An excellent question was posed last week. The questioner acknowledged the thorough preparation and individual knowledge and support we provide for each child in our focused and caring school. She also acknowledged the extent to which we ensure that each student is known not just through their data, assessment and learning but also as a developing person.
The question was this:
“How will you retain the magic of a middle school as you grow through with your students to fulfil their achievement at 16?
This is a great question. We have brought in the teachers, leaders and support staff to provide the experience and expertise needed to deliver the highest results in the new and more challenging GCSEs. However, how are we going to ensure that we keep all that is magical about an educational experience at Manor High School?
On a personal note, I can support the thinking that underpins this crucial question. When I moved from 20 years of leading and teaching in 11-18 schools, I could see virtues in Manor High School that I had never before witnessed. Instead of crisis measures and interventions in which resources and teachers are poured into the final year of GCSE, Manor High was getting it right at the oft-overlooked years of Key Stage 3. It is simple. Get it right in Years 7, 8 and 9 and you provide the platform for GCSE success. We know this to be true because our students excel at GCSE level. This is the result of excellent preparation and groundwork. It isn’t down to luck or chance.
Here is our commitment. We are growing our students through from Years 6, 7, 8 and 9 into Years 10 and 11. We know them well and they have had an amazing experience at Manor High School. This will continue, free from disruption and transition with no wasted time and no danger of repetition. The continuity and stability resulting from this will enable students to consolidate and build upon their experiences, skills and knowledge into GCSE success and fulfilment. You will see from our Twitter feed @ManorHighSchool and our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ManorHighSchoolOadby/ that life in our happy and thriving school is rich and varied. When the students leave us, they miss us and ask to come back. We pledge to retain the magic of a middle school so that our students look back on their days with us not just well qualified, but confident and ready for the next stage of their education at 16.