Thank you to everyone for participating in Pastoral Review Day appointments last week and I hope you found them helpful. We have spent time reviewing the process and feel it went really well. If you have any feedback to further improve the systems, please let us know. Thank you in particular to Mr Nicholls for coordinating the event.
I thought it was the right time to keep you informed of progress on our school improvement plan objectives for this year. We have stripped back the number of key objectives to just eight – and feel that if we can make progress on each of these the school will be even better than it currently is. We will give you and update on each one over the next eight weeks. The first objective to mention is our plan to "Ensure that all students confidently engage in disciplinary reading with fluency and comprehension." We are committed to ensuring all students at Sandringham are confident readers so that they can access the curriculum successfully and that they enjoy reading for pleasure. To support our youngest readers, we have introduced a new phonics intervention for some our new Year 7s and, in addition, our Year 12/7 reading buddy programme is in full swing supporting a larger number of students with their reading. In faculties, teachers have been focusing on a range of subject specific disciplinary reading strategies - from structured approaches to support students’ wider reading and pre-reading outside of the classroom to in-class approaches including focusing on key vocabulary, effective annotations, class-reading strategies and different approaches to reading comprehension.
Last week, I heard from two of our ex-students, Emma Fullerton-Frost and Madeleine Irish. Emma is working for Mind in Mid Herts, the local Mind charity, as a Fundraising and Communications Officer and would like encourage families to participate in the family friendly fun run taking place on Sunday 4th December in Clarence Park. See more on this in Community News. Madeleine is a trainee clinical psychologist at the University of Oxford, currently conducting a research study looking into the self-blame and trauma symptoms in parents of young people with anorexia nervosa. She is hoping that some of our families might be interested in taking part in their research study – again, more on this under Alumni News. It is so nice to hear from our old students.
Now that we are in December, four of our Sixth Form students decorated the Christmas Tree in main reception. We also have other outside trees and plenty of Christmas lights to brighten the school. Remember, this Saturday (11am-3pm) is our Christmas Fair. More on this, and how to buy raffle tickets under Fo$S News and in the brochure attached. A lot of effort has gone in to this so please come along to support the students and help Fo$S to raise further funds for the school. There will be plenty of food and drinks, together with the usual craft stalls and student led activities. I look forwards to seeing you there.
Finally, next Friday is Christmas Jumper day. Students still need to wear school uniform but can choose to wear a festive jumper under their blazer or accessorise their uniform with something festive. Donations to Save the Children can be made via ParentPay. We raised over £2,300 for Children In Need so I look forward to seeing what we can raise and seeing plenty of festive outfits next week.
Mr A Gray