I really do hope you and your families have had a lovely summer together. We are really excited about welcoming your children back to school and we are looking forward to a very positive year at Washington Academy.
I would first of all like to inform you about the excellent results received by our year 11 students this year due to their really hard work and excellent support by yourselves and their teachers. The highlights include an improvement of Attainment 8 (the best 8 qualifications achieved by students) and a significant improvement in the basics of achieving at least a grade 4 or 5 in English and mathematics compared to the previous year.
As part of our drive to increase standards and ensure your children receive the very best education possible we are revising the behaviour system in school. This has evolved through discussions with both staff and students and we feel this is the right time to implement them. It is very much based on our current principles which as you know are all based around respect, something we were all taught ourselves whilst growing up. We want students to demonstrate respect for themselves, respect for others, respect for learning, and respect for Washington Academy.
As you know staff and students already have excellent mutual relationships in school. We want the new system to help nurture these to be even more secure, caring and professional.
The system will be based on praise and rewards with children receiving positive points within our school behaviour monitoring system of Class Charts for producing quality work or trying particularly hard. Hopefully you will notice these rewards when you talk to your child about their day at school. At the same time however, we are going to be far more intolerant of low level disruption in the classroom and if a child is seen to be disrupting the learning of others they will receive what we call a first warning. The child will be told why they received it and the learning will continue in the classroom. If they continue to disrupt they will receive a second warning. At this point they will be reminded that a third misdemeanour will result in them being removed from class. Through my experience most students at this point modify their behaviour and conform, however for the minority who don’t, they will be removed from lesson and collected at the end of the day to complete a detention.
The number of removals throughout the year will be logged and there will be different interventions applied as the child passes through each stage. At every point this will involve a parental meeting because we are well aware that we will need your support throughout this process for the system to be successful.
The child will be delivered to the detention after school on the same day and parents contacted, however if they walk off or refuse to complete the detention for any reason they will not be allowed to return to mainstream school until a meeting has been arranged with parent and child. Again these refusals will be logged and if they continue to happen, a series of interventions will be applied with parental involvement throughout. In very extreme cases if a child continues to refuse to complete detentions there will be a governors panel set up where we will explore the reasons why this could be happening, remind the family about our high expectations in school and why they are required and inform the child that continuation of this kind of behaviour could result in permanent exclusion from school.
I have really enjoyed working with the staff and students in Washington and have spoken at length with them about our vision to ensure our school becomes the best school in the country. I really believe this is possible with everyone’s support and commitment.
I know you will be right behind everyone associated with our school in this ambitious vision and I look forward to working with you and your child making this happen in the future.
Should you want to discuss any aspect of this letter with me, please contact school and I will arrange a discussion to take place.