Principal’s Blog – 17th June 2016

  • Happy Days Children's Centre
  • YTCA Teacher Training


Happy Days

Happy Days Children’s Centre was inspected by Ofsted on May 5th 2016. I am now able to tell you that the centre was judged to be Outstanding in all areas! The inspector was incredibly impressed with the provision and said "Staff are highly motivated and leadership and management are dynamic. Partnerships with parents are exemplary and they are involved in children’s learning from the start. Sharply focused self-evaluation means that there is continuous improvement in the high-quality provision." We are proud of the start that Happy Days gives to children and salute the excellent work of Terry Boughen and her team.

Another inspector calls

Minsthorpe is the lead school for the Yorkshire Three Counties Alliance School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) programme and we are training the next generation of teachers and giving them the chance to learn ‘on the job’. We are the hub school for some fourteen other secondary schools from South and West Yorkshire to the East Riding and our mission is to prepare and train outstanding teachers to join the system. The SCITT is also being inspected from Monday June 20th – Wednesday June 22nd 2016. It will be a while before I can tell you the outcome as SCITT inspections are different to school inspections in that there are two of them and the second inspection looks at how the teachers are doing in their first job. However, we are confident that we will get a resounding endorsement from Ofsted regarding the quality of the teacher training that we provide. Good luck to Alys Finch and her team next week.

The Beautiful Game

Of course football is not a matter of life or death. It is far more important than that. Like most of the country Minsthorpe was gripped by the Home Countries derby match between England and Wales on Thursday June 16th and many students stayed behind after college to watch the second half of the game with Minsthorpe staff. The students were a credit and acted like true fans – they were passionate in their support but also respectful of the other team and recognised good play when they saw it – even if it was from the opposition. Nevertheless, there was palpable relief when England snatched the late winner!

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free

So said Emma Lazarus in the sonnet The New Colossus in a dedication to one of the most iconic symbols of liberty of the modern age. On June 17th 1885, the dismantled State of Liberty, a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of America, arrived in New York Harbor. In 1892, Ellis Island, located near Bedloe’s Island (which in 1956 was renamed Liberty Island), opened as America’s chief immigration station, and for the next 62 years Lady Liberty, as the statue is nicknamed, stood watch over the more than 12 million immigrants who sailed into New York Harbor. As we go to the polls in the referendum and vote to either remain or leave the EU, this anniversary might act as a timely reminder of dynamic effect that immigration can have on a country – be that America or the UK – as openness in terms of ideas, technology, goods and people are often the propellant of great civilisations. It concerns me that we seem to be entering an era of gathering closure whether it be Trump wanting to build a wall with Mexico or China’s President Xi’s nationalist campaign to reject western ideas. If we are to celebrate British Values then we ought to start with openness as that is the cornerstone of Britishness.

Ray Henshaw