It has been a busy first term at Harington and we are all feeling the effects of an intense but – certainly from my point of view – extremely positive and productive period.
Harington School has now been up and running for 7 weeks. As you can see from this e-newsletter The Harington Herald (click here), which has been produced by the students for the students, there has been lots going on both in and out of lesson time. Please take time to read this first edition. It contains news on some of the ways that Haringtonians have embraced life at Harington School and are developing roles of leadership and responsibility that will stand them in good stead for the future. It also features our first whole school photograph, which I attach separately should you wish to save or print and frame it for posterity!
Apart from the main priority of getting the students settled into the daily routine and stuck into their academic work, what else has been achieved in Term 1? One of the things I am particularly pleased to report is that we have established a link with Leicester University. To tell you more about one aspect of this link that is already gaining momentum, we have arranged for 3 Medical students from Leicester University to give a presentation to students and parents on Wednesday 4th November at 6.30pm. This is a valuable opportunity to hear what is required when making an application to Medical School. These undergraduates have also offered to mentor Harington students and help them with their personal statements and the content of their applications. We have invited Yr 11 pupils from Catmose College and UCC to this presentation as well, so that they can start to think about the correct A level choice should they wish to pursue a career in Medicine. You can find more information about this presentation evening in the attached letter.
Other highlights of Term 1 include the launch of the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme at both Silver and Gold level and a presentation by Outlook Expeditions, an experienced and reputable company that will be leading on the proposed school trip to Borneo in 2017. It was pleasing to see so many parents at both of these information evenings and it was lovely to meet you again. More meetings will be arranged in due course to share information about D of E and the Borneo trip.
The students have been proactive in deciding upon ways to reinforce the identity of Harington School and make it into the ‘special’ place that I and the staff believe it to be. The School scarf has been through many colour changes, and now that we have decided we can go ahead with ordering. You can find this listed in items to purchase through ParentPay. Hoodies and T-shirts will follow, all bearing the Harington crest, and we will advise you when these are available to purchase, again through ParentPay.
The House system is established and many competitions will take place with valuable House Points at stake. When all the points have been totalled at the end of the year, we will be awarding an overall House Cup. Which House will be the winner: Osprey, Falcon or Starling?
We have even managed to squeeze in a trip out! Last night I accompanied a group of Harington students and staff to Peterborough Showcase Cinema to see the live broadcast of ‘Hamlet’ starring Benedict Cumberbatch (one of the A Level English texts being studied). It was a marvellous performance – a very different take on a familiar story – and it gave the students much to discuss afterwards.
Coming back to the academic side of things, The Harington Challenge (a mini-EPQ) has been introduced and many students are well underway with planning their essay. Prizes will be awarded for the best entries and the follow-up presentations.
Three DfE officials visited Harington earlier this week. It was an informal visit and they were pleased with the progress we are making. They will be returning in early December and this will be a more formal visit that will generate a preliminary report on how the first few months have gone. I look forward to sharing the outcome of this visit with you in my next ‘End of Term’ message, just before Christmas.
Speaking of the lead-up to the festive season, the final week of next term (commencing 14th December) is mock exam week. There will be alterations to the normal timetable so that timings for examination papers can be fitted in to the school day, which will not require an earlier start. An exam timetable will be published towards the end of next term so that everyone is fully informed about the structure of this exam week.
Finally, I would like to thank you for your support of Harington School. I am well aware that choosing Harington for your son(s) or daughter(s) has required a leap of faith. It was a brave choice and inevitably – as is always going to be the case getting a new school off the ground – it has not been without its challenges. However, I hope now that we are well underway, you also feel it was the right choice. Time will tell, of course, but I cannot emphasise too strongly the commitment of the Harington team to guiding your son(s) or daughter(s) through this crucial stage in their educational journey. I for one have been much impressed by them as excellent ambassadors and I have every confidence that they will go on to blaze a trail for future generations of Haringtonians.
It only remains for me to wish you a wonderful half term break. I hope you find time to relax and enjoy it and I look forward to speaking with you again next term.
With best wishes and kind regards,
Mrs Dyl Powell
Head Teacher of Harington School