Head Teachers Letter - March 2016

Wednesday 23rd March

Dear William Perkin Parents and Carers

It seems hard to believe that we are already at the end of our 2nd term in our third year.Spring is always a time of renewal and new growth and the William Perkin grounds are no exception with drifts of golden daffodils that have been planted by year 7 classes each September.

The school’s continued growth means that we are already planning for 2016-17 with new staff being appointed to each department ready for the four year groups we will have then and new students offered places for next year. Many parents will have been delighted to receive their acceptance letters in recent weeks, but we must spare a thought for those who were unable to have a place and wish them every success in their new school wherever that may be.

You will also be pleased to know that work has begun on our new football pitch, soon to be followed with the building of our new sports pavilion.From next September we will be able to grow our community links by offering the use of our sports facilities to outside users.

Looking back over the Spring term, I am pleased to report that it has, as usual, been rich and varied in the range and number of activities taking place.

Academically, we continue to be very proud of the dedication of our students to their studies.They continuously strive to improve upon their last performances and many are already above their end of year target in both homework and quarterly assessments. This term you all had the opportunity to hear directly from staff about the progress of your children in the 3 parents’ evenings which took place and I hope you all felt as positive about them as we do.

Teachers continue in their quest to enhance the academic experience of the students with trips to Tate Modern, the Science Museum, the Battlefields of the First World War, and also through various competitions such as Spelling Bees, Youth Speaks Out and History debates.Particular highlights of the term were our, now annual, visit by the “Bug man” with a range of creatures which students could hold and learn about, an equally fascinating session by Professor Monica Grady who brought samples of various rocks including one from the Moon and one from Mars together with our first Spanish and German exchanges.

Our pastoral measures also show real commitment to school life with attendance figures ranging from 94.9% to 97.0% for each year group.Average weekly achievement points are excellent with 23 for year 7, 21 for year 8 and 14 for year 9.Average behaviour points continue to be 3 or less which is very pleasing.At this point I would like to say how saddened we have been by the activities of some student on social media this term and would ask you to continue to safeguard your child by monitoring their use of phones and computers.

As you are aware, we take very seriously our duty to inform and educate students about issues which may affect their safety through our pastoral programme and workshops.This term, these have included sessions on E-Safety, Alcohol and Drugs and Relationships and self-image.Through the Citizenship programme, some students have had a real opportunity to investigate and have a voice regarding the shortage of housing in London. Plans are now being made to take a group of 200, if possible, to the London Mayoral Assembly.This will be a unique experience of government at work and I encourage you to support your child to take part.Parents will be welcome to come too so please look out for the information email.

The Chaplaincy team and RE department continue to encourage a wider knowledge of different faiths with visits by year 7 to our local Mandir.The welcome and hospitality we received there were outstanding and we could only be impressed by their care of others in providing lunch daily for those in need in our local area and in central London. The Lent Labyrinth helped students have a quiet space to reflect in the middle of their busy lives here.

Our students not only work hard, they also use every opportunity to widen their experience outside lessons.Clubs run by each department continue to be well attended, Dodgeball interform games have been keenly fought and fixtures this term against other schools in Football, Netball and Athletics have resulted in some great wins for the school.

Music goes from strength to strength with our choir performing in Holy Cross church for Education Sunday, a first Solo Performance competition and collaboration with the Drama and Art departments in preparing for our first School Production, “The Little Shop of Horrors” next term which we hope you will be keen to come and watch.As I write this, the Music department are in final rehearsals for our spring term concert featuring performances of Joseph by year 8 and Noah by year 7.

Watson, Isambard and Rutherford Enterprise days together with non-uniform day and Strictly Come Dancing performances by staff have raised over £3000 this term.We thank you and your children for your generosity in reaching out to the wider world.

Finally, may I wish you a happy, safe and peaceful holiday, one in which you all feel fully refreshed and renewed

Best wishes

Keir Smith

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