Heads Letter 26 November 2018

Dear Parents and Carers
Youth Speaks Winners
Congratulations to Ellie Lewis, Luke Barnes and Maddy
Fisher (pictured). Led by Mr Ward, these Sixth Form
students won the Senior Youth Speaks competition held
at Bloxham School on Wednesday night. We could not be
more proud of them and their example in showing
enormous flair for both public speaking and
persuasiveness.
Sixth Form Drama Showcase
A recent Drama showcase explored themes such as the
subjective nature of memory and authoritarian
governance – referring to the news stories alleging that
the Chinese Government intends to rank their citizens
and use that data to restrict movement, employment and
leisure. The performance imagined a near-future
scenario where people are offered the possibility to wipe
‘bad memories’ but tension rises when disagreement
emerges on what constitutes a bad memory and whether
or not the deletion of bad memories deletes a part of who
we truly are as an individual. Not quite EastEnders then.
Congratulations to performers Tamzin Lawrence, JJ
Simpson, Georgina Housby, Izzy Evans, Lucy Edmunds
and Jodie Hackland. And my thanks to Mr Franklin!
Sixth Form Drop Down Day – Friday 7th December 2018
Last Friday, the Sixth Form were off site during the morning on the ‘Safe Drive Stay Alive’
event – designed to bring home the dangers of driving and the impact of accidents on
families and friends.
In two weeks’ time there will be the first ‘drop-down-day’ for Sixth Formers. It’s going to be a
packed and very mixed day that engages our students in some of the pertinent topics and
skills they will need for the coming years. Beginning with ballroom dancing (!), there will
also be workshops on art, music and drama relaxation/therapy, self-defence, drugs
awareness, cooking on a budget, sport and fitness and an in-house University Challenge. My thanks to Mrs de Bruyn and Mrs Davison for organising the event and for arranging for the visit of outside speakers and a huge array of activities and insights for our oldest students.
I Close My Eyes…
The big event is drawing near and kicks off with a matinee for local primary schools on Thursday 29th November. Public performances take place on Thursday (7pm), Friday (7pm) and Saturday (1:30pm). Tickets (£7/£5) are still available and we look forward to some packed houses. The rehearsals are going really well, the set is being painted and constructed and the staff and students are really excited about the really special performance on its way.
Speed Limit Consultation
I have again been asked to urge local families to join the final stages of the public consultation on the reduction of speed limits in the area. I understand that the proposals do not extend to the roads adjacent to the various local schools and this knowledge may encourage more of us to engage in that consultation and express our views. If you follow this link to the OCC website you will see that the consultation appears to be closed. However, the period of consultation has been informally extended to Friday 7 December and you can still submit your views directly to Christian Mauz, Technical Officer in the Area Operations Hub at OCC: Christian.Mauz@Oxfordshire.gov.uk.
Anti-Bullying Week Secondary Youth Conference – Oxford
Last Friday 16th November, seven students travelled into Oxford with Mrs Robertson (KS4 Pastoral Support) to participate in this annual conference. Open to all students, they were able to explore relevant themes in relation to the bullying and harassment that continues to exist in our society, with a particular exploration of LGBTQ+ bullying in schools and in society more generally. National research shows that the word “gay” is used as a derogatory term “most days” amongst 32% of secondary school pupils. Whilst our society is often unrecognisable compared to 25 years ago, there remains deliberate and inadvertent language and behaviours that damage the wellbeing of others.
Gift Box Appeal
During assemblies next week, your children will be able to reserve a flat pack box should they wish to take part in our appeal. We recommend that they gather together their gifts and pack them once they are at school during registration. Nearer Christmas we shall seek some volunteers to put ribbons around the boxes and deliver them to the Aspire offices in Oxford city centre. Thank you!
Yours sincerely
Barry Doherty, Headteacher