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Headteacher’s Letter 20 July 2022

Dear Parents and Carers

I have always wondered what it might be like to teach in a very hot country and now we know. In my final letter to you this year, I wanted to begin by drawing attention to next year’s Extratime programme. We have lots of really exciting clubs lined up for the autumn term.  You will find more information about the clubs, coaches and the booking form on the dedicated part of our website. You are able to make your payment on ParentPay to secure your child’s place, with reductions available for children entitled to the Pupil Premium.

Also, the Summer Term CNSNewsletter is about to be released and is full of great stories about all that has been going on in and outside our school since Easter – including the graduation ceremony for The Brilliant Club (see photograph opposite) and Archie Street’s incredible  achievements in athletics.

A Huge Thank You

In my last letter to you this year, I also wish to express thanks on behalf of all my colleagues, to you and your children.

Working in schools is too often portrayed as an arduous business. Notwithstanding the occasional difficult moment or day, my colleagues and I feel deeply privileged and happy to work at this school with your children, and with your unwavering support, encouragement and honesty.

I often say that we want teachers to be able to teach, and learners to able to learn. But this school is not simply a team of teachers. We must always remember the inclusion, pastoral, examinations, administrative, site and technical staff, whose dedication ensures that teaching and learning remain our central goal.

Next year we go again. After the challenging years around late 2015, the school has found both its feet and its voice for many years. Starting with Mr Duffy, catalysed by the River Learning Trust, and secured by the dedication of my colleagues, we are building something special at this school and our best days certainly lie ahead.

We expect great success in the GCSE and A level examinations, but we cannot let that ever be the measure of ourselves, or conclude that what has been achieved in the past will guarantee success in the future.

Over the summer we shall complete a huge investment in our IT infrastructure and devices (Wi-Fi, servers, classroom visual display units and laptops), that will accompany the huge renovation programme that has delivered the new sixth form centre, new dining room and main hall. Computer rooms will be completely overhauled and more paint, carpet and blinds added to a school that is approaching its one-hundredth birthday.

When September comes, all of these shiny new surfaces and objects will mean little if we do not continue to work as one to build the futures of your children. High expectations in all things, a relentlessly hopeful view of self and the future, combined with a growing wisdom within each child and amongst all teachers, can combine to build on previous strengths and be even better than before – both as individuals and collectively.

And breathe…

But, much as energy and passion are important, rest and reflection are equally necessary. And so, it’s time to sign off for now and wish you all a fabulously warm and enjoyable summer break. The school is closed until September, but we remain accessible to you if your children or your family are in need of help. As I have indicated above, we are more than just a six-hour-a-day school.

RLT Stakeholder Surveys

You may recall being asked to complete parent and carer surveys earlier this term. This was in unison with all students and members of staff. Attached to this letter is another letter from Mr Paul James (RLT CEO) about these surveys. In September, I will return to the findings of these surveys and illustrate how we plan to use them to pinpoint our specific goals for next year (and also reflect on the immense strengths they indicate as well).

Results Days

A level results come out on Thursday 18 August, GCSE results on Thursday 25 August: on both days, students can choose to come in to the traditional fanfare between 9 and 10 am – or receive a more discreet email if they wish. School reopens for the new year 7s on Tuesday 6 September, with all other year groups returning on Wednesday 7 September 2022.

Start of Term

Given the recent weather, the start of the new term will enjoy sports day on Friday 9 September, and those trips and visits due to take place yesterday, will now take place on Monday 12 September instead.

And finally…

Once your children have left this afternoon, we shall be saying farewell to those colleagues I mentioned a few weeks back. And then that is it… the 92nd year in this school’s history will end. Thank you again and have a great summer!

Yours faithfully
Barry Doherty, Headteacher

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