17 Dec Head teacher’s Blog 17.12.18
On Friday December 21 at the normal leaving time of 3.30pm, our students and teachers will break up for the two week Christmas break after a longer than usual fifteen week autumn term and will return to school on Monday January 7 at the normal starting time of 8.45am. For the majority of our students, Friday December 21 will also be a non-uniform day, and we have put this reward back into place as a trial in response to a number of very articulately written letters that I have received from some of our most impressive students. To be clear, however, not everyone will be able to take part in this non-uniform day, as form tutors will only be giving tickets only to those students who have been dressed in the complete and correct Daubeney Academy uniform since September and who teachers have never had to frequently remind to put something right, such as a shirt being tucked in, a blazer being worn or a tie being clipped onto the top button. Just as it will be in the workplace for our young people in the not-too-distant future, wearing a uniform correctly is a sign of commitment to an organisation, and I feel that it is indeed appropriate to reward the students who have clearly been committed to their school with the non-uniform day that so many have asked for. For those who don’t receive a ticket and who can’t take part on Friday, it will be an opportunity to reflect upon an opportunity lost and to plan for how future improvements can be secured. Before our non-uniform day on Friday, all students can take part in our Christmas jumper day on Wednesday December 19, which is also when we will be serving our Christmas lunches to those students whose parents have ordered one online via our ParentMail app. As well as Christmas jumpers, which must be worn alongside rather than instead of the otherwise complete and correct Daubeney Academy school uniform, our students can wear other Christmas accessories, such as Santa hats or reindeer antlers (or whatever else shops are selling in their festive aisles), if they wish. Our Christmas lunch is a wonderful moment in the school year, and I am always grateful that we have such amazing colleagues from Caterlink who work in our school kitchen but who are so much more than just the ladies who make the food and also that we have such brilliant Daubeney teachers and other professionals who are keen to help out with this event and spread some Christmas cheer around our community.
This year, however, it is also with great sadness that we say goodbye to some other members of the Daubeney team who are leaving us after many years of outstanding service: the popular and friendly Mr Canty-Diggins (John, as everyone knows him) and Mrs Milioti will be leaving their roles on our site team; the hard-working and experienced Ms Farrington and Mr Anderson will be leaving their roles within our finance team; the always cheerful and incredibly efficient Miss Tucker and Mrs Howell will be leaving our administration team in the main office to develop their careers in new roles in different schools; the knowledgeable and long-serving Mrs Ramsden will be leaving her role as ICT technician and the organised and diligent Mrs Bates will be leaving her role as our librarian. To all of our departing colleagues I offer a genuine message of gratitude for their contributions to Daubeney’s successes over the years and a wish of further success for the various next steps that they take in their careers elsewhere.
Over the course of the next week I will also be writing to all members of our school community and ensuring that we are clear about our expectations for the year ahead of us when we return in January. Although many students may receive glamourous items as gifts at Christmas, such as false nails, make-up or new trainers, it would not be acceptable for those items to be worn at or brought into school, just as it hasn’t been acceptable to do so since September, or indeed even earlier. I will also be asking parents to ensure that their sons’ and daughters’ online use over Christmas is monitored appropriately as we have been made aware of late of many instances of students engaging with each other in an unacceptable manner on social media accounts, and in some cases even with parents already aware. Our values as a school (voted for, of course, by our community of students, parents and teachers) should permeate all aspects of our daily lives, both at school and at home, and this includes how we interact with each other online. 2019 will undoubtedly be another challenging year for our students as they continue to make excellent progress through a very demanding curriculum (not to mention tackling the difficult task of growing up in an ever-changing world), but with the expert guidance of our subject-specialist teachers and the caring ethos of kindness that underpins everything that we do at Daubeney I know that our students will continue to flourish and that we will continue to develop into the outstanding community that we are aiming to be.