I write this, the first of my Headteacher's blogs for the new website, as I sit in the foyer of City Hall overlooking the Tower Of London. I have just finished a Headteacher's Round Table discussion with business leaders as part of the Mayor's "Business Backs Education" programme. There has just been a downpour and a wonderful rainbow has appeared over Tower Bridge. The meeting is part of an international undertaking to connect business with education and I am grateful to the Deputy Mayor and friend of Townley, Munira Mirza, for inviting me.
I have talked to Shell, Deloitte and IBM among others about why big business needs to connect with the talent that schools like ours nurture, and I give the example of Kamile. Kamile won a place at the Grace Hopper Women in Computing Conference in Phoenix Arizona via the Stemettes group she is active in. She is presenting to the audience with reference to her role in Stemettes and her passion for Computing. The conference is a celebration of women in computing and is produced by the Anita Borg Institute. Key speakers include professors from Harvard, Stanford and Harvey Mudd College, Satya Nadella the Chief Exec of Microsoft, and many other key players from the industry. Further information can be found here http://gracehopper.org/. Kamile who is in our sixth form has just emailed to say, "I'm having a brilliant time so far; I've given my CV to Quora and I have the contact details for Khan Academy if we wanted to visit them in San Francisco. Yesterday we went to bed at 11, and today and tomorrow there are celebrations till 1AM. There are 8000 people this year".
It is opportunities like this, and the students that are ready to grasp them, which makes Townley what it is and makes me very proud to lead it.
This will be in the forefront of my mind when presenting to parents at the Open Evening on Monday 13th October. A busy time of year for both academic (teaching) and associate (support) staff. How do you get across what goes on here in one evening. Well of course you don't and that's why our reputation is so important. I have been meeting with our newcomers over recent days, those students who joined us in the sixth form, and it is clear that reputation is what brought them to us. Through friends and relatives who have been here, and certainly not from the misleading guidance they seem to receive about grammar schools from those that have never set foot in them - Sir Michael Wilshaw take note.
Presumably if you are reading this you have logged in to the new website. This is the second update in my time here but it is by far the best. My thanks go to a dedicated team of staff who laboured at the coalface (screenface?) to have this ready for our open events, and to Wicked Web who have designed the site for us. Indeed Wicked Web were so impressed with our work experience students that they have been very generous with their time and guidance.
It has been our intention with this site to provide a more visual, up-to-date and interactive site that can be used by parents and students as well as "visitors". As ever it is ongoing but I hope we have got it right and you enjoy the site. Do let us know and take time to view our video material. Thank you to Jack, our ex-student who has done the majority of filming for us.
I will blog again as the occasion arises keep you informed regarding the activities of the school and the thoughts of it's rather proud Headteacher.