As a champion for in-depth and genuine local good-news stories, as well as being a real, celebratory and informative community base – it really does bring us all together for the greater good – something that is more important now than ever. Penny Post has a big heart and is very fondly regarded. It can always be relied on for its local support – though it is not afraid to challenge and inquire where necessary.
John O’Gaunt School has changed hugely in the last decade. We feel, in many ways, that we have grown with Penny Post. It was wonderful to celebrate becoming part of the ambitious Excalibur Academy Trust that includes St John’s School in Marlborough a few years ago, and of course, our recent Ofsted rating of ‘Good’. In fact, the very things that Ofsted highlighted as excellent, are those things that we recognise in our particular community spirit and ethos, and see reflected in Penny Post: for example, Ofsted praised our community feel and relationships, ambition and teaching across a broad range of subjects. We may be a small, rural community and school, but we look outward, encouraging everyone to reach for their potential in a nurturing and inclusive way. And that doesn’t happen in a vacumn. We are very proud to be part of a close-knit, dynamic and mutually supportive community.
Our Head of School, Mr Richard Hawthorne says:
“One of the most important parts of being the Headteacher of a small community school is ensuring you communicate regularly. As Brian told me when we first spoke, this means beyond those with a vested interest in the school, whom you’d hope would want to communicate and listen naturally. This is where the idea for the monthly diary originated from and, whilst I don’t consider myself a good writer in the slightest, it has been a refreshing and important conduit for me to reach out as a person, as well as a Headteacher. I know that it gets read, because random people in my own town (a few miles away) have spoken to me about it! I also know that Penny Post has been a central part of a great community for far longer than my time at JOG. The archives will tell you that but, more importantly, so do the staff and parents of the school, who see Penny Post as part and parcel of the life of our area – praise indeed – and I’m beginning to see why!”