9 March 2022
Ofsted have completed a number of inspections in schools in the locality and have visited many that were last inspected just before or after our last inspection. It looks increasingly likely that we will receive our two-day inspection soon. Please could I therefore again ask that when this happens you respond to the Ofsted Parent View survey. In the last inspection in 2017 the Ofsted team were very impressed with the number of responses and the very positive feedback on the College that parents gave, and I would very much hope that this can be repeated on this occasion.
Thank you in anticipation of your support.
This week is our first Diversity Week at Collingwood where we have been celebrating the diversity of our College community. The week has been planned by a group of students and staff who make up the Diversity Working group who meet regularly to discuss how we can celebrate diversity and promote inclusion so that all members of the College community feel welcome, respected and safe. One of the aims of the group is for students and staff to share their experiences in order to encourage empathy and respect for others.
During Diversity Week, staff have been recognising the contribution of individuals from minority backgrounds in their subject area as part of starters during their lessons, the Catering team have provided food from a range of different cultures and everyone has been invited to create a TikTok dance – whatever that might be! A key element of the week is the ‘Table Talk’ project that has been happening during Form time. The Table Talk element of the week hopes to get students thinking and talking about issues around discrimination and how we treat others. It covers some areas that may be sensitive for students, but we felt it important that these challenging conversations happened with Form Tutors who received training in how to manage them. The Table Talk project has started with staff, but we hope to develop the project to have students from a range of backgrounds and qualities (minority ethnic, disadvantaged, LGBTQ+, neuro-diverse such as autistic) sharing their experiences.
As a College we recognise the importance of reading. Educational research tells us that:
- Exposure to high quality reading improves students’ vocabulary and life chances
- Students who embark upon school with low reading ages may continue to struggle and not access the full curriculum as they otherwise would
- Disadvantaged students are less likely to be at expected standards because of a vocabulary and cultural deficit
- Students with poor attendance often have a low reading age
- Students who start secondary school with average reading ages may coast if they don’t continue reading and become exposed to new vocabulary and concepts
- Children who enjoy reading are more likely to do better at school
- Negative behaviour/low self-esteem may set in if students struggle to access texts and the curriculum
- Students’ progress and achievement at the end of school can be hindered as a result.
So what are we doing about it? You will have seen that this year we have begun our Year 7 Reading Project whereby Form Tutors read aloud, from a shared text, to their tutor group three times each cycle in order to model good reading. This is proving very popular and together with special VIP readers who are invited to read to the Tutor Group with the most praise points, students are enjoying reading the books.
This week we also celebrated World Book Day by Dropping Everything and Reading for 25 minutes and of course you can’t have missed our Masked Reader competition on our Social Media pages. I have been impressed with staff efforts to be creative with these photos, and ultimately I hope that it encourages students to read more for pleasure.
Mr Tanner - Principal