Dear Parents and Carers,

Progress checks, parents’ evening and coffee morning

The Autumn progress checks will be published on Go 4 Schools next week.  Year 9 have their parents evening on Thursday 8th December. We have deliberately kept to an online model for parents’ evenings because the feedback we had was that parents found it much easier to manage appointments online rather than queuing outside classrooms. On the other hand, parents now have fewer opportunities to come and visit the school. We will look again at this decision later this year and ask parents for their opinion on whether face to face might be better than online. My own experience recently at my daughter’s school was that a face to face parents evening was exactly as I remembered them being – the queue for the first appointment meant that I missed the times of all the other appointments. It was, however, nice to see the school. If you would like to come and see the school, the next coffee morning is on Tuesday 13th December. If you would like to reserve a place, please contact Mrs Franks at


As you know, we have taken a new approach to missed homework in KS3 & KS4 where we let parents know which pieces of homework have been missed over the previous two weeks. The idea is to prompt a conversation between you and your child about their homework. A number of parents have responded to query the information contained in the letter. In some cases, the homework will have been handed in after we started running the report to generate the letters. In some cases, students might have been ticked to say they have completed the homework when in fact it was only partly. We’re looking closely at the system we use to produce the letters to make sure that it is as accurate as possible. In the meantime, there is no need to respond to the letter. If your child has a query, they should talk to their subject teacher.

Year 7 Norfolk Lakes

Three quarters of Year 7 went to Norfolk Lakes this week for a team building outward bound trip. If you want to see what a great time they had, have a look at the photos on our twitter feed. I met them coming back into school on Wednesday when they looked tired but happy. Children who get free school meals went at a very reduced rate, but I’m conscious that there are many families who don’t qualify for FSM yet are finding it very hard to make ends meet. For the first time with this trip, we invited parents who could afford to, to pay a bit extra to help us provide subsidised places for families that needed them. I was pleasantly surprised by the number of families who chose to pay a bit more. I was also very pleased by the number of families who felt comfortable asking for some help to cover the cost.  It’s a good example of the community supporting those who need it.

Christmas Foodbank Collection

Another example of our community support is out foodbank collection. As a school that values compassion highly, we see the Christmas period as a time to reflect on the needs of others and find ways to support our local community. Each Christmas, we hold a food bank collection to give back to those who need our support, and this year is no different. In the final week of term, we would like to encourage students to bring in one item each to contribute to their tutor groups food bank hamper. Each tutor group will have a box within their room to fill during this week. We will be holding our annual Christmas non-uniform day on the last day of term, Friday 16th December. The food donation described above replaces our usual request of a £1 donation to charity this year.

Christmas closure

School will close for the Christmas break on Friday 16th December at 2.50pm and re-open for students on Wednesday 4th January.

Have a good weekend,

Andy Hunter

Executive Headteacher