We are fast approaching a significant milestone in the secondary education of the children of Holywell and its local community. On the 5th September 2016 a new State of the Art, 21st century, secondary school building will open to pupils for the first time. It will be co-located with the new primary school, Ysgol Maes Y Felin. The new secondary school will be known as Ysgol Treffynnon and it will signal the beginning of a new era in secondary education for the children of Holywell and its surrounding communities.
I was made the permanent Head Teacher of Holywell High School on 1st October 2015 and what a proud day that was for me! Since then I have been working to bring about the changes necessary to ensure the excellence in teaching and learning that our pupils deserve. On the 18th January 2016, Estyn visited the school and while we had made many improvements, it was far too soon for those changes to have had the significant impact on our results we are now beginning to see. While Estyn had no choice but to judge us on our past results, we know that our results this summer are likely to be our best ever and clearly demonstrate that we are firmly on the road to becoming a centre of excellence in Wales.
Ysgol Treffynnon will be an outstanding school and your school of choice in the years to come. It is my aim to see Ysgol Treffynnon complete its journey towards excellence. I will ensure that we become a school that personalises the highest standards of teaching, to bring about the highest standards in personalised learning and attainment for all pupils, of all abilities, regardless of background and personal circumstances.
To help me achieve this I have implemented a new leadership structure across the school that will ensure that the high expectations you as parents, carers and pupils place upon us as a school, is reflected in the quality of education we provide. At the forefront of the new leadership structure is the appointment of our new Deputy Head Teacher, Miss Kate Rogers. Kate’s experiences and skills are only exceeded by her reputation for excellence and her genuine desire to ensure the highest standards in teaching, learning and support for pupils. We are very lucky as a school to have recruited someone of her calibre and I look forward with excitement to the positive impact her creativity and commitment will have on our journey to becoming an outstanding school and beyond.
What does outstanding look like to me? An outstanding school is much more than an academic exam factory, as it encapsulates something special, something extra. Outstanding is evident in the ‘buzz’ that can be felt when you walk into the school building, that intangible sense that something special is happening within those classrooms. Where pupils, their families and all staff feel safe and valued so that success and excellence go hand in hand with warmth, care and support. Outstanding is when pupils believe in themselves and know that their aspirations and career goals are achievable. Outstanding is where pupils have faith in their abilities and the commitment of their teachers to support them in whatever ways are necessary to ensure they are successful. Outstanding is where teachers’ commitment to the highest standards of teaching and learning is evidenced by their commitment to continuing professional development, which brings about the confidence to be creative and engaging. Outstanding is about developing honest, genuine and trusting relationships, which enable everyone to relax and be free from fear of failure, so that they are confident to push themselves to greater and greater achievements.
I am committed to maintaining an unrelenting focus on raising the quality of teaching and learning. I am going to ensure that we build upon the excellence in practice identified by Estyn, through a significant and ongoing investment in the professional development of all our teachers to ensure they remain at the forefront of educational practice and are best skilled to maximise the skills and talents of our pupils. I will ensure that teaching brings our motto of ‘Inspire, challenge & succeed’ to life and that pupils recognise and understand that their greatest and deepest aspirations are achievable.
I want to maximise the voice and influence of our pupils and involve them in raising standards across the school, both in and outside the classroom. I want to know what engages our pupils, what inspires our pupils, what they feel they require from us in order to maximise their ability to gain the qualifications they need to move on in their education or into the world of work. I want to give them the opportunity to shape the academic quality and pastoral support we provide.
I cannot help but feel excited at the future that lies ahead. I know that there will be challenging times, but such challenges are necessary to bring about the best in all of us. While I relish challenges, they are far more easily overcome if they are tackled in partnership with friends and colleagues with a shared vision. I have shared my vision for what Ysgol Treffynnon will be in the near future and if you can relate to that vision, if you can share that vision and so be part of something very special, then support your local high school, be proud of your local high school as I am proud to be the Head Teacher of your local high school.
Head Teacher, Ysgol Treffynnon