New head teacher wants school to ‘fly’

Am­bi­tious plan in­tends to push up ex­cel­lence lev­els

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Lor­can Lovett lor­can.lovett@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

A NEW head teacher is de­ter­mined to im­prove a sec­ondary school, with changes al­ready planned for this year.

Stu­dents wel­comed new staff mem­ber Cather­ine Davies of Chalfonts Com­mu­nity Col­lege, in Chal­font St Peter, for the new term, which started to­day (Thurs­day).

Mrs Davies, a for­mer so­cial worker, aims to place the col­lege ahead of gram­mar schools in Bucks.

She said: “There is lots of fan­tas­tic work, but we need to move for­ward.

“There have been mas­sive changes to the cur­ricu­lum. I fully in­tend to get the same lev­els of ex­cel­lence [as gram­mar schools]. We are go­ing to fly and give them a run for their money.”

Mrs Davies was raised in foster care in Belfast be­fore mov­ing to Eng­land, where she has lived for 28 years.

She says her own time in school was dis­ap­point­ing and she left with­out any qual­i­fi­ca­tions.

How­ever, she went on to get four de­grees, in­clud­ing a first de­gree in English.

“I could not read or write when I was eight,” she said.

“Now I’m one of the most qual­i­fied teach­ers in the coun­try. If I can do it, how many chil­dren are out there who have not achieved their po­ten­tial?

“There will be no glass ceil­ing of ex­pec­ta­tions. I have seen kids who were pre­dicted Ds get A*s.”

Mrs Davies was pre­vi­ously head teacher at a col­lege in Lan­cashire.

Driven by her Christian faith, she will fo­cus on ‘spir­i­tual and moral as­pects’ of chil­dren to help their academia, as well as keep­ing a strin­gent pol­icy on uni­form pre­sen­ta­tion.

“No child will walk past me with their top but­ton un­done,” she said.

“My aim is to set high as­pi­ra­tion stan­dards in

class

I could not

read or write when I was eight”

their con­duct, then aca­demic suc­cess comes from that.”

Changes to the school in­clude in­tro­duc­ing a pre­fect to ev­ery year, al­low­ing chil­dren to join staff meet­ings oc­ca­sion­ally and keep­ing an ‘open door’ pol­icy for par­ents who will not need to book ap­point­ments with teach­ers. An ‘em­ploy­a­bil­ity coach’ will join the school and pre­pare stu­dents for the world of work.

Mrs Davies, who will also work as an English teacher, added: “It is a plea­sure to work with this com­mu­nity.”

She en­cour­ages par­ents to join Twit­ter and follow @CCChal­fonts. A GROUP which helps peo­ple af­fected by can­cer will cel­e­brate its 20th an­niver­sary with a big party.

The Ger­rards Cross and Dis­trict Macmil­lan Can­cer Support Com­mit­tee will hold The Can­dle­light Ball at Stoke Place Ho­tel, in Stoke Po­ges, on Satur­day, Septem­ber 20.

The group has raised more than £500,000 since it was es­tab­lished and will con­tinue fundrais­ing at its ball with a char­ity auc­tion.

Auc­tion lots on the evening in­clude a guided tour of Pinewood Stu­dios, fol­lowed by lunch at the stu­dio’s restau­rant and a six-course din­ner cooked at the buyer’s home by award-win­ning chef Scott MacRae.

Tick­ets cost £50 and in­clude a wel­come drink, three-course meal with wine, cof­fee and petit fours and en­ter­tain­ment. All prof­its go to Macmil­lan Can­cer Support.

Call 01753 892 303 or email in­for­ma­tion macmil­lan­can­dle­light ball@hot­mail.com to book tick­ets.

Con­trib­uted

MOV­ING FOR­WARD: New head teacher Cather­ine Davies and year seven stu­dent Bisma Shah

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