Welcome back to term 4. I hope everyone in our community enjoyed a restful half term break.

I wrote home to all parents, carers and students on Thursday about our plans for Wednesday 1st March, which is the National Education Union’s second (of four) days of planned industrial action. If you have not yet had the opportunity to read my letter and the accompanying appendices, please follow this link. I understand that the NEU has said it is "prepared to recommend a pause to strikes next week” to its national executive committee on Saturday in a "sign of goodwill”, but only if "substantive progress” can be made in talks with ministers. If this happens, I shall write to you again to update you with any developments.

With only 11 school weeks until students in years 11 and 13 begin study leave, we have noticed a step change in approach. There is a real sense of urgency and the need to make the most of every single learning opportunity, whether that be in class or through homework. Of course, students in some practical subjects have already been sitting their practical assessments. This week, for example, students studying food preparation and nutrition have been busy demonstrating their effective and safe cooking skills by planning, preparing and cooking using a variety of food commodities, cooking techniques and equipment. All of this is pleasing to see and bodes well for our students in this summer’s series of GCSE and A level exams. We wish each and every student the very best of luck as they prepare themselves thoroughly for all of their exams.

On 2nd March, UNESCO’s worldwide celebration of books and reading, World Book Day, will be celebrated in the UK and in over 100 countries around the globe. Reading for pleasure is the single biggest indicator of a child’s future success – more than their family circumstances, their parents’ educational background or their income and so, on the next page, you will find a book token which offers every young person the opportunity to have a book of their own. Our work in school along with this initiative is that all students develop a life-long habit of reading for pleasure and, as a consequence, have the improved life chances that reading brings. I hope you are able to use yours!

Next week, I and my senior colleagues are very much looking forward to meeting with year 8 students, and their parents and carers, in order for us to agree key stage 4 option choices. We always find these conversations worthwhile and we look forward to meeting you on either Wednesday or Thursday afternoon.

Jane Cartwright

« Go Back to previous page