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Mr Woolf's Blog

Here is a round up of our blog posts, keeping you informed about the life and times of Pinner High School.


January 2020

  • NACE

    Published 31/01/20, by Chris Woolf

    Another certificate for our wall this week, as members of the National Association for Able Children in Education. As well as the everyday challenge in lessons of a stretching curriculum, we have run two programmes for our Most Able, one in collaboration with St. John’s College Oxford, and the Brilliant Club as well. This certificate notes our ‘consistent commitment to provision for more able and talented pupils in school’. This will always be our focus, to ensure all our students are stretched and challenged in and out of lessons.


    In lessons, Year 10 are taking on board their examination feedback as the end of their GCSE courses start to get closer. At parents evening last night our Founding Head of Sixth Form spoke to large numbers of students and parents in different sessions about the exciting developments in this area. He is a self-confessed ‘UCAS nerd’ and I am delighted to welcome him to our team. He will be full time with us in July, well ahead of the Sixth Form opening in September 2021. Year 9 Midterm examinations get underway in the last week of this half term, giving them a good opportunity to show their progress since the start of their GCSE courses.


    Outside the classroom, Chinese New Year festivities were a great success last week, with bubble tea and Kung Fu the student highlights. Sports results included Year 7 Netballers beating Nower Hill 9-5. They are a formidable team who have won every game so far this year. Year 7 boys Footballers reached the semi-final of the Borough competition. They won their group but lost on penalties. Completing the round up from a busy week for Year 7, the girls Indoor Athletics came second in the borough with the boys coming in 3rd place. The Year 10 Badminton team won the Plate competition in the Borough. Congratulations to all involved.


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  • Top quality

    Published 24/01/20, by Chris Woolf

    The school has been adorned this week with red lanterns to celebrate the Chinese New Year, which takes place tomorrow. The photograph shows Year 10 Mandarin students at the British museum, where they saw some of the beautiful artefacts on display, and had a special guided tour of the exhibits. Today is the special Chinese New Year lunch, which seems to be going down very well!


    More success on the sports field, with a group of four from our school representing Harrow in the cross-country, having qualified from a large field of runners across the borough. Netballers were triumphant again, and the basketball team make their debut in a new league next week.


    This week I have spent 3 days interviewing prospective colleagues who would like to work at our school from September. We have had such strong fields, of well qualified teachers it has been hard to make the final choices. This week I have also had two visits from school leaders in other new schools a year or two younger than Pinner High School, looking at how we have grown so successfully over the last few years. Central to that has been a supportive community, and for this I am very grateful. We have lots of engaging challenges to come, and students and staff are dedicated to continuing to exceed expectations.


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  • Year of the Rat

    Published 17/01/20, by Chris Woolf

    Auditions have been taking place this week for our school production of ‘Alice in Wonderland’. The amount of interest has been very high and knowing the quality of previous productions I am looking forward to it already. The added challenge is that the hall is about to be refurbished and is unavailable for the performance, so we will experience a different form of theatre for this show. This will be a brilliant experience for performers and audience. More details will follow!


    More sporting success this week, with the Year 7 netballers winning again, success for the basketball team, and a particularly impressive set of results in the borough cross country. Our PE department organised the girls event on behalf of the borough, the first time they have been asked to do so, and I am particularly pleased this ran so smoothly. Congratulations to all involved. Our CCF Army contingent had their debut last week, and continue with their weekly parade at John Lyon School. 25 students from Years 9 and 10 take part, and I am delighted to hear it is progressing so well.


    Chinese New Year activities start next week off, with a visit to the British Museum. We have a themed lunch during the week, and other activities during form time to celebrate this important festival. The Kung Fu lesson is sure to be a highlight! The photograph this week is of the cards we received from our link school in Taiwan. Our students wrote in Mandarin, the Taiwanese students wrote in English, and students have enjoyed the cultural exchange. Particular thanks to the Chinese teaching team involved in this. You may have seen my article in the Times Educational Supplement a couple of weeks ago about the importance of Mandarin in schools:


    As you may know, before Christmas Governors and I appointed our Founding Head of Sixth Form. He will start with us in July this year, preparing to open the Sixth Form the year after, in September 2021. He is attending our Year 10 parents evening on 30th January. He will be presenting our early Sixth Form plans, and talking about his extensive Sixth Form leadership experience. Any parents from any year group who are interested to meet him are most welcome to attend. Please do let reception know if you plan to do so, so we can ensure we have enough space. His presentations are at 4.30 and 6.00pm.


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  • Happy New Year

    Published 10/01/20, by Chris Woolf

    A flurry of activity on our much anticipated refurbishment programme this week. We anticipate beginning next month, to make a start just before the half term break in February. I will write with more details of the phasing of work as we finalise the details of it. Building plans will be on our website, and students will hear the details in assemblies in the coming weeks. I’ll also be writing to residents and other stakeholders in the next week or so. Last year families and students had the chance to help provide ideas for our priorities during this programme of works, and it is brilliant to see this finally coming together. Exciting times!

    The week has already seen a number of firsts; our first LAMDA classes in the performing arts, and our first CCF students off to John Lyon in this exciting collaboration. The Year 7 netballers started the year well with a convincing win over Nower Hill, setting the standard high for the rest of the school. 

    The photo this week is of a brilliant Geography lesson I saw today, with Year 10 turning their atlases into river banks, and looking at how load is carried down the river. The subject terminology used by the class was highly impressive. Happy New Year!



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