Weekly blog 7th February 2020

The link above is to our shared vision, aims and actions  which are the focus of the blog this week.  In the blog I will discuss them in the context of;

We were disappointed in the gradings arising from the HMIe visit and are committed to working with the school community and the local authority to improve things.  Much of the work was underway at the time of the HMIe visit and we have been pressing on with this between November and now.  As you know I will be retiring this month, after working 40 years in Education, and this will allow your new Head Teacher maximum time to work with everyone to ensure improvements are made in time for HMIe returning in Autumn 2021.

The vision, aims and actions statement at the start of this blog has set the backdrop of my time at the school.  It came into being soon after I started and in consultation with parents, pupils and staff.  At the time I committed to reviewing the statements every 3 years to keep it relevant to the people in the school at the time.  The review took place in time for the start of session 2018/19 and is due to be reviewed during session 2020/2021.

  • Vision:  Our current vision is aspirational it demands that we are ambitious, excellent and the best we can be”.  Whilst many pupils show these qualities in all that they do many others fall short of this vision.  Going forward we need to demand more of each other and do more to be the very best we can be.


  • Aims:  Our current aim “to respect the rights of young people and encourage them to; participate, improve and enjoy success” again is something I see every day from many young people.  But there are also countless examples of where it is not happening (damage to toilets/lockers, litter, bullying and disrupting learning).  Until we all work towards a the common aim we will not be the best we can be and we will not enjoy the success we are capable of achieving.  The blog last week speaks more about the idea of common purpose.


  • Relationships and actions:  All of our pupils can identify that we have 3 ‘rules’ – respect people, respect learning and respect community.  Not all remember the other words linked to these (see below) and not all make decisions which exemplify the 3 statements and the actions alongside these:
    • Respect for People:  we consider the health, safety and well being of ourselves and others
    • Respect for Learning: we are on time, on task, trying our best and achieving success
    • Respect for Community: we have a positive impact in school, locally and in the wider world

The way in which relate and act towards other people every day are what will help us be happy and successful.

Our shared vision, aims, relationships and actions are short and memorable but they are just words.  Success will come when all in our community take ownership of the words and translate then into actions and relationships

Last week the blog spoke of Identity, Pride and Protection and these ideas are related to the messages in the blog this week.  I have a great deal of confidence in the Harlaw Academy community to rally round their new Head Teacher so that when HMIe next visit we will be “the best we can be”.