HEADTEACHER'S BLOG

 


Posted on Friday 18th January

 

A shorter blog this week …

Thank you to Year 11 parents for attending the Year 11 intervention evening this week.  A reminder that if parents of Year 11 students have any concerns about their child in the build up to examinations, they should contact Miss Taylor or Mr Bennett in the first instance.  The next few months are obviously crucial in preparing for these vital examinations.  Revision should have started at home, and we are doing everything we can in school to support our Year 11s.

Year 11 Students on a Photography trip had the opportunity to visit Manchester this week with Mr Mujagic and Miss Carr. As part of their exam project in Photography, students were given an opportunity to take photographs of various architectural styles in the city. We visited some of the famous areas such Spinningfields, Gay village and Printworks. Students took photographs of famous landmarks, both old and new.  These photographs will be used towards their final Exam project.  A great trip and a great day out in our city. Well done year 11!.

A massive well done to Year 7 pupils who showcased some of their castles this week during history lessons. There was a fantastic range of models including a second cake castle by Jessica Erye and Jessica Skinner. Miss Mosley, our Head of History, said “ I have never seen such a great variety of craftsmanship and I am very proud of each individual pupil.”

 

Andrew Conroy
Headteacher

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Posted on Friday 11th January

 

A happy new year to everyone, and it’s been good to see all of our students back safely in school this week.  Welcome to the first blog of 2019!


We have been reminding students in assembly this week about the importance of a positive start to the new year, and key reminders about attendance, punctuality to lessons and wearing the correct uniform.


It’s a really important time of course for our Year 11 students as they have now started their final full term at Werneth School.  Exams kick in after Easter, and so the work completed between now and then is of the utmost importance.  Year 11 have all received their mock examination results this week.  We have been ensuring they understand the steps they now need to take in order to achieve the grades required for college courses, apprenticeships and other careers next year.  A well-structured, regular plan of revision is essential now and the next 3 months are the most important of their school lives to date.  A reminder to Year 11 parents that next Thursday, 17th January, is our Year 11 Intervention Evening where we invite Year 11 students and parents to meet with teachers where a concern is raised, and where more structured support to achieve is required.  If you require any further information on this evening, please contact the Year 11 team via tracy.taylor@wernethschool.com.


At the moment, many of our Year 11 students are showing good signs for their results in the summer with pleasing mock results: this will hopefully further continue the school’s improved examination trend.  Fingers crossed!


During the Christmas period year 7 pupils were set a homework in History to make a model of a castle from the Norman period. This is a standard homework set annually. Miss Mosley wanted to tell me about one student, Molly Hall, who went above and beyond with this project.  She has shown core values of determination, enthusiasm and pride. Molly made her model as an edible chocolate cake. It has key features of a traditional square keep castle and has been layered in a fantastic grey icing which also included features of a moat, drawbridge, round towers and turrets alongside battlements made from icing and arrow slit windows.  This is the first time a cake has been submitted and Miss Mosley did sample a small piece. The chocolate cake was delicious.  Well done Molly for this fantastic piece of work!


Some key dates for parents this half term:


Thursday 17th January            Year 11 Intervention Parents’ Evening           4pm – 6pm
Thursday 31st January             Year 10 Parents’ Evening                                4pm – 7pm
Thursday 7th February            Year 9 Parents’ Evening                                  4pm – 7pm
Thursday 14th February          Students break up for half term at 3.10pm


Finally, I am in the process of organising the confirmed holiday dates for the 2019/20 academic year, and should be able to publish these in February.       

 

 

Andrew Conroy
Headteacher

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Posted on Friday 21st December 2018

 

Welcome to the last blog of 2018!  We break up on Friday 21st December at 12pm and return at 8.40am on Monday 7th January 2019.


Thanks to Mrs Holden and the Art department for their thoughtful new contribution to school life … in order to commemorate Max Westwell - a loved student who passed away this year - Werneth invited to school the amazing artist Juliette Hamilton. Juliette is a specialist in willow weaving and she works across the country creating incredible sculptures.  Juliette has created with our students a life size stag which will stand above the entrance of school on B Floor facing out of the large windows. A beautiful mural of forest will adorn the main wall and leaves will fall down the windows creating a fantastic backdrop for the sculpture. Hopefully this will remind the students and teachers of the friend they loved and lost. Nieave won the name the stag competition. The stag is now called 'Ronnie'.



On Tuesday Evening, the Performing Arts Christmas Production of Papa Panov took place.  Papa Panov - with its message of Peace and Forgiveness - symbolises the start of Christmas for Werneth.  It has become a much loved annual event taking place for the last sixteen years.  Every year it brings tears of joy to parents' and carers’ eyes and this production was no exception.  Pupils sang, danced and acted their hearts out and it was a truly special performance.  Ms McSheffrey was really proud of the talent and leadership displayed by some of our youngest pupils.  Papa Panov was Ewan Jackson and Gentle Woman, Lauren Earl Walker.  For the first time ever we had a 'Papa' whose older sibling had played the same part - Ewan's brother Henry was Papa Panov when he was in Year 7.  The event was strongly supported by the Performing Arts Council who not only helped organise and direct the production but also participated in it.  A big 'Well Done' goes out to all those involved.  Papa Panov Cast and Support: Ewan Jackson; Lauren Earl Walker; Amelia Wilkinson; Alex Palmer; Jessica Eyre; Emily Fahy; Elyce Pearson; Clara Wilson; Olivia Heath; Katie Hill; Emily Fahy; Holly Slater; Jessica Schofield; Natalie James; Jessica Neal; Olivia Heath; Liam Parry; Henry Jackson; Sam Nagler

 

Congratulations to the Year 7 boys’ football team, who played in a football tournament on Wednesday.  Mr Jones was proud and delighted with their attitude, despite the wet and wintery weather, and with a well deserved victory over Harrytown.

 


Meanwhile, Wednesday evening also involved our school Carol Concert at St Mark’s Church.  It was a special occasion as ever with a packed church, and contained a mix of musical items from the band and choirs, as well as a number of Christmas readings from students.  Thank you to Mr Barnett and Miss Darlington for their contributions, and to all of our talented students who participated.

 

Mr P Brighton caught up with me this week to tell me about some of the opportunities within Maths to ensure that students are making good progress, and maintaining an interest in this vital subject.
All students in year 7, 8 and 9 were given the opportunity to apply their knowledge from this half term to Manchester united themed tasks. All students were an absolute credit to themselves and worked exceptionally hard.

 

Mr Brighton and the Maths department also had the privilege of awarding forty students from all year groups a certificate and badge for either endeavour or excellence in this half term. It was especially pleasing to reward so many year eleven students who had performed brilliantly in the mock examination.

 


Our Attendance Champions League has continued this term, raising awareness of how important it is to be in school every day and to recognise the students who work hard to achieve this. The total points were calculated earlier this week and it’s a well done again to 11NS and Miss Slinger who have have won the league for the term. Our year group winners are 8N and Mr Harrison, 10W with Mr McNulty, 7T with Miss Rowlands and 9W with Mrs Elder and Miss Kiernan. All the winning forms enjoyed croissants for breakfast on Tuesday. Please remember that good attendance is an expectation at Werneth School.

 


Werneth School has been a drop off point for Hits Radio’s Mission Christmas since November and we enjoyed a visit to the headquarters on Tuesday to drop off the toys and gifts that we had collected. Students had been learning about the work of the charity and about some of the challenges and difficulties faced by families in the Greater Manchester area, especially at Christmas time. We were particularly proud of our two student helpers who marvelled at the hard work of the volunteers, sorting the toys into categories for distribution, and who thanked them for all that they were doing to make Christmas a happy place for children and young people. A big thanks to our parents and staff who donated gifts to our collection.

 

Our students have been creating Christingles when participating in a research lesson about religious traditions behind the Christmas celebrations.

As always at the end of term, there are a number of staff leaving us for pastures new, and a number of new appointments.

Mrs Whittle leaves us in Design Technology, Mrs Bull in Business Studies and Miss V Smith in PE is taking a 12 month sabbatical from teaching.  Replacement teachers have been appointed to start in January.  In addition, Mrs Heath - our librarian - leaves the school for a promotion in a college in Manchester and will be replaced by Mrs H Taylor, one of our support members of staff.  Mrs Lumsdon - Year Inclusion Manager for Year 10 - also leaves us for a new role, and will be replaced by Mrs Lewis.  We wish them well in their new roles elsewhere and thank them for their services to Werneth School.


Finally, may I take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been involved in any way in supporting our young people this term, and your continued support of school.  We very much appreciate your support, and wish everyone a peaceful Christmas and successful 2019!  Enjoy the break.

 

 

Andrew Conroy
Headteacher

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HEADTEACHER'S BLOG

 


Posted on Friday 14th December 2018

Only one week remaining now before our Christmas break.  A reminder that we break up on Friday at 12pm, and school buses have been booked.  We will then return on Monday 7th January 2019 at the normal school time.

Important: if you use a 7-day or 28-day travelcard to get to school on buses, I have this week been notified of some changes that GMTravel are implementing from January.  Please read this letter.

Can I remind parents quickly please about school procedures if your child is in school and feeling ill…. if we work together as parents and school, it often prevents any misunderstandings or students trying to be sent home unnecessarily.  Students must inform their teacher if they feel unwell or, if it is not teaching time, a student can come to the main office where first aid is coordinated and trained staff will complete an assessment. School staff will ring parents or carers if a student needs to go home. Students must not use their mobile phones to ring parents directly and if your son or daughter does contact you, we would ask that you check if they have been to first aid. If school staff make an assessment that a student can stay in school and you remove them against school advice, the absence will be unauthorised. Any student who is sent home by school will receive an authorised absence.

Thank you to Mrs Woodall, our Kitchen Manager, and her team for producing a delicious Christmas dinner this week.  A large number of students enjoyed their turkey dinner and took the time to thank Mrs Woodall.  Today ( Friday ) has been a particularly Christmassy day as we have held a Christmas jumper event in school, in aid of Save the Children and the Alzheimer’s Foundation.  We have also welcomed a professional artist Juliette Hamilton into school today to work with our Art Department and students in creating a stag made out of wood, which will be displayed permanently as an exhibition in school.

An update from our partnership programme with the MU Foundation …. Thursday 6th December saw our MU Hub Officer take 8 Year 7 students to a Christmas party at Old Trafford, where they enjoyed food, music and dancing. The students were a credit to themselves and the school, and had a really good time.  We have also recently handed out 2 sets of match tickets to students, one Year 11 student for improving her current progress in Maths, and one Year 7 student for 100% attendance from September until now, and a very positive start to school life at Werneth.

On Wednesday of this week, our Hub Officer worked closely with Miss Woods to run a Football Development Day at Werneth for selected Year 5 students from Bredbury Green. The morning included a skills carousel where the students got to practice various skills such as finishing, dribbling, passing. After this they then enjoyed some small sided games, with the main focus being team work. We had 8 sports leaders helping out with the event, 5 in Year 10, 1 in Year 8 and 2 in Year 7. They were very helpful with the Year 5s and staff throughout, and represented Werneth excellently.

There have been quite a few celebratory visits and events this week for various groups of our students …. our two transition groups in Year 7 went to a private screening of The Grinch at The Light cinema on Red Rock complex on Monday 10th with Miss Darlington and Mr Horobin, their main teachers. The cinema were fantastic, accommodating us and giving each student a snack box whilst they watched the film.   Meanwhile, just under 50 staff and students from year 8 -11 went to watch “Wicked” at The Palace Theatre in Manchester on the evening of Tuesday 11th December. The students and staff thought the production was wonderful. 

On Wednesday evening we had a short Christmas concert, featuring our lower school singing group, Seventh Octave, and a range of soloists and ensembles from Year 7 - 9. The room was full of parents, carers and siblings supporting our young performers. Special mention to Mya Travis-Stewart in Year 7 who played Silent Night on the piano, after only taking up the instrument in September. 

Mr Barnett has taken a group of Year 7 and 8 students over to Pembroke Court Retirement home this week to provide them with some Christmas entertainment whilst they prepare for their Christmas lunch. We like to take the students out into our community, especially at this time of year. 

Year 10 Drama welcomed Cheadle and Marple college students on Thursday.  We have had a longstanding partnership with the Drama department and the college for many years.   The college presented their production of John Godber's 'Teechers!', which was excellent and the pupils really enjoyed it.  It was also a unique opportunity to see what the students were doing on their Drama courses and to speak to them about college life.   The Head of Drama was accompanied by the college's Liaison Officer who spoke to the pupils regarding college and university pathways in general and our pupils had the opportunity to ask questions or for advice.  

Have a lovely weekend: next week promises to be a positive and celebratory end to term with our Papa Panov production, Christmas Movie Night for Year 7 and 8, our Christmas Carol Concert at St Marks Church at 7.15pm on Wednesday and our Celebration Assemblies in school on Wednesday.  A remember that we are in until Friday lunchtime!

 

Andrew Conroy
Headteacher

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Posted on Friday 30th November 2018

Secondary education is often measured by student outcomes in terms of GCSE results: whilst this is very important, I think it is equally important that our young people develop the skills to be successful adults in the world.  One of those skills to develop is empathy: caring for other people.  I often hear adults make comments that the young people of today do not show a sense of care for anyone other than themselves, and I am always quick to defend young people.  The vast majority of young people care deeply about the world around them, and how they can improve it.  With this in mind, I was delighted today to visit Miss Carr’s Year 8 form to congratulate them on their care for a student in their form.  When Finn – a member of their form – went into hospital recently, the form wanted to show him how much they cared.  Miss Carr said that “it is so lovely to see the caring nature of year 8 and how our students have pulled together to support Finn.  Special mention to Oliver Lomas, Charlie Atherton and Paul Sinclair. These boys went above and beyond and I am so impressed. On Tuesday they went to several year 8 classes and collected small donations from our year 8 students - anything ranging from 20p to £1 each in order to create a big 'get well soon' hamper for Finn. In total, we have collected over £70! We then created a shopping list of all the goodies to put in Finn's hamper. There is everything in there from hot chocolate and marshmallows, his favourite sweets, ps4 gift card, and even cosy socks and a fluffy dressing gown to aid a speedy recovery! I think this will definitely put a smile on his face!” 
Finn’s family were emotional when they received the hamper in school yesterday.  Well done Year 8!

Congratulations also to the Year 7/8 basketball team, who won their first fixture of the year this week 16-8 against Harrytown.

You may have seen in the press this week a story about the possibility of school holiday patterns changing over the coming years, and a consultation that you can vote on as parents.  Here is the link ….  https://www.stockport.gov.uk/topic/nursery-and-school-admissions if you wish to have your say.  We have voiced our concerns as a school, based on educational reasons.  We would like to retain patterns similar to our current school year to maximise the achievement for our Year 11 students.

Congratulations to Coby in Year 8 who entered the Goyt Valley Parkour survey competition and won JD vouchers.

Finally, a reminder that school is not open to students next Friday as per the calendar on the website.  Students will finish at 3.10pm on Thursday, and return as normal on Monday.   Also a reminder that school will finish on Friday 21st December at 12pm.  School buses have been booked for this day.

 

 

 

 

Andrew Conroy
Headteacher

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HEADTEACHER'S BLOG

Posted on Friday 23rd November 2018

Our festive dance group took to the streets of Romiley last weekend to celebrate the community coming together to switch on the Christmas lights. The dancers performed a number of dances to a variety of Christmas songs as they entertained the crowds with some Christmas cheer. It was a fantastic event and the girls did an amazing job! Well done to all those involved.

On Wednesday of this week, the MU Foundation Officer linked up with Miss Woods, to visit Arden Primary school and deliver a 'Mini Whistlers' course to 16 students, a mix of Year 4 and 5. The aim of the course was to build students confidence to deliver and help referee matches and to understand the role of a referee/leader. The students also got the chance to practice their refereeing skills within small sided football matches amongst each other.

On Thursday the RAF visited Werneth to deliver team building practical sessions to Year 9 and 10 students as part of the partnership with MU Foundation. The day consisted of two 2 hour sessions, one session for Year 9s and the other for Year 10s. The students engaged positively with every activity put on and showed good team work, communication, trust and confidence skills throughout. The RAF staff commented on how well the students represented themselves and Werneth.

Finally, thank you to Year 11 parents for your attendance at this Thursday’s Parents Consultation Evening.  We had an attendance of 80% for this vital year, and teachers appreciated the opportunity to discuss progress towards GCSE success.  The mock examinations will continue next week.

 

Andrew Conroy
Headteacher

 

HEADTEACHER'S BLOG

Posted on Friday 16th November 2018

On Friday 9th November, 74 of our year 9 Art students went to Derbyshire for a natural forms photoshoot day. Mrs Holden reports that “the students got the train to Chinley in Derbyshire and did an 8.8km walk up Eccles Pike, where the views were spectacular. The walk took them along the Buxworth canal basin and the old tramlines into Whitehough. Students managed to take hundreds of photos of natural forms such as bark, twisted routes, landscapes, flowers and water reflections. We finished the trip with a stone fired pizza in the Papermill, a 17th century country Inn. A fantastic day for everyone!”


Thank you to Mr Barnett and the school musicians who took part in the Remembrance Day service on Sunday in Bredbury.  Photo courtesy of Mark Lu-Hilson.


On Monday morning, our Year 7 students were introduced to Mr Shiels, Chief Executive of the Manchester United Foundation.  He delivered an assembly focused on the 11 characteristics that lead to successful lives …. 11 of course denoted the players in a football team, and the characteristics ranged from believing in yourself, to grasping every opportunity and maintaining a positive outlook.  We then followed the assembly with a presentation to 6 of our Year 7 students who had produced fantastic designs for the Adidas Academy …. our Year 7 skills and experience programme delivered through Life Learning.


Attendance matters ….. we have been contacted by a number of parents who have either recently received an Education Penalty Notice for leave of absence in term time or who do not agree with being challenged for their child’s excessive absence from school. We have a rigorous process in school to follow up absence, in line with national guidance. If your child has an attendance level below 95% you will be contacted by the attendance team and if absence continues, you will be asked to provide medical evidence in order for the absence to be authorised. The same applies to time off for holidays. As a rule, they will not be authorised. We do consider every request but unless there really are exceptional circumstances, we must say no and an Education Penalty Notice will follow.
A reminder again …. if your children are not in school they cannot benefit from the education and experiences that are available to them. If a student gains 90% in an exam, we would view it as a real achievement. In terms of attendance, 90% is considered by the government to be persistently absent and this means that over a year, your child will have 19 days of lost learning. Please help us to give your child the best possible opportunities in life by ensuring that they are in school, on time, every day.


My favourite evening event of the year is GCSE Presentation Evening, where we celebrate the achievements of our former Year 11s at Romiley Forum.   This year’s event was on Thursday evening and it was nice to see so many of our former Year 11s attend the event with their families.  There were many certificates and awards to be presented, and a new commemorative annual shield dedicated to Max Westwell, one of our ex-Year 11s who you may remember unfortunately passed away from a rare form of cancer in January.  The new Max Westwell shield is presented to the student who overcame the greatest adversity in school, and will be a fitting memorial to Max.  It was awarded to Chloe Hodgson.  Charlie Durkin was awarded the Head of Year Award, and Lewis Penny the Headteacher’s Award.  Congratulations to all of our ex-students, and we wish them well for the future! You can watch the Prom video from the presentation evening here.


It’s been great to see so many of our current Year 11s taking their revision so seriously in after-school sessions this week, as the mock examinations have commenced.  A reminder to parents of Year 11 that the Year 11 Parents’ Consultation Evening is this coming Thursday, 22nd November, from 4pm to 7pm.  As part of our strategies to ensure students achieve in Mathematics, Mr Brighton will this year be offering parents a live demonstration of how to maximise student Maths work at home using the Pixl Maths App.   He will also show how parents can get instant feedback from mock performance. This demonstration will take place at 4pm,5pm and 6pm on parents evening and details will be available on the day when parents sign in to school.

 

 

Andrew Conroy
Headteacher

 

HEADTEACHER'S BLOG

Posted on Friday 9th November 2018

The Write Path-an international writing collaboration

Fifteen Werneth students in year seven took part in an engaging and exciting writing initiative on 7th November 2018.  Over the course of the day, six stories - started by well-known teen and children's authors - were added to by students from all over the UK and the USA. In total, seven schools were working collaboratively on our story starters. Each school had the stories for an hour: to read, add their own paragraphs, and upload to the website, ready for the next school to take over.  If you would like to look at our stories, click the following link, and then 'Stories 7/11/2018.
https://www.writepathint.com/ The fun doesn't stop here. We now have the opportunity to vote for our favourite stories, as there are prizes up for grabs for all of the participating students. Additionally, the stories will all be turned into a book in the early part of 2019, for students and relatives to purchase! An extremely famous, and wildly popular illustrator has agreed to illustrate the front cover, too. We are all looking forward to seeing our published stories in print!

This week has seen students participate in two events at Old Trafford through our partnership with the MU Foundation. The first event, WWE Anti Bullying, was on Tuesday, for four Year 7 students. It included 2 WWE wrestlers (Amber Moon & Dana Brook), and former Man United footballer Wes Brown. The day included a workshop around different types of bullying, and the effect they can have on people. The special guests spoke about their history of bullying and how they dealt with it. The students then got to finish the day off with a stadium tour and learn interesting facts about the club.

The second event was on Wednesday, where five Year 10 students visited Old Trafford to participate in the Premier League Enterprise Challenge. They have been working on their own business plan within school, and on Wednesday they delivered this plan to a panel of judges, Dragons Den style. The students presented with style, and represented Werneth exceptionally, gaining praise from all judges. One student stood from all the schools in attendance to win 2 match tickets for the Champions League game vs Young Boys at the end of November at Old Trafford.

Our school musicians will once again this weekend play a key role in the Cenotaph Remembrance service in Bredbury this Sunday.  Meanwhile in school, we have been creating our own memorial.  Year 8 student ambassadors Tyler, Elyce and Natalie have recycled plastic bottles to create poppies for the school remembrance wreath. It has been displayed in our heart space in the centre of school for everyone to see.

 

Andrew Conroy
Headteacher

 

HEADTEACHER'S BLOG

Posted on Friday 2nd November 2018

We return for the 8 week run-up to Christmas, and this half term is always full of key events.  Central to that will be our Presentation Evening for last year’s GCSE students on 15th November, and our mock examinations for our current Year 11.  Our Year 11s have been given their mock timetables today, and you can see a copy of it here.

On Wednesday 7th November Goyt Valley Youth Provision are presenting the parkour facility idea to our students. Please look at the designs that have been produced by Natural Sport and Russell Play and fill in the survey by clicking on this link https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/goytparkour. Students will be able to fill out a paper copy at lunchtime on the 7th November. For more information click here.


Dates for your diaries …


Other events this half term include the launch of our Adidas Academy to Year 7 on Monday, Year 11 Parents’ Consultation Evening on 22nd November, Year 9 GCSE Information Evening on 29th November and our Christmas Concert is on 19th December.  A reminder to parents that students are not in school on Friday 7th December due to staff training.


Mrs Craven updated me this week with some good news with regard to our construction group in Year 11.  They have been successful in passing their functional skills mathematics qualifications.    Due to the pleasing progress of all individuals in the group it has now been decided to increase the ‘Certificate in Multi-Trade’ to a ‘Diploma’, which will entail stand-alone units in wallpaper hanging, fitting ironmongery, wall tiling, fitting skirting boards and architrave in a safe manner. The majority of these skills will test their maths ability as the units will require them to measure accurately and work out the amount of materials they will need to avoid excess wastage.  The students are showing great commitment to the course and are supporting each other well.   Some individuals are now beginning to work more independently and show high levels of maturity.  Four of the students completed successful work placements in July and spent the week with a supervisor learning various trades.  Supervisors all reported positive feedback and commenting on attendance, punctuality and enthusiasm during the week.   Congratulations to Construction Student of the Month, Bradley Sutton.


A massive thank you to Wyvale Garden Centre this week for their donation towards our gardening project in school.  Miss Harness is creating a garden area with some of our students, to help with ingredients for food technology lessons.


I was incredibly impressed in the final week of last half term with the quality and presentation of food from our Year 11 Hospitality and Catering group’s examination.  I felt they were producing food of a professional standard!


Over half term, 8 Year 9 students were provided with the opportunity to flag bear for the Champions League game at Old Trafford between Manchester United and Juventus. The flag bearing consisted of the students standing in the centre circle pre game, holding the Champions League flag as the players enter the pitch. The atmosphere was amazing, and the students represented themselves and the school exceptionally.  We also had the opportunity to hand out some match tickets to students for the Juventus game, where there were 3 lucky Year 9 winners who got to attend the game.  Manchester United Foundation continues to support us with improving achievement too, currently working with our Year 11 students in Mathematics to focus revision.

Andrew Conroy
Headteacher

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Posted on Thursday 18th October 2018

As we break up for half term, I reflect back on a week of pride with the production of High School Musical.  Our team of performers in drama, dance and music once again produced a fantastic show at Romiley Forum to three paying audiences this week, and our primary feeder schools.  As ever, I was very proud of the talent on show, and can see that the future is safe with some of our lower school students taking first steps on the stage.  On behalf of all of the students, I would like to thank the many Werneth staff, returning students and volunteer helpers who made the show such a success.   Here are a selection of memories from the week ...

Meanwhile in Maths, Mr Brighton was proud to reward sixty students this week with a certificate and badge for endeavour or excellence in Mathematics this half term.  Well done to everyone who has excelled in this crucial subject.

We have said a fond farewell to one of our teaching assistants Mrs Eyre, who retires this week.  Mrs Eyre has supported many young people with excellence over many years at Werneth, and she also plays a key role in many events, particularly with High School Musical where she plays a key role every year.  We wish her every success for the future!

I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable half term.  We will welcome our students back on Monday 29th October.

Andrew Conroy
Headteacher

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Posted on Friday 12th October 2018


Today is a Stockport-wide initiative to raise awareness of the funding issues within all Stockport schools.  Please read the information on our website, contact your MP William Wragg and sign our petition in school reception if you can.  This is a very real concern for every headteacher, and impacts on the education of our children. Read more here

Meanwhile, back in school …. Fundraising to sponsor a guide dog has continued this term with year 7 pupils joining the team. The pupils have organised refreshments at various school events and year 9 pupils organised a disco for our new year 7s. However, we are still quite a long way off our target of £1500. If we manage to raise this, not only will we get to name our sponsored dog but we will also get a visit from them too! With this in mind, Thursday 18th October will be a non-uniform day where we request that pupils donate a minimum of £1 to be able to come to school in their own clothes. This can be paid via Parent Pay. Your support in this matter, as we try to demonstrate to the pupils how they can have such a powerful and positive effect on someone else’s life, is much appreciated.

After several weeks of rehearsal, all the cast and staff are very excited about our upcoming “High School Musical” show week.  We have performed an extract from the show in each year group assembly and the response has been fantastic!  So many pupils have said “it’s amazing” and that they “can’t wait to see it properly” at Romiley Forum.  If you haven’t got your tickets already, you can order them through the school office, Mrs Eyre or the Production Team.  Alternatively you can email us at show@wernethschool.com.  First night is on Monday and we finish Wednesday.  Tickets start from £5:00.  Please come and support our school!

In football, Mr Brierley was delighted with the fantastic cup results for Y7 (7-2) against Reddish and Y9 (4-1) against Priestnall to progress to the Quarter Finals. Well done to both teams!

Year 10 Caterers have been making cheesecake this week with a focus on presentation and portion control. They have worked beautifully well and produced some lovely, professional looking products. Miss Harness took three photographs from the students showing the most progress since the start of the year.

Our Year 11s received a motivational talk from national guest speaker David Hyner on Thursday, discussing the importance of goal setting and how to revise.  Our Year 11s seemed to really enjoy his wacky style of presentation and it was good to see their confidence increase.

Our students are looking great in their uniforms, some of which are brand new.
Could I just ask that you put your child's name on items, so that we can get them back to them as quickly as possible - especially bags/PE/Expressive Arts kit and shoes?  It is amazing how many items we have already just after one half-term!
Many thanks.

Finally, a reminder that school breaks up next Thursday at 3.10pm for half term as Friday is a staff training day.  School returns on Monday 29th October.

Andrew Conroy
Headteacher

 

HEADTEACHER'S BLOG

Posted on Friday 5th October 2018


This Thursday, a group of 42 Year 11 students visited The Lowry Theatre to watch the National Theatre’s touring production of Macbeth. Students thoroughly enjoyed the performance commenting that ‘it really makes a difference when you see it on stage instead of reading it. It makes me realise how much Macbeth changes in the play’.  Year 11 are studying the play as part of their GCSE English Literature course and the performance helped many of them to see the play in a new light. 


A Group of Year 10 students hosted a Coffee Morning this week in support of MacMillan Nurses.  This event gave them the opportunity to practice their Key Skills around Customer Service, Planning and Finance.  The event was well supported by staff from across the School who complimented the Students on their organisation and Customer Service.  Overall the event was a great success, building on their confidence and also raising £100 for this very worthy cause.


We have had a week of innovative learning experiences this week.  Our key stage 3 classes have been working on Maths projects in the hall, coming up with answers to complex questions concerning Old Trafford – for example, how many square centimetres are there on the pitch, and how many gallons of drinks are served on a match day.  We are trying to embed a thirst for Maths as a crucial subject at GCSE.  Meanwhile, in Science, some of our Year 11 students experienced an express revision session this week aimed at embedding some of the complex scientific requirements for GCSE, delivered by external providers.  They enjoyed the session, and we will be providing further sessions for Year 11 through the year.


Congratulations to our “Book of Excellence” winners this week:
Year 7 Libby for Art
Year 8 Natalie for Computing, Kieran for Geography
Year 9 Adam for Food Technology
Year 10 Laykon for Design Technology, Roshna for English
Year 11 Rose for Drama

 

Next Friday, all Stockport headteachers at primary and secondary level are publicising a key message to highlight the shortages in funding received by Stockport schools.  I will be publicising the message below more openly on our website next week.  However, in the meantime, please have a read of our joint statement and plea for action:


Our Children in Stockport are Worth More: A Day of Positive Action by Stockport Schools Friday 12th October 2018


Stockport is one of the worst funded education authorities in England. Even with the new funding proposals our children receive less money per pupil than many of the local Greater Manchester authorities and we currently sit in the worst half funded of schools in the country having previously been136th of 150 authorities. On average our students attract around £1000 per pupil less than those who attend Manchester schools.


Representatives of primary and secondary head teacher groups met with Damian Hinds in June to put forward our case for better funding. They explained the great divide between our schools funding and others in the country and the impact that this was having on our schools.


School leaders have continued to make difficult choices to best resource our schools and provide the best opportunities for our learners but with rising costs, demands to maintain school buildings and the continuous challenge of meeting expectations for all, this is becoming increasingly difficult. Currently, we are proud of the outcomes for our children and despite the funding constraints we are able to provide quality first teaching for all. Our school budgets however, are quickly diminishing in real terms and as schools approach breaking point very difficult decisions regarding provision will inevitably have to be made.


As a collective of school leaders across all phases and settings we continue to call on the Secretary of State for Education to increase funding for all those within early years, primary, secondary and special schools. 
We ask that as parents, you continue to lobby our local MP William Wragg to make them aware of our situation and to further reiterate the circumstances our schools are in.


Last week, Head teachers from all over the country took the unprecedented step to illustrate their concerns over school funding by staging a march from Parliament Square to Downing Street to present a letter highlighting concerns. Stockport was represented in this march.


For pupils with additional needs we are concerned that the High Needs budget is not fit for purpose. Schools are under enormous pressure to provide appropriate entitlement of support as numbers continue to increase and pupils are presenting with a range of complexities in many cases. Under the proposed formula schools are increasingly challenged to deliver on outcomes for learners identified with additional needs.


Funding for early years childcare is also stretched, particularly as a result of the introduction of Government funding levels for 30 hours of ‘free’ childcare. School budgets are not equipped adequately to cover the basic costs of delivery.


Funding for Stockport’s schools in recent years remains out of line with inflation and although some schools saw a modest increase in funding for 2018-19 this has been eroded by increasing costs including salary and pension increases, growing recruitment costs, inflation and the burden of paying into the Apprenticeship Levy.


Friday 12th October is a day we would like our voices to be heard. Rather our children and families’ voices to be heard. Schools in the authority will be carrying out a range of activities to look further into how more funds could and would enhance the learning experiences for our children.


Our children will be given the opportunity to share their thoughts and vision for the educational experiences they feel they are entitled to.


Parents will be invited to write to and talk to local MPs to share the collective view.
We look forward to a positive day of action and one where we have a chance to share our thoughts and further improve outcomes for our children.


The Schools of Stockport.

Andrew Conroy
Headteacher

 

HEADTEACHER'S BLOG

Posted on Friday 28th September 2018

It’s been a long and productive week here at Werneth, with plenty of news items to report on ….


I’ve been pleased to receive a number of complimentary letters over the last few weeks from parents commenting on the transition of Year 7 students, and how well students have settled.  It is always pleasing when we hear that some of our students with the most complex needs have been supported well on this journey.  That’s where our SEN department fit in, and they cope with a whole host of complex needs every day in school.  This week I was delighted to attend a ceremony where one of our teaching assistants was rewarded and recognised by a national company for her work within the department.    Mrs Sutcliffe has worked in the SEN department at Werneth School for 27 years.  She is a highly motivated and enthusiastic member of staff, and is passionate about her job role.  She is one of the first in the school building, and often one of the last to leave every day! Mrs Sutcliffe goes above and beyond to find out about our SEN students and to form good working relationships with them.   She thoroughly deserves this award. Well done Mrs Sutcliffe!


There’s a real buzz in the air with our all-new Geography department this year….  Mr Nicholls, our new Head of Geography, reports that “38 Year 11 Geography pupils went out to the river Noe in the Peak district this week. They completed a river study for their GCSE whereby they measured how parameters such as velocity and discharge changed as you move down the river. All of our pupils were incredible. They were in the river, working as teams to complete the tasks as well as working alongside instructors from the outdoor centre with scientific equipment. Well done and thank you to all those involved.”


Thank you to Mrs Smith from our English department, who organised a welcome disco for our Year 7 students this week in our Main Hall, in aid of Guide Dogs for the Blind.  The event was well attended by Year 7s and also some of our teachers too!


Our PE department took a coach of students to Old Trafford on Tuesday, to watch Manchester United’s League Cup defeat to Derby County.  It was an exciting penalty shoot out and I hear the students really enjoyed the occasion.  Mr Brierley reports that it’s been difficult to keep the smile from Mr Sims’ face though, as a committed Derby County supporter.


A reminder that our ever spectacular school production is taking place the week after next.  “High School Musical” will take place at Romiley Forum from Monday 15th October until Wednesday 17th October.  Tickets can be obtained from our school office, or from Mrs Eyre in school.  I’ve had a few sneak previews of some of the musical dance routines, and I’m sure it will maintain the excellent standards of recent years.


We are having a push on punctuality at the moment.  Attendance matters, but so does being on time.  When we are asked to provide references for colleges and employers, it is always one of the first questions we are asked.  A reminder that students should be in school at 8.40am ready for registration.  We are also concerned that a small number of our students are smoking outside of school, and bringing cigarettes into school with them.  As such, we are currently implementing a new regular search system where we have suspicions of this: all about maintaining and pushing standards. 

The school were delighted to be awarded a number of trophies at this week's Stockport Schools Sports Partnership Presentation.  The schools were awarded trophies for 'Commitment to Leadership and Volunteer' and 'Commitment to Sporting competitions'.  


Finally, a serious note to end on.  You may have heard that 1000 headteachers from across the country are marching in Westminster today to protest against cuts to school budgets.  I don’t have the time to do that, but I wholeheartedly support their message.  As you may be aware, Stockport is one of the poorest funded local authorities in the country, receiving an annual budget that is almost half that received by southern schools.  It’s a struggle to balance resources and make decisions on what we can and can’t do as schools in this area, and I believe that isn’t fair on our young people.  I hope we can look towards a future where the government invests in young people to create a brighter future for our country.

 

Andrew Conroy
Headteacher

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HEADTEACHER'S BLOG

Posted on Friday 21st September 2018

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will know that I am very keen to develop as many of our students as possible to become the leaders of tomorrow.  We have many student leaders in school, ranging from sports leaders to environmental leaders to leaders working with teachers in developing learning.  I was really pleased this week to see that our School Council have been busy working with Transport for Greater Manchester. They have produced a video called ‘School Buses for Beginners’ to help our new students with travel arrangements. The video has been shared with our local primary schools.



It was our Post-16 evening yesterday, where colleges and apprenticeship providers were present in school to meet parents of Year 10 and Year 11 students: over 130 sets of parents attended the event.  A reminder that, if you need signposting help with careers or options when students leave school, you can contact us in school for help via Mrs Lewis.  We are reminding Year 11s of key dates in assemblies, and completing valuable preparation work in Life Learning lessons.


Book of Excellence winners this week:

Year 7 Eve – Practical work on cells in Science
Year 8 Luke – homework on Native American culture in Art
Year 9 Lucy – Research in Photography
Year 10 Alexandru – Descriptive writing in English
Year 11 Caitlin – Independence in Science

Looking for a part time job?  I’ve been asked to advertise this by Stockport local authority …. we currently have several vacancies in the Romiley area. The jobs are advertised on the council website but we are still struggling to recruit.  We tend to find the job attracts retired people looking to top up their pensions or midday assistant staff.  It may be that some grandparents are looking for work.

It's that time of year for tummy bugs and the like. Could we ask students to remember to wash their hands before they eat and after using the toilet. Let’s keep those bugs at bay!

Finally, a well done and thank you to our great Werneth bake off contestants from last week’s Open Evening.  Mrs Oakes writes that “ eight students from all year groups participated in the challenge to bake a pastry, biscuit or cake of their choice using our fantastic kitchens in A12.  Prospective parents and students were given the opportunity to taste the delights and then each item was judged by Miss Harness, Mrs Oakes and Mr Conroy.  The judging was tough, but joint winners were Kate from Year 11 and Eloise from Year 9 with their chocolate and peanut butter swiss roll, and carrot and walnut cake.  Very close runners up were Bryony from Year 11 with pink cupcakes, and Libby from Year 7 with vanilla cake.  Congratulations also to Amelia (Year 7), Tommy (Year 9), Tyler (Year 8) and Alex (Year 10).  They all worked so hard to create gorgeous dishes.  Keep baking everyone!”

 

 

Andrew Conroy
Headteacher

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HEADTEACHER'S BLOG

Posted on Friday 14th September 2018

I was very proud of our students and staff this week as we showed off our school to families at our annual Open Evening on Thursday.  We had well over 200 families looking around the school.  It was lovely to hear the many positive comments about the welcoming feel of our school, alongside the many new and exciting resources at Werneth.

Our Year 7 new starters have had a second excellent week: we are very proud of their start to their secondary school careers.  I have had the pleasure to teach many of them a lesson on developing independence this week and been impressed with their contributions.  They have also taken part in introductory sessions on a range of themes such as developing respect, maintaining excellent attendance, study habits and pride in their work.

We have also had our first winners of our "Book of Excellence" award this week, for students who display excellent work in a particular subject:

Winners were Callum in Year 7 for Maths, Harley in Year 8 for Art, Sophie in Year 9 for Chemistry, Gemma in Year 10 for Photography and Naomi in Year 11 for Science.  All received their awards on Friday!

A reminder that our website now contains an additional tab where – if you wish to book any of our school resources in the evening or at weekends – you can do so electronically via the website.  We offer very competitive rates for both outdoor or indoor use of our facilities, and of course all money generated is spent on our students to improve their education.

BOOK OUR FACILITIES HERE

Attendance REALLY matters

I have already sent this message out to parents but we still have too many students who have missed the start of term due to holidays taken in term-time. Missing school for any reason is likely to deprive a child of educational opportunities and hamper their progress at school.  Although I acknowledge that it is much cheaper to take holidays outside of school holidays, giving permission for leave of absence in term time has to be balanced against the effect on students’ progress at school.

In September 2013 the government abolished the right of headteachers to authorise absence specifically for holidays and, therefore, leave of absence from Werneth School will now only be granted if exceptional circumstances exist. The effect of this change means that the government expects it to be extremely unusual for leave of absence, including for holidays in term time, to be permitted by schools. It is now very rare for Werneth School to authorise any time off school for the purpose of a holiday.

If due to exceptional reasons you do need to request leave of absence please submit a Leave of Absence Request form to me at least 4 weeks before the start of the proposed absence. Forms can be downloaded from the website or can be obtained from school. I take the issue of school attendance very seriously and parents should be aware that where leave of absence is taken during term time without permission, we will ask the Local Authority to issue an Education Penalty Notice fine. Similarly, where parents take their child on holiday but inform school of illness, we must ask for medical evidence and request an Education Penalty Notice fine if this is not received.

Andrew Conroy
Headteacher

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HEADTEACHER'S BLOG

Posted on Friday 7th September 2018

Welcome back!

I hope all of our families had an enjoyable summer, and it is really pleasing to see our students return to school with a very positive approach to their learning.  I’ve also been delighted with our new Year 7 students, who have had an enjoyable and productive week: they already know their way around the building and I have heard many positive comments from staff about their enthusiasm and hard work.

We were pleased in the summer that our ex-Year 11s produced a set of examination results that continued to move the school in the right direction.  It will be a while before I am entirely happy with our results, but this year showed some clear improvement in many areas.  The number of higher grades at GCSE improved markedly this year, with many more students achieving the highest grades 7s, 8s and 9s.  It was lovely to see the hard work rewarded by outstanding grades.  Our English department maintained the positive results from last year, and achievement in both Maths and Science improved in terms of higher grades and students achieving the crucial grade 5 or above.  We experienced significantly improved results also in Computing and Geography, whilst maintaining excellent results in Drama, Food Tech, PE, Music and all of our suite of Visual Arts subjects.  We are determined to continue this positive trend as we start to whip our new Year 11s into shape for the Year 11 journey ahead.

You will have heard no doubt of the national shortage of teachers and how difficult it is to recruit teachers at times.  I am pleased to report that Werneth School is fully staffed, and we welcome a number of new colleagues to our school:

Mr Nicholls is our new Head of Geography, and Mr Millson joins him as Geography teacher.
Mr Golzar and Mr Caswell join our Science department, whilst Miss Harmer, Mrs Rowland and Mr Loizou are new teachers in our Mathematics team.  Miss Bygrave joins us in the English department and Ms McCall is a new member of our Academic Support team, working with our Year 11 Alternative Curriculum group.  We welcome them all to our Werneth team of staff.

Developing student leadership is always a passion of mine, as we strive to create the leaders of tomorrow in our school today.  So it is a particular pleasure to tell you that our School Council are now officially the face of the ‘We Love Stockport’ Campaign.  As recognition of their involvement, the school and students were rewarded with a visit and vouchers from Councillor Bailey, taking the  light hearted comments well about being on the side of Stockport’s bin wagons. As a school, we are very proud that they have put themselves forward for this opportunity and are helping lead the way on recycling and protecting the environment.

Over the Summer, Manchester United Foundation ran a primary school holiday club at Werneth over two weeks. There were a total of 24 young people who participated over the two weeks. The club consisted of classroom activities, football and dodgeball. The children were very well behaved and participated in every activity really positively. There were also two Year 10 students who volunteered and helped Phil McGrath, our Hub Development officer, over the two weeks, and they engaged really well with the young people.

Confirmation that Street Reds, our Friday night free football session, is back up and running now after the Summer break.  Anyone between the ages 8 and 18 are free to attend on our astro turf pitches.  You just need to complete a consent form on arrival before participating.

We are pleased to present a summary of our excellent partnership with Manchester United Foundation.  Click here to read

Could I remind parents to let us know via Year Inclusion Managers if any of your contact details have changed over the summer ( mobile number, address etc ) and also to ensure that clothing and equipment is fully labelled: it’s amazing how quickly items are lost.

Year team leaders are often the first point of contact in school.  This year, they are:

 

Year Achievement Leader

Year Inclusion Manager

Senior Leader linked to year group

Year 7

Miss L Taylor

Miss Cherrington

Mrs Dee

Year 8

Mrs Massey

Miss Hunt

Mrs Kennedy

Year 9

Mrs Tonge

Mr Jones

Mr Bolland

Year 10

Mr Mujagic

Mrs Lumsden

Mr Norman

Year 11

Mr Bennett

Miss T Taylor

Mrs Chantler/Mrs Foy

Finally, a reminder that it is our Open Evening next Thursday, 13th September.  School is open from 5pm to 8pm.

Andrew Conroy
Headteacher

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