Headteacherâs Letter September 201715th September 2017
Welcome back to our new term and I hope you had an enjoyable summer.
I am pleased to say we have a number of new permanent staff started with us this September, and some interim appointments, including Ms Jemma Clarke who is our Director of Student Services (Deputy Headteacher). You will have opportunities to meet the team over the course of this term. An updated staff list is available on the website.
Top grades (A*-B) this year have increased significantly by over 10% to 49%, ensuring that more of our students than ever are able to go to the university of their choice. This coupled with outstanding vocational results which has seen 94% of entries at Distinction or Distinction* grades means that The John Roan Sixth Form has indeed proved that it is an excellent Post 16 Centre in Greenwich for pupils of all backgrounds to make great progress and achieve their best.
We are also very pleased with the performance of our Year 11 students. The results show an improvement on last year with students achieving 49% (9-4) including English and Maths
Despite the changes to the grading system in English and Maths a number of students achieved the highest grades, now a Grade 9 – and beyond an A*.
I am pleased to enclose your child’s report and a booklet explaining target setting and data which I hope you will find helpful.
Code of Conduct (PRIDE)
I am also enclosing a copy of our Code of Conduct which is based on PRIDE – Proud, Respectful, Involved, Determined, Excellent, and which is being introduced to the students in assemblies and tutor time.
The term has started well and external visitors have been impressed with the ‘calm and purposeful atmosphere’.
This year we have arranged classes so that Y7 and Y8 are taught in mixed ability tutor groups and Y9-11 are taught in sets (or in option groups). The Y7 and Y8 students who need to catch up with English or Maths skills will receive additional small group teaching to ensure that they are ready for Y9. All students should be stretched in their lessons and we are planning extension opportunities for the most able in English and Maths.
In previous years, there were ‘top sets’ only for some subjects in Y7 and Y8, but no other setting. This means that students in a class, other than the top set, were in a mixed ability group in Y7 or Y8. We have decided to focus on setting more fully in years 9 – 11, once all students have had a chance to succeed and show us their best in the early years of secondary.
We have a high number of able students in Y9-Y11 and the top two sets are in effect both ‘top sets’ with students at target grades of 7 or above (A – A* in the previous system). We have used target grades based on KS2 data and FFT estimates to inform our setting arrangements, as well as current attainment. As with any system, this is not perfect and we will be discussing groupings with departments in the coming weeks. Students will stay in their current groups for this term and any changes will be as a result of teacher assessment and exam performance and will be signed off by Senior Leaders. If a student is performing beyond their targets, this will be taken into account.
Above all, students will be successful if they have good quality teaching and this is our main goal for the year.
I am arranging some drop-in sessions for parents to come and speak to me if there are any concerns about these changes. Please contact Pat Taylor on 0208 516 7542 (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to book a slot.
I am delighted to say that we are working with DebateMate to ensure our young people have an opportunity to speak out confidently and express their views in formal debates. Years 7-9 will be receiving further information soon.
Key Priorities for the Year
- Narrowing gaps between groups of students and rapidly improving outcomes at KS4
- Improve the quality of learning: teaching is consistently and securely good or outstanding
- Accelerate progress across all subjects in all Key Stages,
- Develop the leadership of learning at all levels: a culture of excellence for all