A Parrot for Company
As I write the second in this series of blogs I am looking at a colourful parrot sitting on my desk which has spent large parts of today on my shoulder. Lest anyone be concerned about either psittacosis or my state of mind, I should explain that today has been a sixth form led “dress like a pirate” fund raising day, that the parrot is wooden and was attached to my shoulder through a harness made by the design technology department. Whilst I felt that I was entering into the spirit of the day, my efforts paled in comparison with the full costumed magnificence of staff such as Mr Waterman, Ms Jackson, Ms Clayton and Mr Matthews. The sixth form are to be congratulated for the initiative and the opportunity to bring some early fun into the serious business of education.
Although the term is only just two weeks old we are already receiving notification of outstanding achievements by our students. Last week we were told the results of our entries to the annual Canterbury Poetry Festival and, once again, these results were excellent. Across the 3 age ranges we received 2 Highly Commended (John Matson, Isabella Turnland), 1 Bronze (Daisy Druggit), 3 Silver (Holly Doran, Connor Hamilton, Kirsty Snelling) and 1 Gold (Chyna Jacobs). It is a delight to see the hard work and creativity of these students recognised and reflects so well on the teachers who have given generously of their time in providing the opportunities for them.
Last week I was one of a number of senior staff involved in meeting with over a hundred Year 11 students and their parents at the start of this crucial time in their lives. It was heartening to observe the commitment and sense of purpose displayed by so many during these interviews and I was reinforced in my views that this really is going to be an astonishing year in terms of academic performance.
This Thursday I am scheduled to meet with a representative from the government department responsible for allocating capital money to academies. Last term we engaged a firm of architects, Lee Evans Partnership, to draw up a masterplan for the development of this site over the coming years and our mission on Thursday is to persuade the government to fund at least the first phase of this project. Whilst I do not expect to be sharing the news of a massive cheque next week, I am hopeful that we will receive positive indications of a way to begin a process of rebuilding and redevelopment. I am reliably informed that £20,000,000 would see everything done with some change left over; our initial proposals are a little more modest!