As the end of term approaches, we have some news for you. We are working with key stakeholders to develop reliable and affordable school transport options for students attending the John Taylor Free School and expect a formal announcement to be made in January 2018. Therefore, many parents, in several identified localities further afield from the school, can be assured that there will be bus routes available. Of course, many of you may live within walking distance and will be able to take advantage of the well-lit walkway under the A38, which will provide a safe pedestrian or cycle route for students.
We are also pleased to announce that we have decided on the uniform for the Free School. It will be revealed in January along with some photos and links to the suppliers so that you can see how smart your children will look when they start in September! Please note that as we have not been part of the Local Authority Admissions process this year, applications are still welcome.
I am very excited about taking up my post in January. I will be based at John Taylor High School and will spend time with staff and students there so that I can really understand what makes JTHS so special. As you are aware, we are taking the “DNA” from the High School and replicating the key strengths to combine it with new and innovative practice to give the John Taylor Free School it’s own identity. Our ideas are growing and a key feature of the free school will be a “coaching culture”. Staff and students will gain an understanding of how coaching principles can enhance not only their own achievements but those of the wider team. We will grow a strong community where each individual member contributes to our collective success.
I am sure you are all looking forward to the holiday after a busy few weeks with carol concerts, music celebrations, Christmas jumper days and even snow! As a parent of a year 6 child, I attended my last primary school nativity play and I have to admit I found this wonderful and difficult in equal measure! It is lovely to see children growing up and being given responsibilities, which will prepare them for secondary school and life beyond. However, as a parent it is a little sad to be leaving some of the joys of childhood behind. I am well aware that many of you will be experiencing similar feelings as your children prepare for the last 6 months at primary school. We all need to keep in mind that this time of transition is exciting but a little nerve wracking for our sons and daughters too!
For me, this time of year is about family and friends; seeing people that I don’t always have the opportunity to see, mealtimes together, choosing presents that will make someone smile. It is not about the item or the value, but it is about being kind, thoughtful and making someone happy. Whatever your faith, culture or religion or belief – Christmas is for spending time together and looking after each other. I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
Head of School Designate