☰ Mr Jowett's Blog

Mr Jowett's Blog

Posted on: February 3rd 2017

This week’s blog marks the middle of my first year as Head at Norfolk House. I feel it is a fitting time reflect on how far we have come and to look ahead to the future. The school vision I shared at the beginning of the year was centred around the broad concept of success and our role in providing opportunities for the children in order to succeed. Our school development plan is focussed on three key areas: Core Values, Parent Partnership and Providing the Best for the children. Following the launch of the Core Values in September we have had really positive feedback from children, staff and parents regarding the impact they are having across the curriculum, visible in learning and discussion, and permeating the wider school community. In light of feedback from the parent Focus Groups we are reviewing our school behaviour policy to include the Core Values and develop greater year-to-year consistency for rewards and sanctions.

The development of the sports programme to include regular swimming at a new venue with excellent coaches has really supported the children’s development in this essential life skill; a number of the Form 6 pupils achieved their half mile badge! The introduction of girls’ football into PE lessons has been an important development and we will continue to review and improve the sports and clubs programme as part of our School Development Plan over the next three years. The staff are currently reviewing the format of the school Sports Day in order to keep the children as active as possible and allow the parents to get closer to the action.

Pre Prep specific clubs, including cooking, Forest School and football, were offered for the first time in January at Princes Avenue and we hope that even more children will take up this opportunity in the summer term. The new club sign-up system is much more efficient and helped ensure that everyone’s choices were collated in one place. The removal of a first-come, first-served approach has made the selection process more transparent and supported busy parents in having fair access to after school clubs. We will continue to improve this system as we enter the summer club sign-up period.

Our new weekly bulletin to keep parents apprised of upcoming events and to coordinate school communication has been well received and is supporting parents in locating the appropriate information and letters in addition to reducing the volume of requests coming to the school office. We believe clear communication of pupils’ progress, attainment and potential to parents is vital and this year, for the first time, we released CAT 4 results to all parents with children in Forms 4 to 6. In the summer term our new report system will be launched and will give parents a clearer understanding of how their children are progressing and their next steps.

The Carols by Churchlight clearly demonstrated the impact that Mrs. Regan has had since joining Norfolk House as our Head of Music. The quality of the performance and the sheer volume of children performing was staggering (50% of the pupils from Forms 2 - 6). Her commitment and expertise continue to catalyse interest and enjoyment in music and we look forward to the upcoming House Music Competition and the Junior Prep Concert.

These are just few of the developments so far this year. We always keep what’s best for the children at the heart of any decision or initiative. Parent feedback has been incredibly helpful in moving forward and identifying ways in which we could do things better. With this in mind we continue to welcome your ideas, solutions and comments regarding our school and the service we provide. We hope to continue to build trust as the foundation of our school community and to reassure you in the words of Mr. Ashton “We are all in this together”. I feel both proud and privileged to be leading Norfolk House and look forward to the second half of this academic year and the changes and challenges it will bring.

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