As one who does not bother with gossip very often, I could not help but ‘google’ why Sasha Obama was not in attendance at her father’s farewell address to the nation in Chicago the other week. Apparently, she had a test the following day at school and the family decided that this took precedent over President Obama’s speech. Therefore Sasha remained in Washington DC and did not miss school.
As a staff, we frequently discuss the need to be fanatically disciplined in our efforts to achieve excellence. We also encourage this in our students. When reflecting upon the many successes I have seen in my first six months at NAISAK and considering how we can further improve as a school, attendance and punctuality are areas that we need to focus upon improving for some of us.
I have always known there was a strong link between attendance and achievement. However, I was surprised to read that attendance is a better predictor of achievement at university than study habits, average secondary school grades or scores on standardised tests, such as SATs (Crede et al, 2010). A target set for schools in the UK is an average rate of attendance of 97%. Bearing the above in mind, I would like to congratulate the majority of NAISAK students who have achieved this ambitious goal. As a school, we understand that sometimes people get ill or there is an unavoidable reason that necessitates missing school. I would like to encourage everybody to accept the challenge of striving for perfect attendance for the remainder of the year. As a school, we are going to try to support families in improving school attendance. This will involve celebrating the successes of those who have outstanding attendance and working with those who have missed more school than we would prefer.