Headteacher’s Update – September 2017

Welcome to the first update of the academic year as we celebrate our record breaking exam results and our strong start to the new school year. Congratulations go to our students in Years 11-13 for their excellent results. I must also say well done to our Year 7 and to all our other year groups for the excellent start back they have made to the school.

Our Year 11 GCSE results saw a fantastic 81% of students gaining 9-4 pass grades in the new English and Maths GCSEs with over 12% and 9% of students gaining grade 9 in these subjects respectively. An outstanding 40.5 % of entries were A*/A or equivalent and we are delighted that 99% of our Year 11 students achieved 5 A*-G grades. 45 students achieved a very impressive total of 9 or more A*/A grades or equivalent. These are fabulous results for a comprehensive school committed to inclusion and they really do show our success in maximising the potential of all our students. Our results at GCSE and A level continue to put us among the top comprehensives in the country in the league tables in the national press.

Our Sixth Form success continues with 66% of our A level entries achieving A*-B, excluding General Studies, and several students gaining access to Oxbridge and to study Medicine. The average grade achieved in our Sixth Form was a highly impressive grade B across all the qualifications we offer. These excellent outcomes saw some fabulous scenes of celebration on results day and they are crucial in ensuring our students are able to secure the progression routes they have worked so hard to achieve. Congratulations go to all those receiving their exam results this summer and we wish you every success as you embrace the new challenges and opportunities ahead of you.

The results this summer are all the more impressive given the substantial changes to the curriculum and in assessment that have been experienced by the students and staff in this year’s exam preparation. These outcomes reflect the talent and hard work of our students and teaching staff, and the excellent support received from our parents. Thanks go to all the staff who came in over the holidays to support our students and in particular to Mr Morris and Ms Booth for their work with our Sixth Form.

As you may have seen in the press this summer, one of our former students, Fiona Mozely is on the short list for the Booker Prize with her debut novel, Elmet. We would like to congratulate Fiona on this achievement and to wish her every success in this competition and in her writing career.

Our new students have made a fabulous start to the new term. Our record breaking Year 7 intake of over 260 students and our 150 strong Year 12 have quickly found their feet and have settled well into lessons and their new school routines. It has been a pleasure to see them working hard and enjoying themselves around school.

Year 12 Induction has been highly successful and I am delighted that so many of our previous Year 11 have continued their studies with us. I am also pleased to welcome the large number of students who have joined us from other York secondary schools. I wish all our Sixth Form students every success in their future studies.

The first week back has seen me hold assemblies for all year groups to reflect upon some of the changes and achievements over the summer, to outline our vision and values and to set out our priorities for the year ahead. The start of the year is always an important time to reflect on our achievements and to focus on the challenges ahead. Our students can embark upon their new school year feeling confident and well supported in terms of the standards of teaching, care and support and the new facilities that are available to support them in their studies and their personal development. Our Fulford values and key learning attributes continue to underpin all the work we do in school.

We have made further progress this summer in improving the facilities we have for our students and this work represents a massive investment by the governing body in improving the fabric of our school. Our main toilet blocks have been completely redeveloped and we have installed new security gates and an electronic registration system for our Sixth Form. This redevelopment and installation work has involved a huge amount of work over the summer period. In light of this, I must thank the builders, the CYC planning and building support team, Mr Bradford, our site staff and our IT team for their hard work and efforts to complete this work on schedule.

Further investment in the students in the school can be seen through the creation of two new student welfare posts. Mrs Sue Dougherty is now the Student Welfare Worker for students in Years 7-11 with Mrs Amanda Stuart being appointed as the Education Welfare Manager for the Sixth Form. The creation of these posts, at a time of financial pressure in education, evidences the priority we put on student development and student wellbeing within the school.

I would like to thank our parents for their support in upholding the standards of our school uniform. I apologise for the fact that some parents have experienced issues with the supply of stock from the supplier and I would like to assure you that this is an issue we are working on and will seek to improve.

As you can see from the above, it has been a busy and exciting start to what promises to be another action packed term. I wish all those in our school community a warm welcome to Fulford and I wish all our students every success and happiness in the year ahead.

Lorna Savage