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Headteacher’s letter 14 October 2019

Dear Parents and Carers

Non-Uniform Days – Showing Character

Between us we raised £1552.57 on the day for Anna. We shall be forwarding those voluntary donations to the Just Giving page this week. This is more than we’ve ever raised on a single day. We have our first planned non-uniform day on Thursday 24 October (the final day of term for students). On that occasion, we shall be raising money for the first of our four school-sponsored local charities: THRIVE.

THRIVE is a local charity that undertakes some of the most inspiring and selfless work for local families that you can imagine. A little bit from us all will go an awfully long way to making the lives of local families more manageable and happy and we are proud to be associated with such a fantastic charity and fundraisers.  We shall be telling the students more about THRIVE in the next round of assemblies and active tutorials and hope we can achieve a similar outcome.

Just before Christmas we shall be supporting Aspire and also running the shoe box appeal again so that Oxfordshire’s homeless children and adults know they are surrounded by people who do care about their plight as well.

Our growing work with charitable organisations is part of our work on character education and the call for our young people to show how we can show our compassion for those in great difficulty

Night at the Musicals – Thursday 29 September 2019

We had another brilliant evening of musical entertainment a few weeks ago. There was a collection of solo, choral and flute ensemble performances from the Year Seven Choir, Holly Ibrahim, Maisie Frater, Jessica Bradford, Molly Day, Lola Burnett and Charlie Hill (aka Joseph). They were all superb and my thanks to Mr Brown and Ms Johnston for again bringing their students’ talents to the stage.

We know that homework has the potential to be of huge value and importance, but also a headache for students, parents, carers and teachers. This is why we our trying to raise our own game as teachers so that we all use Show My Homework really successfully.

Mr Gent (Assistant Headteacher) recently led some training with all teaching staff. He set out some principles that we are all expected to apply so that your children always receive very clear and very precise instructions. We expect there to be more preparation or practice as part of their homework.  We can see how quickly and enthusiastically almost all students are when we provide very well designed homework activities. For example, we shouldn’t be using vague terms like ‘practise’, ‘revise’ or ‘research’ without making clear our expectations of how a topic might be learnt, practised, revised or researched. Students should always be clear on volume (a two-page essay, at least ten flashcards, a brief summary), process (the steps to success, what to read when researching) and how they will be held to account (what they have to hand in). Wherever possible, we will provide scaffolds and support and signpost where help might be found.

If you have any concerns about the volume, regularity or quality of homework being set, please do not hesitate to make contact with the individual teacher concerned, or the Head of Year (or the link member of the Leadership Team):

Year 7: [email protected] or [email protected]
Year 8: [email protected] or [email protected]
Year 9: [email protected] or [email protected]
Year 10: [email protected] or [email protected]
Year 11: [email protected] or [email protected]
VI Form: [email protected] or [email protected]

Meet the Tutors
On Thursday (17 October) we shall be holding the “Meet the Tutors” evening for Years 7 and 9 parents and carers. This will take place in the Main Hall. We shall be welcoming in various community groups and agencies who you may wish to speak to or make contact with whilst you are with us this week. A series of PTCs will then run as follows:

Year 13 PTC: Thursday 14 November 2019
Year 10 PTC: Thursday 21 November 2019
Year 12 PTC: Thursday 5 December 2019
Year 11 PTC: Thursday 23 January 2020
Year 8 PTC: Thursday 13 February 2020
Year 9 PTC: Thursday 5 March 2020
Year 7 PTC: Thursday 23 April 2020

We shall be trialling a new online booking system at the Year 10 PTC and will make contact with those parents and carers after half-term to explain how it all works.

Site Safety
Starting today, the only way in and out of the school for visitors will be via the Main Reception. A series of improvements to our site over the past six months now secures all external doorways and ensures a more secure school site for the safety and benefit of all.

Yours sincerely,
Barry Doherty, Headteacher

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