26 April 2024

Image of Friday Bulletin

Dear Parents and Carers,


We are now two weeks into the summer term, and, for older students, the exam season has already started. Students have completed their GCSE Drama performance and A Level PE moderation and next week we have Art, Design, Photography, and Language speaking exams. Arrangements are also in place for Year 11 and 13 to prepare for exams, to access additional support and to enjoy their upcoming leaving dates and the accompanying traditions. We are sharing Year 11 timetables which outline additional support and revision opportunities next week. Students have been working hard to complete year books and are looking forward to the 6th Form Ball and Year 11 Prom.

We welcomed Year 6 students and their families into school on Wednesday. It was excellent to see so many excited students who are looking forward to starting with us in September 2024. We always invite new students into school in April, so that students feel confident and get to know key staff quickly. Effective transition is particularly important if students are to succeed. We have also welcomed into school a large number of KS2 children this week, and our PE students have done a fantastic job supporting them. We have also hosted parents and carers, with a large number attending the Daisy Chain coffee morning on Tuesday. Daisy Chain support young people, families and siblings across the North-East who may have a diagnosis of autism, be neurodivergent or are simply seeking support within these areas and those attending – including staff members – found the session very helpful.

It is also encouraging to share some notable successes from recent weeks. As you will see from the PE update, we have recognised national success in the biathlon this week. One of our teachers has also achieved national recognition, with Mrs Bothwell being presented with a Teachers Award at the Classical Association’s annual conference at Warwick University in recognition of her work to make Classics more inclusive. The citation mentioned teaching Latin to A-level in the state sector in the North-East, as well as her contribution to the new Latin and Classics PGCE run by Durham University, being part of the working party that has developed the Intermediate Certificate in Classical Greek and her long-term commitment to the JACT Greek Summer School. We would like to congratulate her too.

On a separate note to those wonderful achievements, I have also awarded Headteacher’s badges to three Year 7 students today. They did not win any national competitions or awards, but they did have the courage to speak in public to a large audience of parents and students. They were understandably nervous but did a magnificent job. None of the three had done so before and it was lovely to see how much it meant to them. Some of our students will have done the same in class this week by answering a question or asking for help and all those interactions are worthy of note.

Have a good weekend.

Mr O’Sullivan

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


Year 11 Study Support

A reminder that as we progress towards Year 11 summer examinations, there are a number of drop-in sessions available for students to attend, where staff are available for revision and subject-specific support.

Please click here to see the full timetable.


PE News

Just before the Easter holidays, our Year 7 boys biathlon team travelled down to Bath University for the GB National Finals. After an amazing day of competition, they won the event to become National Champions. They won by over 300 points in a competition usually dominated by private schools. Wilf Beale finished in 4th place, Seb Carty was 12th, Henry Engelhart 32nd, and James Tingle 41st. Due to a mix up with results on the day, the boys were not presented with their medals at the time, so Mr O'Sullivan, Mr Digby and Mrs Lennon presented them this week. They also received a Headteachers award.

On Monday our Year 11 football team reached the League Cup final with a comfortable 8-1 victory against King James.

On Tuesday, our Year 7 and 8 football teams hosted Woodham in League Cup games. They both progressed to the semi-finals with 5-0 and 6-0 victories. Our Year 9 team also faced Woodham, and drew 2-2 to secure the League title. Also on Tuesday, our Year 10 team were due to play King James but they conceded.

Our Year 9 team had another match on Wednesday as they faced Whitworth in a double Cup semi-final. Going into half time we were 2-1 ahead, and took control in the second half going on to win 5-2 with Aidan Lawlor POM. They have now reached two Cup Finals.

Our Year 10 team also had a Cup semi-final against Woodham on Wednesday. We took an early lead, but despite creating several second half chances, couldn't find another goal as Woodham fought back to draw 4-4. Sadly, we lost in a penalty shoot-out. Joint POMs were Alex Wright, Harry Clish and James Ormerod.

Also on Wednesday, our girls’ rugby teams were at Durham City RFC taking part in the County Sevens tournament. The competition was fiercely contested but always played in a great spirit. Congratulations to all the girls who represented the school so well.

On Thursday, our Year 10 Vocational PE course leaders helped to run a Year 3 and 4 mini-tennis festival. Despite the poor weather, everyone had a great time, and our leaders were excellent role models.

Also yesterday, our U13 boys and girls handball teams travelled to Oldham Leisure Centre for the northern regional finals. Both teams reached the semi-finals but were unlucky to lose close semi-finals. Our girls then won their 3rd / 4th play-off to collect the bronze medal, with our boys finishing 4th. An outstanding achievement to have both teams in the top four schools in the north.

Good luck today to our Year 7 cricket team who are playing their first match - a friendly against Castleview.

Mr Hopper
Subject Leader for PE