In the middle - Celebrate across the years

12th September 2008 at 01:00
September always starts for us with a detailed breakdown of the examination results. We compile and evaluate the statistics to brief staff and students, inform the school development plan and update the school evaluation form.

Nothing new there for you I am sure. However, it might be worth thinking this year of ways in which you can extend the value of all of this number- crunching so that it becomes more meaningful to an even wider audience.

Publicity is obviously important here. Apart from the results-day photographs of delighted students waving their grade slips, think carefully about how you intend to inform the local community of your successes. Trawl through the results for those students who had the odds stacked against them during examination preparation, or who are set for posts of responsibility during the school year.

Perhaps, for example, you wish to promote your new student council to the media and this year's leaders performed exceptionally well at AS-level? Perhaps your key stage 3 results are not all you thought they would be. Could you look at your new Year 10 and celebrate how hard they have worked in spite of the results, maybe with a focused article on how they are combining sporting or artistic activities with settling into their GCSE courses?

Don't forget your primary feeder schools. A colleague once told me how his wife, working in a primary school, always felt disenfranchised from the success the local secondary celebrated on GCSE results day. From that point, I have asked schools where I am working to collate results in feeder school groups as well as in grade order, gender or inclusion groupings. This means that every September, the head thanks and congratulates his or her primary colleagues for laying the foundations of learning that helped to achieve so much in later years.

Di Beddow, Deputy head, Hinchingbrooke School in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire.

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