It’s not all bad at St Sampson’s High School

ON READING the States of Guernsey media release on the subject of St Sampson’s High School’s Ofsted report, it would be easy to conclude that all teaching staff:

l deliver a poor quality of education;

l do not confront ill-discipline and let bullying go unchecked;

l have low aspirations for pupils with special educational needs; and

l are insufficiently skilled in subject curriculum design and behaviour management.

It is so disappointing that the wider community will read the media release and perceive SSHS to be less of a school than I know it to be.

Yes, it has its challenges and we are working to address those, but there are many excellent teachers at SSHS who provide quality educational experiences for their students, and who:

l are passionate and work hard to plan engaging lessons and teach outstanding lessons with excellent outcomes;

l have thorough curriculum subject knowledge, which is evident in lesson delivery and learning outcomes;

l provide a high level of provision for SEND students to best support them;

l mark work and give valuable feedback to challenge and stretch students;

l reflect on their own practice to make sure they continue to deliver at a high level;

l go the extra mile to make sure that students receive the pastoral care they need and deserve;

l see an upset child and stop to chat and show the child that there are people who want to help;

l lead extra after-school revision sessions to support students with their learning;

l organise a wide range of extra-curricular activities to give students opportunities beyond the classroom;

l organise whole-school events and run and participate in these alongside students creating effective working relationships with students, eg MAD night, Sports Day, the Coastal Challenge Walk, fundraising activities and more;

l care, truly care about students’ welfare;

l are not afraid to reprimand these same students, discuss their behaviour, sanction where necessary and implement next steps to help these students;

l support these students in their development as youngsters changing into young adults and guide these students to make informed choices… I could go on.

SSHS teachers were never given a fair opportunity to showcase our many strengths and the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture did not adequately represent the good work that the school does. And this, at a time when they could really do with starting as they mean to go on, building on the positives that already exist.

I ask the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture and SSHS leadership to implement policies that are effective in supporting staff and students.

I ask colleagues to reflect and be honest about what we need to do to create positive change at SSHS and commit to making change happen.

I ask students to attend school, work hard, behave appropriately, grasp opportunities for growth and realise that they are part of the process of change.

I ask parents and carers and the wider community to support these children, encourage them to attend school, embrace their learning, behave appropriately and to chase their dreams.

I ask everyone to celebrate all that is good at SSHS while we work together on those issues that have recently been highlighted.


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