This Week 12th November 2018

There has been a tremendous reaction to the school and a fantastic volume of applications to join us as our first students in Year 7 in September 2019. The main window for applications is now closed and HCC will organise notifying families on National Offer Day on March 1st 2019. We still welcome applications, but they will be treated as late by HCC and not included in the first round of offers. We will arrange an event around that time to welcome students who have been offered a place and inform others about the arrangements for the continued interest process.

I’m told that survey work on site is edging slightly ahead of schedule as the weather has been kind so far. I will have a timeline shortly for the first phase of the build and the full school build which I will publish on the website highlighting significant milestones as we progress.

This week I chaired a fantastic meeting with our curriculum group as we discussed the details of our curriculum at Keystage 3 and 4. The focus was our additional learning opportunity at the end of each day from 3.30pm to 4pm. A very strong feeling emerged that our extra learning opportunity (period 7) should focus on developing the skills which emerge from and feedback into the knowledge taught in subject periods in the school day. We won’t be able to confirm the range of our period 7 offer until recruitment is finalised but I’ve already had some approaches from people to offer their time on a voluntary basis and our intention is to offer a wide range of opportunities such as critical thinking, young engineer, book club etc. We also have some great suggestions from students and parents who attended our open day. I’ll develop an option process so that students can select their period 7 on a termly basis then rotate. Orchestra and team sports will sit outside the options process so they can be pursued all year where applicable.

Finally, I attended a very interesting talk from Paul Hannaford on Drug Awareness at Rothamsted this week. It was arranged by the Harpenden secondary schools (with some financial support from the local council). It was a graphic, no holds barred insight into the reality of drug use and abuse and its devastating impact on individuals, families and friends of addicts. Paul is a former addict who now spends his time delivering talks and programmes to young people and parents. You can find out more about Paul’s work on his website www.paulhannaford.com