‘Seeing school in action will change your minds’

March 28 2014

PARENTS gathered at a local secondary to hear its determination to dispel myths and prove it is a successful school.

PARENTS gathered at a local secondary to hear its determination to dispel myths and prove it is a successful school.
The open evening was hosted by Fairfield High School in response to parent campaigners who are aiming for "positive change" in secondary education in the area.
Next Step Horfield had questioned over 600 people, asking opinions on schools and floating the idea of lobbying for a new secondary free school.
Nearly three quarters of those surveyed said they would like to send their children to a local school, but were either unhappy with the local provision, or believed that their children would not get places in their preferred schools.
Fairfield High School urged parents to look past headline figures and to visit the school - and more than 50 people took up the chance to do that.
Head teacher Catriona Mangham told the meeting at the school in Allfoxton Road, Horfield, last month: "Fairfield isn't the school it was five years ago - it was a very different place, so please judge us on what we're doing today.
"The school has improved rapidly over the past four years and will continue on its journey to be outstanding in all areas."
She added: "It can take a long time to change a school's reputation, and parents are still often soaking up a lot of misinformation, but seeing the school in action is what will change people's minds. A school's progress should be the main focus - not headline figures."
The education watchdog Ofsted last summer judged Fairfield to be a "good school with outstanding features", recognising that it had improved markedly over the last few years.
The report stated that "students' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is outstanding" and the school is "extremely harmonious with students from a very wide range of backgrounds working well together and showing great respect for each other".
Fairfield has been handing out golden tickets to parents in an effort to encourage prospective pupils to experience a day at the school.
Parents of children of all ages at Horfield Church of England, Ashley Down and Brunel Field were among those at the meeting.
The leading campaigners say that they have been "enormously impressed" by Fairfield, following several visits.
Hannah Han, who is behind the campaign, said: "Ms Mangham is a very impressive woman and she has a great vision for the school's future.
"I think there definitely has been a problem with people's perceptions, and we are going to reconvene about what we are planning to do next."
Campaigners have also been liaising with Orchard School Bristol and Henbury School.
For more information about the Next Step Horfield campaign, visit: hel-dave.wix.com/nextstephorfield