It was such a pleasure to welcome those who were able to attend our Parents’ Forum on Wednesday 22nd February 2023. At the Forum, we presented the Leadership Team and our vision for the school. We also covered frequently asked questions. I want to try to capture some of that here.
Meet the Leadership Team
Maggie Callaghan – Executive Headteacher
Role: to support the Leadership with the strategic direction of the school and to help them raise standards across the school.
Andrew Parry – Headteacher
Role: to lead the school ensuring that staff and students are held to the highest of expectations; work with the School Business Manager, Joe Lyons, to ensure the financial security of the school.
Chris White – Deputy Headteacher: Behaviour and Attendance
Role: to support our staff and students by ensuring that behaviour and attendance is the best it can be; working closely with Miss McMillan and the pastoral team to reduce incidents of disruptive behaviour, increase the ways in which we celebrate success and improve attendance so every child has access to the education and personal development they are entitled to receive.
Saad Anjum – Deputy Headteacher: Curriculum Development
Role: to support our staff to raise standards so that our students make excellent progress and our curriculum and assessment processes support that academic progress.
Kim Adams-Howell – Assistant Headteacher: Transition and Year 7
Role: to support our Year 6 into 7 students ensuring they make a successful transition into Year 7 and also to work collaboratively with our primaries.
Sarah Cardy – Assistant Headteacher: Teaching and Learning
Role: to support our staff to ensure that their teaching enables our students to make excellent progress. This is delivered through good quality professional development and coaching across the school.
Sarah Fortenbacher- Assistant Headteacher SENCO
Role: to ensure that our students with Special Educational Needs are supported to make academic and personal progress and to work with students with unidentified needs to access appropriate support.
Fiona Jakes – Assistant Headteacher: Vocational Learning and Careers
Role: to support our staff and students in accessing the most appropriate vocational courses which will lead to students’ accessing the appropriate next steps and to ensure that our careers provision starts in Year 7 with clear pathways to Year 13.
Cat McMillan – Assistant Headteacher: Behaviour and Attendance
Role: to support our staff and students by ensuring that behaviour and attendance is the best it can be; working closely with Mr White and the pastoral team to reduce incidents of disruptive behaviour, increase the ways in which we celebrate success and improve attendance so every child has access to the education and personal development they are entitled to receive.
Beatrice Twumasi – Assistant Headteacher: Equity of Access
Role: to support our students and families to ensure that any barriers either social or economic are overcome so that students can achieve personal and academic excellence. This is through brokering outside support as well as our own in school initiatives for example Breakfast Club which started last week.
At the Forum, we answered lots of your questions around some key topics. I have tried to capture as much of that discussion as possible:
Our school Priorities:
- Ensuring that our whole curriculum and quality first teaching promote success for all students
- Improving outcomes for all students
- Using our positive behaviour protocols to ensure disruption free classrooms and an environment where all students feel safe and thrive
- Improve attendance for all groups of students
What is The Hylands Way?
It is the way we do things at Hylands. Our values and our mantras are our guiding principles underpinning all decisions and interactions.
- Be respectful
- Be responsible
- Be resilient
- Students are at the heart of every decision we make
- We have the highest expectations of and for every member of our school community
Mr Parry: many of you expressed concern for Mr Parry and his health. I explained that I was unable to give details about personal matters but that Mr Parry is recovering.
Cover teachers: I explained we do have some positions that are unfilled and that we are working really hard to recruit good quality teachers who will add value to the school for our students. I outlined the new staff who we have recruited and those planned. I also explained that we are supporting Middle Leaders where there are vacancies to ensure that all classes are taught by a subject specialist on rotation so the same class does not always have a cover teacher. I also highlighted that this is a national issue not just a Hylands issue.
Improving quality of teaching: Ms Cardy outlined the teaching and learning strategy we have introduced and how this is also improving students’ learning skills. We acknowledged that we are a school on a journey and that we were progressing well on that journey. We also discussed how this strategy will feed into improved KS4/5 outcomes as it becomes embedded.
Mr Anjum spoke about the strategies to support Year 11 and 13 to achieve well this year and how those strategies are disseminated ensuring support from Year 7 to close gaps and improve outcomes.
Supporting students – especially following COVID: I explained that we recognised that the impact of COVID on both academic progress and mental health had been significant. We believe that in order for students to be successful, we need to remove the barriers to learning whether they are academic or emotional. Mr Anjum outlined the academic support in KS3 and 4 to secure progress. Ms McMillan and Mr White explained the additional pastoral support in place e.g Forest School, additional staff to support wellbeing and safeguarding.
Communication and Parental Engagement: We discussed how this could be improved. This update is one part of that. We will run further Parents’ Forums each term and send out regular questionnaires to gather opinions. I also explained that we would like interested parents to take part in working parties to discuss and give feedback on key initiatives. Further information is to follow.
We also discussed use of social media and parents there wanted us to promote more all the wonderful things we do at Hylands. We heard you and will do this moving forward.
We look forward to working with you further.