Principal’s Update – Attendance

This week I want to write about attendance. We really thank you for all your help in ensuring our students attend as often as is possible.

This is on my mind as I was reading about how the Aussie Flu / Winter Sickness Bug – call it what you will – has affected so many people across the country and especially our region. Of course, it is always the old that suffer the most when they face this sort of illness. However, there has been a record amount of illness amongst school-aged children (both primary and secondary) nationally.

I know, from personal experience, that my son struggled to eat his Christmas dinner this year and showed little interest in his presents (unheard-of!) as he was bed-bound for most of the holiday period. I am glad to say he is much better now. Thankfully, as I pen this update, I can hear the sound of bird song and, walking around school, I can now see the crocuses and snow drops pushing through the hard ground. Spring is on its way, the cold snap is passing (slowly) and with it, hopefully, all the nasty germs and bugs. It’s time to live again.

I know that, once a student has had some time off, it is harder to get back into the swing of things; it’s easier to take another couple of days to recover. So, with the sick season behind us, we are keen to support students to achieve 100% attendance in Learning Cycle 3 – that is a 9-week period. If you are one of the fighting fit reading this, then we are keen to recognise and reward your attendance. Keep reading – we are going to pilot our new incentive program just with Year 10; Mr. Amestoy (Deputy Head of Year) told students about this in assembly on Friday. We will roll the scheme out to all students for Learning Cycle 4 – if we think it is working.

Here’s the approcah:

In the first seven teaching weeks there are 35 days – we are asking students to attend for AT LEAST 33.

Week 8 is assessment week – we NEED 100% attendance – all five days.

Week 9 – Super Teaching Week (catch up week and plugging any gaps in learning) – all students in Year 10 who fulfil the above criteria will go on a reward trip (we are looking at Air Hop – Bristol ) for the subsidized price of £5 (this will include socks, travel and a ‘bounce’).

If…. for any reason, a student is missing JUST ONE DAY, they will not lose out – there will be the opportunity to catch up this time to qualify for the trip.

I hope you like the idea and can see we are determined to reward attendance. We are keen to reward our students as they are truly a great bunch of young people. I do not say this lightly, as I have worked in many schools here and abroad. WCSA students really are outstanding in many ways. If you think we could improve the idea – please e-mail, phone or send me a note.

We do publish attendance weekly by tutor group (see below) and we share data with students individually. Please also have a look at the attendance ladder in this update – it certainly does make fascinating reading.

As always, thank you for your continued support in the community.

As you may have seen in the local press and League Tables the Worle results have significantly improved over the last 12 months. We are very optimistic about results in 2018. Soon we will be able to announce exact student numbers joining WCSA in September 2018. I can tell you that first choice applications for our school from Year 6 students / families are up by a massive 14%.

Miss Scott – Principal WCSA