During the month of September most schools have “open evening” … it turns out that at Alcester Academy its “open week” in addition to Tuesday being the normal open evening. I absolutely love this idea – I do think you get more of a feel from a school, during the day when it’s running normally and it shows that the school has nothing to hide – basically any prospective parents can turn up any day this week and get a tour of the school (at 9.30am or 11.30am). How refreshing is that?
No doubt most teachers will be subject to the usual “get your displays sorted; clear your desks” emails in the lead up to their own schools’ open evening. Well! We’re in new rooms, so we’ve been sorting out ours as we have started from zip! and so it isn’t just “for show”. Actually I need to correct that … we have had to update 2 portable display boards used specifically for open evening – they included pictures of text books and were, well, just plain boring! So our new boards have a “comic book” theme and have 2 distinctly different uses:
1) The Department “who’s who” and this will be completed with selfies of each of us – with Seager photobombing each of them! He’ll have fun doing that tomorrow (and yes I do refer to myself as his “side-kick”!)
(2) The New GCSE’s from 2017… basically I am focusing on the changes and emphasising that “we’ve got it covered”. I am genuinely positive about being able to deal with their introduction and feel that given our contacts outside of our day jobs, the department really will be ahead of the game! That doesn’t mean it will be easy, but that we will be better prepared than some maths departments.
I am looking forward to the evening; I’ve always enjoyed them in the past and think it’s nice to get to meet prospective parents from the get-go. Some of the parents from my last year 11 remember me, and I them, from the open evening they came to, 4 or 5 years ago and they have told me that part of their decision was based upon how they felt when they met the people that would be teaching their child. As a parent it must be a tough decision when it comes to choosing a school (if you in fact, do get a choice) – you want the best for your child and much of your decision will be based on past performance, but to some extent, there is a time lag between a schools results or that all important Ofsted rating and a schools’ “outside world” reputation.
Paul Hyde has been at the school for two years, more notably this is his second year as Headteacher,and together with Deputy Headteacher Sarah Mellors, (should I dare call her a “side-kick” too?!?!) they are determined to lead the school to being the “school of choice” in the area. This year’s results are a step towards this goal and they genuinely believe that they have the structure in place with new appointments and existing teachers to get the school where they want it to be!
So if you are in South Warwickshire this week (and have kids in year 6 obviously!) do come and see us – even if Alcester Academy was never on your radar for whatever reason – I am sure you will like what you see and you never know, if you get as far as the Maths Dept, I may even put the kettle on!