12 January 2024

Image of Friday Bulletin

Dear Parents and Carers,

A very brief update this week. We have now completed our analysis of the recent parental survey and will write to all parents in detail next week. As part of that response, we intend to establish six parental working groups to reflect your views, and will write to all parents next Friday with additional information about participation.

In last week’s update I shared information relating to this half-term for each year group. We are now well into that process, and I would encourage all parents and carers to emphasise the importance of working hard, to encourage your child to make sensible decisions and to talk to staff if they have a concern. If they are concerned about a friend, they should talk to a teacher too. Please also explain that the purpose of attending school is to develop detailed subject knowledge, to learn how to work with others from a diverse range of backgrounds and to understand that the school has high expectations of each student. Attending regularly and behaving appropriately are key expectations. Whilst that is obviously true in the building in their time at school, please make them aware that it is equally important in the wider community in which they students live and when engaging with others on social media. We regularly have these conversations in school and that discussion is even more important at home. Equally as parents, get in touch if there is something that concerns you. All students have a greater chance of success if we work in partnership.

Have a good weekend.

Mr O’Sullivan

What Extra-Curricular opportunities are there?

We are very proud of the range of clubs and opportunities we offer as a school. Please do encourage your child to take advantage of the activities available. You can see this term’s offer at this link.


What is my child learning?

In the Learning section of our website you can find guidance on what every student at the school is studying. As well as an overview of our curriculum and principles behind it, you can find an overview of each subject area.
You can also find a guide to the content being covered in every subject and how you can support your child for each half term here:
Year 7 | Year 8 | Year 9 | Year 10 | Year 11 | Year 12 | Year 13


GCSE Business Lessons

This week in Business we focused on product development, marketing and finance. To consolidate this, Year 10 developed a concept, created a prototype, developed a relevant form of advertising (these were superb), costed, and presented to "the board" - aka the class!

This is a great way for students to link concepts to real-world examples and to get an insight into how new products are developed. It also was an effective way to develop their communication skills - a key area for employers.

A special mention to one group, who went over and above and created by far the best prototype I have seen - "Beamers".

Well done Year 10!

Miss Forbes
Subject Lead for Business & Computing


Programming Club Skiing Competition

Congratulations to the following students for making the Top 5 of the Year 7&9 Programming Club’s latest competition, which involved creating their own version of the Scratch Cat Skiing game.

The winners are:

1st place (30 HP) à Max C-G (Year 8)

2nd place (20 HP) à Evan J (Year 8)

3rd place (10 HP) à Sonny R (Year 7)

Joint 4th and 5th place (5 HP) à William H (Year 7) and Finja W (Year 7)

You can have a go at their games at the links below:

Max’s “Ski v1.1.2”

Evan’s “Awesome Skiing Game!”

Sonny’s Ski Game

William’s Ski Game

Finja’s Ski Game

Mr O’Connor
Lead Teacher of KS4/KS5 Computing


PE News

It has been excellent to get clubs and fixtures back up and running in 2024.

On Tuesday, our U13 girls’ football teams were at St John's for the Bishop Auckland Schools CVL. We had two teams entered. Our Red & Blacks remained unbeaten, winning all four of their games, scoring 18 goals, and only conceding 2 to stay top of the league. Our Red & White team also played some excellent football to win two games, draw one and lose one in the last few seconds.

Last night it was the turn of our U15 girls’ football teams to take part in their CVL at Parkside. Again, we had two teams entered. Our Year 10 team won every game to remain top of the group, and our Year 9 team drew two games and lost two.

Also last night, our U14 boys’ and U16 girls’ basketball teams hosted English Martyrs School in the English Schools Cup. Our U14 boys played some excellent basketball to dominate the game, eventually winning 48 - 17 with Reuben Varley POM. They now finish 3rd in the North-East group and qualify for the national knockout stages.

It was also good news for our U16 girls who also won comfortably 58 - 13 with Libby Clark POM. It is even better for them as they have now won the North-East group and therefore reach the last 32 schools in the country.

Good luck today to our U13 girls’ football team, who travel to Sunderland to take part in a re-arranged tournament at Downhill, and to our U16 boys’ basketball team who are at RGS, Newcastle in the English Schools Cup.

Finally, good luck tomorrow to around 30 of our cross-country runners who are at Farringdon School, Sunderland, representing Durham Central in the County Championships. It is a great achievement that so many of our runners have qualified for this event.

All skiers should now have received a letter giving details of an important parents meeting that is taking place in James Hall on Tuesday 30th January starting at 6.00pm. This is a chance to collect final details and meet the staff accompanying the trips.

Mr Hopper
Subject Leader for PE