Dear Parents and Carers,

It has been good to welcome your children back to school this week after what I hope was a restful and enjoyable half-term break. I also hope you escaped the worst effects of the storms across Suffolk that week. Amazingly, there was no damage to the school site at all.

Ready, Respectful, Safe

Our focus on students being properly equipped for their learning, the “ready” aspect of our “ready, respectful, safe” code, is off to an excellent start.  We believe that being suitably prepared for your work/school day is a vital life skill.  During the past week several hundred students have replaced missing equipment by buying it (at cost) from our student window.  From Tuesday the 8th we will regularly check in lessons and tutor time that students have all the equipment they need.  Students who forget something one day will be given a chance to correct the issue, but those who come to school without the full equipment on more than one day will be issued a 20-minute detention to be sat after school on Fridays.  A reminder that the minimum equipment needed is planner, two pens, two pencils, a rubber and a ruler.  We strongly recommend students bring a calculator.  All of the basic stationary can now be bought from the student window. 


Our covid numbers are the lowest they have been for a long time. One member of staff and eight students are currently confirmed with covid. To put that in context, there are around 1,400 people on site every day.


Both students and staff are keen to support the people of Ukraine. The sixth form have collected donations for the Haverhill based Matilda Rose Action Squad appeal, but we are aware that not every family will have the items they are requesting. We will be holding a whole school non-uniform event next Friday when all students and staff will be invited to donate a minimum of £1 in return for wearing non-uniform. The proceed will be donated to the Disasters Emergency Committee, a group which includes Action Aid, Oxfam, The Red Cross, Save the Children and many other charities. Every pound we donate will be matched by the UK Government, so this is a good opportunity for us to make a real difference.

This is not a comment on the political rights or wrongs of the situation; it is a reflection of our desire to help people who have lost their homes, livelihoods and belongings.

There is another non-uniform day in the calendar for the week after to celebrate Comic Relief Day. I think it is important that we don’t prioritise one group of charities over another, so we’ll continue with our plans to support that worthwhile event as well.

Careers and Aspirations Events

A group of Year 10 students spent a day visiting Saint Catherine’s College in Cambridge recently, where they attended a lecture, met some Cambridge students and enjoyed what looked like a very nice lunch. Next week sees the start of the SWA Brilliance Club, an academic research group for students in Years 9 and 10 which will be looking at the impact of the pandemic on young people. That group will also be supported by the University of Cambridge.

Starting in the middle of March, another group of students will have the opportunity for weekly discussions with graduates from Balliol College, Oxford, to give them a taste of what they could expect from studying there. Also in March, there is a Graphic Design Dragon’s Den competition, led by the University of Suffolk, open to Years 9 and above. Later in the year, we are hoping to take all of Year 10 to visit the University of Suffolk open day in Ipswich.

Finally, we are finalising the plans for the Aspire event in April, where parents and students from all year groups are invited to join us at The Epicentre to explore opportunities in higher education.  For more details on any of those things, please contact Ms Cavilla Perkins at the school or visit the Aspire and Careers sections of the website -

Have a good weekend,

Andy Hunter