November always provides an excellent opportunity for reflection. The new school year is well underway and the initial excitement of returning in September is replaced by a continuing focus on consistent standards and progress, before we get into the run up to Christmas.
Remembrance Day Services and Festival
It was a privilege to be a member of the Manor School community during a week of remembrance at the school, within Nene Education Trust and across the town.
Our own school service to mark the centenary of the end of WW1 was immaculately observed by our whole school community. Students, staff and guests came together along with representatives of the local Royal British Legion to pay tribute to the fallen in a traditional service of remembrance. This event always shows the power of collective community and reinforces the important messages for our students.
Following this, I proudly represented Manor School, alongside Ella and Dan our Head Girl and Head Boy, in the Remembrance Day parade through Raunds. Ella and Dan laid a wreath on behalf of the school and once again it was a privilege to come together in remembrance with the community that we serve.
The final event was a year in the planning and was titled Raunds Festival of Remembrance. An evening of dance, music and readings to celebrate the local people of Raunds who fought and died for us was held at Manor. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Mike Clements from the Royal British Legion and Nene Education Trust for organising this event, which we were proud to host. The emotions and positive comments from all who were in attendance certainly ensured that this was an act of remembrance we certainly won’t forget.
Year 11 and 13 have been completing their mock examinations over the last week. The mocks are an important barometer of where students are six months before their final examinations in the summer. For the students, this exam series provides the opportunity to experience the same conditions they will find in the summer. In addition, using the information we gather from the mocks we can identify gaps in knowledge and ensure our teaching is targeted towards enabling students to make significant progress in their final months.
Leadership Academy – Sports Hall Athletics
One of the strengths of Manor School is the opportunities that we provide for our students to take on leadership roles in various contexts. November has seen the completion of the Sports Hall Athletics events where we host the local primary schools in a series of indoor athletics competitions. These events are facilitated by the students of the Manor School Leadership Academy who do a great job in ensuring that the events run smoothly. I’d like to also thank Ed Reeves and Chris Ruggins for their role in ensuring these events are a success!
Hot Chocolate with the Principal
One of the highlights of my week is meeting up with some of our star students on a Friday break time for hot chocolate and cookies. It is an absolute pleasure to meet these students who are working so hard within and beyond the curriculum and upholding the Manor School values. It is less good for my waistline!
Any student can be nominated by any member of staff, and students from Year 7 to Year 13 have been nominated in recent weeks. Not only do I enjoy their company, I also take the opportunity to find out what these great students think that we are doing well as well as the things they think we can improve on. A number of these conversations have led to action and improved student provision as a result.
Music and Dance Success
On Friday 30 November I was able to let my hair down and rock out to ‘Check the Suggestions’ – our Manor School band made up of the Year 13 BTEC Music students. These high quality musicians have a growing local reputation and play at many local events. However, organising this event was a compulsory part of their course and it was great to see that so many people supported them.
Our success in the Arts continues with our dancers once again reaching the N.Dance finals. Last year I loved seeing them perform so successfully at the Corby Cube and I can’t wait to see the choreography and performance for 2019!
New Vice Principal
In January we welcome Mr Lee Towers as our new Vice Principal. Mr Towers joins us from Northampton International Academy following a rigorous selection process, and will be responsible for Culture and Welfare. His role is to ensure that we continue our high quality provision in this area, but I am also excited by the potential for further improvement that a fresh pair of eyes will bring.
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I’d like to thank all parents and carers and the community for their continued support for all that we are trying to do at Manor School. The dedication and commitment of our young people is something of which we should all be proud. At Manor we aim to provide the opportunities to enable our students to discover their passions and find the things they love – and it’s heart-warming to see so many of our students do just that!