Posted on August 17th 2020
Cranford Review 2020
Cranford Review 2020 - "Together We Are Stronger" (annual edition / 2019-2020 academic year).
by Mr Kevin Prunty
Dear Reader, I am delighted that you are now perusing our annual publication of the Cranford Review for 2019/20. It is a celebration of last year and although I have been incredibly lucky that there has been so much to celebrate over my 20+ years as a Head Teacher, I have never been so proud, as I am now, of this school, its staff, its pupils and its community.
The academy has had to function ‘remotely’ for one third of the year. This has presented a series of challenges and yet continues to offer a myriad of opportunities.
There are undoubtedly further challenges to come educationally as well as in health, employment and the economy, but these are challenges we will face together and we will succeed in turning them into successes.
What is so impressive about the events, experiences, accomplishments and activities recorded in this booklet, in the context of lockdown, is that the importance and value of the wider curriculum has never been so clear.
The title of this publication ‘TOGETHER We Are Stronger’ is very meaningful.
Firstly, it reflects on how much we have genuinely missed being together as a school community of students and staff, working and socialising together, coming to school to learn, to educate, to grow and to belong. We perhaps took some things about being together for granted before that privilege was suspended.
We can look forward to spending more time together once schools can re-open, doing some things a little differently but doing them again and most importantly doing them together – ‘together as one – together as ‘Cranford’.
Secondly, it reveals how we have been brought even closer together with our wider community and partners; to overcome adversity together, to work together to find creative solutions to new problems, to care for and help others in unprecedented need, and to join forces to magnify impact. It is inspiring and heart-warming.
Cranford and its community have hardly skipped a heartbeat. We have quickly adapted to the challenges of teaching, learning and assessment ‘at a distance’. We developed safeguarding, pastoral and communication provision in spite of obstacles.
We have taken practical steps to ensure that no-one goes unfed or unnoticed, to ensure that community mental health and emotional well-being have not been overlooked and we have connected people together so that we all know that we are not alone, especially those feeling most vulnerable.
We have weathered this first storm well. We have been blessed and we are grateful.
The pandemic forecast remains changeable and it seems probable that the storms are not over. It is not just one storm, though, that helps a tree grow deeper and stronger where it stands. It is several storms over time, a series of torrents and gusts. All of this rooting and growing in the face of heavy weather protects a tree from simply blowing over. And, it prepares a tree for the storms yet to come.
Hence, we are learning from the challenges, developing new skills, innovating and we are incredibly optimistic about the good things that will come from our resilient response to adversity, including the potential to develop a positive, transformational and quantum shifts in social mobility and community cohesion as well as new approaches to teaching and learning.
If there are further storms ahead, we will learn more, seek to do things better and be ever better prepared. We value learning and its powerful benefits.
This review of the year celebrates our values and our curriculum, as well as the excellence, the community and international dimensions of our unique academy, and the enormous breadth of curricular and extra-curricular provision, which is virtually unrivalled in the state and private sectors. We learn from the best in the world.
We also know that summer 2020 will be another record-breaking year in terms of examination success and we have put in place additional support strategies for catch-up for those younger students that will be taking their exams in future years so that the continuous improvement trend is undiminished.
A truly special and huge thank you is owed to the teachers and support staff, key workers, who have rallied and worked incredibly hard and diligently to, almost instantly, offer a full-service virtual school for the whole of the summer 2020 term, alongside some on-site provision and the enormous task of grading GCSE, A-level, vocational and technical qualifications. The dedication of Cranford staff and the high level of engagement of most students is an indicator of why the children who attend Cranford make such excellent progress and accomplish so much.
As an academy, we have used the time in lockdown strategically too, heavily and urgently investing in adaptations and safety improvements to our site and premises so that we can all be as safe at school and work as we could possibly be.
In addition to our commitment to all round excellence, a key theme of Cranford’s identity has been our long-term commitment to transforming the community.
As founding members of Hounslow’s Promise and Heston West Big Local, two partner organisations that also focus on improving the life chances of our young people through exciting community development programmes, we continue to take a holistic approach to community development, school improvement, cultural capital and social mobility.
The astonishing range of wider curriculum opportunities also includes specific projects that deepen and enhance students’ learning experience through performances, challenges, masterclasses, debates, conferences and competitions as well as clubs, trips, visits and lectures.
As a result, we have happy, well-educated, well-qualified, well-rounded, well-behaved, well-motivated and well-prepared contributors to society, good citizens who value education, are able to enjoy it, succeed in life and thrive in a wide range of social contexts.
(Executive Headteacher & National Leader of Education)
Graphic design: Enzo Gianvittorio
Printed by: Springfieldspapers.com