13th September 2016
Dear Parent /Carer,
I hope you and your family have enjoyed a wonderful and positive summer holiday. I am very much looking forward to meeting you and your children and working with you over the coming days, weeks, months and years.
I am very pleased to have been given the opportunity to become the Executive Head of Wix. I am aware that there have been significant changes at Wix over recent years and that this continued last summer with the head and one of the two deputies leaving. I intend to bring a period of stability to Wix. Having been the Head of Belleville Primary School for sixteen years, I know the area and community very well.
I am pleased that we have appointed existing staff members to take on senior roles for the coming year. Rebecca Osuntokun is your and the children's Headteacher. She will be responsible for the day to day running of the school. I have enjoyed starting to get to know Rebecca and look forward to a fruitful relationship over the coming months. We have also appointed two acting deputy headteachers, Sonia Binks and Alice David-Jekyll. Both of the teachers are well known to you and we are already working closely together in preparation for the new school year. Kerry Dunford has been appointed acting Assistant Headteacher and SENCo. She will be responsible for all aspects of inclusion.
Unfortunately, until recently I have not known Wix Primary School well. There has not been a significant working relationship between Wix and Belleville, including through Belleville’s work as a National Teaching School and Maths Hub. Over recent weeks, however, I have had multiple meetings and conversations about Wix and its undoubted potential. I have met with the staff team and governors and have visited the school on a few occasions. Over the coming months we will work extremely hard to build upon the strengths of Wix while securing the degree of school improvement you and your children deserve. The staff teams from the two schools have also begun to work together and forge closer relationships. A number of meetings took place over the summer and the combined staff teams have undergone training together on two INSET days on Monday and Tuesday of last week. I am grateful to you for your support in making it possible to hold these two training days. Training is key to school effectiveness. I will write to you at a later date clarifying further INSET days in the 2016/17 academic year.
Wix is, as you are aware, graded as Requiring Improvement by Ofsted. Like many of you, I have read the Ofsted Report which outlined many areas for improvement. As a National Leader of Education I have worked in a wide variety of schools, many of them requiring improvement. I have already been very impressed with the staff team and believe working together we can bring about significant improvements and ensure your children receive the education they deserve. We have already started to implement improvements encouraged by the staff team. The focus of these improvements has been to bring greater clarity to what we do. With this in mind we have already made three significant advances. We have reviewed the three key areas of maths, English and behaviour. We are seeking to provide very clear and effective systems that will be followed consistently by all staff and children and supported by parents and carers.
We will be providing you with additional guidance and information over the coming weeks. The key developments are:
We have extended the school’s use of Singapore-style teaching of maths. This has previously been used at Wix in Key Stage 1. We will now extend its use to both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. All teachers were provided with training to be completed over the summer. We provided face-to-face training on the INSET days and will provide further training at Wix over the coming weeks. We have invested significantly in providing all of your children with relevant books and materials. We will further invest in resources over the coming weeks, once we have completed a thorough audit of need.
We have also reviewed the teaching of literacy across the school and have provided training and greater guidance. We have reviewed the teaching of reading. We look to offer all children a consistent high quality and impactful approach. To further improve what we offer, all staff have undergone additional training. We will also be offering parents an introduction to the teaching of reading. Children will be given new reading journals. We ask that you support us and your children by reading and working with them at home.
We have reviewed the school’s marking and feedback systems. These have been clarified and shared with the children on their return to school.
Staff are reviewing the school’s behaviour systems and structures this week. They will share the revised systems with children over the coming days and we will then share these with you in the very near future. We want excellent behaviour from everyone every day.
Since we have returned from the holiday, issues about school dinners and school uniform have been raised with me. A member of the senior leadership team met with a representative of Wandsworth Borough Council about the meals earlier this week and will be meeting with the head of contracts shortly. We are also looking into the availability of school uniform.
As parents and carers we ask that you support the school in its endeavours to provide your children with the education they deserve. As part of this, please ensure that your children attend school every day. Please ensure they arrive in good time for each day and that they are dressed in the appropriate school uniform.
Thank you for your support.