Happy New Year and our best wishes to your family for a healthy and happy 2016.
It was lovely to welcome the children back to school today and to hear their stories of travel, fun and family time together.
We start this week with the Extra Curricular sign up and I would encourage every student to make the very most of the excellent range of clubs and activities on offer. With 50 to choose from there is something for everyone. In the New Year we often make resolutions and I would encourage our young people to resolve to be fit and active and to try something new. The academic Booster Classes for the GCSE and A level students are highly recommended and regular attendance throughout the year will undoubtedly reward their commitment with an enhanced final grade.
I would also like to thank you for your generosity last term, together as a school community we raised a fantastic £2,166 for charity including : Jeans for Genes, Cancer Research and Breast Cancer, Children In Need, The Poppy Appeal, Duke of Edinburgh Malawi Appeal and Save the Children.
I am pleased to inform you that we have successfully recruited two new members to the academic staff. Ms Christophers will be joining us after the half term as the new Year 1 class teacher and we are in the final stages of appointing the Modern Foreign Language Teacher and the successful candidate will hopefully be in post early next week.
We also had two additions to the extended Webber family over the holiday. Congratulations to Mr and Mrs Hutchinson on the arrival of their beautiful daughter Rebecca and Mr and Mrs Wakefield became grandparents for the first time with the birth of their beautiful granddaughter Charlotte.
Last term was a very busy and productive one with numerous trips, visits, fieldwork, work related learning, fixtures and tournaments, productions and concerts, guest speakers and learning experiences outside the classroom.
The learning this term promises to be just as varied and exciting. I have attached the Key Dates for Term 2 for your information. These dates are correct at the time of issue but please check the Weekly Bulletin for updates and additions.
It was very encouraging to welcome so many visitors, new families and prospective students to the school last term as the interest in and reputation of the school continues to grow from strength to strength. Thank you to all the parents who have recommended the school to friends, neighbours and work colleagues and have encouraged them to come along and visit the school.
We continue to have monthly Open Days and we are delighted to welcome visitors to the school on any working day to experience the outstanding learning and teaching that is part and parcel of what we do here every day. The Year 10 and 11 Prefects and the Sixth Form students are often called upon to tour our guests and they are excellent ambassadors for the school. It is a delight to tour with families and be able to walk in to any classroom in any part of the school have hear your children talk about their learning and what they enjoy with such passion, enthusiasm and commitment to Webber.
On that note, this leads on to the focus for this term as we continue to strive for excellence in all we do we will be working as a whole staff on lesson observations, work sampling and sharing best practice across all the Key Stages of the school.
I will be hosting Student Focus Groups and parents are also invited to come along on Thursday 28 January 9am to 10am and 4pm to 5pm to the Parent Focus Group where we can meet together to look at what we do well and what would be ‘even better if’.
We begin the term in the Senior School with the Y11-13 Mock Examinations as we start the countdown to the external examinations and I know that these students have been working solidly through the holiday to ensure that they are in the best possible position to start the new term.
As staff and parents we have discussing and giving a great deal of thought to the issue of ‘screen time’ and how this impacts upon learning potential and the related concerns around social media. Following a pilot with Year 7 and 11 last term I have decided that all Y7-11 students will now hand their mobile phones in to their Form Tutors each morning for safe keeping and collect them again at 4pm. This removes any possibility of mobile phones being a distraction to learning within the classroom or during the school day.
A reminder that we have the monthly Parents FOWIS coffee morning on the first Tuesday of each month in the Café and all parents are welcome to drop in to meet the FOWIS team and other parents.
I look forward to another exciting and engaging term with your children and I look forward to meeting you at the many events we will be hosting this term.
Mrs H. Marsden