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Headmaster’s Letter 23rd November

Posted on 23rd November 2018

Dear Parent,




A big thank you to all the students who contributed to Children in Need last Friday, be that by dressing up, donating or running lunchtime events.  The School raised £924.31 for the BBC charity.  Thanks to the Senior Prefect Team and the School Council who enthused us that day.  I am also pleased to let you know that the Scholastics Book Fair sold £575 of books – a huge thanks to everyone who bought, and the literacy leaders and their supporters who sold books every lunch time, morning and afternoon break.  For the first time I can remember, not a single person missed the session for which they had committed to help.  With the school purchases added in, I estimate we will be able to purchase about 50 extra books for the library.  Thank you to Mrs Jago who ran the event.


Sixth Form Open Evening

We welcomed 125 students to our Sixth Form Open Evening on Tuesday.  We will be offering our Y11 students a chance to sample A level lessons next term.  The prospectus and the travel bursary form are available online.  The prospectus contains hyperlinks, where you can access other information about the School.  If you or your child have any questions about the varied opportunities in the Sixth Form life, then please do get in contact with Mr McTernan, the Head of Sixth Form,  As I said on the evening, our entry requirements are slightly lower than some sixth form institutions in the area.


House cross country

Thank you for your understanding about the late cancellation of House cross country on Wednesday evening.  The wind chill, possible rainfall (c. 25% chance) and the deteriorating condition of the course following two days of rain presented a significant health and safety concern.  Mr Shutes and his team plan to run a house event but on a smaller scale later this year.


Reporting absences

There are a few bugs going around school currently (quite common for this time of year), which means we have more absences than usual.  Please can parents remember that you must contact School for each day that your child is absent, not just the first.  Please let the office know by 9.30am at the very latest on each day of absence.  You can phone in and leave a message or email ( using your registered email account.


Year 11 Mock Exams

It is less than two weeks to the Year 11 mock exams. As is policy, we do not set any homework covering new material. All homework should be revision work now. We allow students to revise at home with parents’ permission during the mock period, but we do need to know their plans, so we can make provision in School. Please can parents ensure that they respond by 30th November 2018 using the ParentMail form. At the end of mocks, on Wednesday 19th December, we run a trip for Year 11 to go ten-pin bowling, which is followed by pizza. The deadline for ParentMail responses to this trip is 3rd December 2018.


Parental questionnaire

Every year at this time, the School runs an annual questionnaire.  We take the results, discuss them as a Senior Leadership Team and then present to governors.  The responses enable us to gauge how you think we are doing as a School and if there are any areas of school life that require development and/or improvement.  The survey is anonymous and, if you choose to participate, should be completed for each child that you have in the School.  The first question is key to spotting any trends.  Once we have looked at the results, I write back to all parents with comments, highlighting areas where we will attempt to make reasonable changes.  There is a final question that invites you to make comments should you choose to do so.  If you have any specific issues concerning your child please direct them to the form tutor or the Head of Section.  You can access the questionnaire via this link:


BBC quiz show

We have over 100 people coming to school this evening for the Friends’ quiz.  Good luck if you’re participating: thank you for supporting the School.  I have also been approached by the BBC who are seeking families to participate in a new quiz show.  If you’d like to know more then please click here.


With all good wishes for the weekend,

Yours sincerely


Alistair Hopkins