We had a very positive week over the break moving various issues forward with the new building. A lot more computers are now installed, various aspects of display have been ordered, a cinema screen will be installed in the auditorium soon and the Hospitality and Catering food room is finally open.
Thank you to all the parents and carers who visited the new site just before the break. It was really good to see that you liked what you saw, and that you had an opportunity to sit in the new auditorium.
Just under six weeks ago the staff arrived in the new building for the first time, there were thousands of crates to unpack and a thousand other tasks to complete to get the building ready for students. Although there is definitely a feeling around school this week that people need a break it has been a really good term overall; making the school run from a standing start has been an achievement. As things stand years 11 and 13 are well placed for their summer examinations and years 10 and 12 are not far behind. Next week will be busy as we try to resolve issues with the site around toilets and drinking water. Demolition of the old building will also begin.
Finally, the last of the five new building aspirations ‘You represent!’ I want all of our students to understand they are ambassadors for the school everywhere they go. The outside community will judge us on how well they wear their uniform and behave on the surrounding streets. From the moment students leave their front door they are on display, influencing the reputation of the school. The same applies on all trips and other off-site activities. Over the last year this has improved a lot but we are not there yet.
Term 4 starts at 8.50am on Monday 23rd February. Have a good week.
First of all, a date for your diary. The plan is for all year groups to start their new timetable for 2015/16 on June 15th 2015. This is with the exception of the current year 11 (new year 12) who will not start until September, but will have a transition programme after the end of their exams and of course the new year 7. We have been planning to do this since the end of the last academic year.
You may well be asking why we are doing this. The main reason is to ensure that all GCSE option courses in both years 10 and 11 have a full year before their examinations. In key stage 4 students do two options in year 10 and two in year 11, a June start means they get the maximum amount of teaching time. For everyone else I think there are advantages in finishing one year with a clear expectation of what September will be like, and with work to do over the summer in order to prepare.
Events, events, events.
Our new lecture theatre hosted its first event this week with the ‘Faith on the Frontline’ project. Staff Sergeant Khan came in to talk to year 11 RS students and groups of sixth formers. Really successful and interesting. The more external speakers we can bring in the richer our students’ curriculum experience will be.
On that note, former Apprentice final Claire Young came in to plan similar events under her ‘School Speakers’ company. We are determined to use our new facilities as best we can.
QK BSF Reporting Form
It feels like we have been in our new facilities for a lot more than two school weeks. There is a great deal to do in terms of display in the long term, but it already feels like home. To go back to the old building would feel very strange indeed. There are details elsewhere about an opportunity for parents to visit the new site.
Teething issues remain. External telephones are still not working, despite many promises. As advertised on the website 07792 057 242 is the current school number. Printing is another issue, and as with telephones, it is in the hands of contractors rather than the school. Overall though the new environment is having a significant positive impact on all that we do.
It has been a momentous week.
After the packing and emptying of over 3000 crates and a similar number of bags filled with rubbish or recycling, a new ICT network, new furniture and everything else you can imagine, we are here. There are still some glitches to iron out, not least with telephones. Please check our website for further details.
It feels different already. Wider corridors with natural light and everything being fresh and new has made a significant difference to our learning ethos. Lessons are being taught with doors open all over the school. As members of staff we have spent a lot of time thinking about how we want QK to be different in our new environment. My challenge to students in assemblies this week has been about their aspirations for the new building.