Headteacher Update 15th July 2022

17/07/22

Dear Parent

I hope you are well.

Attached to this email is our SIAMS (Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools) report. As a church school we are inspected regarding our Christian Distinctiveness and this inspection took place in mid-June; the final report arrived on Wednesday. We are very pleased with the report and, in particular, the way in which it portrays our incredibly strong school ethos. I have picked out a few of the key headlines below:

  • The school’s vision, Caritas and Veritas - God’s love and truth, is at the heart of the ethos at Hartford.
  • Curriculum and character development work is cleverly underpinned by the two pillars of Caritas and Veritas. Pupils are prepared for life beyond Hartford as they grow in ‘truth’ through their academic studies and ‘love’ as they develop as individuals.
  • Through Caritas and Veritas…it is evident that pupils and adults flourish.  As a result, Hartford thrives as an oversubscribed Church school.  
  • Partnerships with local churches…and with the Diocese are strong.
  • Through the character development work within the school pupils are flourishing as they live well together.  Pupils are becoming advocates to affect positive change and are beginning to initiate action.
  • Pupils and parents value the wide variety of extra-curricular opportunities on offer and point to these as vehicles for pupils to develop in their character.
  • The work of the school chaplain is exceptionally highly regarded within the school community.
  • …the pastoral care of pupils is at the centre of the school’s approach to behaviour management.  The restorative approach taken when pupils get it wrong means that forgiveness and reconciliation are at the heart of this work.  This means that pupils and staff live well together and flourish as a result.
  • Within lessons pupils learn to disagree well as a result of the discussion work, particularly in RE and in the Pastoral Empathy Tutor Sessions (PETS).  Although rare, when conflicts arise pupils and parents are confident that they will be dealt with by a highly proactive pastoral team.  
  • Staff speak highly of the care that is also available to them when they need it.  Furthermore, the sense of community and support for one another is strong.  Staff lean on each other, often citing that they feel uplifted as a result of coming to work and point to the vision as the reason.
  • …the [RE] curriculum is effective and is valued by pupils. The specialist teachers have strong subject knowledge and a passion for RE which means that pupils thrive in their lessons.

 

As ever, there are things that we can do better. For us this is to improve the impact of Collective Worship. This doesn’t just mean assemblies, it also refers to the Thought of the Week and PETS that take place during Tutor Time. We are already working on that!

 

At the end of another warm week we now have 4 school days left this term. Next week we have Commendation Day on Tuesday (if the temperature is excessive, this will be moved to Thursday), the Reward Trip on Wednesday and school closes for students at 1pm on Thursday 21st July.

At the end of term we say goodbyes to a number of staff. The following people are leaving us: Miss Brett, Mr Evans, Mr Gardner, Miss Hayhurst, Mr Holmes, Mr Liburd, Mrs Mellor, Mr Oakey, Miss White and Mr Woods. I would very much like to thank these colleagues for their contributions and wish them well in their next ventures.

I am sure that many of you work in areas of employment where recruitment has been difficult over the past year or so and the same applies to teaching and support staff in schools. I am very pleased to say that we are fully staffed for September. You might be interested to know that we have a hundred full time equivalent staff in school – about two thirds of whom are teachers. We have also recruited extra staff to those leaving as part of our expansion from 1050 – 1200 students over the next five years.

Stay cool this weekend and remember that students have the option of coming in school (summer) PE kit instead of uniform on Monday and Tuesday.

In Caritas et Veritas,

Mike Holland


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