Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends,

Mrs Pearce and I hope you have all had a good break and enjoyed some lazy, relaxing days with your families.   We are into our first full week of term….with another five to go before the next holiday!

Firstly, congratulations to all our students for their GCSE and A level exam success. We are delighted that their hard work and perseverance has paid off with 84.4% of Year 11 attaining 5 or more GCSEs at a standard pass (grade 4) or higher, including English and maths and 37% of all exams resulting in A*/A or 7-9 grades. At A level, 30% of students achieved at least one A*-A pass and 58% A*- B passes.  We would like to thank our dedicated staff and our wonderfully supportive parents for their part in these achievements.  We are grateful for the contributions our ex-students have made to the life of the school and we wish them all every success in their future studies.

Our Year 7 students have settled in well and seem to be pretty good at finding their way round the school site ….there are no longer huddles of girls outside the art block looking for technology anymore!  They are very friendly and happy to chat at lunchtime whilst tucking into some impressive picnic lunches; curried potatoes and chapatis, chicken salad wraps and even a cold sausage sandwich with brown sauce!  The Café has been busy too – the pasta pots and roast dinners have definitely been the most popular since the start of term.

The sixth formers running the ukulele club were excited to welcome the 20 Year 7 girls yesterday; it is great our sixth formers run clubs honing in on their organisations and communication skills but also feeling good about inspiring other students to learn to play and have fun at the same time.   The enrichment timetable is posted on the website and we encourage all our students to take part in at least one activity.

Mrs Pearce and I take an assembly in the first week of every term and this term we have chosen ‘Inspire’ as the theme.  The main message is that our students can be an inspiration to others; ordinary people inspire every day and that most inspiring people in the world go completely unnoticed. We shared how those around them can inspire our students but also how they too can be an inspiration and that they need only to know that they stepped up to make things better for someone.

Last week, Year 12 enjoyed an induction day based on skills needed at A level and team building as they got to know the other students in their tutor groups.  They have settled in well in to the sixth form and yesterday they were given their Minimum Expected Grades based on their GCSE scores. These will give them something to benchmark their progress against and to set high and realistic aspirations. Mrs Kemp and Mrs Bellis, Co-Heads of the Sixth Form gave them tips on how to manage their studies through effective study systems (which are different to GCSE), to maintain balance in their lives as well as to seek feedback to refine their knowledge and understanding.

We are looking forward to meeting our new Year 7 parents this evening in the school hall at 7pm, for the parent information evening.  Next Wednesday the Year 12 parent information evening will be held in the sixth form centre at 7pm where Mrs Kemp and Mrs Bellis will give many top tips to parents on how to support their son/daughter through A levels.   Year 13 parents and students are meeting form tutors tomorrow to discuss the UCAS process and predicted grades – exciting and busy times especially for Year 13.

Summer was good but it is good to be back into a routine and interacting with students, parents and colleagues all day.

Best wishes

Anne Kennedy