Head of School Blog - September 2018
January 7th 2019
I would like to start by wishing all members of the Farnborough community, parents, governors and the wider community a very happy and healthy new year. Now the festivities of the season are over and the new school term has begun our attention turns to ensuring that all pupils continue to be given every opportunity to shine brightly and achieve their full potential.
In the build up to Christmas you will have seen through our social media channels that a number of pupils showcased their talents and community spirit by visiting a number of local sites and residential homes to sing carols and also put on a fantastic showcase performance in the academy on December 19th. A number of these pupils will also have the opportunity to entertain you in February when we debut our musical for this year, 'We Will Rock You!'
Whilst pupils don't return to the academy until Tuesday January 8th, the staff will be hard at work on January 7th. the focus of our INSET day is to continue to develop teaching and learning within the academy. One of the reasons I enjoy my job so much is that you have never finished learning as a teacher. there are always new ideas and new ways of delivering engaging and motivational lessons to pupils that you can learn, no matter how long you have been teaching for. The staff always enjoy these sessions as it enables them to discuss and try new strategies and activities in order to make any necessary tweaks before they are used with pupils. It is important that we as teachers have these continuous learning opportunities as part of our role as without them the education system would not move forwards.
As we are in January and it is traditional to think about resolutions I have made several that link to my role at Farnborough. The pupil voice I completed before the holidays suggests that they would agree that I am a man of my word and that when I make promises to them about their academy I ensure they are delivered, therefore, I am confident that this will be the case for my resolutions.
In order to spread the word about the amazing work that happens at the academy I have entered the 21st century with a twitter account and will be aiming to tweet out about the internal work of the academy at least 3 times a week, for those of you on twitter follow me @ and the academy @
I will be updating my blog on the website on a much more regular basis (fortnightly) in order to keep you abreast of all of the work we are doing and inform you of any important upcoming dates.
Finally, I will continue to work hard to bring the community and the academy together in order to work as one to support the young people of Clifton both inside and outside of school so that they can continue to shine brightly and be as successful as possible.
October 7th 2018
In the two weeks since I updated my blog there have been lots of activities happening around the academy. The pupils are getting into the swing of the academic year and they are settling well into their learning. Year 11 are beginning to prepare for their mock exams which are in a few short weeks and these will be an important milestone in their journey towards their final exams.
Over the past two weeks the academy held its annual careers fair for years 9-11 and this was fantastically well attended and has shown pupils exactly what they need to achieve at school in order to fulfil their aspirations. We have taken a group of pupils to Dovecote Primary School to support with their English festival. This visit was really well recieved by the Farnborough pupils, the primary school teachers and the year 6 pupils they worked with. We have also launched our annual opportunity for year 10 pupils to work with local large companies in order to find out more about the world of work. Two years ago this initiative involved just 10 pupils and one company (East Midlands Airport), this year 70 year 10 pupils will be able to participate across 7 different local companies, this is a unique experience that only pupils of Farnborough benefit from and we are always looking for more partners to work with.
My favourite activity over the past two weeks though has to be the opportunity I had on Wednesday when I was able to meet with over 500 Farnborough students, all with one thing in common. All of the students I met with were students who do the right thing, day in, day out without making a fuss and as such had recieved only positive achievement points via the school reward system. It was wonderful to be able to say well done to this outstanding group of young people and to talk to them about how their hard work, positive attitude and commitment to school will benefit them in the future.
Looking forwards this week we are once again opening our doors on Wednesday October 10th from 6-7pm for our second open evening. This gives parents and pupils who couldn't make our first event an opportunity to visit us before making your secondary school application for 2018/19. We look forwards to welcoming prospective pupils and their families to this event.
September 23rd 2018
This week the academy welcomed year 11 pupils back from a week of work experience. They were full of interesting stories about what they had learnt and were motivated to achieve what they needed to in order to gain employment in the future. A record number of students participated in this experience and all students completed the full week with impeccable standards of behaviour and commitment. A number even received offers of apprenticeships in the future (exam result dependent of course!). Well done to you all.
I had the delight of meeting with a number of parents on Tuesday night at the parent forum event. It was great to see such a large number of parents join us. It was clear to me that they are as passionate as I am about ensuring the academy provides the highest quality of education for the young people of this community now and into the future. We discussed a range of topics such as the plans the academy has to continue to develop and move forwards as we move into the new trust, the key messages we have given pupils and communication. If you would like to get involved with the next event look out on social media for more details after half term.
On Wednesday we were delighted to be able to welcome a large number of visitors to our year 6 open evening. It was great to meet with potential future pupils and their parents. Current pupils and staff used the opportunity to showcase the very best of Farnborough and all were a credit. The atmosphere around the academy was excellent with the year 6 pupils taking the opportunity to try out some of the exciting activities they would undertake as a Farnborough pupil. If anyone who did or didn't manage to attend this event would like the opportunity to visit the academy again or has any further questions then please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Whilst Friday was an INSET day for pupils, staff were at work undertaking further training in order to ensure that we continue to develop as an academy. Staff were engaging in work around positive behaviour management so that we can continue to effectively instil our core values into the pupils we teach and reflect them in our activities and interactions. In addition I also had the pleasure of meeting with Lilian Greenwood MP. Lilian and I discussed the support she can give to the academy and the opportunities she can support with in terms of the holistic development of our students. It was a productive meeting and I am sure that there will be great opportunities for our pupils in the future as this positive relationship between Lilian and the school continues to flourish.
September 12th 2018
I would like to thank all parents, students and staff for the support they have shown me during my first full week as head teacher at Farnborough and for their commitment to starting off this academic year in an outstanding manner.