Meet the Headteacher…

Laura is the school's headteacher and teaches English Language and Literature. A key part of the school's leadership team, Laura is a passionate teacher, engaging students to do their very best. Her passion for helping students is evident in both her teaching and her duties as headteacher. She brings a wealth of experience to both roles.

Letter from Laura Manley, Headteacher

It has been my great honour to witness the return to some kind of normality here at Totnes Progressive School, where, after the disruptions and disappointments that COVID has imposed, we see our students, staff and wider community re-engaging in school and out, coming together to learn, play and enjoy the adventures and activities our school offers and that our young people deserve. As I walk around the school I hear laughter and noise all around. Our students are engaged and energised and I could not be more delighted.

We have high standards regarding the effort and dedication we expect from our students. Our staff work to create a nurturing environment in which our students feel respected so that they thrive and flourish. We have certainly seen our students, particularly those approaching their GCSEs, throw themselves back into the rigours of learning. However, success for us has always been more than achieving success in exams; we want all our students to feel a sense of purpose and accountability, to be accepted and respected for who they are, and to be encouraged to be kind, work through challenging situations and learn from their mistakes. Our “whole child” ethos is built on our four guiding principles of Love, Acceptance, Respect and Safety (LARS). Seeing our young people rise to the challenges before them with such optimism and glee makes me feel especially proud of our school and the young people we serve.

We are able to create this nurturing atmosphere because we have an amazing team of experienced and dedicated staff who support our students in developing their academic skills and, crucially, encourage them to feel an enthusiasm for learning.
I would like to acknowledge and thank our staff for all that they have done and continue to do despite the unpredictable and challenging conditions.

This year students in the UK are not sitting their exams but will be assessed on a range of evidence. Exam success is by no means the only way we prepare our young people for the future, nevertheless, our results consistently far exceed the national average. We wish our Year 11 students every success, knowing they have prepared well, academically and otherwise. They will remain in touch and will be back for the much anticipated Leavers’ Ceremony and Year 11 Prom which are both important milestones in our school year. We are proud of our Year 11 students and what they have already achieved, and I would like to thank them for their contributions to the school.

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