City of Norwich School

Headteacher's Message, Friday 26th May 2017

It was a pleasure to meet Lynne Williams the new Principal of The Guildhall on Saturday morning. Unsurprisingly, she was very impressed with what she saw at NCYM and the commitment of everyone involved, including the many volunteers and parents. I arrived early and did some work in my office which, given all I could hear was classical music being played in the sixth form study hall, was very enjoyable. Ms Philpott, Headteacher Designate and Lynne are keen to discuss future developments which will continue to bode very well for initiative. It’s worth remembering that the pilot model which was introduced here (the triad between CNS, The Guildhall and NCYM) is now used nationally to develop music. Drama has been introduced to the programme with some exciting new possibilities on the horizon.

Earlier this week, I was politely asked by a student if I got bored holding the door open for students at movement time. The answer was “I enjoy it”, it’s a way of meeting and interacting with students and also setting an example. I have mentioned it before, it’s one of those little things that doesn’t take much effort but is extremely useful; the students are always polite and say ‘thank you’. Often when we have guests in school, I take them with me in order that they can see for themselves the great interaction of our students.

Through a week of many interviews, I recognised that one of the many benefits of leading CNS is that neither teacher recruitment nor retention poses a problem to us. Indeed, this year we have less staff movement than ever and this was recognised as a strength by Ofsted. One of the many attractions is our sixth form, staff can be teaching a year 7 group one lesson and a sixth form full of university applicants the next. When doing appraisal, I love observing sixth form lessons; the interaction between staff and students is incredible and I am full of admiration at how confident they are in their views on everything from politics to their future plans.

Having had the absolute pleasure of attending the Summer Concert last night, I would like to pass on my thanks and congratulations to all involved. What a fabulous evening of music, the highlight for me personally being Sarah Walton and Leila Hooton’s rendition of Rachmaninov's Prelude in C Sharp Minor – simply stunning. A great way to end the half term.

With year 12 now on study leave, today (Friday) was the last day for year 11 students so we said our farewells at the leavers’ assembly. Many will still be coming into school for revision sessions (students will be aware of their individual arrangements during this period) but this was the last time they were together as a whole year group.

Have a great weekend and for those with children involved in exams, please make sure they use the time wisely and do plenty of revision.


Jim Nixon