27 April 2016
Message from the Head - Ofsted
We are very pleased with the outcome of our short Ofsted Inspection which confirmed that the school continues to be judged as "Good". The report is a real credit to the staff at the school and their determination to provide the very best all-round education for your sons and daughters; we have worked particularly hard this year at communicating this commitment to parents and the feedback we have received has been very positive.
There is a lot of detail within the report but my favourite comment is "Pupils were confident to share their views and were polite and cheerful". There is something about a St Birinus boy which kicks in when he meets a visitor to the school. Although appearing to be sometimes monosyllabic and occasionally daydreaming, he turns in to a very chatty, interested young man who will hold the door open for visitors and asks them if there is anything he can do to help them; he will talk about his learning, his hopes and aspirations and his view of the world. We value this enormously. It is about the type of young people we produce – articulate, polite and committed; examination results are important but so are the "softer skills" and virtues such as simple good manners. I cannot think of too many more important things than to be "polite and cheerful".
St Birinus is a community and a community within Didcot. On Friday 29 April we are holding a non-uniform day to raise money for the Balsam Family Project, a local charity which helps families in need. They approached us several months ago for a discussion and, as you may have read in the Didcot Herald, they have had recent difficulties with funding and we are keen to support them. Fiona Brennan-Scott from the Balsam Family Project led assemblies with Years 8 and 9 last week to explain the charity’s work; if you have a son in either year group, please ask them what they get if they have lemons – they should be able to answer you!
John Marston, Headteacher
Linked to ideas of achievement is the implementation of a new learning outcomes system in all lessons. This centres around differentiated levels of achievement in each and every lesson structured around bronze, silver and gold standards – much more to come on this in the coming weeks but students are already very positive indeed about the change.
Finally, we are delighted to welcome Mr Russell Boulton to St Birinus School as teacher of Design Technology. Mr Boulton will be covering for Miss Cottrell’s maternity leave and we are very pleased indeed to recruit a teacher of his calibre in what is such a challenging time for teacher recruitment. We do of course also wish Miss Cottrell well with forthcoming events.
Click here to read their report