For my family and I a year associated with Heritage School has just about finished … and it has been a great and challenging one! Obviously we have had our personal transition-back-to-Zimbabwe dilemmas, and we have also been growing to know the School – who’s who, what makes everyone tick, what we’re good at, what can we improve upon and many other such questions.
It is vital, if we wish to be effective in whatever we are doing, that we are always aware of things that can be improved upon and working towards doing so. In a school this means that all of us (teachers, students, families, administrators) need to be pulling in the same direction so as to achieve real improvements and benefits.
The first step would be to know what’s happening, so here are some reminders about a few of the significant changes that we’ll be implementing from the beginning of 2017:[/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row padding_top=”0px” padding_bottom=”0px”][vc_column fade_animation_offset=”45px” width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column fade_animation_offset=”45px” width=”3/4″]
During 2016 we were running three classes for Y8 and Y9. For 2017 we are going to run two classes for Y8 – 11. We deviate from this during the English Language lessons, when three classes will operate. This is in order to facilitate an ESL (English as a Second Language) class for students whose first language is not English, positioning the School to more effectively meet the needs of this particular group of students.
We have also changed the school day from nine 35 minute periods to eight 40 minute periods. Those who have been involved in teaching will appreciate the additional 5 minutes to each lesson, and the overall classroom time is pretty much unchanged (academic school day is 5 minutes longer). I must just remember to change the automatic bell times!
As some of you are already aware, because you have been directly affected and asked for feedback during the last term of 2016, we have introduced a few changes to the subject structures for both the IGCSE and the A Level courses offered.
For the IGCSE students (Y8 – 11) the changes are essentially to ensure that all students are well exposed to a broad learning curriculum. For the A Level courses, a couple of changes have been made in line with course enrolment numbers and ensuring that we provide the most effective learning opportunities that we have capacity to.
A-LEVELS AND Y12 ATTENDANCE
In order to utilise time most effectively during the sixth form, all year 12 students are commencing their A-Level courses on 10 January 2017 – this is prior to the 2016 IGCSE results being released, but that means simply that a few students may be required to adjust their courses based on the results and interview between student, teachers and parents/guardians once the results are available. Cambridge have been adjusting their schedules and work programmes to enable earlier release of results, and we are expecting them early in the new year.[/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row padding_top=”0px” padding_bottom=”0px”][vc_column fade_animation_offset=”45px” width=”1/1″]
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LEARNING AND COMMUNITY SUPPORT
An aspect of school life that we are developing is how we holistically support students and the school community in their growing and learning. There are two key focal areas that are being introduced in 2017.
One is a Learning Support department that will greatly improve our capacity to identify students’ learning challenges and design interventions to more effectively support the students in overcoming these challenges and enjoy successful learning experiences at school.
Appropriate training and interaction with external facilities will be undertaken during the course of the year in order to make sure we adopt best practice as we develop this important aspect of support for student learning.
The second initiative is introducing a Community Support Officer who will provide student and family support for students with emotional and other challenges that are impacting their personal development, learning and social interactions. While teachers and peers are an important part of every students’ wellbeing, there are times when someone outside of ‘the system’ can be better placed to give students a safe, encouraging place to talk about and try to deal with difficult issues.
The Community Support Officer will liaise between students, relevant teaching staff, parents/guardians and external service providers in order to facilitate the best support we can offer our students and their families. This will all be done within the confines of strictest confidence.
Leadership Development and other Tours
Please visit the website page here to find out about the available trips (optional and compulsory) during the year.
Note that we are introducing a leadership development camp for our Y12 students that all Y12s should attend between 21 and 24 February 2017. There is an additional cost of $250, inclusive of transport, meals and activities to and from Antelope Park, Gweru. Please see me if there is any issue with attendance at this leadership development camp.
Payment for these events can be done in instalments if required and will be itemized separately on your fees invoice. For the Y8 Cape Town tour a payment schedule has already been issued. Please contact the office if you did not receive this, or if you have any queries.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column fade_animation_offset=”45px” width=”1/2″][vc_row_inner padding_top=”0px” padding_bottom=”0px”][vc_column_inner fade_animation_offset=”45px” width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]
I have stressed previously that the School’s values and expectations haven’t suddenly changed, but the way this is managed has been changed. It is important that young men and women appreciate that they are responsible for their own attitudes and actions, and take ownership of managing themselves. The new discipline policy pushes the responsibility for managing attitude and behaviour onto the appropriate person: the student. There are clear boundaries and expectations for behaviour and attitude, with equally clear consequences to crossing those boundaries or failing to meet expectations.
Please ensure that you read the new Discipline Policy (this can be done by clicking here)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner fade_animation_offset=”45px” width=”1/3″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_column_text]
A couple of our extra-curricular clubs are being finalised with external providers and a schedule of these will be published as soon as possible prior to the beginning of the first term.
There has been an upgrade to the Interhouse Competition, introducing a wide variety of activities that will run through the year and allow students with all manner of giftings and strengths to be involved and contribute to their house competition. Keep an eye on the calendar for the different events that will be taking place throughout the year!
Please note that fees payment options are being streamlined so that it is clearer what the expectations are. Essentially, the default expectation is that fees are paid on or before the first day of the term. Alternatively, fee arrangements can be made that include a proportion due on or before the start of term with the balance due by either half term or end of term. Please call in at the office or read the fees payment options to find out what best suits your circumstances.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row padding_top=”0px” padding_bottom=”0px”][vc_column fade_animation_offset=”45px” width=”1/2″]
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Mr. S. Allott
Senior Department Headmaster[/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner]
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