End of Term Newsflash - Friday 19th July 2019
Dear Parents and Carers,
This will be my last formal Newsflash as Headteacher of Gateacre School and I would like to take this opportunity to say a few words. I came to Gateacre in September 2016 when the school was in Special Measures, facing a forced Academy Order with a host of issues around peoples’ attitudes towards the school.
What I found when I arrived was a staff body who cared deeply and passionately about children and they universally wanted all the pupils to excel. As I leave, I believe this is felt even stronger than ever, as I have been supported to improve the school by a highly skilled and professionally caring Senior Team and teachers in all subjects across the school.
It has been my privilege and honour to serve both the children and you at Gateacre School these past three years and I am incredibly proud of everything we have accomplished together; out of Special Measures in 44 weeks, Ofsted ‘Good’ for 6th Form, top 10% nationally for value added in 6th Form, School of the Year, Team of Year, Leadership Team of Year, School in the Community Award, Communication Award, Regional and National STEM Champions, National Citizenship Service Award, top performing school in Liverpool for A Level Progress two years running, Liverpool Numeracy Quality Mark, National Quality in Careers Standard, National Education Data Matters Award for Post 16 outcomes, Unilever Bright Futures Award. The list goes on and on. None of which would have been possible without all of us working together as ‘Team Gateacre’.
The Governing Body, supported by staff and pupils, spent two days this week interviewing prospective candidates for the Headteacher position ready for September and I am pleased to announce that a magnificent appointment has been made who will no doubt take your child’s school on to even better things. Further details on this can be found below.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my three years leading this school and, whilst I am sad to leave, I believe that the school is destined to achieve great things in the future. My last official duties will be on A Level and GCSE results days in August, celebrating and supporting with our wonderful hard working children - I’m already nervous!
Finally, I want to give my sincere thanks to all parents and carers for enabling me to do my job better than I ever expected.
Mr J Roberts
Message from the Governing Body: Letter to Parents from the Governing Body July 2019.pdf
It would not be a Newsflash without giving an attendance update!
Our final week has seen a dramatic, cliff like fall from mid-nineties towards the low-nineties and even eighties.
It is always frustrating that we are in effect in direct competition with holiday companies who push prices up so dramatically that parents see the trade off as having little impact on children educationally. I can only say that it is saddening that as a nation, and it is a national issue, we do not see the long term impact of decisions such as taking children out of school and how this leads to future cycles of the same behaviours when they become adults.
Parents often trivialise the end of term and justify their decision to go on holiday because we play games or watch DVDs. This is not the case at Gateacre. Each day this week in lessons the content has been focused and academically demanding, challenging our wonderful young people to think deeply about the subjects they are learning about.
On a more positive note, we have seen the whole school, whole year attendance percentage increase for the third year running which is something as a community we should be rightly proud of and celebrate. Things at Gateacre are improving at a significant pace, but we could do it even faster if even more pupils had even better attendance more of the time.
Standards & Expectations – A polite reminder for September 2019
We had a School Improvement Liverpool inspection some months ago and, over the course of the day, one of the inspection activities was to talk to pupils about how they thought the school has got better over time. Having been involved in supporting schools in other authorities, you can generally get a good idea about how a school operates from what children tell you, they tend not to hold back.
A comment that made me stop and think was when a pupil who sat in the meeting with the Inspector was asked:
“how has your school got better?”
their response; “We wear our uniform with pride now”.
That meant a lot, we are strict on the very basic things, they do matter, everyone can get our uniform right and we are proud of pupils who wear it.
A reminder of what is and isn’t allowed with images and a uniform guide to download can be found here or use this web address https://www.gateacre.org/school-life/uniform-what-is-and-isnt-allowed-2/.
On this page we also have pictures of acceptable footwear, which we have for your ease circled the most common styles in green when you go shopping for school uniform towards the end of the summer break. A lot of shops will try to sell you expensive ‘school shoes’ which are actually trainers, PLEASE DO NOT BE TAKEN IN. If you have a smart phone that can access the internet all you need do is open up the web page with images of acceptable footwear and ask for styles that match the images.
We have tried to make buying uniform for your child as easy, cheap and stress-free as we possibly can. Long gone are those days when children were making you as parents feel guilty if you wouldn’t buy them £100 shoes. How utterly ridiculous! No child needs to have a pair of shoes that costs more than the weekly shop. Our school uniform is smart, functional and affordable, as it should be and as I hope it will stay.
Secondary School Of The Year
Gateacre is Secondary School Of The Year 2019!
Headteacher Jason Roberts pictured below with Echo Schools Award sponsors Excell who presented the award at the Liverpool Echo Schools Awards Ceremony in June. We are proud to have won the Secondary School Of The Year 2019 award which is fitting recognition and reflection of all the hard work of staff, pupils, parents and the community ....it takes a village.
Humanutopia Heroes - Leaders' National Summit in London
Four of our motivational Sixth Formers (Megan, Jack, Reece and Harrison) were invited to London this week as VIP guest speakers in their capacity as Humanutopia Lead Heroes, to deliver an inspirational talk and presentation to other schools from across the country at a National Summit Conference. After the celebration awards and conference, our Heroes won an additional £100 of funding for their next community project after successfully delivering a pitch idea to a Dragons Den panel in the afternoon.
The day was rounded off with a visit to Spitalfields Market during the filming of The Apprentice and time for a spot of sight seeing, cultural pursuits and unintentional map reading transportation navigating skills through the city of London.
It was a thoroughly great day of inspiration and celebration enjoyed by all.
A video filmed at the start of their 3 year journey explains the concept of the programme and encapsulates what our Heroes do for the pupils of this school and the local community as well as the impact they have had with anti-bullying; motivational workshops; wellbeing and mental health.
Year 8 Reward Trip
Form 8.1 won the Behaviour Reward in Year 8. They picked up the least behaviour points throughout the year and for their reward they chose to go Go-Karting for the morning. To say they loved it was an understatement……
Key Dates For Your Diary:
15th Aug: 8-11am A level results
22nd Aug: 9-11am GCSE results
2nd & 3rd Sept: INSET
4th Sept: Start of Term (staggered start times by year group)
20th Sept: INSET / Y6 Taster Day for primary schools