I am writing to introduce myself as the new Headteacher of Harwich and Dovercourt High School. I was delighted to be appointed before the summer break and have been looking forward to my first day throughout the summer. In May when the post of Headteacher was advertised I had no real plans to move to Essex even though I was born in the South of the County. However, when I visited the school I was immensely impressed with the attitude of the students and staff and their desire to improve the school. I have been a school Principal for nearly eight years and visited many schools. One of the first things I looked for was how the students conducted themselves, treated each other and welcomed visitors. The students were a credit to the school – articulate, positive and keen to describe all of the areas they enjoyed and valued whilst being aware of areas that still needed improving further. It was because of their attitude and those of all the staff that I decided to apply for the post.
The most recent Ofsted report acknowledges the improvements made during the last eighteen months. The school can justifiably celebrate these whilst continuing to move forward. There is a great deal of work that still needs to be done in order to develop an outstanding educational provision. This is what the students and community of Harwich and Dovercourt deserve and it is my privilege to be able to lead them in striving to achieve this outcome. I have been fortunate to work with outstanding teachers and leaders – witnessing the impact they have on the life chances of young people. There is no reason that this type of transformation cannot happen here. The key to our success will be working together as teachers, parents and students to ensure that every child achieves both their academic, personal and career goals. The quality of teaching and learning at the school will be an immediate focus for me. I want every student to be actively engaged in lessons, enjoying their studies and taking increasingly greater control of their own learning as they move through the school. In a rapidly changing world independence and resilience are key characteristics of successful adults. Outstanding schools foster these qualities whilst providing a nurturing and supportive environment for all their young people.
My aim is to raise expectations of students and teachers. I believe as educationalists we have to set the bar high and work towards excellence in all areas. A child’s education is too valuable in their lives for it not to be given every possible opportunity to flourish. I also intend to develop and improve all of those social, sporting, outdoor and leadership opportunities which can have such a positive impact on young people’s development. My own career pathway to this point was not initially an academic one. It was only because teachers took an interest in me, built my confidence through sport and taught me the value of hard work that I have been able to fill this wonderful position. I am looking forward to creating opportunities for our young people and developing the school into one which the community can continue to be proud of.