School Slides

Headteacher Newsletter

By   /  May 31, 2017  /  Comments Off on Headteacher Newsletter

Dear Parents/Guardians

It has been a short but intensive half-term – it hardly seems a moment ago that I sent my last letter. We have been busy!

Year 11 pupils are now on study leave. We enjoyed a lovely Leavers’ Assembly a couple of weeks ago and the exam season is now well under way. I would like to say that the year group has been fantastic – they have remained both serious and cheerful in the run-up to their GCSEs and it has been both a pleasure and a privilege to work alongside them.

In Year 10, I am delighted to announce our new Pupil Leadership Team. New Head Girl Lucy Hallett and Head Boy Ed Bissett are supported by deputies: Annabelle Maher, Lara Clarke, Toby Heal and Renato Bergamaschi. They faced really strong competition in securing their new posts. More than 50 pupils applied and those of us lucky enough to interview them were absolutely spoiled for choice – we are lucky to know such committed and talented young people

Our new prefects have now started their duties and the early signs are very promising. The selection process is rigorous and some pupils have been disappointed in their first application – we have been emphasising the importance of receiving and acting on constructive and specific feedback. There will be a chance to re-apply later in the year.

While this is the exam season, it is also the busiest time of year for trips and visits. Since I last wrote, the footballers have been to Spain while the historians have been in Germany; all 4 language exchanges are under way; there have been two additional trips to Italy, one to Poland and the Ardeche Trip goes this weekend. We have also had 2 highly adventurous visits to the Brecon Beacons. I mention all this activity partly so that I can publicly say a big “thank you“ to the brilliant staff who make it happen and partly so that I can say (again) that the attitude and behaviour of our pupils have been excellent. We point out to them that they represent school, city and country, and I am delighted by their response.

Terrorist incident

There has been a lot of praise in the media for the Newsround coverage of the Manchester bomb attack. This is the link:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/40019250

Some of our tutors have shown the short video during PSHEE lessons this week. While it is primarily intended for younger children, it may help you start a conversation, especially if your son/daughter is upset by what they have heard.

Year 7 exams

Year 7 exams take place as soon as we get back. Miss Clarkson has given them a detailed briefing and she will also be writing home; I would like to emphasise that we suggest that 30 minutes revision per subject over half-term will be entirely sufficient. Some pupils will choose to concentrate this activity into 2 or 3 days, to give themselves 6 or 7 entirely work-free days, while others will prefer to spread it out a bit more. Either way, the most important thing is that they get some proper free time to enjoy with their families.
Ethos

We have been doing some work on the school’s ethos/mission statement. We spent quite a lot of time on this when I first joined the school, but we now felt it was time to re-visit it. Staff, governors and pupils have all had an input and I thought you would be interested to see the current draft

It is important to get the right balance between including everyone’s favourite content and maintaining a manageable length! We will never achieve complete unanimity across so large a school community, but I would be very happy to receive your comments and suggestions. Please email me via the usual school address.

Reports

Parents of pupils Years 9 and 10 have seen and been asked to comment on a new style of school report. The new reports give much greater prominence to a limited number of very specific “targets for improvement” in each subject; they also provide colour-coded subject assessment and target grades.

We had 142 responses to our consultation, with 80.3% saying that they prefer the new report to the old ones. Several of the 19.7% of people who were less keen were sad to see fewer personal comments from teachers. We acknowledge this, but hope that the tutor comments and face-to-face contact at parents’ evenings will continue to provide a more qualitative assessment of how things are going. From the school’s point of view, the new reports can be produced much more quickly; they are also much less prone to error and require a bit less checking. Given that we think they also provide more useful information and a large majority of parents prefer them, we intend to adopt the new system for all year groups from now on.

 KSA news

Many thanks to the wonderful people at the Kings’ School Association for putting on yet another highly enjoyable Summer Fair. Bobby wants me to add particular thanks to everyone who contributed to the cake stall! The weather was grim, but lots of people still came along and (as far as I could tell) enjoyed themselves. We raised well over £3700 for improvements to the Quad, which is great; even more importantly, the school family gathered and enjoyed ourselves. These occasions are precious.

The KSA supports the school quite brilliantly – as well as raising lots of money to support your sons and daughters, they also help at a wide variety of events. However, we rely heavily on a relatively small number of very generous volunteers – it would be good to spread the load a little. The least demanding service you might render would be to help serve refreshments at a Parents’ Evening – even half an evening, once per year would be great – if you feel able to help out in this way PLEASE get in touch with Mr Rossiter, here at school.
House news

Mr Palmer writes:

As we head into the final half term of the year, the battle for the House trophy inches ever closer to the Sports Day grand finale. Last term saw a fabulous KGT Final (big thanks to Mr Deacon) with a wonderfully composed and performed piano and vocals piece by Scarlett Grigg claiming the crown. We ran our first year 7,8,9,10 house event (House Volleyball) and look forward to the Rounders and Capture the Flag events leading into Sports Day.

Currently Godwin and Tudor houses are tied for house points, with three events and sports day yet to play for. Attendance records have been phenomenal with a total of 66% of Year 7, 58% of Year 8, 55% of Year 9 and 34% of Year 10 having attended one or more House events this year!

The Heads of House would like to say a fond farewell to our current team of House Captains who were ever present throughout the year and extend a welcome to them to join us on Sports Day for a final farewell and the tempting allure of pizza on the field. We look forward to appointing our new team of new House Captains soon from the newly appointed Year 10 prefect team.

Over the next few weeks, as the Summer finally begins to roll in, we will be planting and tending to our four house flower beds. We welcome any and all volunteers to help us make these individually a vibrant burst of floral delights!

 

 Sports news

 

Coming soon! 3 of the highest highlights of the school year:

Sports Day on Thursday 22nd June

Olympiad Legacy Day on Friday 23rd June

Sports Awards evening on Friday 7th July

More details about all 3 will be sent out soon after half-term.

 

Sports Week

Advance warning – this year’s Kings’ Sports Week will run from Monday 31st July until Friday 4th August. Pupils can sign up by returning the Sports Week leaflet on the school’s homepage. There are options for on-site and off-site activities organised by Mr Marwood and the PE department.

 

Sorrento Food Safari

Mrs Wright writes:

“Our Italian trip to Sorrento was steeped with culinary intrigue and drama, visits to the lemon groves, gelato making and mozzarella farms were the highlights of the trip and an excellent way of introducing our students to the variety of Italian cuisine, as well as soaking up the culture of a country that knows how to eat, drink and relax!”
Important dates

Monday 29th May – Friday 26th May          Halfterm

Monday 5th June      Back to school

Monday 12th June    Year 7 exams begin

Thursday 22nd June Sports day

Friday 23rd June       Sports Legacy day

Monday 26th June    INSET DAY

Friday 30th June       Year 8 reports to parents’/Year 11 Leavers’ Ball

Yours faithfully

Mr M Leeming

Headteacher