Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends

I hope you all had a restful half term with family and friends.  The next six weeks are busy for sure with lots of summery events.

Monday 12th June – Monday 26th June 

Year 12 PPEs

Wednesday 14th June

Summer music concert 6pm

Monday 19th June – Friday 23rd June 

KS3 Activities week including Year 8 PGL trip, Year 7 trip to Chessington and Year 9 trip to Thorpe Park.

Year 10 WEX week

Last week of public exams 

Sixth Form leavers do

Tuesday 27th June 

Year 12 Wellbeing Day

Sports Personality of the Year 7pm

Wednesday 28th June 

Year 10 Hurst Castle Spit Geography fieldtrip

Year 6 Transition day 

Drama Club Production 6pm

Thursday 29th June 

Year 10 Hurst Castle Spit Geography fieldtrip

Year 6 Parents Welcome Evening 

Friday 30th June 

Year 11 leavers assembly and Prom 

Saturday 1 July – Wednesday 5th July

Year 8-11 Paris Music tour

Tuesday 4th July

Year 11 Sixth Form Induction day 

Thursday 6th July 

Year 5 Open Evening – Early Closure 

Friday 7th July

Sports Day

Monday 10th July 


Year 12 WEX week 

Culture day

Friday 14th July

Whole school end of year assembly – term ends 3.30pm.

Today, the first of the summer events takes place …. the Race for Life.  200 students will be running or walking the 3km course adorned in pink to raise money for Cancer Research UK.  Good luck to all participants.

On Thursday 25th May, the science department took 50 Year 10 students to Oxford. They visited the Natural History Museum where they learned about adaptation and natural selection in barnacles, finches and humans. They were able to handle some of the museum specimens and a few lucky volunteers (including Miss Izod and Mr Thrower!) held live hissing cockroaches. The students also visited the exhibits in the museum which included many dinosaur and mammalian skeletons and a plethora of invertebrates. The students had a lovely walk in the sunshine to visit the History of Science Museum where they were shown an Islamic astrolabe (an ancient handheld model of the universe) and used working astrolabe models to predict the length of day on any day of the year and a geometric technique to identify the direction of Mecca. The students even had the opportunity to see the blackboard that Einstein used when giving a lecture in Oxford. The day was an enjoyable one and the students seemed to appreciate the history, beauty and inspiring nature of Oxford.  Thank you to Mrs Morgan for organising the trip.

Also, on Thursday 25th May, the PE department took 42 athletes to Palmer Park for the return of District Sports. An athletics event involving all local secondary schools.  What an amazing day with such a great group of athletes!  The girls all took part in one athletics event, and they performed incredibly. Year 7, 8 & 10 came first and are district champions and Year 9 came second!! This is the best result we have ever had at district sports. There were over 20 individual event champions and 10 athletes have been selected to represent Wokingham at the Berkshire Schools Athletics championships. 

The staff in the PE department are beyond proud of their athletics squad – they said that the girls showed such determination and commitment, and it was lovely to see all of them helping each other out in the different events. The staff were chuffed with the results and got very emotional at the end. Well done to not only the students but also to Mrs White and Mrs Bolton for being great strategists in deciding on teams and events and for their coaching and encouragement.

Our 22 Year 12 Geographers left for a field trip to Swanage on Monday morning,.   to practice, plan and collect data for their NEA coursework. On the first evening they selected their coursework titles and only stopped working at 10.00pm! On the trip they will also visit Studland Bay and Swanage town centre to collect primary data for their investigation.   Thank you to Mr Marrison for organising the trip and to Mr Mosely and Mrs Smith for accompanying Mr Marrison on the trip.

Mrs Smith send a message ‘It is always really great being a geography teacher – particularly when we are on a field trip in Dorset, the weather is amazing and the students are brilliant!’…..more on the immense job satisfaction gained from being a teacher later on…..

Parent volunteers organised a donut sale for the end of half term…thank you to Rachel Widdecombe for coordinating it all, to our finance and admin team and to parents for placing orders.  We made £300 and all the donuts were distributed in 11 mins after school!

Whilst all these wholesome events are going on, Year 11 and 13 are showing great endurance as they enter their third week of the exam season.  The half term break was welcome respite but now they are back on the adrenalin fuelled treadmill of more exams, but they seem to be mostly cheerful and upbeat…. which is good.

Year 7, 8 and 9 are also taking their end of year assessments over the next two weeks.  Although much lower stakes than the public exams, they are a good opportunity for students to try out different revision methods, study routines and knowing how to relax the evening before the assessments.  Students will also experience the great feeling of doing well in a test and will hopefully reflect on why that was …. maybe good preparation?  Conversely, they may also experience the disappointment of not doing as well as they thought they had or could have done and reflecting on why…may not enough preparation or if they had worked hard for the assessments then maybe they need to change how they revise and prepare for assessments.  Our best students flourish following feedback and Heads of Year will remind students that it is important to take on feedback without being defensive and to have the courage to change how they do things.  All these emotions and actions are good preparation in coping with the actual GCSEs in a few years’ time.

Finally going back to the quote from Mrs Smith above…..she clearly loves being a teacher.  It is a wonderful career, as with many other jobs, being a teacher really matters.  Every day is different and is an adventure for both teaching and support staff…. my colleagues in student support said this today as we dealt with an unexpected teenage incident.   Schools are full of caring professionals who strive to do their best in performing their role.  We all play a small but vital part in giving our students a fulfilling future.  Despite how things are portrayed in the media ……. I along with many other colleagues in the teaching profession wake up every day and look forward to our job…. interacting with young people, colleagues and for teaching staff, delivering lessons in subjects we are passionate about.  The problem is that right now there is a desperate shortage of teachers. I think as a profession we don’t sell the intrinsic satisfaction from the job enough.  This year has been the toughest that we can remember in terms of recruitment.

If you or anyone you know is interested in entering the teaching profession either just out of university or looking for a career change – maybe in their 40/50’s please do contact us if you want to find out more about the various training routes.   Now Teach attract and recruit experienced successful people who change career into teaching. , Reading University deliver teacher training courses and now there are apprenticeship where you can train in school whilst being linked to a university.

Teaching is one of the most crucial professions that exist…. we need teachers to give our children/grandchildren a future.  Admittedly the pay is not in line with other sectors such as engineering, finance, law or marketing as we are bound by national agreements, but job satisfaction is huge. Every day our staff leave knowing they have helped shaped a young person in a small way.


Best wishes

Anne Kennedy