Book Vending MachineIt is often said in schools that by the start of October the rhythm and routine of the year are established and there is a feel as to how the rest of the year will pan out. If this is true, then we are going to have another great year at Wallingford School. Students are focused, organised and working hard and their behavior is impeccable; staff are teaching great lessons, supporting our young people and continually going the “extra mile” in the classroom and beyond. I would like to again congratulate our Year 7 students on their fantastic start to life at the school and also our Sixth Form students whose approach to private study – a defining characteristic of our excellent Key Stage 5 provision – is so very mature and conscientious.

As I mentioned last week, we have Open Evening coming up on Thursday 7th October and school will finish at 12.40pm. Open Mornings follow during the week beginning Monday 11th October. Due to demand we are having to cap numbers for both events but please do be in touch if you are keen to visit us and cannot currently book a slot. I can also clarify that we will have more places available for Year 7 next September as our Pupil Admission Number has been raised.

As ever, it’s been a busy week with so much going on and I want to highlight a few important areas.

We all know that reading is important and when we say this it can sometimes suggest that it is some kind of chore or thing which has to be done – this is of course the last thing that anyone wants. We are fortunate at Wallingford School to have an outstanding English department where great teaching engages our students with a wide variety of texts and also a really well-stocked library which is expertly organized by our librarian. This is great but we have also been considering about what more we can be doing and as a consequence have relaunched our Get Reading programme in tutortime this year with aplomb.

The aim of Get Reading is that all students in Years 7, 8, 9 and 10 will encounter at least five texts during the year during the tutor period and the model of delivery is well-tested across a range of schools to ensure that all students can access the texts in a rich and rewarding way. It has been great to see it in action over the past few weeks. At home, please do ask about the texts which are being read – I thought about listing them here but have decided that at this stage it should be a homework task for parents and carers! Please also ask about the book vending machine – we are starting to share information about how this will work and it is very exciting indeed.