Easter Sunday, and reflecting over the last month, I have just realised that it’s been exactly one month since being appointed at Head of Sandymoor School. I felt I had to mark this with a brief post, just as I’ve been thinking about everything we’ve achieved over that time. And what a lot we’ve done!
- The site for both the temporary school and main build have been agreed.
- Planning permission has been put in for the temporary site (the first time we’ve applied for planning permission).
- Plans for the temporary school have been finalised.
- Plans for the main building are very exciting and are coming on fast.
- Staff required for September have been agreed (and I’ve spent the last week writing Job Descriptions, Person Specifications and related documents, ready to go on the website shortly).
- Term dates for the next two years have been agreed and set.
- The School Uniform has been agreed.
- All our compulsory school policies and procedures are complete and will be on the website soon.
- We’re in the process of planning the school trips, starting with a whole school (students, teachers, non-teaching staff & governors) team building experience in an outdoor pursuits centre in Wales.
- I’ve just spent the last week writing the school’s curriculum document, which is already over 220 pages long.
In my next blog, I will be focussing on the unique elements of Sandymoor’s curriculum offer, but as a taster for you, here’s an outline of them:
- Focus on ‘skills for learning’ through the Building Learning Power
- Project-based Learning
- Community Engagement Lessons
- Business and Enterprise Mentoring Scheme
These four elements are woven throughout every lesson and every aspect of the school. Each half term will have a ‘Big Question’ that will form the focus of every aspect of school life through that time. Every lesson will have an element of Building Learning Power associated with it (a technique referred to as ‘Split Screen’ teaching, with the soft skill alongside the subject knowledge, just as explicitly delivered). The Business and Enterprise Mentor will work at developing the ‘soft’ skills for employability and the Community Engagement lessons will put the whole package in context, with members of the local community coming into school to work alongside the teachers and help the students see themselves as part of the community.
And to finish, with the teaching unions promising strikes in state schools for the Autumn Term, I can promise you that Sandymoor School will not close and will deliver a continuous, full education throughout the school year, outstanding from day 1.