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Headteacher’s Letter 10 March 2023

Dear Parents and Carers

Hopefully, that is the end of the final blasts of winter and we all hope that spring really is on its way to the Cotswolds.

Industrial Action – Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 March 2023

Families will be aware of the latest round of industrial action by members of the National Education Union next week. This action is due to affect two consecutive school days. We continue to hope for a breakthrough in the next few days, but assuming this does not happen, now wish to set our plans for next week with families. On both Wednesday and Thursday:

Students in years 7, 8 and 9 are to remain at home and will be engaged in remote learning activities.

  • Just like on 1 February, work will be set via Show My Homework / Satchel One or Google Classroom by teachers who are not participating in industrial action. High quality supported self-study activities (lasting 60 minutes each) will be uploaded and those teachers will be available during school hours to respond to any requests for help or clarification.
  • Additional English and maths supported self-study activities will also be signposted (on Satchel One) for those students whose teachers are taking part in industrial action.
  • This means that all students will have at least five hours of study each day, and should use any remaining time to complete all outstanding tasks and homework.
  • The parents or carers of students eligible for a free school meal will again be sent vouchers in lieu of the two days.
  • Whilst the law does not prohibit your children being outside the home during the school day, we do expect that parents and carers will strongly discourage their children from socialising during school hours and falling behind with their assigned activities.

Students in years 10, 11, 12 and 13 must attend school as normal.

  • All lessons will take place at their normal time which means that the school day will end, as normal, at 3:15pm.
  • All bus, taxi and dining facilities will be running as normal on both days.
  • If a year 10 or 11 class is affected by industrial action then they will be supervised at all times.
  • On both days:
    • Year 10 students are expected to take their revision notes and guides for biology, chemistry and physics into school. They have mocks in all three subjects during the following week.
    • Year 11 students are expected to take all of their GAP work with them so that they can use any additional time to good effect.
    • Senior and pastoral staff will be on hand to support and guide both year groups.
  • On both days, sixth formers need to be ready to flip to supervised study and therefore have plenty of homework and revision with them each day.

As on the two previous occasions, the decision has been reached after very carefully analysing the number of classes likely to be affected and the number of staff and venues we have available to cover lessons. Ever conscious of health and safety, we are also keen to avoid disruption to the momentum of students’ learning whenever possible.

Whilst the school is closed to all children in years 7 to 9, we are again happy to supervise children if parents and carers wish us to do so. We hope this will offset any major difficulties families have in securing supervision for their own children. Please contact my PA, Morag Robinson ([email protected]) by 3pm on Monday afternoon, if you would like us to arrange this with you.

Self-Awareness = Growth

We know that we are a good school and that we want to be a great school. That journey takes time and more than a little bit of willingness to understand what we should be doing even better. You will be aware that we have peer reviews organised by the River Learning Trust and have welcomed three of these during this academic year alone. Our next ‘self-review’ will focus on year 8.

In the coming weeks, we plan on visiting lots of lessons and talking to lots of year 8 children and their families, as well as those staff who work with our year 8s in and out of their lessons. With this in mind, please look out for a letter from Mr Gent in the next few days that will invite year 8 parents and carers to take part and help us know ourselves better. Meanwhile, thank you to the 130+ students currently taking part in our sixth sense surveys!


Our wonderful attendance officer, Mrs Cox, is retiring just after Easter. This week we appointed Mrs Whyte, currently school receptionist, to this role and we look forward to going from strength to strength in this area.

Which means we now have a receptionist vacancy. Details of this and other vacancies can be found on our website and it might be perfect for another parent, just like Mrs Whyte, to join our school team.

Mouth Watering GCSEs

And to finish, some images of our students at work preparing dishes for their GCSE Food Preparation & Nutrition course. A huge thank you from Mr James to Mrs Manning, for her support for students (and Mr James!). Meanwhile, GCSE PE students have their practical assessment today. It’s all getting closer and closer for our year 11s but their readiness is growing.

Have a great weekend!

Yours faithfully
Barry Doherty

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