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It has been a term of good news and we cannot quite believe it is nearly over.  Results from the Summer were confirmed as good and the strongest in the area and the college has quickly settled into a rather busy, but productive routine.

This year, we are consciously looking to recognise the good in our students.  We have begun to record recognition points awarded to students in the same way we have recorded Charter breaks for negative behaviour.  Not surprisingly, recognition points outweigh negative points 5:1 across the College.  In addition, staff are making a decision to make a positive contact home at least once a week.  These phone calls or postcards, we are told, have been really well received.  Finally, over 70 children, usually about five a week, have a Hot Chocolate with the Head.  These students have been recognised for anything that is Above and Beyond our expectations.

This focus on recognition is designed to highlight the positives in our community and encourage even greater commitment. We know it is motivating for staff too.

We finished the term with an independent review of College by our new partners, Ormiston Academies Trust.  They were extremely impressed with our students.  They found them to be incredibly loyal and proud of their College.  In addition, they felt the children were resilient and showed the capacity to learn from their mistakes.  They described school as “Good” in all areas and felt that with our student body, we could quite possibly work to achieve an “Outstanding” School. One comment a student told a reviewer stands out “This school is one big family; no one is scared to go to the teachers”. This is a basic expectation at Norton but one I know we all value.

To support this ambition, we have enjoyed working with another outside agency called Pivotal.  We are all energised by their training about how we can change our behaviours as adults to get the best out of children, even in tricky situations. Staff have been experimenting with some key concepts and we will begin to launch some of our plans in January. We believe they will continue to enhance just what a happy and productive College atmosphere we have already created.