Hi my name is Louise and I have a child in year 7 and I am also a member of the Academy Council.
I wanted to write to reflect on my first year with being involved with WCSA, as we near the summer holidays, and gosh this year has gone so quickly.
I remember (as you all probably do) when my daughter joined WCSA last September, as she moved from a school where she had been for 8 years and knew everything and everybody to a huge secondary school where she was the youngest and knew nothing. Children are very adaptable though and she soon settled in.
At the other end of the school the GCSE s have just finished and the school have wished the year 11s well with a leaving assembly and a prom.
So much goes on in a school like WCSA, which is one of the reasons that I applied to be an Academy Councillor. It allows me to know what is going on all around the school, be involved with plans for the future, and also add my view from a parent’s perspective.
One of the things that I have noticed at WCSA is the real focus on positive comments, and there are many ways that this this is expressed in the schools from achievement points, to Friday phone calls home, to the reward days. I know from speaking to both students and parents that they really value this, and also the teachers love to be able to give positive feedback. It reminded me that many years ago as part of my management career I read a book called ‘Whale Done’ which talks about the power of positive relationships.
The book explains that both whales and people perform better when you accentuate the positive. It shows how using the techniques of animal trainers – specifically those responsible for the killer whales of SeaWorld – can supercharge your effectiveness at work and at home. It explains the difference between ‘GOTcha’ (catching people doing things wrong) and ‘Whale Done!’ (catching people doing things right).
I do believe that we all like a bit of praise from time to time and it spurs us on to do things better whether that is at school, at work, or at home. This book is a really easy and enjoyable read if you wish to take a look, I’m sure that everyone will take something from it.
In the near future the school are looking forward to the year 9 and 10 awards evenings. Also new from September will be new badges awarded by each department (see some examples in the picture). These are really fantastic badges of a high quality and really fun as they each depict the department that awarded them. I’m sure that students will love receiving these and will wear them proudly.
Another big improvement this year that I have noticed is to how the school looks. You will have seen Mark Antoine’s message about the investment that the school has received and the improvements that this has funded, But I also look at the cleanliness of the school site and how much more pleasant it is now with walls painted and posters and artwork all around. This is a much nicer environment for the students to spend their day.
Miss Scott and everyone at the school are always keen to hear from parents, so please get in touch with them if you want to know anything, or even if you want a tour of the school! I had the pleasure last week of spending time in the school during a school day and seeing how things work on a normal day; it was amazing (and very different to when I was at school many moons ago!) I was really impressed with the relationships between teachers and students, and also thought that the students produce a really high quality of work. Should you wish to be more involved and join the Academy Council please contact the school.
Being involved with the Academy Council has shown me many things, and I am still learning. II have been really impressed with the commitment of all the staff at the school (both teaching and non teaching).
I hope that you all have a great summer holiday
Louise Haydock – AC Member