Dear Parents and Carers,

The start to our year is getting better and better. We’ve had fewer consequences points than in any three week period since I started here which I think is a result of the new school day, the much improved staff and the significantly raised expectations. School is calm and business-like.

As you know, staffing was a challenge for us last year, trying to get on an even keel after more than thirty staff left at the end of the previous year. That meant that a lot of staff last year were recruited from agencies, often abroad, and on short term contracts. One of my main aims last year was to recruit high quality, permanent staff. I’m really pleased that we are now virtually fully staffed with permanent teachers. There is one exception; a teacher who is with us from a supply agency covering a maternity leave in English, but even then she is a teacher we have employed in the past and have a very good relationship with. Several staff left at the end of last term, mostly because they were on short term contracts and had been replaced by permanent teachers. Only three teachers who left were on permanent contracts and all three left to take up posts closer to where they live. Three teachers from a staff of more than eighty is a very low rate of turnover.

It is my pleasure to welcome to the school the following teachers:

Miss Letts


Miss Waller


Mr Lorking


Miss Renee


Miss George


Mr Hirst


Mr French


Miss Bailey


Miss Walker


Mr Rann


Mrs Dorelli

Technology and Art

Ms Ryan                   Music

Presentation Evening this week was an absolute joy. It was good to be able to recognise the achievements of our students at both GCSE and A-Level. It was also especially good to see nominations for Governor’s Awards from all year groups. Congratulations to Gaia Costa, winner of the Chair of Governors’ Cup, and Max Boxall, winner of the Headteacher’s Cup – both new awards this year. We now have a trophy cabinet too, so we can display some of the things we’re most proud of.

It was good to see so many of you at the sixth form open evening last night. As I said in my last bulletin, we believe that a well-run, successful school sixth form is the best place for many students. Ours is a good sixth form offer and will only get better as the whole school continues to improve. My ambition is for HC6 to be not only the sixth form that Haverhill deserves, but a sixth form so good that people travel from other towns to get to it.

We are hosting a Unity Schools Partnership Haverhill Careers Fair today, opened by Matt Hancock, Secretary of State and MP for Suffolk. We are obviously delighted to welcome him, but if I’m honest, we’re more delighted that colleagues and students from Castle Manor and Churchill schools are attending the event. I know it has taken a lot of putting together, but I think it is this sort of joint working across the town that will have a really positive impact. Thanks to Mrs Singleton our careers advisor for her part in the organisation.

As part of our whole school drive to encourage our students to read more and more widely, we have, as part of our revised student handbook, included a number of pages dedicated to logging the reading they do every day. This has two forms- an individual reading log where students can log the title and author of any texts they have read and a group and paired reading log which will be used, predominantly, in class which is accompanied by guidance on reading aloud in an increasingly fluent way. It is vital for our students' outcomes, in all subjects, that reading is a regular part of their daily routine but also for their opportunity to experience and understand more about the world in which they live and that which has shaped it. Please encourage your child to read as often as they can. Twenty minutes a day can make a real difference to a child’s reading speed. As exams get longer and longer, the ability to read rapidly gives students an enormous advantage.

Following requests from students and the parents’ forum, we have made a commitment to go as single use plastic free as we possibly can over the course of the next year. The initiative is being led by a group of green-minded students, supported by Mrs Bramall and Mrs Newman. We’ll keep you updated as we go, but in the meantime please bear this in mind when packing lunches and snacks.

I’d like to remind you that there is a Meet the Tutor evening for the parents of Year 7 students on 2 October, 3.30pm to 6.30pm. The purpose of this evening is to allow parents to have a short conversation with their child’s form tutor about how they are settling. We won’t be able to give any detailed academic feedback because it is far too early in the year, but we will be able to give a sense of how things are going. There will also be some Go 4 Schools training the same evening. There is no requirement to come along, but every parent is welcome. Appointments will be booked via the online booking system – log in details have been sent out and people have started booking. If you haven’t received your details, please call the office.

We agreed at the last parents’ forum of last year that there was no longer the urgent need to meet every half term, so we would move to one meeting per term and see how that goes. The first parents’ forum of this year will be on Wednesday 20th November at 6.00pm in B Block breakout area. Any parent or carer is welcome to attend. The others will be on 11 March and 3 June.

Have a good weekend,