As the academic year draws to a close, and we attempt to sum up some of what has been achieved, I would like to thank all those who have supported the school's recent celebrations of success including: Awards Evening, The Sports Awards, "The Witches", the various Music Department events and our Creativity Evening. Those who joined us for these experiences will I'm sure agree that they provided great testament to the splendid achievement, hard work and talent of students at Salesian School. You can read much more about all of these activities in our Summer News Digest.
When we return in September the school will have converted to academy status as part of the new Multi Academy Trust. Whilst there will be little noticeable difference to what happens here on a daily basis, a lot of hard work has been going on behind the scenes to ensure we are set up to provide the best possible education for Catholic families across the Weybridge and Woking deaneries. The schools joining us in the MAT are: St. Anne's, Chertsey; Holy Family, Addlestone; St. Charles Borromeo, Weybridge; Cardinal Newman, Hersham; St. Alban's, Molesey; SJB, Woking; St Hugh of Lincoln, Knaphill and St. Augustine's, Frimley. Directors to the Trust Board have been appointed and more can be found out by downloading this document. The Board have taken the decision to change the name of the MAT from North West Surrey Catholic Education Trust to Xavier Catholic Education Trust – a name that will hopefully be recognised as being synonymous with the best source of Catholic education for 4-19 year olds in the country. Ani Magill, Headteacher at SJB, has been appointed Chief Executive and she has been leading the collaborative work of Headteachers and Chairs of Governors from all 9 schools to form a strategic plan that will shape the work of the Trust going forward. Further information will be distributed to all families in September.
Those of you who have been past the Runnymede Centre in recent weeks may have seen banners up advertising Chertsey High School due to open in September 2017. After all the hard work that has gone into bidding to open a new school and planning how it will function, we are thrilled to have finally secured the site and been given confirmation of the opening date. There is clearly much to be done in order to be ready on time but we are ahead of schedule and confident that the project can be delivered successfully. This will be due in no small part to the excellent Headteacher we have appointed, Zelia Munnik. Zelia has been responsible for leading all the recent success at Pycroft Grange, making it the most improved school in the county. We are very much looking forward to Zelia joining us at Salesian in September where she will be based as we enter into the pre-opening phase. Please see the Chertsey High website for further information.
We are also expecting to open new facilities at our Guiildford Road site in September 2017, including a 12 room classroom block and 2 new science labs. We are looking forward to the opportunity to improve the education of the children by spreading out a little as well as building capacity to meet the demands of an ever-growing school. In the meantime, the premises team continue to work hard on refurbishing and updating both the school and the college and over the course of the holidays there will be additions to the social areas for students at both sites.
At the end of each year we inevitably have to bid farewell to a number of staff and as always we are keen to recognise the contribution each of these has made to the school during their time with us. A number of these staff moved on at half term including Susan Horan and Sarah Pritchard who were both promoted to positions at St. Joseph's in Slough; Vicky Burling, Sarah Pritchard and Laura Reece all of whom have taken up posts nearer to where they live; Isabel Joce and Paul Carter who both retired and Lynn Strathdee one of our Assistant Heads who has made a significant contribution to the school over recent years, particularly through the establishment of the Cullum Centre and Chertsey High School. Many of you joined us earlier this week to celebrate the contribution Fr. Andrew Ebrahim has made to the school and wider community over the last 15 years; he will be sorely missed as he continues his vocation in Jerusalem and then India next year. Few individuals will be able to match the impact he has had during his time in the community. Christine Grindrod is stepping down as Deputy Headteacher after 16 years at the school and 36 years in Catholic education; we are most grateful for the service and leadership she has offered the school and delighted that she will continue to contribute to our work through her new role in the Teaching School. Louise Morgan (née McGowan) has proved to be an excellent Maths teacher since she joined the school as a trainee 10 years ago and we are sorry to see her relocating with her family to Sussex. Peter O'Brien agreed to step in and help out as our Business Manager for a couple of months in 2009 and we are only now finally allowing him to retire; we are most grateful to Peter for everything he has done to make the school financially efficient and operationally effective. Peter will take up his new role as Chair of the Board of the Xavier Catholic Education Trust in September.
Others moving on at the end of term are Stacey Begg, Head of Year 7, who is going to work in the charity sector; Ella Jones in English who will become a full-time mum; Simon Curson in Science who is moving to Geneva; Nel Castle-Smith who is off to Dubai; James Smith, Head of DT, Emma Carlile in R.E., Richard Watt in Geography and Oliver James in Computing, all of whom are moving to schools closer to home. A number of our support staff are taking up positions as trainee teachers or returning to university including: John Davis, Najma Khan, Laura Butcher, Claire Fryer, Emma Baldwin and Kat Rowley. Fr Cyril Edamana is moving to Savio House in Bollington and 'Bugsy' May our DT Technician is retiring. We wish all the staff who are leaving us the very best for the future and thank them for all they brought to our school community through their hard work, selfless commitment and loving kindness.
Congratulations to all those staff who have been promoted or taken on new challenges: Deborah James who has been seconded to the Bourne Education Trust as Deputy Headteacher at The Matthew Arnold School; Emily O'Farrell, seconded to the Leadership Team; Nicola Kenworthy, appointed Chief Financial Officer of the Xavier Catholic Education Trust; Rebecca Clarey, Director of the Teaching School; Pete Fullbrook, Head of Year 7; Sophie Crabb, Head of Year 8; Carly Griffin, Head of Vocational Education; Chris Howell, 2nd in Languages; Chris Newman, Rosie Lydon, Tom Corry, Vicky Barclay, Karen O'Carroll, Anthony Gallagher and Cheryl Neal all of whom have been appointed Key Stage Coordinators; Kelly Moore, Pippa Hunt, Emily Muggeridge and Carol Burke, all appointed Assistant Heads of Year; Geraldine McKenna, Mike Haytor and Ingrid Barnsley, our new Heads of House, and Sophie Woodroffe our new D of E Coordinator. We are delighted to be offering permanent contracts to so many of our trainee teachers, all of whom passed with flying colours and are now qualified teachers: Jo Kilby and Zena Kekkouri in Maths, Amy Jackson in English, Domanique Bridglalsingh in Science, Ingrid Barnsley in History, Adam Smith in Computing, Mike Haytor in Music, John Hicks in R.E. and April Poulter and Natalie O'Brien in P.E. They are a great bunch and once again it has reminded us of how important it is to grow our own teachers. If you are interested in a career in teaching then please see our website for further details.
The recruitment of staff who are good enough to work with the children at Salesian continues to be a top priority for us and, particularly in the South East, a significant challenge. We are therefore pleased to have secured another crop of excellent new staff for next term: David Legrand, Head of R.E. from St. Peter's in Guildford; Emma Alighieri, Head of Design Technology from Woking High; Lewys Jones, 2nd in Science and Hannah Thompson, Maths, both from SJB; Patrick Ryan, Science, from Epsom & Ewell; David Fullbrook in Business & Economics from SPH, West Sussex; Anne-Marie Thornton, Social Science from Charters; Virginia Da Silva, Languages from The Howard Partnership; Amy Grattidge, R.E. NQT. Katie Cornforth (née Norris), English and Beth McHugh, Geography are also both returning to Salesian having spent time with their families. We have a number of new trainee teachers: Rebecca Jeppeson in PE, Izaro Berasategi Andres in MFL, Nora McKeogh in Art and Sara Nelson in Geography. We also welcome a number of new support staff: Jordan Cella, Maria Amato, Rory Duckett, Svetlana Clark, Matt Smith, Sonia Smeraglia, Fabrizia Pavin, Kirstie Hamberger, Rosie Wood, Nuria Hellin and Jonathan Batt. We look forward to inducting all these new staff into the school community and to the great work they will no doubt do for our students.
At Salesian we continue to believe that every child in our care is special and that they have a unique God-given mission which we have to help them identify. We remain painfully aware that we can not succeed in this challenge without the excellent support we receive from you as families and friends at home. I should like to take this opportunity to thank you on behalf of everyone here at the school for everything you have done again this year to help the children achieve their best and become the people God wants them to be.
With all best wishes for a happy and restful summer holiday,
July 22 2016