8 September 2015

Dear Parents/Carers

I am thrilled to be finally taking up the post of Headteacher at The Market Weighton School after having the opportunity to spend several days in the school last term. Along with myself, we welcome 5 new teaching staff and 85 new Year 7 students who I am sure will also be excited by the new opportunities that secondary school will offer. As a staff we have agreed to set even higher expectations of our students as only good progress is good enough as we strive for the best possible outcomes by the end of Year 11. Last year some Year 11 students achieved some outstanding outcomes but as we move forward we want to support many more students to achieve these levels of progress which will give them the best possible start in life and the world of work. If your son or daughter is in Year 10 or 11 they will see that we are setting targets a grade higher in line with what would be seen as good progress nationally. We will send out more details about this with the first set of progress data later this term.

We expect high standards of behaviour for learning and want to focus this term on rewarding the vast majority of students who display excellent behavior and an enthusiasm for learning. We are launching a new ‘E-Praise’ system where students will gain points every lesson which are recorded in a web based data base to which they will have access from any device. We will offer support to parents with this in due course. As ever, we ask for your support in maintaining high standards of uniform and encouraging good learning behaviour at all times. Our students have many distractions in their lives and learning time is valuable and should not be wasted. When phones and devices are used without the teacher’s consent they will be confiscated and we will ask you to collect them to support this policy of ensuring lesson time is focused on learning. Students should not be using phones without permission in lessons or between lessons.

I am also asking for parents’ support in reducing the number of high sugar drinks that some students consume. These are not allowed in school and will be confiscated if seen. I would recommend watching the recent Jamie Oliver channel 4 programme on the impact of high sugar drinks as it shows quite clearly why we need to take responsibility for reducing the amount of sugar in our student’s diets; it poses serious health risks in addition to making it harder for the students to concentrate on learning.

Over the coming weeks I will be asking students for their ideas to help move The Market Weighton School forward and I would like to hear from parents and welcome your views by e-mail, letter or calling into school, although I may not always be available. For concerns about day to day matters please continue to contact your child’s Form Tutor or Head of Year in the first instance.

I look forward to your support over the coming years.

Yours faithfully

Richard Harrison