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Headmaster’s Letter 5th July

Posted on 12th July 2019

Dear Parent


Assessments and reports


Along with colleagues, much of next week will be focused on writing comments on students’ reports or assessments. I ‘star’ the best assessments/ reports for attainment or the most improved effort and send home a postcard. Reading the formative comments shows the lengths to which staff work to give students bespoke feedback about what they have done well and what they need to do next to excel. We don’t do comment banks here. These comments are written for students and so are only worthwhile if students act upon them. I don’t wish to blight anyone’s well deserved summer break with a request that they look at reports and assessments on July 20. However, I think it worthwhile giving the comments consideration in early September (a long way off!) before the new year starts.


New Year 7


This is always one of the happiest events of the year. On Tuesday and Wednesday, we welcomed our 100 new students to school for their induction day. As well as explaining our motto, ‘Ever to Excel’, this Walt Disney quotation that I believe articulates what we aspire to do: ‘All our dreams come true if we have the courage to pursue them.’ Courage comes from dedication and resilience; the latter helps develop robust well-being and positive mental health. We are committed to ensuring that students are challenged to be their best in a supportive environment. There’s nothing wrong with failing – we learn from our disappointments and constantly look forward. With that in mind, the School’s mission statement has been expanded. (The new part is in italics.) It now reads as follows:


‘We seek to use lively minds, to work hard,

to develop all our talents and

to grow through sharing

to be the best version of ourselves.’


The final italicised phrase is especially important. We can all be ever-improving versions of ourselves. We want students to be comfortable with their own talents, abilities and to be recognised as individuals, to be as good as they can be!


Art exhibition and summer concert


I extend a very warm invitation to you to attend the public viewing of the Art Exhibition this Tuesday from 5-7pm. This is followed by the summer concert at 7pm where some of our Year 13 students will be performing at school for the last time. There is no need to book tickets. Please just come along. 



Cambridge Chemistry Challenge


Students in Year 12 again did exceptionally well in this national competition. 


Copper Award:  Xander Ashley-Turner, Paul Asumang, Rosemary Brader, Billy Ellis, William Gale, Priya Grewal, Eleanor Hills, Eoin McHale, Matthew Savage, Eleanor Schofield, Olivia Smith, Elise Spencer, Harry Wilkins & Abilash Yogachandran.


Silver Award: Lewis Beighton, Lizzie Dee, Owen Du Bedat, Michael Durham, Amelia Emerson, Alistair Glossop, Grace Holmes, Guy Lyons, Jack Swain & Isabel Taylor.


Gold Award: Toby Hibbert.


Well done to them all and thank you to Mrs Leaning for entering (and assessing) the students’ work. It is a demanding and enriching experience. It was previously known as the Chemistry OIympiad.


Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award expedition


Last weekend, in better than expected weather, (i.e. it was cooler than the balmy sunshine we had here) our Gold award students participated in their Gold expedition: 50 miles of walking in four days, carrying all their supplies and kit, up and down the hills and mountains of the Lake District. The 18 students that took part are waiting to hear the official outcome of their expedition. I would like to acknowledge the contribution of our volunteers/ teachers who supported the students in this demanding and extremely useful qualification. They are: Emily Brown, Lawrence Brown, Christopher BuckleDavid BuckleRichard Craig, Miss Dodsworth, Alan GriffinAngela Palmer Norman Palmer , Mr Robinson and Phil Smith


Orienteering and school walk


On Thursday afternoon, Year 8 will be orienteering in Willingham Woods, and on the following day, we will be embarking on our school walk. For the first time in several years, Year 12, at their request, will be participating. This warm spell is likely continue (I’ve condemned it now!) into the end of next week. Please can you help staff by ensuring students come suitably prepared (water and appropriate clothing) and protected (sun screen and sunglasses). My thanks to Mr Clark and Mr Robinson for organising the orienteering and school walk respectively.


Year 10: Food bank and work experience


Year 10 start collecting for the Scunthorpe Foodbank on Monday. We collected over 1000 items for the charity last year, thanks to Year 10’s determination to support the cause. Monday will also be their first day back in School after their week of work experience. On Wednesday, it will be my privilege to read to them some of the comments that their sponsors say about them. I’ll report back in the end of term bumper letter but, in the interim, thank you to all the businesses that have supported them


Be Aware and safeguarding


Several updates have been added to the ‘Be Aware’ page of the website to help you and students navigate the world of social media and other online challenges. I hope you find these sheets informative and the opportunity to start discussions at home. At some point in the next two weeks, Mrs Clark, the school’s Designated Safeguarding Lead, will publish a document giving students and parents advice about organisations where help and advice can be sought if a student experiences problems over the summer holiday.


All best wishes for the weekend ahead,



Alistair Hopkins