Dear Parents and Carers,

Being the end of term, there is not so much information to share this week so this will be a slightly shorter bulletin.


Some student timetables are changing in January. Students will be shown their new timetables today and they will update on Go4Schools next week. That is as a result of some changes in staffing. We have looked at each instance to make sure we get the best possible use out of the resources we have available to us.

Returning to school in January

We are staggering the start of term to allow us to test students before we begin lessons. The full details were sent our recently and can be found in the letters section of the website.  The term will start as follows:


Test then returning home

In Lessons

Tuesday 4th Jan

Year 7, Year 11, Year 12, Year 13


Wednesday 5th Jan

Year 8, Year 9, Year 10

Year 7, Year 11, Year 12, Year 13

Thursday 6th Jan

No testing

All year groups

Mock Exams

Congratulations to Year 11 and 13 who completed mock exams this term. They approached them with all the seriousness and determination we expect. Their results will be available by the end of the day today. Where a mock has not been sat, for example in vocational subjects, a teacher assessment of the standard of current work and completed coursework has been entered.

Parents’ Survey

Nearly sixty of you responded to my parental survey, giving the open, honest feedback I hoped for. I’ll share the detailed results of that with you next term, but there is one thing we can pick up quickly. The results were generally very positive. One which stood out was the statement “The school makes me aware of what my child will learn during the year”. Only 47.5% of those of you who responded agreed with that statement. There are curriculum maps on the website but I appreciate that you won’t always want to look through the website to find that information. From next term, I will include an overview of the subject matter which will be assessed in each subject for each year group in my first bulletin of the term. I hope you’ll find that useful.

The only other response which fell below 50% positive was to the statement “my child reads and hears others read often at school”. Roughly a third of you agreed, a third disagreed and a third didn’t know. We have a reading strategy in place as part of our response to the disrupted learning during the pandemic. That strategy is only a term old so hasn’t properly embedded yet. There is a lot of targeted work going on with those children who need it most, but there is also a universal offer for all students. that includes the fact that every tutor group is reading a novel with their tutors, one morning a week. So far, tutors have been doing the reading while students follow in their own copies, so that students can hear a fluid, expressive example of reading. From next term we will be starting to expect students to join in with some of that reading.


As I mentioned, we are saying goodbye to some staff today. Ms Newman has been teaching maths here since long before I started. She has finally lost patience with her 3hrs of round-trip commute every day and taken a post closer to home. I can’t say I blame her, but she will be sorely missed.

Mr North came here to teach maths and IT as a second career after spending most of his working life in the IT industry. Other people might have retired at that point but he chose to come and work with us and we are very grateful for that. We congratulate him on his retirement.

Finally, Ms Lawson will be much missed as an English teacher, especially by her Year 7 class who I know are especially fond of her. She is leaving to take up a different role at another Unity Schools Partnership school. I’m sure she will be excellent in that role.

I would like to thank all three of them for their hard work and dedication to the students of SWA and to wish them all the very best for the future.


Given the impact of omicron, I expected our numbers to go up this week but in fact we have fewer confirmed cases than we’ve had for a while. For most of this half term we have had between twenty and thirty cases at any given time. We currently have nineteen. There are five cases in Year 7, four in Year 8, two in Year 9, three in Year 10, one in Year 11, one in Year 12 and three in year 13.

Parents – Thank you

This is the last bulletin of 2021. I’d like to take the opportunity to thank you for all that you do in support of the school. You get your children up and dressed every morning to get here on time. You help them with homework. You keep an eye on all the messages we send to make sure that trip forms get returned on time and non-uniform worn on the right days. I know it is a complex job being a parent of school-age children and I’m grateful for the effort you put in which helps us to run more smoothly.

If you celebrate Christmas, have a wonderful Christmas. If you don’t, have a brilliant break.

Andy Hunter