The build up to the open evening had been particularly pleasing and enjoyable for me. In order to spread the word I took our wonderfully talented year 11 band "the Baileys" on a tour of some of our nearby primary schools. As you would expect they were a huge hit with everyone and the visits showed yet again the importance of our excellent relationships with local schools. The visit to Greenhill was particularly emotional for the boys (some of whom attended that school) with family members coming to watch and some fantastic audience participation (see below). I'm very much looking forward to more visits like this in the future.
The open evening itself was a great opportunity to show off the school and I would like to thank everyone who helped out. It was fantastic to see so many staff giving up their own time to promote the school and even more pleasing to see the large numbers of pupils who volunteered to stay behind to answer any questions and generally help out. I really believe its a sign of a really healthy school community when everyone pitches in like this, the pictures below hopefully allow you to get a flavour what went on.
Drama and Music
RE and History
My presentation that night had focussed on the need to work with parents so we could give them the school that they wanted to see. We talked about the importance of communication (for anyone at the event - yes I CAN spell this word and I corrected it later like all good students do!) and how word of mouth on social media platforms like twitter and facebook is really important for us. It was therefore really pleasing that following the event we had so many lovely message of support and appreciation from the hundreds of parents who attended.
Perhaps even more important than the praise we received was the opportunity for me to chat with parents as they walked around the school. One thing I'm very pleased about at LSP is the fact that we have a community of partners that can in no way be described as shrinking violets! I had one particularly in-depth conversation with a parent about homework, we covered so much ground on this issue that i think it will need a blog to itself! it also meant that I spent much of Friday discussing our strategy for homework and I hope that parents will see different approaches to this issue in the very near future.
All in all the event re-inforced my belief that LSP is very much a school at the heart of its community, this is the real reason for the recent significant progress we have made. We need to continue to develop ways to be keep up a constant "conversation" with parents. This conversation can take place online or face to face but what is important is that happens more regularly. I've never really understood why a secondary school can't have a the same relationship with parents as a primary school does. I know we don't really see parents at the "school gate" but couldn't facebook or twitter be our online school gate? Only by working in partnership with you will we be able to develop a school that has aspirations beyond even the most optimistic members of our community. Perhaps then we can finally begin to embrace the realities and opportunities of a New Lewis School Pengam and moving forward together.
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