End of Spring Term Headteacher letter

Friday 5 April 2019

Dear parents/carers,

This letter marks the end of the Spring term at the Courtyard. It has been a very busy term, with many achievements and awards that should be celebrated. The pupils are continuing to work hard and are making progress towards their end of year targets in all subjects.

Many of our students are now preparing themselves for exams and assessments which will take place in the summer term. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the students on their efforts but also to thank my staff, many of whom are giving up their own time after school to offer extra tutoring. Please can I ask that during the Easter break, you encourage your child to complete any pieces of homework set and to continue to read regularly for pleasure.

This term we have enjoyed many additional curriculum activities in school including Internet Safety Day, WE Day, World Book Day, Autism Awareness Day and a BREXIT debate.

In March the Courtyard hosted reviewers from the Challenge Partners Network. The purpose of the visit is to monitor the quality of teaching and learning in the school which determines the resulting outcomes for pupils. I am pleased to report that the reviewers judged the Courtyard to be an Outstanding provision, with pupils receiving high quality teaching which develops their independent skills. The full report can be found on the school’s website. Please do take a look.

During the Challenge Partners 3 day visit, the Courtyard also hosted the Under-Secretary for Education, Nadhim Zawahi MP and the BBC. During the visit, a number of pupils and parents were asked about their experiences of the Courtyard and their hopes for the future. I was extremely pleased to hear the views of the pupils and parents and felt particular pride in how eloquently the pupils communicated their thoughts in front of the camera. The interviews appeared as part of a news report on BBC London News and may well still feature on iPlayer.

Our school residential to Macaroni Wood was a huge success. Half of the school cohort attended and thoroughly embraced country life through country walks and egg collecting to name but two activities. We were also accompanied this year by Mr Aitken’s dog, Monty, a welcomed addition. It was wonderful to see the gentleness and compassion in which the pupils engaged with Monty at all times. Ms Norman has already provisionally booked Macaroni Wood for four days next March. I know I have already reserved my place!

From myself and all of the staff at the Courtyard, I wish you a restful Easter break. Please note that the school will reopen on Tuesday 23 April 2019 at the usual time of 8:30am. Referring to your child’s timetable, this will be Week B so please take note if your child requires any specific equipment on that day.

An advance note on future holidays: you may have noticed in our Term Dates section of the website, that the Courtyard will take a full two week break in October 2019. We have historically had a week and a half in October, but given the longer teaching days expected of our staff and pupils, and in response to requests for holiday leave from parents, the Governors have agreed that this holiday will be from 21 October to 1 November 2019.

Yours faithfully,

Deborah Shepherd
The Courtyard

St Mary Magdalene Church Gardens
Holloway Road
N7 8LT

Tel: 0203 859 6350
Email: firstcontact@smmathecourtyard.org

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