Local Face: Patrick Harty
Mr Harty has lived in Buckinghamshire for 22 years and his children attend local schools. He joined John Colet School as Headteacher in January 2018, his ninth school. He has taught outside the County during that time, including eight years in Harrow. Until last Christmas he was at Hemel Hempstead School, where he was headteacher for five years. His philosophy is to offer a rich school life to each student by ensuring full academic development alongside character development. He has already noted how staff will go the extra mile to provide experiences including:
- Year 7 STEM (science, technology & maths)
- Year 8 Battlefields Trip
- Year 9 Geography Field Trip
- Year 10 Work Experience
- Sixth Form World Challenge
It is his ambition to provide more opportunities for students to demonstrate leadership, whatever their age. The Technology Department recently excelled at a Rotary Technology Tournament, see Wendover News April print edition, p24.
Mr Harty relished the opportunity to come to a new school, prepared to absorb the culture and lead it into the future appropriately using experience already acquired. The immediate future will see changes to the coach park and staff car parks but these were planned before he arrived. Work started in May to provide additional staff parking using Manor Crescent entrance including widening it. During the summer holiday, part of the original staff car park will be converted into a coach park so that coaches and school buses will no longer take up space at the entrance to the Wendover Schools Campus before and after school.
In April, an email went out to parents concerning changes to school hours to start with the new academic year in September. In May parents were invited to a meeting to discuss this change. 25 attended and asked questions and sought clarification for just over an hour.
By popular request a House system will also be re-introduced in September. Consultation will take place, particularly with the school body to determine the names of the new Houses and other details. The House system will give the opportunity for healthy competition within the school and offer leadership opportunities for the older students.
Mr Harty has already identified that the next major project must be to provide a proper dining room for the school along with more social space. A capital funding bid is being prepared and if successful will lead to building work during the 2019 summer holiday.
Mr Harty has been able to attend Parents’ Evenings for all year groups during this academic year. each parent was asked to complete a brief survey based on the key OFSTED questions. The primary issue identified by parents was behaviour. Mr Harty believes in simple processes consistently applied and will work with the whole staff and student body to ensure that an improvement will be seen after analysing the results from the Parents’ surveys next academic year.