Our new building
It seems like we’ve been in our new building for a long time- in fact it’s only been 11 weeks and such a lot is happening.
The building itself continues to present issues for us on a daily basis, which is very frustrating but to be expected in a ‘new build’. We no longer have the authority we used to have to do things ourselves. We have to work through either BAM Construction or BAM Facilities Management to get anything done, and this is a perpetual challenge.
Some work is scheduled for half term and the Easter Holidays, so we look forward to a number of issues being resolved then. As far as the children/ pupils/ students are concerned, they are unaffected, apart from having to wait for their access fobs. We are aware of the phone problems and hope to have them resolved soon.
All staff are working extremely hard to provide the best for your children. They are working long hours, often from 7am-6pm in school and they are doing an excellent job. We have had our first round of teacher and TA observations and most have been good or outstanding, which is reassuring. Observations and targeted work will continue over this year, with many staff expected to be judged ‘outstanding” by the end of the year. This is very high quality teaching, learning and pupil progress, which few schools attain. In fact, we are so confident in our staff and procedures that we are looking to attain 100% outstanding within 3 years. If we do this, it would be extraordinary.
We have 187 staff Swiss Cottage staff plus 24 Health staff plus 40 volunteers – around 250 staff in school for 234 children; a very generous allocation, which we make to ensure your children do well here.
Development & Research Centre
This centre is building capacity rapidly. As a Teaching School, we are running all sorts of programmes with our partner organisations to improve the quality of teaching in schools beyond Swiss Cottage. People are queuing up to work with us and to learn from us, which is a great achievement.
The Centre has to be at least self-sufficient financially, so we need a constant income stream which we are achieving. The work going on there is very exciting, and there will be opportunities for parents to join in on programmes either separately or as part of other groups in the school. We will discuss this at the Parent Council meeting on 12th Feb.
Annual Revenues (AR’s)
You may be aware that we have started our Annual Reviews process, and this will continue for the next four months. We need to carry out 234 AR’s this year, and every year thereafter. This is a huge undertaking, and we need every parent to attend as the review is less successful if you are not there.
We will be seeking your feedback on this process; we want to get it right, for everyone.
I went to Buckingham Palace last Friday (25th Jan). It was freezing cold but definitely a privilege to be there around all the pomp and ceremony. Prince Charles did the Investiture and he asked me about my job, which gave me the chance to tell him how wonderful the school is and how much I love being here. We talked for a couple of minutes and then it was over. I have now been invited to an Honours Garden Party at the Palace in June. I am a very lucky person.
Our next meeting is on Tuesday 12th February from 10:30-12:00. If the Development & Research Centre is available we will meet there; if not we will find somewhere else in the school.
If you are the representative of your child’s class, please make sure that you put this date in your diary.
The agenda is ‘Communication Systems with Parents; and Katie and Jenifer will be with us to talk about what’s in place and how we can make this better. Margaret, Director of Development & Research will also join us briefly to hear from you about any of your training needs. I look forward to a well-attended and productive session.
Half term 18th-22nd Feb
If you want to speak to me on any of these items please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone on 0207 681 8080 or simply pop in to see me.