Parent power will assist pupils’ progress

St David's High School pupils Lucy and Niamh consider their educational options
St David's High School pupils Lucy and Niamh consider their educational options

I wrote in my last column how please our school was of the recent successes in our examinations, writes Wendy Sutherland, head teacher at St David’s High School.

Once again our students did themselves proud by outperforming many other more affluent schools and achieved a record-breaking set of results.

Of course, we are all proud of the young people who have achieved what they worked hard for over the years but their success also depends so much on the high expectations and commitment of our school staff who nurture, nag and encourage their students to make the effort necessary to pass their exams.

Our St David’s tagline is ‘ambition, confidence and excellence’ – what I’m sure every parent wants for their child.

People ask us how we have made the great improvements of recent years and although there is no silver bullet, the shift in school culture to one which is aspirational with the highest of expectations for all of our learners has undoubtedly had the desired effect.

We are now a school where the learners know that providing they put in the effort, there is no barrier to them achieving whatever they have ambitions to do in the future.

In fact, we positively challenge all our students to set the highest of targets and work with them to help them reach their goals.

Of course, not every young person does as well as they could and sometimes the missing part of the jigsaw is the lack of family involvement.

Our attempts to engage with all our parents and carers can be frustrating with a significant minority not involved at all with their child’s learning.

We have introduced many different ways in which to inform, involve and share with our wider school community all that we do in St David’s which makes us proud.

How much more successful could we be if all our families supported our school the way so many of them do already?

So, to those of you who are listening, what can you do to make the lives of your children better?