Today's first meeting was with colleagues from a range of professions all working towards building our new school. The new school, which will be built on the existing campus, should be completed for the summer of 2015. Clearly a lot of work has to be done between now and then to ensure that we have the best possible school. Throughout the building programme I would want to reassure parents and pupils that we will give high priority to ensuring that disruption to learning and teaching is kept to a minimum. The experience I gained of a similar school rebuild project whilst I was depute headteacher at Knox Academy from the late 90s, will be of enormous benefit. Key points covered at today's meeting included: the layout of the main entrance, positioning of various offices, location of computers in the Art department and whether we should provide a locker for every pupil. (Current practice and a straw poll suggests that only around half of our pupils wish to use a locker). It was agreed that Bethany and Alex (Pupil Council Leaders) would be contacted to arrange for feedback from the pupil council on this issue.
Fingers crossed on Wednesday of this week, when the council planning committee has convened a hearing to listen to representations from various parties,that the decision is taken to give our school rebuilding project a green light.
I had the first opportunity this afternoon of introducing myself to S3 at an assembly in our main hall. I was pleased at how they applauded when i was introduced and, even more impressively, they also applauded after I had finished speaking! The main areas I covered were: 1) Who I am; 2)The reputation of the school, 3) My first impressions, 4) My expectations and 5) The future. I finished off my presentation by stating that, as with Mr Wallace and Mr Simpson, we must continue to set high expectations for each other so that every pupil is able to be the best he/she can be.
Prior to going home, I had a quick look through emails and was pleased to see that the thoughts I had shared with a sample of staff by email over the weekend as to my initial impressions of where we are at as a school, and what we should plan to do over the next five years, had, with a few exceptions, struck a chord. Tomorrow afternoon I will have the opportunity to further consult in this area when I meet with my senior team followed by the principal teachers.