Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends

Mrs Kennedy and I always like to start the new term by leading the first assembly. This term our theme was kindness, in line with our school strap line of Be kind, Aim high, Work hard. We talked about what kindness is, what it can look like and the benefits of being kind. We also talked about how sometimes humans are not always kind to each other and what that might look like in life and in a school setting. We ended our assembly by referring to the Sufis’ “three gates”….. These are: Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates. At the first gate, ask yourself, is it true? At the second gate, ask yourself, is it necessary? At the third gate, ask yourself, is it kind?

We always enjoy leading assemblies and are so proud at how well our students listen and for their daily acts of kindness

In the last two weeks, the drama department has certainly been rather busy. Not only did they run our first offsite activity in a very long while when they took a large group of students to the theatre to see the Curious incident, but they also ran a well-attended and successful follow-on Key Stage 3 Masterclass, as part of our Key Stage 3 Masterclass programme.

One of our whole school priorities for development this year is “stretch and challenge”. We are already proud of the work we do to continue to build on this in lessons through questioning, challenge tasks and activities, but we were keen to develop our supercurricular provision to enhance our clubs and extra-curricular programme. We are doing this though our KS3 Masterclass programme, which is a schedule of one-off sessions taking place across the rest of this academic year. The classes are led by various members of all departments and are largely taking place at lunch time, or the odd one after school.

Anyone from Years 7, 8 and 9 can attend a Masterclass. As these classes are supercurricular, the aim is to enhance knowledge and focus on an aspect of the subject that goes beyond the normal classroom content.

Mrs Bennett led this drama masterclass focussing on physical theatre following the theatre trip last week.

This week, Miss Vockins from the technology department led a packed masterclass on CAD skills photoshop. The students were shown the basics of Adobe Photoshop and finished with looking at how to manipulate and edit images and then placing these manipulated images into wild and wacky scenarios.

Thank you to Mrs Bennett and Miss Vockins.

Coming up this half term are masterclasses from PE, computing, art, geography and textiles. Please encourage your daughter to sign up for these events when they are advertised by teachers and Heads of Year.

This week, Mrs Smith and her climate challenge action group are leading the assemblies based on their hard work last term when the group pitched ideas for school, local and wider community actions that we could adopt to help combat climate change. I am sure she will share the outcomes of the pitch in her blog in a couple of weeks’ time!

Year 11 are delighted they have finally finished their PPE exams and are now back in the classroom, whilst Year 12 now take over as their exams started this week. We also have some public exams this week in our vocational subjects and we wish the students the very best of luck with these.

Lastly, we look forward to speaking to our Year 10 parents and students tomorrow evening at our on on-line parents’ consultation evening on Teams.

Katie Pearce