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Principal's latest letter to Parents

10th September 2019

Dear Parent /Carer,                                                                                                        

Positive first week back and home-school partnership

I hope you have had a wonderful summer. The first week back to school was very positive, our new, oversubscribed Year 7 have made a fantastic start, very confident, enthusiastic and were a pleasure to teach. As we work together to ensure the school continues to make good progress teamwork is vital between parents and staff. I want to encourage you to contact us whenever you need support. To ensure that all children can be the best that they can be, we are holding a series of parental information events throughout the year to update you on what we are doing and to help you help your children at home. We need to focus on ‘home learning’ and want to enlist your support at home by taking interest, asking questions and ensuring students take increased responsibility for their learning at home.

I am aware that were some issues with the school buses last week as they try to accommodate a big increase in school numbers. We are working closely with the bus companies to improve this situation. You may be aware that we have sent staff in the school mini bus to support the bus companies during this time. Please keep the school informed of any further concerns.

Important dates

Thursday 12th September 2019 (17.30- 19.00) - Year 11 PPE results/Engagement evening

Tuesday 17th September 2019 (18.00 – 19.00) – Year 7 Achievement and Guidance evening

Thursday 19th September 2019 (18.00 – 19.00)– Year 8 Achievement and Guidance evening

Tuesday 24th September 2019 (18.00 – 19.00) – Year 9 Achievement and Guidance evening

Thursday 26th September 2019 (18.00 – 19.00) – Year 10 Achievement and Guidance evening

Improvements to the school building and site- Building work on the Astro Turf starts today

The school had £500,000 spent on it over the summer in various ways including: new boilers, gas works, car parking, the dining room and kitchen changes and various internal modifications. The installation of the new ‘state of the art’ 4G astro turf pitch started yesterday and should hopefully be completed within 10 weeks. This will add greater capacity to the PE department and help further promote healthy lifestyles across the school and the community. This is an exciting time for Colne Valley High School and all students will benefit hugely from the investment. During the building works our car parking capacity will be reduced so I ask for your support in picking up and dropping children off outside of the school site (unless it is an emergency). In essence part of our grounds will be a building site and I wish to minimise the traffic during this time in the interests of health and safety.

Improvements in learning

As you are aware, I am proud to lead our school in our community and understand the role that we have in ensuring that our students have maximum opportunity to achieve their best. My vision is that every student and member of staff will achieve their best and I am satisfied that we worked hard to ensure that this was the case, in 2018/2019. Overall, we had improvements in GCSE in the majority of subjects:

  • GCSE achievement has increased for all student groups, including boys and disadvantaged boys which has been a focus of ours.
  • The % of students achieving a grade 4+ has also risen in English and in Mathematics.
  • Additionally, results have risen for both grades 9-4 and grades 9-5.
  • The number of students achieving grade 7 has risen in the vast majority of subjects, including: English Language (+33%) and Literature (+36%), Maths (+54%), all Triple Sciences (+68%), History (+61%), Geography (+54) and Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) (+33%).
  • The number of students achieving a grade 8 or 9 has risen in Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Combined Science, History and Geography. In addition, Further Maths, which stretches our high ability learners and has shown vast improvements, with 47% of students achieving at least a grade 7+.
  • Science and Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) are subject areas that have been an area of focus. MFL have shown rapid improvements, with a 45% increase in achievement.   Grades 9-4 have also increased by 41% and grades 9-7 by 7 an increase of 104%. 
  • Since the appointment of Mr Mortimer (Curriculum Leader for Science), there has been an increase in GCSE achievement and grades 9-7 in all 3 triple science classes and in combined science.
  • Achievement of Disadvantaged students and Disadvantaged boys remain a priority but strategies used to address this have resulted in rapid improvements from their PPE examinations to their summer GCSE exams.
  • The performance of our girls was extremely satisfying and above the average for similar ability students nationally.

Behaviour improved last year, low level disruption in the classroom reduced, exclusions reduced, attendance improved to put us above the national average, the number of students persistently absent from school reduced, achievement increased, the numbers choosing Colne Valley High School are increasing and the quality of teaching has improved. We have a culture where children are at the centre of what we do; I am proud of our pastoral and wellbeing support and we are actively making stronger community links. Our safeguarding team has increased in number, the safety and wellbeing of your child is always our first priority. Colne Valley is a great place to work and study. This is a huge year for the school with an impending inspection and increasing numbers of students and families that have faith in what we are doing. We must work together and support each other as we need our school to be the beacon of our community.

Leadership changes

Good Leadership is vital and substantially important, as without good leadership our children and staff don’t achieve their best. Mrs C Govan has now become our new Chair of Governors. Mrs Govan has worked closely as Governor and then as Vice Chair of Governors with the school and brings a strong sense of the community. She is knowledgeable, pragmatic, committed to the school and her own children attended and achieved well. The outgoing chair, Mrs J Ryan will remain as a governor of the school and will continue to provide invaluable support in a number of ways.

Mr Leitch has joined us as Head of the English faculty, an inspiring leader with experience and expertise. Mr Beckley joined us as the new head of Physical Education just prior to the end of the last academic year and adds incredible energy and vibrancy to the school at the exciting stage when a new facility is being built.  

The highlight of last week was a letter that I received yesterday from a new Year 7 student who wrote: “I’m writing to tell you what a wonderful week I have had at CVHS, thank you. The lunch was amazingly delicious and has given me chance to make new friends. I will always work as hard as I can, everywhere I go, even when no one is looking”.

As always, I encourage you to make contact with the school if you require any assistance, together we are stronger!

Yours sincerely

Mr J Christian