Headteacher's Letter to Parents January 2018

5th January 2018

Dear Parent/Carer

A Happy New Year to you all.

Further to the letter you all received at the end of term from Christine Whatford, Chair of Governors, I am taking this opportunity to introduce myself to you all, as well as to highlight some of the events and activities planned for the next few weeks.

I was appointed as Headteacher of Bow School in 2011, since when I have led a period of rapid growth, improvement and change at the school. Bow School has become mixed, grown from 500 to over 1000 students, opened a Sixth Form and moved into a new building on a new site. In 2016, I was appointed as the first Executive Director of the Tower Hamlets Education Partnership and worked to establish this new organisation for a year, maintaining my connection with Bow School as the Executive Headteacher on one day a week. Since September 2017, I have divided my time between Bow School and The John Roan, where I have been supporting and advising the Headteacher and Senior Team. I am Vice Chair of governors at London East Alternative Provision and a governor at Manorfield Primary School. I am a Trustee of Bow Arts Trust and also of the Box Clever Theatre Company.

I am aware of the recent turbulence in leadership experienced at The John Roan and hope that I will be able to provide the necessary leadership and stability for the school over the coming months. We will also continue to work with St Paul’s Way Trust School who have been providing additional advice and support to the school since September.  As mentioned in the letter, a local Headteacher, Dr Richard Marshall, from the Royal Greenwich Trust School, will be in school on Fridays when I am back at Bow.  Additionally, I am pleased to welcome David Burgess who has joined the Senior Team as an experienced Deputy Head with a record of successful leadership in teaching and learning and he will provide further leadership capacity for the school.  David will have a particular focus on raising standards in all year groups, although supporting the school in ensuring that our Year 11 students are fully prepared for the GCSEs will be at the top of his agenda. 

The term has got off to a strong start already, with Year 11 students receiving their mock exam results on Wednesday and all students taking time to review their progress and to set targets for the term. I am exploring plans to provide additional support, externally funded,  to the Year 11 group to enable students to make rapid progress in their studies over the next 5 months and will be in touch with Year 11 parents with further details as they become available. The application window for our Sixth Form is open, and Year 11 students are being encouraged to consider their options for next year and to make their applications now. Year 9 will be considering their pathways, too, with opportunities to make decisions around their GCSE subjects this term.

Tuesday 16th January will be our third PRIDE day and will see the whole school engaged in an exciting programme of activities, visiting speakers and external visits.



Involved -   Year 7

Students will work with ‘Brighter Futures’. They will learn and use skills associated with success in the future. STEM, enterprise and study skills.

Respectful -   Year 8

Students will be take part in a variety of workshops focusing on knife crime, staying safe, drug and alcohol awareness and thinking skills.

Involved -   Year 9

Students will work with the ‘Fix up’ group led by ‘Action’ Jackson.
Students will then undertake a carousel of activities based on confidence building 'I am intelligent' and the Growth Mindset.

Excellent -   Year 10

All students will visit Goldsmiths University.

Involved -   Year 11

Students will listen to a motivational speaker followed by one of four strands;

  • Be part of a mentoring session for high achievers.
  • A visit to an academic destination (City University),
  • A visit to a vocational destinations (Lewisham College)
  • Take part in a 'Walking Talking' Maths Mock and booster sessions.

Determined -   Year 12

Students will have a carousel of three activities, including CV writing and preparation for the world of work.                       

Involved -   Year 13

Students will focus on future plans and attend workshops on vocational destinations or   securing university grades.

Involved - DSP

Students will take part in a mini enterprise project to raise money for the Don McMath school.

I hope to meet many of you over the next few weeks.  We have a number of Parent Evenings this term and I will, of course, be at all of these and look forward to speaking with you.  A reminder of the first two Parent Evenings:

Year 9 Parent Evening                    Thursday 11th January

Year 11 Parent Evening                  Thursday 18th January

Yours sincerely

Cath Smith

Interim Headteacher