The end of this academic year is fast approaching and I just wanted to write to thank you for your ongoing support for all that we do at St. Mary’s.
This year has been a particularly positive one in so many ways and there is much to reflect on and be proud of. To have had two inspections in the same term meant that our school was under real scrutiny. We were of course delighted with the outcome of both inspections and such ‘outside’ validation of what we are doing will act as a springboard for us to hopefully go on being ‘outstanding’ for many years to come.
I was obviously here for the final term of last academic year but this is the end of my first full academic year as the Headteacher of St. Mary’s. I have tried to use my time to get to know your children as well as I possibly can and to make sure that we are doing everything possible to develop, challenge and help them to make progress.
Being in and around lessons and having those little individual conversations is the best part of the job, it has also helped me to adapt to life at St. Mary’s pretty quickly. It was a pleasure to recently show Chris Baird (Director of Children & Families in Herefordshire) and Councillor Felicity Norman around our school. They, like the various inspection teams, were very impressed with your children and with the atmosphere for learning at St. Mary’s. Following a tour with our newly appointed Head Boy & Girl, they accompanied me on a series of learning walks and they were hugely complimentary about what they saw. I have also used this year, together with my senior colleagues to monitor closely the standard and quality of teaching and learning, something which has led to us taking a close look at every department in the school.
Your children continue to flourish in many ways. Our Sports day was one such example of this, and I was struck not only by the levels of participation and healthy competition but also by how keen they were to cheer on their peers in their respective houses. My old house, Laboure, didn’t do so well this year so we are hoping for a better showing in next week’s Eisteddfod (even though I’m sure I’m supposed to be ‘neutral’!)
We are also trying a sponsored walk this year for the first time in some years. We hope it will be a positive day and that, through sponsorship, we might raise some much needed funds towards a new mini-bus, something which will benefit almost all at some point.
Year 11 have now left and nervously await their results. I would ask that you keep them in your thoughts and prayers; they worked so hard and truly deserve to do well. Year 7 have successfully completed their first year and we have also been heavily involved in the transition of the new incoming cohort. At this time of year we say goodbye to a number of colleagues who are either moving on or retiring at the end of their careers. I would like to express my thanks for all that they have done to contribute to the life of St. Mary’s but would like to specifically mention Mr Kennedy, who has committed some 36 years of his professional life to the school. He is now on the brink of retirement after contributing so much to the school. He has been both my teacher and colleague and on behalf of everyone I wish him and his family every happiness for the future.
We also look forward to welcoming new members of staff to St. Mary’s and I will write to you early in the Autumn term to introduce them.
All that remains is to wish you a relaxing and enjoyable summer break and I look forward to working with you all next academic year.