Newsletter From the Principal
Dear Parents and Carers
We have got off to a fantastic start to this term at Prince William School. It has been very busy of course, but
really positive. Staff and students have been really welcoming to me and other new staff, and I am delighted
on a daily basis by the students’ friendly greetings and smiles as I walk around the school.
During the first week I introduced myself to all year groups in assemblies and have been really impressed with the way in which students have responded to my key messages about school being a place where they come to work hard, the need for them to behave in a way that not only doesn’t disrupt learning but actually
supports and enhances learning, and the need for them to respect others, themselves and the environment. I
am aware that some students were not brought down to the assemblies, which was most unfortunate, but I
will be doing another set of assemblies soon.
During the second week I conducted a few ‘Ready to Learn’ checks in Year 7 – 11 and was pleased to find that
the vast majority of students did have their equipment. The percentages of students in each year group who
didn’t have their equipment was as follows:
Year 11 3.62%
Year 9 1.32%
Year 8 3.42%
Year 7 0%
Well done Year 7, keep it up! My target is less than 0.5% across the school. The most common item that
students did not have was a ruler.
This week we had our Open Evening, which was a tremendous success. We had around 100 students in school
helping in various ways, showing parents around, doing demonstrations in subject areas and even two year 7s
who bravely spoke to a hall full of parents twice. All of them were brilliant advocates for the school and made
a tremendously positive impression on parents, and we have had some very kind feedback from many parents. Here are three of the emails I have received:
“We simply had to write and say a massive thank you for the warm welcome we received last night at the
Open Evening. There was such a huge effort and infectious enthusiasm from both staff and pupils, it’s very
clear to see that Prince William is a happy place to be. Both our children (10 & 6) enjoyed being involved in
all the activities and were buzzing with excitement as we left. “
“I wanted to express my sincere thanks for the excellent Open Evening last night which I attended with my
husband and daughter. [Name] is currently at Trinity in Year 6. I was thoroughly impressed with the pupils and facilities available and the passion for learning was evident in those pupils and teachers whom we met. You should be very proud. In particular, we had a guided tour hosted by [name] in Year 11 who is clearly a bright child and who is fully engaged with PWS. Her enthusiasm was contagious and my daughter left last night and couldn't wait to join PWS!”
“I attended your 6pm introductory talk today and then toured the school with my son and grand-daughter. I
strongly feel that I want to tell you how impressed I am with the warm welcome we received from everyone.
We spent considerable time in Science, in Art and in Food Technology. The teachers were all friendly and
encouraging towards [name] and despite being rather shy, she had a wonderful evening. Particular
highlights included helping to dissect a cow's eye, being introduced to a dissected rat by a sixth former,
feeding paper clips into a jug of water, making a mini-pizza and doing some art Lino printing. As we drove
home, [name] declared enthusiastically, "I can't wait to start there next year!” Objective achieved, I think!
I particularly love the nurturing atmosphere in the school. So many children in their smart school uniform
had made the effort to turn up to support the school's Open Evening! It is clear from their happy smiles,
politeness and positive attitudes that they were very happy volunteers! You must be very proud of them!”
We rounded of this week with a ‘Jeans for Genes’ day on Friday, which included fund-raising activities such as
throwing wet sponges at teachers and a ‘beat the goalie’ competition (Mr Owen being the goalie!) The
atmosphere around the school was brilliant and it was a great end to the third week of term.
However, there have been one or two things which have not gone as smoothly as I would have liked. A major
problem is that some emails to parents from school have not been getting through. This is a problem with the
email providers concerned, not the school, so some emails are getting through, but others aren’t, depending
upon with which provider parents’/carers’ hold their email accounts. Our IT team is contacting these
providers daily to try to get them to resolve the issue and will continue to do so until it is fixed. We have put a
notice on the website (in the ‘latest news’ section) and I would ask parents to continue to use the website to
check on news and our progress with this matter.
The email issue has also prevented us from being able to launch the parental portal ‘Insight’ which will allow
parents/carers to see “live” information about the behaviour, achievements and attendance of their child(ren).
We hope this will be able to be launched soon. As this portal would have been used to facilitate the booking
of meeting times for parents’ evenings too, we have also had to send parents/carers a fixed appointment time
for the “Meet the Tutor” meetings this week. We are sorry about this, but expect to have a fully interactive
system ready for the first full subject teacher/parent evening just before half term (Year 9). Some
parents/carers have also questioned why the “Meet the Tutor” appointments are so early in the day, being
straight after school. I understand that some parents may not be able to attend at such a time because of
work commitments, but as tutor groups are now in Houses, each tutor only has 5 or 6 Year 7s to see and it
would be unreasonable to ask them to stay in school until 6.00 or 7.00pm for so few. We can, of course
arrange to phone parents if that would be more convenient.
The ‘Meet the Tutor’ event is designed to let parents/carers of students who are new to the school know how
their child is settling in. However, as most students now have new tutors (not just the Year 7s and the Year
12s) because of the move to a house system, tutors have been emailing parents/carers of students in Year 8 -
10 to introduce themselves and to form a contact. However, of course some of these emails have not been
getting through…. So we apologise to those who have still not received them.
Finally, I would like to mention how well the new House system is going. The naming of Houses has
progressed to the point that each House, Year 11, the Sixth Form, and the staff have voted on their set of names to put forward to the final vote. The final vote, to decide which of these seven sets of names will win,
will happen next week and we will then be able to announce the winning set of names. The other House
competitions start with vigour next week, and will involve a wide range of activities including designing House logos, tug-of-war, football, netball, and problem-solving.
Mrs E Dormor