“Pupils are making better progress in the academy.” Ofsted 2016
As we complete another cycle of school, I’ve been humbled by the hard-work and resilience of our Year 11s and impressed by the support from all the other students.
The ‘business’ end of the year is almost upon us and along with all other secondary heads, I await the exam results with breath that is bated. This year, schools are divided into two categories; those who admit they don’t know how things will turn out, and those who are good at pretending that they do. My subjects leads in Maths and English have done a brilliant job at instilling trust in Year 11, metaphorically saying ‘climb this mountain with us, we don’t know what the view will be like, but it will be worth it.’ With so much riding on these exam results for students’ next steps, it seems insufficient to rely so heavily on faith but ultimately that’s exactly what’s backed up the heightened level of professional skills exhibited by my staff this year.
Exam results matter and so too do lasting positive memories of school. This has been the balance we’ve be working to secure at Upper Shirley High. One Year 11 said to me recently 'I'll miss USH so much...this has been my second home'. There it is.
I’ve been addressing students in collective celebration assemblies this week and wishing everyone a restful summer. Summer holidays are a time for renewal and reflection. Whether students spend the time home or away, I ask that you please come back safely, recharged and refocused. I hope students feel pleased with their achievements this year. You should. Upper Shirley High is a place where you all can belong; just the way you are.
We’ve got exciting plans to develop our school and I look forward to telling you all about them in September.
Finally, Thank you to everyone for what you give to USH in spirit, it’s noted, noticed and held in mind.
*Namaste as a spoken greeting which means ‘respect above pride’. It is typically a sign of great respect when used together with the hands pressed in front of the heart, symbolic of the bow.