Headteacher's Blog

Year 6 Transition

The Transition days and evening all went really well, and the feedback we have had from Year 6 parents has been really positive. I think we have run this process well for some considerable time, but in recent years we have really upped our game, and with the support of Governors, FOSH and our support staff we are presenting a complete support package that new parents really appreciate.

Take Your Child to Work Day

Another development for us this year has been the Year 9 work experience event. Feedback is still coming in, but this innovative approach appears to have paid off, and Mrs Broxton must take much credit for her leadership, but she could not have achieved what she has without the superb support of parents, their companies and connections. I have seen some great pictures coming in that show our students in a huge variety of roles, experiencing very different challenges to those presented to them in school. Thank you to all involved, and I hope that if you had your son or daughter at work for the first time you got something out of this experience as well.

FI in Schools

Well done to Mr Duszynski and his team of budding designers/engineers as they competed last week at Thurston School as part of the F1 in Schools challenge. This has been another new edition to our curriculum and has added an exciting and competitive edge to the work of the students. I look forward to our strength in this field growing. Well done to Tim Ainger, Abi Karkoska, Tyler Elmer, Dylan Foreman, Kelan Bloomfield and Arran McKay.

Mr Duszynski has had a particularly busy couple of weeks, as he also led his Tycoon team to the EntFest awards. The students’ successful business idea earned them a special commendation, and they were able to meet Peter Jones, of Dragon’s Den Fame, and founder of EntFest. I am so pleased that the school saw this opportunity and that the students have grasped the opportunity to such an extent that they have made £175 each – exceptional work – well done to Aidan Taylor, James Buckle, Joel Redhead and Liga Naivunivuni.

Design Awards Event

My thanks and respect to Jim Hawkins and his team for their work in running a very successful Design Awards event on Wednesday. With guests from industry, including Wates, TJ interiors, Clothing by Jinnie, Molls and Dolls Boutique, and Joanna Knight from the Young Furniture Makers’ Company. We were delighted that they could attend and present the students with their prizes, and in particular Wates made a real impact with their rather fancy glass trophies and tool kits for the students.

Guest of Honour was Tom Shields-Bayliss, husband of our late colleague Lottie, who presented the Delilah Award. Tom looked in great shape, and told me he is training for a triathlon, and that baby Delilah is thriving.

My congratulations to all the prize winners for their outstanding design work.

Maisie Frost

Great news has reached us about an ex Head girl, Maisie Frost, who has just been awarded a First from Cambridge University – she studied English Literature. In the email from her mother, Mr and Mrs Carpenter were singled out as being key inspirations behind her love of her subject. What an amazing achievement, and a beautiful way to send us all home for the weekend, proud of our colleagues and what they have contributed to Maisie’s achievement. Maisie was always passionate about literature, but she was also a kind, supportive, easy going and deeply intelligent student, who came through our school at a time when its reputation wasn’t so great. This suggests two things – firstly that the reputation wasn’t entirely accurate, and that the cream rises to the top!

Year 10 Spoken Examinations

Mrs Kerslake was telling me how seriously the Year 10 students took their speaking examinations this week. This year group have made so much progress since they first joined, and the effort they have made for this part of their English course bodes well for the future.

The Week Ahead

This week we are hosting Abbots Hall Year 6 students as they prepare their annual school production of Mary Poppins – I look forward to watching them on Tuesday evening, and our own students perform their BTEC Summer concert on Thursday afternoon. On Friday the English team lead a trip to Harry Potter Studios for a tour and writing workshop (I wish I had found a way to get myself on that trip!). On Thursday evening we host the Year 13 Prom, always a stylish and charming way to say goodbye to our oldest students.

Have a lovely week everyone

Mr Lee-Allan