility will be demolished.
During the building project the school will retain access to the sports hall in the old Hart Leisure Centre building. Details of these arrangements are still to be confirmed. Rest assured the school curriculum will not be adversely impacted.
The new Leisure Centre will open on 1 April, and after this date it will be almost impossible to use the old centre’s car park to drop off or pick up students. We would ask for your co-operation in seeking an alternative way of working.
The new building will be another exciting development and a wonderful facility for the Calthorpe community.
Tuesday 14th March 2017
Dear Parents of Year 9 students
The Department for Education has recently advised all Local Authorities of an amendment to legislation that requires them to write to parents of all Year 9 students advising them of a University Technical College (UTC) which is within travelling distance and to which they may wish to apply. Reasonable travelling distance for UTC admissions has been set at around 20 miles or an hour travelling time.
We have, therefore, been asked to make you aware of a letter from Hampshire County Council - click here for the link.
Melanie Hooper and Martin Amos
Wednesday 1st March 2017
Each year, the School goes through a process of self-evaluation as part of our constant drive to improve the quality of our students’ educational experience. Based on this process, we formulate whole-school Key Focuses for Improvement for the following year and we display them on our website. A brief overview of our Key Improvement Focuses for 2017 can be found in Information/School Improvement but are also further explained below:
Key Improvement Priority 1
All students to make the best progress of which they are capable.
We will place particular focus on ensuring that optimum progress is made by our students with Additional Needs and those who are eligible for Pupil Premium funding, as some students in these groups have progressed less rapidly in the past.
Nationally, there is a progress and achievement gap between boys and girls, as reflected in outcomes at GCSE. At CPS, this gap has been considerably closed over the past few years and, in 2016, our boys, particularly, performed exceptionally well. We are determined to ensure that this improvement is maintained and built upon in the future, so boys’ learning will also be a key focus for us in 2017.
Key Improvement Priority 2
As ever, we need to be the most accurate we can be in our assessment of students’ progress. This is crucial for two reasons:
- So that all teachers precisely and accurately identify areas for improvement in students’ work and use this knowledge to inform their teaching.
- So that information on learning and progress that is fed back to students and parents is accurate and benchmarked against realistic expectations.
As we no longer have nationally agreed NC levels to guide us, further development of our internal assessment systems and practice is a priority for us, as it is for most schools.
Key Improvement Priority 3
The attendance of most students at CPS is at least good and regular attendance is a critical ingredient of great learning. A small number of our students do not, however, attend as regularly as they need to and this impacts on their progress and well-being. Our third improvement priority is to support those students whose attendance is below target, to attend more regularly.
Key Improvement Priority 4
Diagnostic, individualised feedback supports good learning. We have done much work to improve this aspect of our practice over the past 3 years and some subjects are now outstanding in this area. Our remit in 2017 is to further develop this focus so ensuring consistently excellent practice across all subject areas.
Key Improvement Priority 5
Teaching quality at CPS has been consistently high over time, with much outstanding practice in evidence. Our expectation is that teaching and learning in every classroom, every lesson, will be of the highest quality and our improvement agenda this year will focus on:
- Increasing learning challenge
- Ensuring that enquiry, reasoning and problem solving are integral to the learning process
- Developing outstanding Year 6 to 7 curricular transition.
Key Improvement Priority 6
This priority is about further developing a ‘can do’ culture at CPS, underpinned by resilience and cementing an implicit belief that effort is the key to success, irrespective of personal attributes or starting point.
Key Improvement Priority 7
Our seventh key priority focus is on developing outstanding leadership at all levels, building leadership capacity and planning for succession across all aspects and levels of the school.
Key Improvement Priority 8
And finally, it is our moral purpose to ensure that the young people in our care are supported to thrive and that their welfare is safeguarded at all times. Consequently, our final Key Priority for 2017 is to build continuously on the processes and systems in place for safeguarding our students and for promoting their outstanding behaviour.
We hope that this brief resume of our improvement priorities for 2017 will be useful and will continue to provide, in an open and transparent way, information to support the partnership with our parents that we value so highly.
Melanie Hooper and Martin Amos
Tuesday 14th February 2017
We are aware of the ‘Calthorpe Park School Parents’ Facebook Page’ and we know that parents often use it informally to ask other parents for information when they are unsure about school policy, practice or procedure.
Please be aware that this Facebook page is not one that has any formal link with our school and we know that information that is exchanged between parents who use it can be, on occasion, not entirely accurate.
We hope that our website and our weekly communication to parents keep you fully informed. However, should you need clarification or further information, please do contact school directly, either by telephone (01252 613483), via the online form or by email; the address of all key staff is available via our website (‘Contact Us’ tab).
Many parents will be aware that we, as Heads, strive to be easily accessible to our parents and, should you have a matter that you wish to bring to our attention, we would ask that you contact us directly, via email, or via our PA, Mrs Haynes.
We were also wondering whether our parents would welcome a monthly appointment-based Head Teachers’ Clinic, operating after school, and where we would be available to discuss, face-to-face, any matters that you might wish to raise with us?
Please do let us know.
Melanie Hooper and Martin Amos