Celebrating Success. Celebrating the Arts.
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It is a great privilege to write my first Principal’s message to you – I hope that it is the first of many. My role as incoming Principal is to continue the journey towards becoming an outstanding College so ably begun under the leadership of Deane Baker. I know that Deane moves on with many regrets to an opportunity he could not turn down: my role will be to shape the future of Thorns Community College and create the best opportunities and experiences for the young people of Quarry Bank and the surrounding areas.
I join Thorns Community College from a secondary school in Worcester where I was Senior Deputy Headteacher. Previously I held a West Midlands wide role for the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust and taught at Willenhall School Sports College in Walsall and Hall Green School in Birmingham. I am keenly aware that the challenges faced by Thorns in recent years are firmly behind us and we can look to the future positively and with well placed optimism. However there is still much to do to ensure that we become an “outstanding” institution; but with the partnership of students, parents and carers, and staff working effectively together anything is possible.
I have been a member of the teaching profession for nearly twenty-five years now and there are certain key values that I adhere to. The most important is perhaps the concept that praise is never lost on children, no matter how small the success. Everyone thrives on being told when they have done well: it builds relationships and helps embed successful working practices. The second is that the transition for young people into further education, university or work is vital in creating a successful future for us all. Finally it is important to recognise that, just as I will never play football for England no matter how hard I try, not all students can attain the very highest grades. It is therefore crucial that we celebrate achievement at all levels when it represents the best a student can achieve. The challenge for Thorns Community College as we move forward is to create a curriculum that is broad, varied and appropriate for all students: those with the very highest grades destined for Russell Group Universities and those who wish to join the world of work at the first opportunity. I would also welcome the opportunity to forge links with local industry and to create a direct route from Thorns into high quality apprenticeship programmes. As an Arts College I am pleased to be joining my second school with the specialism closest to my heart. I am really looking forward to seeing the success of last year’s, “Hairspray,” repeated next year. However I cannot write to you without mentioning sport. All young people benefit from an involvement with sport whatever the discipline. My personal preference would always be football and I have been a qualified coach for almost ten years. I still manage my youngest son’s under 16 side with enthusiasm and optimism.
The few short months before I take up post in January will pass quickly and really look forward to meeting with students, parents and staff and beginning the next phase of Thorns success. I want everyone associated with the college to be proud of the institution to which they belong and share in the vision of collective success.