Headteacher's Newsflash 20/10/2017

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As we approach the end of the first half term I would like to express my thanks and gratitude for the immense support, both during and after the recent Ofsted at the start of October.

We are very pleased with the report and the clear acknowledgement that it has been a joint effort between school and home which has led to the improvements.

When I reflect on the 12 months and look at some of the key moments such as the introduction of the red line, making children wear uniform and coming to school with the right equipment,  I must be honest I was upset that there was some initial resistance and media coverage because it took time away from dealing with other priorities within the building, namely making sure your children get good lessons every day.

Using the Ofsted as an external measure of our success, it clearly shows what we can do together as a team because that is essentially what we are.  I see our role as providing a safe and supportive learning environment so that your child can flourish, passionately enjoying the education they have access to.

Ofsted gave us a rating of 'Good' for our 6th Form Provision. It is also important to stress that we are not finished with our improvements.  Being a 'Requires Improvement' school is not good enough I’m afraid and I have been quite clear to my staff in our weekly briefings that there is yet more to do, we need to get better at doing the important job of teaching, faster, so that pupils continue to get great outcomes at both GCSE and A Level.

Between October and Christmas part of my improvement plan is to hold a series of Headteacher surgeries and parent group sessions, an informal opportunity for me to hear first hand from yourselves what you believe we are doing well and what could be even better.

The faster the school improves, the more opportunities open up for your children because they have better grades and qualifications then their peers.  The better qualified someone is then the more career and higher learning pathways become available.

I want your child to be incredibly successful at whatever they decide they want to do.  In order to do this, we have to give them the best start possible so excellent attitudes to learning and behaviour, good teaching, being polite, honest and hard-working are all ingredients to this.


Attendance matters

As we move beyond October into the stretch prior to the Christmas break, our analysis of attendance for this point last year (Nov-Dec) pointed towards lots of odd single day absences.

When we drilled into this, there was an unfortunate pattern that emerged whereby some parents and families went “clothes shopping” or for a “pre-Christmas treat day”.  These are not acceptable reasons to keep your child out of school.

You will be well aware, I hope, about the comments in the Ofsted report about pupil absence and how some pupils are missing out on what the Inspectors saw.  We are rightfully proud about “Leaders have created a very strong culture of safeguarding in which pupils feel safe, valued and happy”.  But we cannot stress how sad we feel when pupils either do not turn up to school or are kept away for spurious reasons. “It is therefore a great shame that such a significant proportion of pupils, particularly those who are disadvantaged, are missing out on this experience by not attending school regularly.”

Last year a parent made a comment that there child would not be in school because we “weren’t doing a treat day”.  Please remember, we are a Secondary School and our purpose is to give children the best possible learning experience we can.  This year we finish on Friday 22nd December and return to school on Monday 8th January 2018, that’s 16 days at home with family, friends, relatives enjoying the Christmas period, 16 opportunities for a “treat day”.

Please send your child to school every day.


Restart A Heart

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Mr Fairclough, working alongside the NHS North West Ambulance Service provided pupils with the opportunity to deal with life threatening serious incidents caused by cardiac arrest.

Over 240 pupils from Years 10  to 12 were trained in vital techniques which could make the difference between someone living and someone dying.

Cardiac arrest is the most extreme emergency and happens when the heart stops beating in a normal way, preventing blood from pumping around the body. 80% of out of hospital cases happen in the home.

It is different from a heart attack where there is an interruption to the blood supply of the heart and the person is conscious and breathing. Someone who is having a cardiac arrest will suddenly lose consciousness and will stop breathing normally.

A person in cardiac arrest will die within minutes unless they are treated immediately with CPR and defibrillation. The CPR keeps oxygen circulating around the body to prevent damage to the brain and other organs, while a defibrillator gives an electric shock to the heart in an attempt to restore its normal rhythm.

Survival rates for people who have cardiac arrests are dismal with less than one in ten people (8.6%) going on to make a recovery in the UK.

Despite the best efforts of ambulance services and national bodies to lobby the UK government to make CPR training in schools mandatory, it is still not part of the national curriculum. But if CPR skills were taught in schools, survival rates could significantly increase as they have in Scandinavia.

So we have taken action and decided that this is a skill that pupils need to have knowledge and awareness of.

Learn how to save a life: short instruction video https://youtu.be/azmpvgIdjAA  


We aim to achieve standards of excellence in all areas of school life, including appearance.   Parents are reminded of our uniform expectations and what is and is not allowed.

Please do not purchase any item that is NOT in line with our uniform expectations as outlined below.


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Forthcoming Dates for Your Diary:

23rd-27th October HALF TERM         

29th October - Lantern Company Halloween Parade 6pm (click here for details/schedule)

1st December - Y11 Mock Exam Results

14th December - 6th Form Parent Evening 3:45 - 6pm

21st December - End of Autumn Term 12:00 pm

8th January - Start of Spring Term 08:45 am


Term Dates and Key Dates can be found on your MyEd parent app or on the school website here: https://www.gateacre.org/about-us/term-dates/

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