Year 7s in the New BuildingAlmost three weeks in to a new academic year I have to say what a pleasure it is to walk around our school at any point during the school day. In lessons, students are focused and enthused, teachers expert and frequently inspiring; at breaks and lunchtimes behaviour is excellent, relationships strong and there is a real sense of a school which is a community and has a tangible sense of togetherness. These things are special and we value them. They are not to be underestimated and come from each and every person who is involved in our school community, whatever their role – well done to everyone for a great start to the school year.

Over the past couple of weeks we have had Information Evenings for every year group and it has been great to welcome so many parents and carers into the school. This has been important for two reasons. Firstly, to ensure that communication with home is as strong as it can be, that the form tutor is not just a name but someone who families know and feel familiar with and so that the map of the year is effectively communicated and understood. Secondly, it has been a really good opportunity for families to visit our new teaching block and see at first-hand its excellent new facilities – it has been a long time coming but was worth the wait. As most families are aware, we are going to continue with virtual Parents’ Evenings this year but have also built a number of events into the calendar such as the Information Evenings in order to ensure that parents and carers do visit the school regularly and have the opportunity to meet with staff in person.

Finally, I have to say another “well done” to our (no longer “new”) Year 7 students who continue to make a fantastic impression in everything they do. The first few weeks of secondary school are simultaneously tremendously exciting and pretty exhausting for an 11 – and in a few cases 12 – year old and they have embraced everything about Wallingford School with aplomb. We are very proud of them indeed.