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Mr Hammond (Deputy Head): My First Blog at Skippers

Posted: 8th October 2014 | Category: Headmasters's Blog

My first blog at Skippers Hill and what a great few weeks to write about! The school continues to move forward at a cracking pace and the children have really settled into their routines. New friendships have been forged and old ones renewed – it is a great pleasure to see so many smiling faces in the school as we go about the business of learning!
Roald Dahl day has been and gone and Year 3 put on an impressive display for their parents and peers. They wowed with their excellent public speaking and visible self-confidence. They also had a lot of fun … well done indeed and thank you to their teachers for a memorable experience. We look forward to the next round of public speaking: the poetry competition!

As I write I have just returned from an open evening at Starjumpz in Tunbridge Wells. This is a wonderful resource on our own doorstep which provides professional expertise and innovative interventions for supporting children with a range of needs. I was greatly impressed, although not surprised, to see five Skippers colleagues also dropping by despite a full day at school and a staff meeting that lasted until 6pm. Testament to the dedication and ‘extra mile’ that teachers will go to in order to provide the best for their pupils at the school. Mr Lewis will be slightly alarmed by the clutch of resource catalogues that will be coming into school tomorrow!

It was my great privilege to meet David Shelton this week, an old boy who was a boarder at the school some decades ago. He toured the school, met staff and children and then spent an hour with Year 5, regaling them with stories of the school from the past. They were fascinated and loved the artefacts and photos he had brought with him. It was wonderful for them to see history come alive! Most invigorating was his impression that despite all the changes that the school has seen in half a century, he could see quite clearly that the core ethos remained the same: to do the very best for each individual child at the school. David left very thrilled, and rather emotional, and I am sure you will hear more from him … he also passed on a few house secrets and you may spot one or two very subtle changes in the future!

On a personal note, I am getting my teeth firmly into a couple of key areas in our two year development plan. Following the release of the new 2014 SEN Code of Practice in September I am reviewing and updating our provision and protocols in that area. ICT is also a focus for review as we continue to build our resources in this area and prepare for the introduction of new technologies in the future. We are now officially on the fibre optic network so onwards and upwards! Following a trial period last term, colleagues, school council, senior pupils and I have reviewed and updated both the rewards and sanctions aspect of life at Skippers: I am certain you will hear about it from you children but do be in touch if you would like to know more from me.

Finally, thank you to all who congratulated me on turning 40 last month … I tried my best to stay below the parapet but some astute minds in the office busted me and I have to say I did quite enjoy being the centre of attention at the FOSHA coffee morning!

Mr Hammond

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