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Headteacher’s Letter 28 April 2023

Dear Parents and Carers

Thank you so much for the response to my summary of our progress as a school in last week’s letter. We try to reassure families that whilst we will never be complacent, we are of course proud and inspired by our students’ achievements in recent years and the endeavours of all members of staff. But we also know there is much to be done and we are enthused by the opportunities to improve year-on-year.

Year 12 Interview Challenge

On Wednesday of this week, our year 12s were hugely engaged in our annual interview challenge, which brings ten people from a range of professional backgrounds into school to interview all of our year 12s. It is an ideal opportunity for students to experience the pressures, expectations and opportunities of an interview – so that they will feel ready when an interview comes along for something they really want in the future. One of our interviewers said:

“I was very glad to have been able to come, and privileged to meet an extremely impressive group of young people. Our future is safe in their hands. Too often, young people get unfairly blamed for many perceived ills and bad behaviour but your cohort are a credit to both themselves and your school. We were all extremely impressed and reassured.”

Along with Mr Ward (Head of Sixth Form) and Mrs Davison (Deputy Head of Sixth Firm), I wish to publicly thank the following friends of the school for their time and support for young people in our sixth form: Charlotte Green (Vodafone), Tom Wright (retired Army officer and businessman), Jenny Macfarlane (Owen Mumford), Hannah Hewitt (Wise Investments), Judith Knowles (Careers Advisor), Kevin Hope (Nat West), Carole Sherwood (psychologist), Harry Goodman (IT), Stacey Hughes (HR Manager for Zurich) and Steve Cannon (vet).

Do you wish to ‘Get into Teaching’?

On Thursday 4 May, between 6:00pm and 7:00pm, the Oxfordshire Teacher Training team have organised a ‘Get into Teaching’ Information Event at The Swan School, in Oxford (OX2 7WP). It is a free event and an ideal opportunity to find out about the range of part-time and full-time programmes. More details can be found on their website. You can reserve your place by signing up through Eventbrite, the online ticketing and event provider, using this link. Once you have reserved your place, you will receive confirmation from Eventbrite and the training team will send you further details about the event.

Next Tuesday’s Industrial Action

I do not have any further information to add beyond that which has already been shared with you in my letter last week. Regarding Tuesday’s industrial action, if your circumstances have changed and you need us to supervise your children, then please contact my PA, Morag Robinson, ([email protected]) as soon as possible. In all other respects we hope that Tuesday goes as smoothly as yesterday.

Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board (OSCB)

I wish to share the news that Ms Hancock (Deputy Headteacher & Designated Safeguarding Lead) and Mrs Jackson (Deputy Safeguarding Lead) were jointly awarded OSCB’s trainers of the month for April and May 2023. Amongst the reasons for their decision was that they were, “… the first trainers to offer their school as a venue for face-to-face training for multi-agency practitioners after the pandemic, which was greeted with great enthusiasm by the OCSB and training delegates.” Safeguarding is one of the most fulfilling and demanding aspects of working in schools because it places us with children and families during their most difficult days. I deeply admire all of the DSLs I have ever worked with, given the central role they play in keeping children safe.

Annual RLT Parents and Carers Survey

Each year, all parents and carers across all schools within the River Learning Trust are invited to participate in the annual survey. Please do follow this link to the survey which begins with an introduction from Paul James, the RLT’s Chief Executive. The survey is open for two weeks, closing on 12 May 2023.

And finally…

Many amongst you will be aware that one week ago sixth form students from nearby Chipping Campden School were involved in a tragic road traffic accident.  Mr Ward and I have sent our deepest condolences to the school and we wish to make you aware of a fundraising page that seeks to raise money for the Midland Air Ambulance service. Please follow this link if you wish to donate.

I will be in touch again next week and until then I hope you have some nice plans for the first bank holiday weekend.


Yours faithfully
Barry Doherty

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