Term 5 2023
The sun is finally shining and the GCSE exam season is in full swing. I would like to say a huge congratulations to our Year 11 students on the start of their exams. This week our Year 11 students have conducted themselves in a calm, purposeful and focused manner, and it has been great to see them attending their exams and preparation sessions with such a positive mindset. We wish them all the very best for the remaining exams.
Thank you to all parents who attended the Year 7 parents’ evening; we were overwhelmed with the positive feedback we received and I thank you for your ongoing support. Our Year 7 students have settled into being a happy and positive year group who are making a very positive impact on our school community.
Student life continues to be varied and busy. Our focus on developing strong reading skills has continued. We held a very successful Book Fair which was visited by all students during the course of the school day. Children were incredibly pleased with their purchases – our thanks go to our librarians for hosting this event. This was followed by a visit from the author, Julian Sedgewick who worked with our Year 7 and 8 students and also led a book signing.
A group of Year 10 students have been involved in an after-school Photoshop club; a selection of their final photos are to be enlarged and displayed around the school.
Thank you to the students involved in the after-school Food Group; the group has already met with the school canteen contractors, Aspens and are due to meet with Kaya from Biteback 2030 who runs the School Food Champion project and two colleagues from the Food For Life awards (https://www.foodforlife.org.uk/schools). This is run by the Soil Association who are due to visit the canteen and work with our School Food Champions. This year-long social action project is working hard to make meaningful change to the food on offer in school, looking at the wider environmental factors, making the eating spaces more appealing and within Food Preparation tweaking the curriculum to fit the Food For Life award criteria. We aim to achieve the bronze award by the end of this year.
Finally, I would like to congratulate Ms. Tammy Jenkins who will begin her new role as Associate Assistant Headteachers for SEND and Alternative Provision in Term 6.
Areas of concern:
Having shared our concerns over the number of fire alarm issues we had last term, I am pleased to report that we have had no further false alarms. I would like to thank all parents/carers for supporting the school in resolving this issue.
We have also had no further concerns from the shop owners and management at Coney Hill shops.
I met with two of our local councillors this term who reported that local residents had not registered any complaints with them at all since September, but had commented on the improvement in staff presence wearing high-viz at the start and end to the school day.
Vandalism: We had a surge of vandalism at the start of Term 5, particularly in the toilets. We have placed more senior staff on duty at the toilets during break and lunchtime; this has made a significant difference and I would like to reassure all students and families that the toilets are a safe and supervised environment.
Reports and Parents’ Evenings:
Year 10: Year 10 parents’ evening will be on 29th June.
We have a school target of 96% attendance; however, our current attendance has remained at 87% for two terms. Can I continue to ask for your support in ensuring that your child attends school and is on time. The difference that good attendance can make to a young person is significant in terms of academic progress and developing strong interpersonal skills.
Despite repeated requests for parents and carers to be respectful to all staff, I am sorry to write to you again asking that we treat one another with due consideration. The school appreciates that, at times, emotions may run high, but it is not appropriate to shout and/or be abusive. Some staff have received unacceptably rude, insulting and threatening comments, either face-to-face or by email. It is important that we work together and model the behaviour and language that we would like to see in our children.
Our reception staff work extremely hard to meet the needs of our students and parents. There are times which are particularly busy, especially morning, break and lunchtime. Could I ask all parents and carers to exercise patience when calling the school; our reception staff will try to answer your query as soon as possible. Please remember that teaching staff will be working in classrooms and/or on duty.
If you have any concern about a subject, can you please contact the subject teacher in the first instance and then the Head of Department, if needed.
If you have any concern about a pastoral matter, can you please contact the form teacher in the first instance and then the Pastoral Leader, if needed.
It is reasonable to expect a reply, either by telephone or email, within 72 working hours. Should you need to make an appointment, can you please contact the relevant member of staff beforehand; the school is not able to make ad hoc appointments and does not want to disappoint parents who arrive at school, hoping to see someone immediately.
I thank you for your cooperation in this regard.
It remains for me to wish you all a relaxing half-term break. We look forward to seeing you all when the school reopens on Monday 5th June at 8.30am.