Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends

I hope you all had a restful half term.  It is just under 6 weeks until the Easter holidays.

Just before the half term break, we marked Apprenticeship Week with speakers at lunchtime from different business sectors and Mrs Hart delivered assemblies to all year groups.  On Monday we had Kaneez Ahmed talk about early years and primary teaching apprenticeships at Chiltern Nursery & Training College: 16 students attended.  Sade Oladugbewo explained the apprenticeship opportunities at Vodafone to 22 students. Valerie Rose spoke about nursing and midwifery NHS apprenticeships and 40 students attended.  Twelve students attended a presentation by Rosie Mullins from Grant Thornton on finance related apprenticeships and 48 students listened to Megan Loughborough talk about apprenticeships in the interior design sector.  Thank you to Mrs Hart for organising, to our guest speakers and to all the students for attending, for being interested, asking questions and for being an appreciative audience. Mrs Hart would be very grateful to hear from parents if they can help with interview days, work experience and seminar sessions.  Please email her directly

Straight into this half term, Mr Mirams took his Year 12 biologists on a trip to Marwell Zoo, near Winchester, where they attended a conference on conservation and classification. Upon arrival, students were taught the basics of conservation, management of zoos and the organisations that are involved in global conservation efforts. Marwell Zoo co-ordinate the breeding studbook for three species: scimitar-horned oryx, grevy’s zebra and Hartman’s zebra and therefore, students were able to see first-hand examples of conservation that builds on the substantive knowledge that they have gained from the A-level biology course. In the classification aspect of the course, students were able to handle a snake and then used classification principles to work out which species of snake they had encountered using a combination of detective work and dichotomous keys.

Students then made use of the time following the course to navigate the zoo and witness the array of species that were on-show. Student’s favourites included the otters, giraffes and the sloth, despite this being only partially visible through the canopy of the indoor rainforest. Mrs Whitehouse even managed to spot the Bokiboky, a small carnivore that is endemic to Madagascar, that had eluded her on all previous visits! A great time was had by all involved and here’s looking onto the Residential Field Course October 2023!   Thank you to Mr Mirams for organising.

The senior leadership team have been meeting with Year 9 students before half term and this week to discuss their GCSE options choices.  It is always good to chat to the students about the reasons behind their choices as well as how they are finding school and what they get up to out of school.    It is reassuring to hear that they are becoming more independent as they share stories of taking the bus or train to Bracknell or Reading with a friend or two to go shopping in Primark and have something to eat from MacDonalds or Greggs!     The deadline for the Year 9 choices on the SIMS app is Tuesday 28th February.

The count down has now begun to the production of The 39 Steps on Tuesday 14th March, Wednesday 15th March and Thursday 16th March.

Here is a link to the synopsis

You are all very welcome – for tickets please visit:

In addition to The 39 Steps, we have a piano solo concert on Wednesday 8 March and a Vocal and Woodwind concert on Wednesday 29th March both at 6pm.  The tickets can be purchased on the website above.   Our annual Technology exhibition is in mid-March and we will send out information nearer the time.

Now that we have parents’ evenings online, some parents have said they miss not coming into school.  We miss seeing parents too, so it would be great to see more parents attend the events after school. 

Finally, we are on the home straight to the summer exams for Year 11 and 13 with just 10 school weeks left.  Good luck to Year 13 who are sitting their mocks this week and Year 11 will be sitting maths, English and science PPEs over the next few weeks – all good preparation for the actual exams in the summer.


Best Wishes

Anne Kennedy