Dear Parents and Carers
Re: Headteacher’s Communication
I feel that it is important at the close of every academic year to discuss the whole school’s developments, successes and improvements, whilst at the same time taking the opportunity to share with you some of our planned strategic developments and targets for the forthcoming 2018/19 academic year.
Headlines from the academic year 2017/18
1.0 Nursery – EYFS Updates
The nursery has received a £165,000 refurbishment, which has seen a total transformation of the facility, which now provides a far more enriched learning environment for the children.
Ms Christina Barnes has settled in extremely well as the settings Nursery Manager, and has ensured that all staff have received the latest training, guidance and expertise in order to continue to strive to improve the outcomes for our children.
Ms Barnes alongside Mrs Lou Harrison have some fantastic plans for the nursery, and they have been developing and scheduling these plans during the Summer holidays.
Please read the section: 7.0 Planned Strategic Developments and Targets for the Forthcoming 2018/19 Academic Year at the bottom of this document so that you can engage with the process.
2.0 Junior School – Teaching and Learning and our Curriculum
The Junior School will be managed by the Head of Juniors, Ms Kristy Jacks, and her Deputy Head, Ms Hayley Mosscrop from September 2018, and we are delighted to announce that there are no changes to the Junior School teaching team from the academic start of our Autumn 2018 term.
The Junior School are working far more collegiately with the Senior School, in regards to modifying and embedding many initiatives and working practices, which will benefit and suit both sides of the school to ensure greater transparency, consistency and shared better practices.
Robin Wood was another great success this year and the residential activity camp was a great experience for all and help the students with communication and leadership skills, whilst for many this was their first experience of being away from their parents. We hope to extend the senior skiing trip out to Year 5 and Year 6 students in 2019.
We are looking forward to managing the Year 6’s transition into Year 7 in September as well as seeing some new faces within the Junior School.
We have introduced enrichment Wednesdays from September which will based at Waddow Hall, where children will be studying bush crafts, and other outdoor learning, in replacement of the BEST Centre for Gymnastics.
There will also be a greater level of access for junior aged children to access the football academy, and we also hope to be introducing rugby into their curriculum.
Literacy and numeracy morning will still be safeguarded as this underpins our curriculum and ethos, whereas afternoons will be less structured and will be targeted for new experiences, extra-curricular development and other curriculum learning.
3.0 Senior School – Teaching and Learning and our Curriculum
At the beginning of the academic year, Autumn Term 2017 I created a Curriculum Review Panel, this panel is made up of four members of staff, Dr Bootle, Head of Science, Ms Nolan, Head of English, Ms Pursglove, Head of Mathematics, and Head of Faculty and myself.
This panel meets weekly to discuss teaching and learning, assessments, differentiation, timetabling, options, curriculum planning and our children. I would like to formally thank the panel on behalf of the school as their commitment and involvement has transparently reflected the views of all teaching and support staff to ensure consistency, and effectively delivery of our educational ethos, thus ensuring that all children will achieve in each subject in accordance with their ability.
The Curriculum Review Panel have completely reviewed the entire curriculum offering, and have established and agreed a consistent approach to every aspect of recording, monitoring, planning and marking. They have agreed that regular and meaningful marking must take place and that this evidence, assessment must then inform the planning for subsequent lessons.
All children in the entire school have been academically reassessed using GSL CAT, Cognitive Ability Test and other GSL assessments which are used to identify SEND requirements, such as Dyscalculia, Dyspraxia and Dyslexia. These have also been supported by a vast range of examination weeks, end of unit assessments and a comprehensive reading age test which was delivered to the entire school in the last term, Summer 2018 term.
I have also enclosed a copy of our most recent Curriculum Review Document, which will be broken down over the next few weeks into a more ‘meaningful’ tactile document that will fully address each Year Groups needs, this will include children’s timetables for September and the structure of the working day. Please note that the Junior School’s Curriculum Review Document is a separate entity, and that this to will be broken down and communicated to parents over the Summer holiday.
I would also like to formally acknowledge the contributions from Mrs Deborah Frost, who has seamlessly ensured that the GCSE examinations have run smoothly, during her first year as Examinations Officer, and Mrs Justine Pursglove who has developed the timetable for September 2018, and who has supported Mrs Frost and I heavily during this academic year.
I am also delighted to announce that we have successfully satisfied all moderation standards for both the GCSE JCQ Examinations Body, and for the BTEC Level 2 & 3 Awards, including retaining the LFE contract for the education of all Blackburn Rovers Football Club, plus 16 Scholars.
4.0 Senior School – Staffing and Infrastructure Update
I am delighted to announce the successful recruitment of a highly experienced SENDCO, Mrs Sarah Booth who will be joining the Moorland School’s Senior Leadership Team in September 2018.
Mrs Booths appointment reconfirms our intention to drive forwards our ambitions to continue to prioritise and achieve academic excellence across the entire school for all students and learning styles, and she will be joining the already established Curriculum Review Panel.
Mrs Booth started her teaching career 17 years ago after qualifying in Business Education, during which time she has worked in a range of educational settings across Lancashire and Greater Manchester. Mrs Booth is extremely passionate about Special Education, having achieved the National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination in June 2012, after completing a further Post Graduate Certificate in Inclusion.
Mrs Booth will be responsible for teaching and learning and educational standards across the whole school, and she will be ensuring that all children are appropriately differentiated for, thus enabling them to excel and make excellent progress across all of their chosen wide ranging subject choices.
There are no fundamental changes to the senior teaching team, and as such the staff team remains stable, positive and are enthusiastically awaiting the return of your children for the Autumn 2018 term.
Mrs Frost and Mrs Harrison have alterations to their job titles, as from September 2018, they will be both operating as Assistant Headteacher’s, although their individual roles and responsibilities will not materially be affected.
5.0 Communications – I believe that the implementation and communication of teacher’s school email addresses has made a revolutionary difference to our communications with parents, and that this has afforded our parents direct access to their children’s teachers, so that any academic, pastoral or welfare enquiries can be immediately addressed before becoming an issue of concern.
6.0 Sporting & Extra Curricula Success
6.1 Ballet – The Moorland School Ballet programme is truly now on an international scale with our students competing globally in ballet competitions, and securing employment within prestigious international ballet academies. Indeed, one of our students was recently placed 12th in the world when competing in New York, with others winning prestigious scholarships.
Lynsey and Simon Kidd deliver the highest standards of ballet and pastoral care, and their courses prepare and educate their young ballet students to Degree Level, as well as giving them professional dance instructor teaching status.
Lynsey and Simon Kidd have been invited every year to Japan to support the development of their ballet academies, including providing CPD to their dance instructors.
Lynsey and Simon have students joining us in September 2018, from Japan, as well as two students who have left the Royal Ballet School and another who has left Tring Ballet School, because they believe in the smaller class sizes and in the teaching credentials and successes of both Lynsey and Simon Kidd.
I hope that you all thoroughly enjoyed the student’s ballet performances during our recent Prize Giving Evening.
6.2 Football – Mr Charlie Jackson, Manchester City’s Technical Development Coach and his team of coaches have once again become both Regional and English Champions. Indeed, the U14 Squad had an emphatic win at the Madejski Stadium in Reading winning? 5 – 0 during the U14 Boys English Schools’ FA (ESFA) Playstation Schools’ Cup.
The ESFA is the largest youth cup school’s competition within the UK, and it is unimaginable that a small school like ours could even reach the semi-finals, let alone completely annihilate the competition.
Please view the match here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdQbV8bSWY4
In this academic year we have seen numerous players sign professional academy football contracts with Accrington Stanley, Burnley and Blackburn Rovers Football Clubs, along with numerous trials at clubs such as Manchester City FC.
6.3 BTEC – Mr Martin Jones and his colleague Mr Danny Finch run the Level 3 BTEC Award, which is a full-time post 16 course, which is made up of 21 units covering topics such as Sports Science. The BTEC Level 3 course is designed to follow a football related pathway, as equivalent to 3 A-Levels.
This is the first year of graduation and the majority of our students completed the award to Distinction Level, which has seen some students progressing onto Loughborough University and London and American universities.
6.4 Netball – Mrs Orr has managed our school’s netball team, arranging fixtures and giving time after school for training. Our netball team has competed at regional level, and has successfully beaten many opposition schools.
6.5 Duke of Edinburgh – Mrs Croxton has once again led our DofE programme, supported by Mr Marshal. This programme has provided the children with many life skills and leadership challenges. This prestigious award will support children’s applications into sixth forms and universities, as well as providing a discussion topic during job related interviews.
6.6 Skiing – Mr Marshal led our annual skiing holiday to France again this year, and the children thoroughly loved the experience, and we have already planned our 2019 ski trip. These holidays take many months of planning and organising, but the life experiences, friendships, skills and memories that the children forge will last for a life time.
6.7 Debating – Moorland School under the guidance of Ms Suzanne Nolan have competed regionally in a number of debating competitions. The Moorland debating team recently beat a number of large state schools, before being narrowly beaten by an older team in the finals.
Debating and public speaking skills are high on our agenda at Moorland School, as these skills build upon social and emotional confidences, which will undoubtedly separate our students during further education, and job related interviews.
Watch out for a team in 2018/19 as we will undoubtedly win a regional competition, which will hopefully provide the children with an opportunity to compete at a national level.
7.0 Implemented and Effective from September 2018, Autumn Term
7.1 Pastoral and Welfare Teams – The school has created two Pastoral and Welfare Teams which will meet weekly to discuss the children, and will identify any causes for concern, along with any support or intervention plans. These teams will support all pastoral and welfare concerns thus ensuring early intervention to maintain pupil happiness, and this will include parental involvement. The Junior Pastoral and Welfare Team will be led by Ms Hayley Mosscrop, and she will be supported by the school’s two SENDCO’s Mrs Booth and Ms Hull.
The Senior Pastoral and Welfare Team will be led by Mrs Maria McConnell, and she will be supported by the senior school’s SENDCO’s Mrs Booth and by the two Boarding Managers, Ms Hayley Mosscrop and Mr Robert Lyon.
7.2 Curriculum Review Panel – The Junior School will also adopt a similar Curriculum Review Panel structure and reporting mechanism from September 2018.
7.3 Pupil Asset – Ms Pursglove will have fully implemented Pupil Asset, which is an online progressing monitoring tool, which will also support early intervention of pupils within the senior school.
7.4 IT Infrastructure – The school has commissioned the first phase of £190,000 overhaul of their ICT infrastructure. This will see both senior ICT suites being upgraded with 35 new computers, new computers being located in all teacher’s classrooms and new hardwiring, servers, switches and a dedicated fast speed fibre line to allow for the demands of Wi-Fi.
7.5 Website – The school has commenced a complete website rebuild which should be fully operational, viewable from September 2018. This site will need more videography, photography and content within the first half-term of the Autumn term, to be fully up to speed. This site will eventually include a parental access portal for enhanced communications.
8.0 Planned Strategic Developments and Targets for the Forthcoming 2018/19 Academic Year
8.1 Mission Statement – To actively strive and succeed in regards to meeting our corporate objectives, our new revised mission statement, please see the attached document.
In addition to meeting and achieving these corporate responsibilities and promises to parents, we are striving to achieve the following in 2018/19.
8.2 Academic – Naturally we want to see our children achieving to their very best academic potentials within their PIPS in Reception, SATS in Year 6, GCSE’s in Year 11 and A-Levels and BTEC in Year 14. However, this must be balanced with emotional and social confidence and happiness, as mental wellbeing and strength must be maintained via a supportive pastoral marriage between home and school.
8.3 Communications – Communication will always be one of our highest of priorities and to support ClarionCall, Edmodo, direct staff email addresses and office based communications, will be the introduction of a Moorland School App, which can be downloaded to any mobile platform. In addition to this app will be the launch of our planned web portal via our new website build.
In addition to this is our twice yearly Parental Evenings for each Year Group, and whole school events such as Prize Giving.
Whilst communications remain our highest of priorities we feel that it is important to remind parents that they must also engage and share within this joint responsibility. Therefore, please can we ask parents to print off a copy of our published school calendar, update the school office with any new mobile numbers, email and postal addresses, including working addresses and contact details.
This should also include the downloading of the Moorland App once launched, the following of our various social media sites, and regular access of our website.
8.4 Nursery – We are developing and working towards Lancashire’s first ‘Fully Outdoor Nursery’, and there will be extensive plans and developments in support of this project. This will support the nurseries Forest School trained practitioner and Early Years Teacher’s.
The nursery will be introducing Baby Ballet Classes for children age 18 months plus.
Finally, we are planning to completely redevelop the last area of the nursery, by introducing a new modernised and resourced Pre-School room, which will include a conservatory, and floor to ceiling windows.
8.5 Ballet – To continue to:
1. Develop the ballet programme and to host a large corporate event.
2. Develop close links within Japan by visiting Japan again within the Autumn Term.
3. Compete at the highest competitive level within worldwide competitions.
4. Develop and produce students at a professional company level, whilst maintaining their happiness, health and general wellbeing.
8.6 Football – To continue to:
1. Develop the football programme by entering all age ranges into the Lancashire, ISFA and ESFA Cups, and to enter the Junior School into the Lancashire Cup for the first time in 2018/19.
2. Compete at the highest competitive level within one or two worldwide competitions.
3. Develop all students whilst also producing new students to a professional Academy level, whilst maintaining all children’s happiness, health and general wellbeing.
4. Maintain our special professional relationships, and attempt to gain more overseas partners, and awareness.
5. We also have ambitions to recruit a Patron and a serious sponsor.
8.7 Rugby – To develop close links or partnerships with both Rugby League and Union Clubs, and with this in mind to develop a pitch and players within school. This will include recruiting Coaches, Patron and sponsor to develop our ambitions. The hope here is to mirror the football programme and potentially their success stories.
8.8 Sport – To continue to support Mrs Orr in developing the netball team, and other sports, including track and field. Our aim is to fully support, nurture and promote all sports and pupil interests, as we have done in the past within the fields of Super Bike Racing, Horse Riding and Golf.
This will include all staff in supporting Mrs Orr in the development of a robust range of extra-curricular clubs and activities both at lunch times and again after school.
8.9 The Advisory Body – To continue to work in close partnership with this body in support of the school’s strategic and operational development and management and regulatory responsibilities.
9.0 PTFA – to re-launch and gain active support and membership from our parents, including agreeing strategic direction and fund raising initiatives and priorities.
9.1 Facilities – In addition to the new agreed ICT infrastructure changes and the reworking of a new Pre-School, plus building of a Forrest School, we are planning to invest within the school canteen and modernise two shower blocks within the boarding houses, and to look at developing a rugby pitch within the next academic year 2018/19.
10.0 Standards – This is high on the agenda of the SLT, as all colleagues feel that this is an area of the school that has been eroded over the past academic year, and as such is a constant battle, and one that we will only win through close parental partnership, understanding and support.
Please can we formally request that all parents ensure the wearing of the correct school uniform and this includes no trainers, but black shoes, black belts, hair tied back, dresses to the knees, dark socks and appropriate haircuts, (not shaven or with designs cut into the hair). We believe that the correct standards of appearance builds the cornerstone of self-respect, and respect for your place of work and others.
With this in mind please can we also advise you that makeup must be minimally applied, with a common sense approach. We do turn a slight blind eye to some makeup as girls in particular can be very conscious of skin blemishes as they start to mature.
There were a number of students who were regularly using poor language last term and fortunately these students will not be returning in September 2018. The school has a zero tolerance on poor language especially as this shows a lack of vocabulary, education, standards and respect for others. Therefore, repeat offenders will be dealt with extremely strongly.
Please can I also remind parents that chewing gum is strictly against school rules as is using a personal mobile phone during the school day. We are intelligent enough to understand that we cannot physically search each student upon entry into the school, and as such a blanket ban would be unenforceable and therefore phones can only be used prior to leaving school transport, or before 8:30am and again on school transport or after 4:10pm.
This will be strictly enforced from September 2018, and mobile phones will be confiscated on the first offence for 1 full week, 2 full weeks on the second offence and to the end of the academic term on the third. The use of mobile phones during an academic school day seriously affects the learning of students and others.
Please can I ask all parents from refraining to accept or respond to their child’s communications during these times, as all communications during these times should be via the school office.
I appreciate that this is a long communication, as I hope that you will understand that this is only a brief highlight of the previous year’s achievements and in this regard an even briefer account of our strategic targets and hopes and aims for 2018/19.
Mrs Frost will be supporting this communication, by sending parents the additional following documents:
1. The Curriculum Review document
2. Mission Statement
3. Your child’s timetable
4. Update list of staff contact email addresses
5. The school’s management hierarchal chart, including key areas of responsibility
6. Whole school events calendar and terms
Both the Admissions Manager, Mr Carl Lightbown and the entire school would greatly appreciate your active support in promoting the good word of Moorland School amongst your family, friends and work colleagues, as we would love the opportunity to grow our family and in this the opportunities that we can afford our children.
Please share, like and follow our social media feeds, and any marketing or promotional advice would be greatly received as I am sure many of you are far more experienced in these areas than us, and we could do with some guidance, and friendship from our greatest advocates, our parents and children.
I hope that you are all enjoying a lovely Summer holiday with your children, and that you are all in good health and happy. Thank you once again for your continued support of Moorland School, and it goes without saying that we are looking forward to seeing you all again in September, at the start of our next academic year together.
With the warmest of regards
Mr Jonathan Harrison