10 July 2020

Dear Parents, Carers & Students,

It has been an excellent week in school, with Years 7, 8 and 9 returning to spend time with their Form Tutors. Nearly 90% of Key Stage 3 students have accessed provision and they have been very positive about the support and guidance that they have been given. Many have clearly enjoyed seeing friends and teachers again. It is clear that they are looking forward to their full return in September, as are we. Year 12 students have had their second week of subject specific teaching and Year 10 have been taught in their options subjects. The response from our older students has been excellent and their teachers have been able to identify misconceptions, check understanding and to offer extra support. Those sessions will continue into our final week of term and all students will be given guidance about how best to utilise their time during the summer. There is a significant amount of work available on the school website and via Teams and it would be sensible for students to review their work over the summer period.

Mrs Lennon has written to Year 11 and 13 students regarding the arrangements for our results days on 13th and 20th August and that information can also be accessed at this link. Students should also log on to their school email accounts for additional guidance. We are continuing to plan celebratory events for both year groups and will share more information in August. Both Mr Simpson and I have written to Year 6 students and their parents with plans for September and their Form Tutors have recorded a series of messages; these will be available via the New Starters area of the website from Monday.

We continue to work on the very complicated arrangements for a full and safe return to school in September. All parents and carers will receive a written letter sharing some of our planning for next week. The letter will be published on the school website and, as noted on Friday 3rd July, I will provide a series of regular updates throughout August to keep you informed about how school will operate in the new academic year. There will be a detailed letter outlining arrangements in late August.

Whilst national circumstances continue to be difficult, our students continue to demonstrate how talented they are. Yolanda Hampshire Wright in Year 8 was presented with an award on Tuesday after successfully participating in a regional poetry competition and we have just been notified of the success of our Year 7 and 8 mathematicians as part of the Junior Maths Challenge.

Junior Maths Challenge success.

On 25th June 2020, 23 of our students from Year 7 and 8 took part in the Junior Maths Challenge, which was held online for the first time due to the current school closures.  The event ran very smoothly, with only the smallest of technical difficulties.  Despite the unusual circumstances, two of our students won a gold certificate, with seven winning silver and six more winning bronze.  We would like to congratulate all of the students who successfully took part in the event.

Maths Inspiration 

Undeterred by the nationwide closure of theatres to live performance, this summer, Maths Inspiration took their usual maths talk online on Thursday 9th July.  Students from Years 8-10 logged on to take part in the event, where they watched Rob Eastaway talk about how mathematics can be used to determine a strategy in darts for players of different ability, Zoe Griffiths talk about probability and how statistics can be poorly reported in the news, Ben Sparks talk about the mathematics of music and Dr Hannah Fry talk about the use of data and modelling to predict the spread of diseases, all hosted by Matt Parker, who also shared some of his card tricks.  Students could also interact with the event by taking part in a lottery, voting on the outcome of an experiment and had the opportunity to ask questions online.

The students were well supported by Mr M. Patterson and I would like to thank him for his continued commitment too.

Mr O’Sullivan