Friday 13 January
In the first edition of The Saint of 2017, I would like to wish all members of the St Birinus community a Happy New Year! The term has started well and all students seem tremendously focused and keen to succeed.
I would like to warmly welcome Mr Waddleton to St Birinus as teacher of English and form tutor for 8.4. In a difficult
recruitment climate for teachers, we were delighted to secure a teacher with his experience to join us at the school.
I often write about St Birinus as a community and the theme for our “Standards Fortnight” usually reflects this sense of identity and togetherness. The current focus on “No Bystanders” is no exception.
Tolerance and understanding are importance to us. We operate a “zero tolerance” approach to bullying, be it physical or verbal, within school, on the journey to school or online. This is a non-negotiable and understood by all. There should be “No Bystanders” and all members of our community should and must feel comfortable to report and share anything which concerns or upsets them.
Fortunately it is a rare occurrence but if bullying occurs, we will address it. It must of course stop immediately but there are different ways of ensuring that it does. Sometimes it will be a clear, firm sanction in line with the school’s Behaviour Policy if a particular line has been crossed. However, many of our staff are trained in Restorative Justice (RJ) techniques and will mediate and guide students to understand and empathise with each other; this can often be just as effective as a more traditional sanction in ensuring that any unacceptable behaviour stops and that students can get along together
harmoniously as part of our school community. In addition, we have students in Years 10 and 11 who act as peer mentors and are trained to listen to and support younger students. These students are role models and their contributions are
highly valued and respected.
A hallmark of any community is togetherness but on occasions, particularly with young people, mistakes can be made; our students should be active citizens, unafraid to speak out and support each other. We know that they are and we celebrate this characteristic of a school community where there genuinely are “No Bystanders”.
John Marston, Headteacher
Please note, Year 8 Parents' evening is now taking place on Wednesday 25 January 2017