Dear Parents and Carers,

My youngest daughter is in Year 6 and so about to move to secondary school. There is a clear difference in how much I know as a parent about her day-to-day experiences in school and how much (or little, more accurately) I know about the school life of my elder daughter in Year 9. I think that’s unavoidable because of the differences in size between secondary and primary schools, as well as the difference in the level of close parental contact that is required to support much younger children compared to older children. Many of our students are closer to being young adults than children at all.

Having said that, I wish you could see the school today. I’ve just been walking around the school and I’ve seen classroom after classroom of happy, confident students taking part eagerly in their lessons. The relationships between teachers and students are striking in their warmth and mutual respect. Students are in non-uniform for comic relief, but that doesn’t have an impact on their approach to learning.  Of course, no school is perfect, but the atmosphere around our school is very good.

Comic Relief

As well as coming to school in non-uniform in return for a donation, students have taken part in numerous other activities today to support Comic Relief. The very impressive student-run cake stall was especially popular with those teachers who burnt up a few calories getting absolutely thrashed by the sixth form at dodgeball. Lots of students won crème eggs in the treasure hunt and, all in, we raised a significant sum. It will be next week before we’ve finished adding all the various pots together, so I’ll share the total with you then. It is great to see the school community pulling together to support those less fortunate than ourselves.

Year 11

I’ve been looking at the Year 11 mock exam results and comparing them to the results from the November series. There has been a significant improvement in almost every area. It is very hard to make predictions about results following two years of cancelled exams, but it is clear that Year 11 are working hard and taking their studies seriously. They have an excellent chance of success. We will be sharing details of the Easter revision sessions next week.  

There are over 140 applications from Year 11 for places in Year 12 at Haverhill Community Sixth Form next year. students who have applied are currently sitting interviews with the sixth form team to discuss course suitability and entry requirements.

Studio renovation and Sixth form building

We expect to begin a very substantial renovation of the studio in June, once the exams have finished. The studio will be completely gutted, enlarged and then refitted with new seating, sound and lighting. The next phase of the project is the building of a new sixth form block at the entrance to the school on the site of the old A Block. That will include a sixth from library and a number of seminar and small teaching rooms.

Ukraine Fundraising

We had a non-uniform day last week to raise funds for Ukraine. We raised over £1200 which will be matched by the UK government and donated to the Disasters Emergency Committee.

Lion King

I was very pleased that a trip took over 100 students to see The Lion King in the West End this week. It has been a long time since we have been able to offer opportunities like that. I’m grateful to the staff that organised it.

Forest school

We will soon start planting the saplings in what will eventually be our new forest school, in a field to the north of the existing playing field. It will be a few years before that reaches any kind of maturity, but students in the future, eventually maybe your children’s children, will have that as an extra resource. 

Have a good weekend in the spring sunshine,

Andy Hunter