An introductory letter from the new Headteacher Mr Henderson

Dear Parents and Carers,

It gives me great pleasure to write to you as the new Headteacher of Northfield. I consider it a privilege to have been appointed by the governing body; I am delighted to be in post and I am very much looking forward to the challenge ahead. I want to thank you for the number of good wishes I have received from parents since my appointment.

As some of you know, I have been a teacher in Billingham since 2002 and from day one I have always enjoyed working with students, parents and members of the community. The fact that we are a community school is incredibly important to me and making really positive links with the community we serve is a priority.

My aim is to give our students a first class education - it is no more than the families within our community deserve; the difference we can make to young people in Billingham is hugely motivating.

The school we are building together is based upon our three core values of respect, honesty and resilience. These core values, along with the staff having the highest expectations of every student, underpin my desire to ensure that we are able to inspire confident learners, who will leave Northfield with a really good level of knowledge, skills and experience to thrive in an ever-changing world.

I am calm, respectful and fair in my dealings with students - your children will tell you that. I have made my expectations very clear to all students and, in time, will be making some changes to policies and procedures to support our students in getting the basics right - attending every day and on time, wearing the correct uniform, being ready to learn and behaving well. We give a tremendous amount of support to our students and families and that will continue. We are rightly proud of our provision in that area.

The vast, vast majority of students at Northfield behave impeccably, however, there are a tiny minority who persist in disrupting the learning of others, fail to follow polite and reasonable requests from staff and show physical aggression towards their peers - under no circumstances will this be tolerated. Your children only get one chance at an education and I will not let a tiny minority spoil that one chance for the majority. I, along with senior colleagues, are dealing with students who persist in displaying these negative behaviours swiftly and decisively.

We have the greatest influence on our young people during the school day, via our curriculum, ethos and core values. We are very limited in our ability to control the behaviour of our students in the evening or at weekends and ultimately the school is not responsible for it. That said, I am concerned about some students displaying risk taking behaviour out of school and feel we have a duty, within the school day, to do everything we can to support the community by working with outside agencies in school to help our students modify their behaviour out of school.

Building positive relationships with parents and carers is key and I am always happy to talk through issues. To that end, I shall be hosting a number of drop in sessions for parents and carers who wish to come and talk to me about any issue or would like a tour of the school to see us in action. The first will be held on Friday 15th February 2019, 9.00-3.30. If you would like an appointment, please e mail your details to [email protected] All parents and carers are welcome.

We are beginning a new journey into a new era for the school and I can assure you that every member of staff has the highest expectations of each student and wants the best for them. Northfield really is a great place to teach and learn.

I look forward to writing to you again soon to outline some of the planned changes which will improve things for everybody.

Thank you for your support.

With every best wish



Richard Henderson