My colleague Gary Lovelace who is headteacher at City of Leeds School, sent me this e-mail...
"Hi Chris, I’ve tended to avoid emailing you/asking for things to be put on your blog because, rightly or wrongly, I’ve wanted to focus on matters in hand at school. However, I’ve just received your letter about our recent OFSTED monitoring visit and would like to thank you for that. I wondered if you might refer to this on your blog? As you will be aware, an OFSTED monitoring judgement is about progress and so essentially our friends have judged that we have improved further since the previous OFSTED.
I’m sure that Helen Pemberton, our SIA, will have told you that, in the verbal feedback, the Lead Inspector referred to leadership and management as on its way to being “good” and improvements in attendance as “impressive”. However, we are not complacent and I still wanted to proceed with our next round of observations in school supported by Helen and after this she reported how noticeable the improvements in teaching and learning in City have been this year. I also wondered if you might be able to report:-
- We’ve had our second annual Community Fayre which was wonderfully attended with a range of activities for all ages.
- That some of our Year 8 students took part in the Hurdles Home Art Project working with Refugee and Asylum Seeker organisations across Leeds producing 5 canvases. 5 Students did presentations about their work to the Lord Mayor at Armley Mills Museum, 70 people at Leeds City Museum and to their Year group in assembly.
- 3 Year 9 students have set up their own social enterprise called YOOB IT which aims to tackle anti-social behaviour and build community cohesion by building relationships between people of different generations. They have already won Education Leeds Awards for this, including the Education Leeds “Social Enterprise of the Year Award”. On Monday, they presented their business plans to a panel of judges, MPs and business executives at the Palace of Westminster on Monday in the final of the Solutions For The Planet competition and won first prize.
- At the Leeds Young Authors Poetry Slam, the City of Leeds team won the Award for “Outstanding Performance”.
- City of Leeds has just been awarded “Healthy Schools” status.
Lastly, when we exchanged letter last year, we agreed that you would come in to City to see the school in action – there’s probably not time now, but it would be great if you could do this in the new academic year? Thanks, Gary."
It was deeply encouraging to read the OFSTED monitoring report which identified the real progress Gary and his colleagues have made. It is also good to read about the Community Fayre, the Hurdles Home Art Project, your Healthy Schools award, the Leeds Young Authors Poetry Slam success and the fantastic news about YOOB IT! As it says on the blog every school I have ever visited has outstanding practice, outstanding colleagues and things worth sharing and it is wonderful that Gary wanted to share and celebrate some of the magic that is happening at City of Leeds.