Whilst the prospect of a 15 hour working day, culminating in the delivery of three of the most important speeches of the academic year may fill some with dread, our annual open evening is one of my favourite events of the school year. It gives us an opportunity to share with our community our ethos, our values and our future ambitions for our school. I was recently involved with my seventh open evening as headteacher of our school and I am still buzzing from the fantastic atmosphere created by our brilliant staff team. I will attempt to outline below how our Open Evening has evolved into such a successful and enjoyable event.
- A team effort: We are blessed with an amazing team in our school and this is exemplified perfectly in our approach to open evening. Every colleague played an important and valuable role in making the evening a success and without fail they did so with energy, enthusiasm and commitment throughout the day.
- Positive relationships: At our school we believe in happy corridors based on positive relationships between all members of our community. Our team demonstrated this through the positive welcome given to all our parent and prospective student visitors. Everywhere saw smiling staff interacting with each other, our students and our guests. This positivity allowed the passion and commitment felt towards individual subjects and our whole school ethos to shine through.
- Interactive activities: The range of activities planned for the evening was so impressive and helped add to the welcoming atmosphere created in our school. From setting fire to students hands in science, to racing 100m on a rowing machine in PE, to solving maths puzzles and playing retro computer games – every room had something different to offer in a vibrant and exciting way.
- Student ambassadors: Our students are amazing. Without fail they demonstrated our shared values and positive ethos. They looked smart, they engaged superbly with our visitors and spoke confidently about themselves and their school. The four students who spoke with me in the hall did so with conviction and genuine affection for their school. Sumira, our Year 7 speaker, has only been with us for seven school days, yet still spoke superbly about what being a student at our school means to her.
- Our beautiful estate: Whilst I am often cursing the challenges of managing an estate with listed buildings dating back to 1485, last night it looked amazing. Quality displays celebrating student success, a tidy, clean and well cared for estate and grounds is so important in showing how much we value our students’ education. Thank you to the weather for being kind and giving the opportunity for the character and charm of our quirky and historic estate to shine through!
- Clarity of message: Most importantly, the clarity of purpose that we share across our school shone through last night. Six themes in our aim high agenda, five core values, all rooted in positive relationships. Simple messages, clearly explained, allow a community to all unite behind our shared mission to secure positive outcomes for our students. All of the staff showed a collective purpose. I am a very proud headteacher.