Week beginning 27th November 2023
What a week we have had! We knew that it was going to be busy, with the appointment of our new headteacher, but we didn’t expect to have an Ofsted visit at the same time! The first thing to say is that I can’t share either result with you at the moment, so you will just have to keep checking in to the blog.
Let’s start with the headteacher appointment. Five candidates were shortlisted for the post and were all in school on Tuesday. They were put through a comprehensive selection process in school with a set of tasks which included observing lessons, doing a year group assembly, interacting with pupils, meeting with a staff panel and completing some data tasks. They finished the first day by presenting their vision of Ravenswood under their leadership. Their engagement across the day was outstanding and I would like to thank them all for their hard work. This was followed on Wednesday by a formal interview with governors, the Head of School Effectiveness from Newcastle City Council and one of the Ouseburn Learning Trust Headteachers. Again, the candidates committed completely to the process and all proved themselves to be suitable candidates to take the job. The successful candidate has been informed and has accepted the post, so our Chair of Governors is now in touch with their school’s Chair to discuss when we will jointly announce the result. We will do this as soon as possible. The new Headteacher will start at Ravenswood in September 2024.
Throughout the whole process, our governors have given their time and expertise to make the very best decision for the school. I can’t thank them enough for this, on everyone’s behalf. They set off on this journey with the clear aim of finding a Headteacher who understood our ethos and values and could continue the development of our wonderful school. I think they have found the perfect person; someone that I will be proud and excited to hand over to.
I was hiding away in Mrs West’s room on Tuesday, because the leaving Headteacher plays no part in the appointment of their successor. You can imagine my reaction when Mrs Nayak answered the phone, turned to me and said, “She says she’s from Ofsted!”
The Ofsted process is a very stressful one, even when you work in such a lovely school as Ravenswood. The rest of Tuesday was spent on the phone with the lead inspector and trying to keep the staff informed about the next two days, without disturbing the interview tasks. Tuesday evening was spent getting the school ready and getting the paperwork sorted for the next morning. Wednesday included detailed inspections of reading, maths and PE across the school and Thursday was spent following lines of enquiry identified on Wednesday. Again, our governors were fully involved in the process and turned up in numbers to support the school and hear the outcome. Our staff have worked none stop for three days solid to ensure that we showed the school off at its very best and the pupils have been equally fantastic, rising to the challenge of talking to inspectors about their learning and sharing their lessons. Thank you to everyone who had time to complete the Parent View questionnaire; your responses painted a lovely picture of life in school. We had two very supportive inspectors, who made the whole process as positive as possible. I don’t envy their task of having just two days to understand a school of our size and to come to a judgement. A report will be written and has to go through the Ofsted process before I can share the result with you all. Again, I will do this as quickly as I can, but we are talking weeks not days for this process.
I am writing this blog before the Winter Fair this afternoon. The school is looking great and we are hoping for lots of visitors. Huge thanks to the Friends of Ravenswood for organising this event. More news next week.
Due to such a busy week, we have had fewer activities happening out of school, but Year 1 still had time to squeeze in a visit from Kirkleatham Owls to support their topic on nocturnal animals. They all got to see and find out about hedgehogs and a beautiful Barn Owl.
The Friends of Ravenswood have now judged their logo competition and the winner is Aditri. There were two runners up who also won prizes – Freya and Mayar. Congratulations to them all.