Be ambitious and raise the bar says new principal Richard Spencer as he takes the reigns at Ely College.
- Credit: Archant
In a start of term newsletter to parents – bristling with optimism and a determination to make a fresh start- he sets out a vision for the year ahead.
“The students will arrive back to a school that looks and feels very different, with a number of areas repainted, house signage added throughout, and several new teaching spaces,” he said.
“We’ve also improved some of the outdoor areas and begun to create an attractive new space adjacent to the new dining hall and science block.
“More work is planned over the next few months as we seek to significantly improve the learning environment.”
On exam results he says this summer represented a “pleasing improvement on 2015” but there was more to come and more to achieve.
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“We have very high ambitions for all of our students, and everybody recognises the need to build further and improve,” he says.
“My message to students and staff this week is a simple one: let’s be more ambitious and seek to really raise the bar in terms of what we can achieve together.”
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He said: “We have tightened our expectations in terms of the behaviour and effort we will expect but we recognise that we must match that with teaching that challenges, excites and inspires.”
He added: “I am confident that our minor modifications to the college uniform (shirts and house ties) are widely understood, but we have sharpened the guidance on the website for the avoidance of any doubt.
“We do intend to enforce and maintain high standards in this area, and will be challenging students should inappropriate shoes, skirts/trousers or make-up begin to creep in.
“Equally, we intend to enforce very high standards of conduct and discipline around the college: we will be continuing with the policy of not allowing mobile phones to be used in school, and will be absolutely intolerant of any rough, intimidating or bullying behaviour.”
Mr Spencer added: “There will be quite a lot of change this year, and change can be turbulent for any organisation.
“We have tried to get most of the most significant adjustments in place for September, but I would ask for your forbearance and understanding as we seek to implement the systems and practices that we know from our experience will make a difference.
“Be assured that we will work hard to ensure we keep the welfare and progress of the students at the heart of everything we do.”