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Well for many students in their first year, it means a new environment, getting used to new staff, a different culture, establishing new friendship groups and concentrating on a smaller number of subjects. For returning students, the emphasis has been on planning for their next stage beyond our fantastic college and ensuring collectively that the foundations are in place for those students to achieve the appropriate grades.
This month will see the Sports Hall full of students taking mock examinations. It’s wonderful to see such focus and commitment from all of our students and staff in this process. After that, all of our staff will then ensure that the mocks are used to bring about further improvements in performance (and the accompanying success!).
Our BTEC students have been handing in their assignments, and these are going through a quality review process. We have our external quality management visit on the 18th of December.
Our College has a local, regional and national reputation for achieving excellent results, and that reputation is increasing all the time. We provide an outstanding learner experience. There is always a debate in education about how you measure success. My view is really simple: Do students make progress from their starting points? Do students achieve beyond their minimum targets? Are students happy? Would they recommend the college to their friends?
On all of these key performance indicators, the answer is a big yes, yes, yes, and yes!
Therefore, it is galling for me to hear anyone castigating us for whatever reason – especially if we have no opportunity to have a "right to reply". This is my right to reply. I am so proud of everyone and everything we have achieved here in the last two years. Some have described it as transformational and remarkable. Come and see for yourself.
What we do is not just of high quality in terms of the results students achieve here. We offer so much more. Over the last few weeks, anyone that has been following our social media feeds or the information on the website can only marvel at the opportunities and experiences that our amazing staff provide for our students. Those opportunities have been stunning. Trips and visits happen on a weekly basis. I went past our dance studio the other evening after a governors meeting, and I was mesmerised by the quality of our dancers. This is why students love it here.
This college has really has moved to a different level and it is no surprise that our students are gaining from this profile, locally, nationally and internationally.
I never get tired of saying this: I'm really proud of the college. It’s an honour to be Principal of Haringey Sixth Form College.
As well as giving the students a fantastic run-up to the Christmas break, I am delighted that for the first time we are having a formal staff Christmas party, and I'm certain that it will be a wonderful occasion.
The staff deserve that for having worked so hard this term.
Our application window for 2018/19 entrants remains open until the 31st of January. For anyone looking for a fantastic place to study next academic year, why would you not want to study here?
To repeat my request from last month, regular readers will know I am always pushing for continual improvements across all levels of the college: Aiming for excellence is everything.
As such, I am keen to strengthen our governance at the college and would welcome any applications to join the governing body – especially from parents and members of our local community. Please contact my office if you would be interested.
Finally, have a restful and fun-filled Christmas.
I look forward to seeing you in the New Year.