Term 1, has, without doubt, flown by in a flash. It seems like only yesterday that we were welcoming our children back to school following the summer break!
Despite the furious pace of term, we have successfully engaged in numerous training and development activities, and, crucially, our children have benefited daily from the wonderful blend of education in which we believe.
We started the academic year in optimistic fashion, believing that together we can further improve and set ourselves some ambitious targets for 2024. Key targets include:
Phonics Screening Check (PSC) 92%
KS2 SATs RWM 72%
KS4 GCSE Basics (9-5) 55%
These targets represent our collective performance across an entire WeST cohort (Year 1, Year 6 & Year 11) so will look different at a local level in each school due to context and circumstance. Some schools will have targets above these, and some below. However, we believe in each and every child in our care and are passionate about every child succeeding and having the very best of life chances. Also, our professional capacity is stronger, we have another year’s experience upon which to call, and can take confidence from last year’s success.
Before closing, I wish to extend a fond farewell to Marcus Passmore, WeST’s ICT Operations Lead, who has worked in our schools since 2002. Over the years Marcus has seen many ideas come and go, but also seen the evolution of the digital footprint in our schools and how we now work. Marcus is leaving us at half-term to take up a new post in the corporate sector. We wish him every success for the future.
We return to Term 2 with an INSET day on Monday 30 October.
Finally, do take the time to re-energise away from the hurly-burly of school life and spend time with friends and family.
The survey will be open until 6 November 2023 and offers the opportunity for you to share your views and continue shaping the Trust.
The short survey should take you 5 - 10 minutes to complete. Results will be anonymous and every entry will be reviewed centrally. A summary of the results will be published in future editions of the Whistle.
Estates Summer projects
Estates LED upgrade
We are now in the final instalment of the Estate projects that we have been undertaking over the summer and in this case over the coming years.
As you are aware in early 2023 energy costs were soaring not only for us at home but also in school. Our energy bills doubled in a few months.
The Government provided funding to all schools, depending on your pupil on roll numbers. The title of this funding had a rather convoluted title of 'Investment to shield schools from high energy bill and boost to budget'. We simply called it 'The LED project'.
LED is a Light Emitting Diode. I will not bore you with the details, other than to say it is far more efficient than other lighting units and should be installed everywhere possible, including in your home.
The funding was insufficient for each school to completely upgrade. We have therefore supplemented the project costs with our own capital funding for primary schools to be fully upgraded (Morley Meadow and Sherford had additional PV panels installed as they already have full LED systems in place) and secondary schools will be phased over a few years of investment.
This funding also aligns with WeST's drive to reduce energy usage and costs, and to provide a better environment for our schools. It coincided with the withdrawal of traditional fluorescent tubes during 2023.
The new lighting was designed for the learning environment on a room-by-room basis by an approved lighting designer and was installed by a competent contractor over the summer.
By installing LEDs, we can expect the energy used by the lighting to reduce by 60% and, as the fittings have a 30,000-hour life, a greatly reduced dependence on call out electricians.
Buckfastleigh Primary was one of the first of the WeST schools to have its lighting upgraded to efficient energy saving LEDs over the summer. At Buckfastleigh about 30% of the lighting simply did not work at all, while much of the remainder was dim, flickered or buzzed loudly.
There are many studies that prove that the correct level of lighting improves learning outcomes. It is easy to believe this, were you to visit the school.
The new, brighter lighting also coincided with the school being decorated throughout by the school’s premises team.
Plympton Tennis Club
Children Come and Play Tennis!
A great deal – 6 lessons, a tennis racquet, t-shirt and balls for £34.99!
At Hele’s School dome, indoors, on Fridays from Friday 3 November. Some places are still available.
We are delighted to inform you of the following exciting career opportunities within our Trust:-
Coombe Dean School are seeking to appoint a Teacher of PE (0.66 FTE)/Cover Supervisor - maternity cover. The successful candidate will be an excellent practitioner, passionate about working with students, and will be expected to teach girls PE. The ability to engage, enthuse and inspire young people to achieve success is key. For more information, please click here. Closing date: 3 November 2023.
Eggbuckland Community College are seeking to appoint Casual Exam Invigilators. Successful candidates will support the exams administrators with the day-to-day operation of examination venues. Duties may include reading and/or scribing for students with special needs. For more information, please click here.
Holbeton Primary Schoolare looking to fill the following vacancies:
After School Club Leader - Holbeton currently require an after school club supervisor to work alongside the after school club supervisor. You will be required to assist in the day to day organisation of the after school club provision, providing high standards of care and play opportunities for our children who attend from our school. Closing date: 6 November 2023.
Teaching Assistant and Lunchtime Mealtime Assistant - Holbeton currently require a Teaching Assistant to work in our year nursery/foundation class. The persons appointed would need the skills and qualities necessary to demonstrate - a secure level of understanding of SEND needs, safeguarding policies and procedures, and consistently high levels of behaviour and learning. Closing date: 6 November 2023.
Teaching Assistant and Lunchtime Mealtime Assistant - Holbeton currently require a Teaching Assistant to work in our year 3/4 class, supporting a child on a 1 to 1 basis. The persons appointed would need the skills and qualities necessary to demonstrate - a secure level of understanding of SEND needs, safeguarding policies and procedures, and consistently high levels of behaviour and learning. Closing date: 6 November 2023.
For more information on the above vacancies, please click here.
Ivybridge Community College are looking to fill the following vacancies:
Casual Examinations Invigilator - Hours of work are by negotiation, to cover examination sessions throughout the year. The ability to work at least three days a week during the peak times in May and June. A full day, morning (start 8.30am) and afternoon sessions are offered.
Casual Minibus Driver - The post holder will drive the College minibus on local, pre-determined routes. The Minibus Driver represents the public face of Ivybridge Community College. It is important that the post holder therefore conducts themselves in a professional and knowledgeable manner. Closing date: 31 October 2023.
Teaching Assistant - The post holder will attend to the welfare and personal care of students, including those with special educational needs and medical needs and work with small groups or one to one. Closing date: 30 October 2023.
For more information on the above vacancies, please click here.
Oreston Community Academy are seeking to appoint a Mealtime Assistant to work across the main school and Nursery. Oreston are committed to making lunchtimes a happy and safe environment, where their Meal Time Assistants help to make lunchtimes a positive experience. For more information, please click here. Closing date: 30 October 2023.
South Dartmoor Community College are seeking to appoint Casual Examination Invigilators - The successful candidates will be hardworking, self-motivated and enjoy working in a team as well as under their own initiative. Previous experience within this area would be advantageous. You will be a committed and loyal individual; with high expectations and an unwavering determination to get the best for students. For more information, please click here.Closing date: On-going.
Stowford Schoolare looking to fill the following vacancies:
Administrative Assistant - Stowford areseeking to recruit a hard-working and professional individual to provide administrative and reception support at Stowford School as part of a busy admin team. Closing date: 1 November 2023.
Class Teacher (1 FTE Fixed Term Maternity Cover) - The post holderwill teach full time and demonstrate passion and enthusiasm for achieving both the best for the children in their class and playing their part in our successful staff team on our forward journey. Closing date: 6 November 2023.
For more information on the above vacancies,please click here.