HEADTEACHER'S BLOG

Posted on Friday 1st November 2019

 


I hope everyone enjoyed their half term break, and that you managed to catch the item on “Match of the Day” about Werneth’s community football programme with Manchester United. It has been a very busy first week back after half term!


This half term is one of the longest and darkest in the school year, and attending every day can be a personal challenge for some students. We are in the process of sorting out some attendance reward vouchers for students in each year group who are doing particularly well with their attendance. Attendance continues to be a major focus for us in school and we now have a team of 4 attendance officers to chase up individual issues with attendance. Remember, every day matters. Being here, on time, means you can maximise your chances of success, and your learning.


Wednesday was a focus day for Year 11 on strategies to revise. An external team of specialists came into school to deliver “how to revise” sessions for all of our students, and then a session for our teachers at the end of the day. We then followed this with a session for Year 11 parents. We received positive feedback from everyone on the day, and teachers will be working to embed these successful strategies in their lessons. A reminder that Year 11 already have scheduled revision sessions every week after school. Contact Mrs Lewis or Mr Mujagic in school if you need more details about when these take place.


Part of my role in school is to visit lessons and look at the teaching and learning in every subject area. All senior leaders do this every day at Werneth, but I am also doing this in a focused way this year by conducting in-depth surveys of every subject area, working with other members of the leadership team and subject leaders. Last half term, I conducted this in Mathematics, and this week I have been focusing on English lessons. It was a real pleasure to listen to a large group of our students from Year 8 and Year 10 talk about their learning in English, and I was very impressed with their clear explanations of English lessons: where they were doing well, and how teachers could help them to do even better. Understanding and talking about the process of learning is so important. We also looked in students’ books and talked about the work that they were completing.


Miss Johnson in Science has told me this week about an exciting new Year 7 and 8 Science Club starting next week. It will be every Red Thursday lunch in C64, with the first week being Bonfire Night themed! More information to follow, so keep an eye open for the posters around science.


A reminder of some key upcoming dates this half term:

- Thursday 14th November Class of 2018 Presentation Evening, in school

- Thursday 21st November Year 11 Parent Masterclass 6 – 7pm

- Friday 6th December Students not in school ( Staff training )

- Wednesday 18th December Christmas Concert

- Friday 20th December Break up for Christmas


If you are taking part in bonfire celebrations this weekend, please be careful.

 

 

 

Posted on Friday 11th October 2019

 


Where does the time go?  Six weeks in, and only one week to go until half term.  A reminder that we break up next Thursday, 17th October, at 3.10pm.  Staff have a training day on Friday.  Where possible I like to inform parents about the content of staff training… next week, we will be focusing on developing our curricular plans in every subject area, we will have a training session on improving students’ ownership of their own learning and we will be completing some annual safeguarding training.


We return to school at 8.40am on Monday 28th October 2019, after the half term break.  A reminder that punctuality really matters too and students should aim to be arriving by 8.30am at the latest, to ensure they are on time.


It’s been really great this week to see our senior students leading a key event in school, as we have focused on improving young people’s mental health and wellbeing.  From bake sales to mindfulness sessions and from photo booths to walls of kindness it’s been a show of support for health and wellbeing.  Something we always do so well at Werneth.  Students and staff raised hundreds of pounds for mental health charities on Friday as part of our non-uniform “#HelloYellow” day.  Well done to everyone involved!

Hannah Beswick, Student Leader for Teaching and Learning commented that she “ coordinated multiple activities and two fund-raising events with the assistance of Jess Hulme and Izzie Johnson. I collaborated with Jess to organise an 'advice drop-in' during 2 lunchtimes. On top of this, I arranged a mural design competition and photo-booth alongside Izzie. My personal goal was to raise as much money for the 'Young Minds' charity. They're an organisation who work to improve mental health among young people. For this, I planned a charity bake sale. In addition to this I scheduled a 'Mellow Yellow' non-uniform day. This was structured for students to wear their cosiest clothing with an accent of yellow for £1. All the money raised will be donated to young minds to support and raise awareness. I am beyond pleased with how successful the week has been and I'm very thankful for the platform I have to do good things and help make a difference.”

Miss Hibbert, staff leader for Student Leadership added “Thank you to all the staff and students on making it such a successful event and well done to the Senior student, student council and student ambassadors for making all the events fantastic!”

Similarly, well done to our Year 10 Tracks group, who – along with Mrs Craven – led our annual MacMillan Coffee morning on Thursday.  So many staff and students enjoyed the occasion, and the lovely cakes!  Congratulations to our students for hosting such an important event, and a cheque for £182 will be forwarded to MacMillan.  Mrs Craven tells me that “teachers came out in force to support our young people, and the students were really proud of themselves.


60 parents of our Year 7 students came into school on Thursday evening for our “Launch to Success” transition event, in order to receive “lessons” from our English, Maths and Science teachers in how to support their children through secondary education.  Mr Norman demonstrated the “Show my Homework” package, and Mrs Kennedy presented on how parents can support their child’s progress.  Again, we received some pleasing feedback from parents.


This week saw 8 Year 10 students take part in a RAF residential at their training base in Leeming, through the partnership with the MU Foundation. The residential was a 3 day trip, with a host of activities mainly around team work challenges. On Day 1, the students participated in team games, mixing in with students from other schools. They then finished the day off by playing ten pin bowling, again mixing with other MU Foundation students. On Day 2 the students were set a task of building their own glider/aircraft. This included doing some research around different designs, and the benefits of certain designs. Day 3 saw the students looking at different units at the training base, and asking any questions they wanted. The students were lucky enough to see some black fighter Hawk jets. Finally the students presented their glider/aircraft portfolios that they had been putting together to members of the RAF. The students represented themselves excellently over the 3 days, and were a credit to Werneth School.

 

Andrew Conroy
Headteacher

View more from the blog

 

 

HEADTEACHER'S BLOG

 

 

Posted on Friday 4th October 2019

Motivational Speaker, Attendance, Rewards, Policing “The Rocks”, Match of the Day, Mental Health focus week

It’s been a busy period of settling back into routines, reviewing examination results and setting up new learning for our students.  It has been a very positive start to the term generally, and we are now in full swing again.  On our daily drop-ins to every lesson, we have been really pleased with the positive learning that we can see in lessons.  It has also been interesting to note that students’ lack of mobile phones has generally had such a positive impact on our students’ interactions with each other around the school rather than a small electronic screen!

Year 11 are now focused on their upcoming first round of mock examinations, which commence on 26th November We had a very positive Parents’ Consultation Evening for them this week and also the first stage in their exam preparation programme.  David Hyner, the award winning international motivational speaker, author, broadcaster and researcher delivered a 2 hour workshop to our Year 11 students this week. The workshop included techniques on memory and recall to help students revise effectively.  The second half dealt with high aspirations and the importance of goal setting. Students were fully engaged and entertained throughout. David will be working further with a small group of our Year 11 students over the coming months. .

We have been focusing on reward and recognition this term … students work from Design Technology has been on display outside my office this week.  Teachers have been queuing up to display students’ work and I have some excellence also to display from Year 7 Science cell work, and also Year 11 English writing skills.

Our Showcase of Excellence is also a new venture this term, where teachers have the opportunity to display students’ excellent work.  Here is our first presentation for parents to look through …. Is your child mentioned?

Attendance Matters- A message from our Attendance Team

As you already know, our new Attendance Team has been working flat out with parents to ensure our young people are getting into school – on time, every day.  The team comprises Tracey Hall as Attendance Lead, Naomi Watson as Family Outreach Worker and Veronica Tunnah as School Education Welfare Officer.


Mrs Hall comments “THANK YOU SO MUCH to those families who have been working hard to ensure their children’s punctuality and attendance is high. THANK YOU for getting these important habits established so early in the academic year." There is a link between attendance and achievement and therefore it is very important that your child attends school every day unless there are exceptional circumstances.   The school is continuing to focus on attendance and punctuality, and we are writing to remind you that we expect children’s attendance to be at 96%. The Attendance Team are on hand to help support you with any problems you may encounter with getting your child to school. Please don’t hesitate in contacting us via our dedicated email attendance@wernethschool.com. Did you know that you can also view your child’s current attendance and contact us through the EDULINK app too?

Please click the link www.edulinkone.com to ensure you have access to your child’s Edulink record. If you can't access EduLink please email edulink@wernethschool.com.

Remember that Punctuality Matters too!  Missed minutes = missed learning = missed opportunities!   

As a school, we are aware that lateness can severely affect achievement.  We monitor punctuality closely and will be introducing an improved strategy to address lateness next term. We would like to remind you all that registration begins at 8.40am and all pupils are expected to be in their form room at this time.

You will no doubt be aware that we – alongside Harrytown School - have been working closely with Greater Manchester Police this week on a community action project aimed at preventing anti-social behaviour around “The Rocks” at the beginning and end of school.  We know it has been successful and received positive comments from the community … the next step will be to review the action next week with the police, and then decide on possible next steps.  Obviously we depend on some of the wraparound services around the school to help young people outside of school time, and we will see what they can do to support the community.

 

 

Talking of community, our Manchester United Foundation “Streetreds” programme continues to be a great success on a Friday evening.  And now it is gaining national recognition!  The programme runs every Friday with a regular group of over 60 young people taking part in community football programmes on our floodlit astro turf pitch.   We were delighted last Friday when two Manchester United players, Scott McTominay and Angel Gomes, visited Werneth School to see the young people in action.  If you weren’t there you can view it for yourselves – the BBC were present to film a news item for the Match of the Day programme.  See it for yourself on Sunday 20th October on BBC1.

Next week, we have a special focus week on Young Minds “Fighting for young people’s mental health” here in school, with special events every day.  Three of our senior students in school - Hannah Beswick, Jessica Hulme and Izzy Johnson – presented a full briefing to all of the staff this morning ( Friday ) explaining the full programme of events that they have co-ordinated for next week. Please note that Friday is a non-uniform day, with a £1 charitable donation to help with mental health support for young people.

 

Andrew Conroy
Headteacher

View more from the blog

 

 

HEADTEACHER'S BLOG

 

 

Posted on Friday 27th September 2019

Our positive start to term continues, and I would like to introduce you to our Showcase of Excellence, to present the excellent work undertaken by our students so far this term. Please have a look through the following slides ...

 

Andrew Conroy
Headteacher

 

 

HEADTEACHER'S BLOG

 

 

Posted on Friday 13th September 2019


As we settle back into school routines, it’s been a very positive week.  Our students are working hard, and responding well to the challenges of a new year.  Thank you again for the support of families in ensuring that students come ready to school in terms of uniform and equipment, with no mobile phones.  We appreciate your support and positive reinforcement.


Our attendance team have been working very hard, and it is has been encouraging to see their partnership work in the community already this term, getting students into school.   We will be sending out a letter later this month detailing how parents can support good attendance habits, and contact the right person at school easily if you have an attendance issue.


As you know, we have a wonderful school site with a modern building and excellent resources.  We are currently working on making our premises the best possible environment for learning.  We have been increasing our showcases of student work, and I now have a permanent display case outside my office to showcase any outstanding work.  We have also created a new “Pride of Manchester” display in one of our student entrance areas, and we have a new outside recreational area as well.  Next week, we will be launching an enhanced “Roll of Excellence” showcase, which will be displayed on a regular basis on our website and around school.  More details to come on that over the coming weeks.


Thursday saw our annual Open Evening.  As you know, our current Year 7 year group is oversubscribed with 265 students.  Based on Thursday night’s attendance, we expect that we will be a popular choice again next year.  It was lovely to receive so many positive comments from our visitors, particularly about the many students who stayed for the evening to show off their school.  Many families appear to have already decided that Werneth is the school for them, and first-time visitors were very pleasantly surprised.


Finally, a reminder that next Thursday is our post-16 information evening for parents and young people.  All local colleges and training providers will be present.  The event is for parents/carers alone, or with young people present as well.  It is aimed primarily at Year 11, but families from any year group can attend.  6pm – 8pm in the Main Hall.

 

Andrew Conroy
Headteacher

 

 

 

HEADTEACHER'S BLOG

Posted on Friday 6th September 2019

 

Welcome back to the start of the 2019/20 academic year, and a very warm welcome to our Year 7 families who are joining our school community.


It has been a very positive first week back, with our students looking very smart and settling back into work quickly.  Our Year 7s are now our largest year group in school with 265 young people in this year group, and the feedback from them has been that they have really enjoyed their first week with us.  The fears of the move up to secondary school are hopefully beginning to evaporate. 


Looking at the other end of the spectrum, I have been talking to Year 11 about their final year in school and how crucial it will be for them.  This gives me the opportunity to mention last year’s Year 11.  For the third consecutive year, our school results have improved in terms of students’ progress.  Our results still aren’t where I want us to be, but it’s another step in the right direction and some of the key figures have really pleased me.  With an overall weaker year group in terms of overall statistics, our English and Maths results remained stable, and Science improved.  Modern Languages and Geography results were very pleasing, and we saw some excellent results in many of our option subjects including Visual and Performing Arts, Food Tech and Catering, RE and Graphics.  The number of higher grades increased, with some of our students achieving a significant number of grade 9s at GCSE: the highest grade possible!  For the first time, our wrap around services meant that no student left school with no qualifications.  A real achievement.  So well done to our ex-Year 11s and we wish them well with the next steps in their lives.


Our new “out of sight at all times” mobile phone policy across school has has a positive start this week: we know how challenging it can be for young people to be surgically removed from their device.  However, our students have learnt quickly, adapted and co-operated.  It’s been startling to see the positive impact on learning already I have to say.
I’d like to take this opportunity to confirm that our school is fully staffed: in fact we have taken on some extra teachers and support staff this year as we adapt to the ongoing needs of the school.  I would therefore like to welcome the new staff to our school, and we have a vibrant feel as we welcome a group of young, fresh-faced teachers to work with our young people.  Welcome to Mr Liffen, Miss Warrington and Mrs Clegg in English; Mr Sullivan and Miss Wates in Maths; Miss Higham, Mr Holt and Miss Johnson in Science; Miss Smith in Modern Languages; Miss Pullar in History; Mr Whitehead in Computer Science and Mr Neilson in Technology.  We wish them well in their teaching at Werneth!


There are two areas of school in which I have invested significant additional resources this year.  The first of these is attendance: good attendance has to be at the heart of what we do to improve achievement for all.  We welcome our new Family Outreach Worker Miss Watson, who will be working with families in the community to ensure young people are in school; and Miss Tunnah who will also join our team as Education Welfare Officer.


Meanwhile, our SEN team has been bolstered by four new learning support assistants: Ms Carr, Miss Wilson, Miss Roberts and Miss Szabo.


Some key dates for your diary for the half term ahead ….


Thurs 12th September - Open Evening, for prospective Year 7 parents
Thurs 19th September - Post-16 Evening, to meet colleges and employers, Y11 students and parents
Thurs 26th September – GCSE Information Evening for Y11 parents
Thurs 3rd October – Year 11 Parents’ Consultation Evening
Thurs 10th October – Launch for Success Evening, Y7 parents
Thurs 17th October – break up for half term at 3.10pm.  Return 28th October.

 

 

Andrew Conroy
Headteacher