WELCOME TO OUR BLOG
6th December 2019
This week I have been inspired by a video, I saw it being shown in a small intervention sessions to help one of our pupils understand the importance of accepting feedback and trying to improve. It wasn’t just apt for that one pupil but for everyone who is part of our Hastings Family, both members of staff and pupils alike. Our year 11 students have just finished their GCSE mock examinations, this has been a hectic three weeks filled with 23 exams and 4 practical days. The teachers are working really hard to get all of these exam papers marked to enable us to give precise and constructive feedback as year 11 enter there final couple of terms with us. The grades they achieve in these exams though an important indicator of what they might achieve in their formal GCSEs in eth summer are not defining. They are an opportunity to get some feedback, just like Austin to then make furether improvements before the summer.
This is a process that happens everyday, everywhere in our school. The feedback that staff and peers give is constantly improving our pupils in everything they do, be that maths, English, science or their conduct around the school. These little bits of feedback from the Hastings Family are like little butterflies flapping their wings. They might not make much difference in isolation but lots of little bits when joined together have huge impact, just like Austin’s Butterfly in the video.
I hope everyone has a restful and relaxing weekend as we near the end of a long term,
2nd December 2019
Growing up in a house where l was the eldest of three sisters l have to confess that l wasn’t great at sharing. I was more than happy for my younger sisters to share what was theirs with me but never quite got the knack of it being the other way round!
At school over the past couple of weeks sharing has become something of a Hastings theme and so l am relieved to say that l am far better at it now than l was as a child! Mr Shipman and myself presented at an event in London last Saturday which was hosted by the Shared Headship Network. This is a national organisation that promotes co-leadership in the education sector and it was great to share our experience with other Co-heads from across the country and support others who are aspiring to take up a similar role. We spoke about our first 100 days in post and the many benefits that we have experienced so far.
Wet weather has meant that we have endured more wet breaks and lunches than normal for this time of year. This means that our students have to share limited indoor space and have had less opportunity to let off steam before afternoon lessons. As a result everybody seemed a little lacklustre by Friday so we decided to spread a little cheer by delivering a cup of tea to every member of staff.
Mr Shipman and Mrs Brown on tea duty!
However, it is important to note that some things are best not shared. This week Mr Gregson’s assemblies have focused on how to ensure that our personal data is kept safe online and highlighted some of the more recent scams that have caught people out.
As the Christmas season gets in to full swing we will be delivering advent calendars to classes next week. Each day encourages an act of ‘care’ or ‘excellence’ to ensure that our Hastings vision is realised. On Monday we are asking that everybody takes time to say something positive to everyone they meet. Hopefully, by sharing lots of good will we can all survive the last few weeks of what has been a very long term!
22nd November 2019
“Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them.”
This week I have been reminded of the above quote from Brene Brown, it sums the week up. Throughout the week there have been decisions where it would have been simpler to take the easier or faster path, to reach a conclusion and appease people rather than dealing with the issue at hand and cancel things because as a school we are really busy. It is clear to see why the easier or faster path might be an acceptable decision but if they do not fit in with our values of community, ambition, responsibility, enrichment and self-development are they really the right decision?
At Hastings we choose to practice our values rather than laminate them and that is what makes our #Hastingsfamily so special. The family we are part of has come to the fore this week in lots of small ways, the support that staff are giving each and every year 11 during their mock exams, staff supporting each other when times are tough, through to parents helping clear the hall at the end of parents evening. I am lucky to be part of something special at our school and when you have to make the difficult decision, have the difficult conversations or do something that is hard, it is the support and guidance that you receive that makes an individual better at what they do, alongside making family stronger.
Community – Helping those in need
8th November 2019
It has been another busy week at Hastings, we have had a Para-Olympian visit (Thank you Sam Ruddock! @samruddockT35) alongside the ongoing Post 16 presentations for year 11, careers interviews and trips out to STEM events.
We have also had lots of people come into school to see us; that has included other schools looking to share some of the good practice we have but a lot of visitors in to try and improve the facilities and resources available at the school. We are trying to raise the profile of the school and build links to the local community and beyond so that as things become available people are thinking of Hastings. This enables us to offer the best opportunities for staff, students and the Hastings Family.
Finally this week we will welcome DKMS into the school tomorrow. They are a charity that raises awareness of, and organises, stem cell donation that can save lives. They have an event at the school tomorrow between 11am and 4pm where people can have a swab taken whi
ch could potentially lead to saving another person’s life. There will also be a cake stall, tombola and guess the number of sweets to raise funds as each swab costs £40 to do! This is a great chance to really help someone in need.
‘Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.’ (JFK)
4th November 2019
This week l have been reminded of this quote by John F Kennedy but with a focus on community rather than country. Community is the first of our school values and our pupils this week have been focusing on what it means to do something for our community and have been asked to consider why our actions outside of school are as important as those inside of school.
On Thursday afternoon our year 7’s hosted an afternoon tea for ‘someone special’. By some miracle we managed to serve tea and cake to well over 200 people in the hall! This was a great opportunity for our pupils do something for someone who has done a lot for them. Some of the reasons given for the nominations were because, ‘…they have helped me through my transition to high school’, ‘…they help me with everything and are nice to everyone’, to my favourite nomination which read, ‘…because she is always there to support me and she deserves to have a nice cup of tea and a cake’. A big thank you to all of those staff and pupils who organised and supported the event and to local businesses who provided cake and refreshments. We hope that this marks the start of a Hastings tradition.
Wednesday night was our year 7 disco. This year we were treated to an array of costumes from the scary to the bizarre!
Thank you to all of those staff who helped to organise this event and supervised on the night.
All in all a busy week for our staff and pupils but a great example of what can be achieved when we all work together. I hope that you all get to enjoy lots of tea and cake over the weekend!