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Principal's latest letter to parentsJCh

5th March 2018

Dear Parent / Carer

Last week was certainly eventful in relation to the cold, snowy weather! I would like to thank you for your support and patience during the difficult period. I truly understand the impact that closing a school can have on parents and carers and will always try to avoid doing this, but not at the risk to safety of students or staff. The decision to close midway through Wednesday was made in light of the changing weather conditions, which meant that the bus companies could not guarantee their service at the end of the school day. This posed significant risk to many students and I wanted to ensure students could get home before the prolonged downfall of snow that fell from 3.00pm. The closure on the following two days (Thursday and Friday) was due to the conditions in and around the school, which would have posed a safety risk to our students and staff.  I am hoping that we have seen the last of the wintry conditions, but should they return, information regarding school closure will be placed on the school website, sent via text message and placed on our Twitter account. I will always try to share information as quickly as possible, but in some situations, such as with school buses, I have to await information to be shared with me from external sources.  A decision to close the school is never one that is taken lightly and I want to acknowledge the support that has been shown by our community in making the tough decisions last week.

We have now received information about our new starters for September 2018, and I am delighted to report that the number of students choosing Colne Valley High School has increased significantly this year. This is testament to the wonderful work that is going on within the school and the increasing confidence that the young children and their parents / carers have in Colne Valley High School. I would like to welcome all new students and their parents / carers to the Colne Valley High School community.

I had the pleasure of joining the Y10 and Y11 Geography students on their trip to Iceland over the half term holiday. Throughout the trip, the students were engaged, well-behaved and appreciative.  It was a privilege to share the experience of visiting this unique country with them.   Similarly, another group of students spent the week skiing in Austria, and again the feedback that I have received from staff is that their conduct and behaviour was exemplary and that they were a credit to us all.  I am a strong believer that participation in school trips aids children’s development.  Successful trips reply on dedicated members of staff who give up their own free time with their families to supervise and provide wonderful experiences such as these to our students.  My thanks goes to every member of staff who accompanied our students to Iceland and Austria over half term.  The increasing opportunities on offer to our students at Colne Valley High School, demonstrates the commitment and dedication that our staff have to providing the best for our students.  Forthcoming trips include a Year 7 visit to Hollingworth Lake to take part in a 2-day outdoor adventure programme designed to develop an awareness and a respect for themselves, others and the environment through adventure and challenge.  Also, a large number of Year 8 students will be visiting Castle Howard to take part in a Bushcraft residential programme.  We always aim to provide a wide ranging offer of school visits which are accessible to all.

I have recently been working with some consultants who have experience of leading OFSTED inspections and supporting schools to improve. It has been reassuring to hear that they are all in support of our plans to sustain improvements. I have three key priorities that I will ensure all staff work towards;

1. That leadership across the whole school is consistently ‘Good’

2. The quality of teaching that your children receives is consistently ‘Good’

3. To ensure that all students are contributing fully to their learning.

Over the course of the next few months we will be re-launching and raising the profile of student ‘Attitudes to Learning’.   Behaviour across the school is generally very good but I believe many of our students have more to offer in terms of achieving to the best of their individual ability.  I want our students to develop their knowledge on how to be the most successful learner, not just to pass GCSE results but for lifelong learning. Before the end of the year, I intend to flip the focus around ‘Behaviour for Learning’ and encourage and teach our students and staff to develop positive learning behaviours rather than focusing on removing negative behaviours. The overwhelming majority of our students behave exemplary and these need to be the focus to ensure they are ‘the best that they can be’.

As always, thank you for your continued support; together we are stronger.

Yours sincerely

J Christian (Mr)