Withernsea High School celebrates 100% Attendance Heroes
10 November 2023 (by admin)
As part of a continuing commitment to deliver and sustain a school-wide approach to improving attendance, learners at Withernsea High School are benefitting from a number of incentives designed to recognise and reward the school’s top attenders.
Throughout the first half term of the academic year, 222 of the school’s current 765 learners achieved 100% attendance after not missing a single lesson since the start of term. This achievement was acknowledged in a series of recent celebration assemblies where the names of the top attenders were shared and celebrated with their peers.
Helping to raise the profile of attendance even further during this time was the first of the year’s incentives – the 100% Heroes. Launched in September to inspire engagement and help ensure all students understand the benefits of good attendance, the 100% Heroes initiative set out to reward five students for their efforts with a collective £250 in vouchers.
Winners were chosen from each of the school’s five year groups, with each student receiving a £50 Amazon voucher. Taking the prize for Year 7 was Ruby-Jo McVitie, followed by Macauley Kitcher (Year 8), Ella Wilson (Year 9), Marianne Campbell (Year 10) and Rhyan Hooley (Year 11).
Reflecting on her win, Marianne Campbell said: “It's really good to have some money to spend and I think I am going to buy some CDs with it. I tried to attend school every day because I wanted to be in the draw. I was really proud of myself when I won.”
Harriet Ainley, Withernsea High School’s Attendance Officer, said: “From the talk we’ve heard around school since the launch of 100% Heroes, we can certainly tell that students have been engaged and have made a conscious effort to make sure they’re in school.
There are basic steps we can all take to improve attendance, such as ensuring any medical appointments for students are made out of school hours, or that students return to school as soon as they feel better after an illness. All of these little changes have a big impact.
It’s great to have the backing of the school’s governing body to help reward and recognise our students’ achievements. We are delighted that so many of our students recognise the importance of attendance and we are really pleased for our winners.”
Meeting the students to help celebrate their success, Headteacher Mark Crofts said: “Good attendance is the bedrock of success in school and 100% attendance is what we encourage all students to aspire to. When students maintain 100% attendance, it is right that we acknowledge and celebrate it because we all know that it requires determination and discipline to achieve.
Our autumn 100% attendance heroes have clearly got that mindset and, like all those others who achieved 100%, realise the importance of this for their education. They also know that you must be present to stand any chance of winning the prize!”.
As a key priority within the school’s SIP (School Improvement Plan) both the school’s leadership team and governing body are keen to embed a culture of celebrating and rewarding good attendance. As such, the governors have allocated funding for the academic year ahead to help promote, recognise and reward strong attendance.
Commenting on this priority and the overall importance of attendance, Rebecca Pindar, Deputy Headteacher, said: “Improving attendance has always been a strategic priority for the school. We realise that parents and carers play a huge role in this and we work closely with families to ensure the importance of attending school is understood.
The best place for a student to learn is in their classrooms, with their teachers and peers. We are also aware that for some students an absence, at times, is unavoidable.
We have an ambitious target of 95% for whole school attendance and are working with students to achieve this goal. Every day that a student is absent is potentially a lost opportunity for learning. Attending school regularly helps children feel better about school and themselves.
We believe it is important that all students attend regularly so that they maximise their educational opportunities and maintain their mental health. This is why improved attendance, and meeting individual or form group targets, is celebrated.”
To put the impact of absence into context, an annual attendance rate of 95% would equate to nine school days being lost and 36 lessons missed. While a 90% absence rate would mean 76 lessons were missed over 19 days.
In the academic year to-date, the national average attendance rate is currently 92.1%, with schools in the Yorkshire and Humber area falling slightly below at 91.4%.
Meanwhile, Withernsea High School’s attendance incentives programme continues this term with a focus on tutor groups. An up-coming ‘Marvellous Monday’ will celebrate the groups who have collectively achieved 100% attendance since returning after half term. This will be followed at Christmas by a ‘hot chocolate breakfast’ for the top attending tutor group from each year group.
Individual attendance incentives, including the chance to secure ‘fast track’ passes to the school’s dining hall and ‘free puddings’, will also continue to run and will precede a new year initiative, ‘Jump in to January’, which will see individuals who meet the school’s target of 95% recognised and celebrated.
ABOVE: (Left to right) School Attendance Officer Harriet Ainley with Macauley Kitcher, Rhyan Hooley, Headteacher Mark Crofts, Ella Wilson and Marianne Campbell.