We have had a very positive start to the term, having welcomed some new colleagues. In particular we welcome Ms Silveira to the Science team, and Mrs Chawla as our new second in Maths. We have also recruited Mrs Osmani and Mr Adeoti-Ajiboye to our internal cover team, and all have made an exceptional start to their careers at Saracens.
Last term we opened the back gate onto Coxwell Boulevard, which is a much safer way to leave the school. The council have now put a pavement all the way down Corner Mead to Grahame Park Way and so accessibility is greatly improved. Any pupil can leave via this gate, but we have said that all Year 7 must leave via that gate. From Monday 30 January we will also dismiss Year 8 pupils via that gate. For any families with older siblings who are picking children up, please make arrangements for all your children to leave via that gate.
You will have seen on the news that one of the teaching unions is planning for strikes in February and March. We are currently working with colleagues to calculate the impact of this action and will plan accordingly. I will email families when we know the impact that it will have on pupils.
Later in this term we are excited to begin the GCSE examinations for Year 11 pupils. Prior to the Easter break, pupils will complete their Sport, Drama, Art, and Language oral examinations, along with coursework tasks in DT and Food. Most pupils have committed to remaining with us in September. We have received well over 200 applications for a place in our new Sixth Form, including over 70 from external candidates. Interviews will take place at the end of January.
I know that you will be disturbed by the recent increase in anti-social behaviour in the local area, including street robberies. The Police have asked us to remind pupils to travel in groups when possible and to stick to the busier, better lit routes. It goes without saying that pupils should not have phones or valuables on them. When I worked in Brent a few years ago the Police had signs on most streets saying ‘Have it on show, expect it to go’. Unfortunately, it seems this might be creeping into our community. Please talk to your family about how best to keep safe, particularly when travelling home.
Finally, this time of year is always busy for me as we start to recruit new members of staff to join our expanding school for September. I am delighted with the calibre of applications we have received so far, and we have already appointed some exceptional colleagues.