End of Year Letter Summer 2014
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16th July 2014

Dear Parents, Carers, Girls and Staff

Mary SpeakmanNot only are we reaching the end of another academic year but it is also time for me to say goodbye to AGGS. I joined the school in 1991, so it really has been a huge part of my life.

On 30.06.14 and 01.07.14 we had a visitor from the DfE join us for a placement. It was a wonderful opportunity to build links with the DfE and to showcase our school. Her first question was: “What makes AGGS outstanding?” I was certainly not lost for words!

What makes AGGS outstanding is the ambition of everyone involved with the school to make it the very best. Teachers, Associate Staff, Governors, parents and pupils are proud to be a part of such a successful and thriving community. She was really interested in the Bright Futures Educational Trust and I was able to cite numerous examples of how AGGS links with our partner schools to the mutual benefit of all the pupils within our Trust.  Next year, Mrs Smith and Miss Boyse have been offered the exciting opportunity for secondments as “Co-Heads” within the Trust and will be working at Manchester Creative and Media Academy.  We wish them every success.

The Teaching School has had a profound impact on the standards of teaching and learning here at AGGS.  Staff open their doors so that good practice can be disseminated and we are leading in some interesting areas of research.

I have already written to you about our success in leading a Maths Hub and am certain that this will have a profound impact on the teaching and learning of Mathematics in the future.

Catherine Russell, our Head of Science, deserves a special mention. Not only is she leading on our “Open Classrooms” initiative but she has just received the prestigious Biology Teacher of the Year Award.  She attended the Award Ceremony at the Society of Biology in London where she was recognised for her outstanding teaching. It is a tremendous honour for Catherine and for AGGS.

This year has seen the usual round of exciting events, including the Summer Serenade, the annual Drama production at Denzell Gardens and a truly outstanding Art Exhibition, which showcased the 6th form work. Our Open Evening was even busier than normal and we received such positive feedback on the school and, in particular, our stewards who were wonderful ambassadors.

This year we are saying goodbye to some of our most highly regarded colleagues. Wendy Batten and Lindsey Fooks leave this term, along with Caite McBride, Andy Greenhow, Phillip Arthur, Isabelle Macarty and Ana Roslan. They all have exciting new ventures or jobs and we wish them every happiness.

Alison Harrison, Joanna Williams and I all retire from our careers in teaching. From my perspective I look back on a challenging, exciting and rewarding career and am tremendously privileged to have spent a large proportion of that time at “Alty Girls”.

School will close for all students at 12.30 p.m. on Tuesday 22 July.  Please note that parents/carers will need to make arrangements to collect the girls at this earlier time. Please be aware that girls must be picked up at this time as the Library will be closed and there will be no supervision.  In addition, there will be an early finish for Year 12 students on Monday 21 July at 2.30 p.m.

The new academic year for Year 12 students begins on Monday 1 September when students are required to enrol at the Sixth Form Centre.  Students should report at any time from 9.00 a.m. to 12.00 p.m. to register. They will only be required to stay 15 minutes and do not need to come in Sixth Form dress on this day. Year 12 students will begin formally on Tuesday 2 September and should be at the Sixth Form Centre for 10.00 a.m.  All other years will start on Tuesday 2 SeptemberYear 7 should arrive at 8.40 a.m. and all other years (except Yr 12) should arrive for registration at 11.00 a.m.

I know that I am so fortunate to have had such an exciting and successful career. Working at AGGS has been exceptionally fulfilling and lots of fun.  I have met and worked with so many talented people and I am grateful for the support and hard work of the PTA, the Governors and, of course, the pupils, staff and parents.
I wish Stephanie Gill, our new Principal, every success in the future and I look forward to hearing about the school’s successes in the years to come.

With every good wish,

Mary Speakman