What was that? Was it … yes, the first term just ended! And it’s been quite a term. Our students have worked hard and there are many who have achieved great outcomes. The 2015 IGCSE results were solid, many of our current Year 12 students having excelled in them. Our tennis and hockey teams have gone from strength to strength, showing improved results each week over previous seasons. The athletics, swimming, basketball and rugby players have had opportunities to learn and shine, including some impressive performances on tours and at district and national competitions. Our choirs, singers and music groups have performed exceptionally well during the Eisteddford. The prefect body has been working well to engage the students in conversations about improving aspects of the school culture. And Windsor is maintaining its lead in the Merit Points count (but there’s a long way to go yet: E-241, C-293, W-337!)
For me it has been an encouraging term, from which I’ve taken many positives. One of the benefits of coming new into a school is that one is able to view how things are from, essentially, an outside perspective. This means that the good is clearly visible and the room for improvement is also clearly visible: with time we tend to grow accustomed to the environment and it can become increasingly challenging to see the opportunities for change that will benefit the school, so we need to work hard to keep ourselves sharp and looking for those opportunities.
Heritage is a good school and one that has a lot of potential to continue growing even better. Not because there’s a new head teacher in the senior department! Rather, because there are teaching and support staff who are determined to educate effectively in an efficiently managed school and because there are students that want to leave a positive legacy, bringing about effective change where needed. Each member of the school community – students, teachers, support staff, parents and guardians, board of directors – has a role to play and an impact to make. As I have already mentioned, I am encouraged by where Heritage is now, but I also know there is much more that Heritage is able to offer. Something that President Obama said during an interview I heard earlier this year is “Stuff gets better if we work at it and we stay focused on where we’re going … if we get complacent and lazy, then stuff doesn’t happen.”
Allow me to continue encouraging you, members of the Heritage School community, to stay focused on finding and acting upon opportunities to further develop the positive heritage of our school and the impact we are having in the lives of our students.
I have talked previously about the need to pay attention to the details, make sure the nails that hold horseshoes in place are secure, and will continue to do so! From arriving on time and dressing correctly to completing assignments on time and to high standard … always expecting to do our best at everything we do is an attitude that we need to model for our students and hold them accountable to in order for them to become the very best that they can in life. A few things to take note of:
We have identified a few areas of uniform that need particular attention by students. Senior girls’ shoes are to be standard black court shoes, not high heels. There has been an extended period during the first term to allow the girls sufficient time to ensure they are wearing the correct shoes and from the beginning of the second term I will be expecting that this is strictly adhered to. The uniform policy is that students wearing incorrect uniform without written explanation from parent or guardian are required to go home and change or have the correct item brought from home before continuing to class.
We have introduced a Uniform Note, which form tutors will complete for delivery home if it is necessary to highlight uniform issue that need addressing. Please sign these to acknowledge receipt. If three such notes are issued for same or similar issues, then parents will be invited to come for a meeting to discuss rectifying the uniform issue.
Please ensure that examination fees have been paid in full by the required due dates. These fees are paid by the school to Cambridge in UK, so we need to have them paid in sufficient time to enable us to settle with Cambridge for registration of students for exams. Late payment results in late payment charges from Cambridge, which are passed on to your account.
Fees and Tours
It is a requirement that school fees are settled in order for a student to be permitted to join a team for either sport or cultural tours.
A number of students have not yet received an invoice for the second term. There are a variety of reasons for this, but if you have not settled fees for the first term, then you will not have received an invoice for the second term.
Enrolment for the second term is contingent on students being invoiced for that term, so if you have not received an invoice prior to the start of the second term your child will not be on the enrolment register and will not be able to continue attending class next term. Please ensure that fees are settled so that second term enrolment can be processed.
Parent Body Surveys
I will be sending out a couple of surveys via email soon, to which your responses will help in setting some of the direction for aspects of the school that we are working on. Some of the questions I have put to the students are “What sort of school culture do you want?”, “What do you need to do to grow or create that culture?” and “What legacy do you want to leave? When you have left, what do you want to leave behind for those following you to look at?” This is a theme I want to generate and maintain within the conversation at Heritage to help focus us on further developing the school. It is something that I believe the parent body can contribute to as well, so please take a few minutes to complete my surveys when they arrive!