News - 12th January 2018

News…

This week, I am going to take a break from my customary weekly reflections and revert to the more conventional approach of bringing you up to date with news and developments.

Staff Recruitment and Retention

I am delighted to report that fewer than expected teachers will be leaving us at the end of the academic year and that efforts to replace those who are leaving are already bearing fruit. I have conducted 15 interviews to date that have yielded 5 firm appointments in Primary (x3) and French (x2). I also have a firm offer with a new Science teacher which I am quite optimistic about. Mr Garbett and I go to London the week following next to attend the main CIS Recruitment Fair there at which we hope to fill our remaining vacancies.

I want to thank parents for their patience with the recent staffing shortfall in French. We have left no stone unturned in our efforts to resolve the situation as quickly as possible but it is not at all easy to replace such rare creatures in the middle of an academic year (and even less so when those who say that they will join us do not keep their word!). However, I am delighted to announce that we have appointed Ruslan Zaripov with immediate effect and are still pursuing with all our energy other possibilities whereby we can return to delivering our full range of French learning as soon as possible. In the meantime, at least the shortfall gave me the opportunity to “walk the walk” when it comes to Growth Mindset by taking on a Year 10 French class! More seriously though, I am hugely indebted to more teachers than I am able to mention here for their contributions to the  solutions we have put in place to address the shortfall and, of course, especially to Mrs Rabanowitz, our Head of MFL, who has worked herself to a standstill for the cause!

Meanwhile, other colleagues are covering the gap left by Mr Toward’s untimely departure and Mrs Lang has stepped up to full-time and resumed her leadership of the Humanities Faculty.

Parent Survey

I have 56 responses so far (thank you!). Can I please encourage those of you who have not responded to give a few minutes of your time to doing so this coming week. There is some really positive and helpful feedback, I am pleased to see. I will give you more detailed analysis once I have 100 or more respondents so that you can have faith in the statistical rigour of what I report.

PTA Quiz,

Please can I encourage you all to consider buying tickets, or indeed, sponsoring prizes, for our PTA Quiz on February 3rd at the Greta Indian Dhaba. It should be a really good night. I often talk to prospective teachers and parents about us as a warm, vibrant and welcoming learning community so let’s validate that description by turning out in good numbers for this.

 Sad News

Sadly I have to inform you that our former primary Music teacher, Cheryl Davis, passed away recently. She had been unwell for while. Cherly was full of energy, warmth and enthusiasm and is very fondly remembered by those of her colleagues still here. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and loved ones at this sad time.