Heads Letter 12 November 2018

Dear Parents and Carers
100th Armistice Anniversary – Chipping Norton Town
Just like so many of you, I attended yesterday’s
commemoration that included a parade and service in St.
Mary’s. It was a really moving event made even more
poignant by the presence of serving military personnel,
veterans and accounts of men who fought and died in the
Great War. Seeing so many of our students in their Cadet,
Scout or Guide uniforms, for example, extended my
awareness of the very strong community spirit that exists in
this town. I felt very humbled to be one of the many
hundreds present who will never forget the fallen, but also
the very special way that the town of Chipping Norton
Sixth Form Open Evening
On Thursday 15th November we will be welcoming Year 11 students from CNS and elsewhere
to our school (6pm to 8pm).
The evening will begin with presentations in the Main Hall at 6pm, followed by the
opportunity to talk to all of the teachers about the courses in more detail. At 7pm there will
be a special presentation for those students interested in learning more about our very
successful Oxbridge application process; led by Lucinda Rumsey, an Admissions Tutor from
The University of Oxford. Mrs De Bruyn and her team will be based in the sixth form centre
and therefore on-hand to answer any questions and show off our facilities. We hope to see
you there!
Christmas Gift Box Appeal for the Homeless of Oxfordshire
Please ask your children to keep an eye out for the launch of an
appeal for Christmas gift boxes. We will be working closely with
Aspire to see if we can collect 250 gift boxes for Oxfordshire children
and adults who will be without a home or even a shelter this
Christmas. Each box would contain approximately £5 worth of
goodies that might include: gloves, scarf, warm socks, sweets,
chocolates, shampoo, shower gel, brush/comb, toothbrush/paste,
hand wash, mini torch, notebook/pen, fidget toy or anything similar
that might help let someone know that we are thinking of them at this time of year. We hope
to provide interested students and families with a flat-pack box to fill and a volunteer group
will be asked to help deliver the gift boxes to the Aspire office in Oxford city centre.
Year 11 Rehearsals
Good luck to the Year 11s as they enter the second week of their rehearsals. We hope they are working as hard outside of school as they have been in those examinations halls. Plans are already in place for a Mock Results Day later this month. These rehearsals have two benefits. Firstly, it gives students and teachers an opportunity to get a very accurate picture of how well they are doing and what needs to happen to reach and exceed their target grades. Secondly, it enables every student to see the relationship between what they put in and what they get out.
Target Setting at CNS
There is already an established target setting methodology here at CNS. In recent weeks I have been contacted about this and it feels worth clarifying one or two things with you all.
 Starting with Alps and A-levels, we look at each student’s average GCSE grade and Alps then helps us use that information to set a target in each subject that would, if achieved, place your child’s progress amongst the top 25% of all students.
 Fischer Family Trust (FFT) data is used to help us set targets for all GCSE courses. We select FFT20 targets, which means that we look at your children’s Year 6 SATs data (the most reliable data-set available to schools) and then set targets for each subject based on how much progress the top 20% of students have made in that subject in the past.
FFT20 and Alps targets are ambitious and realistic. They also provide each child with a personalised target that is based on their previous performance. It does not try and compare your child to all other children – only similar children with very similar prior attainment.
All targets are minimum goals. If your child is given a target to achieve a Grade 6 in History, then you can assume this is a very achievable grade for him or her. But it’s worth remembering that similar students with similar abilities have actually gained higher grades than that and left with Grade 7s, 8s or 9s.
Our target setting approach fits the school’s strapline: being the best we can be. It reminds us that every child has a range of unknown futures but the one that becomes their reality hinges on many factors; including their willingness to learn and determination to succeed.
Parents’ and Teachers’ Association
A new PTA Committee is now in full swing and last week I was invited to their first full meeting of the year to explore fundraising ideas and potential projects. Already this year the PTA have provided refreshments at a range of school events, such as the Sports Awards in September or last week’s Year 13 Consultation Evening. In October, they organised a cake sale at Chastleton and raised the incredible sum of £541, for your children and our students. Thank you!
If you are interested in joining the PTA Committee, please do contact Morag Robinson in the School Office in the first instance (office.4010@chipping-norton.oxon.sch.uk). She will be able to put you in contact with the PTA team and explore direct or indirect ways you can help our school.
Local Speed Limit Consultation
Finally, I have been asked to make you aware (if you are not already) of a proposal to introduce 20mph limits on all of the five main roads out of Chipping Norton town. The deadline to submit comments has been extended to 7 December and can be found by visiting the Oxfordshire Country Council website. More information can also be found in the Chipping Norton News blog.
Yours sincerely
Barry Doherty