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Headteacher’s Letter 4 November 2022

Dear Parents and Carers

Welcome back to the new term and continued good luck to our year 11s and year 13s as they complete or commence their mock examinations. This is a long term with few interruptions which always means it is a period when all students can make very significant and rapid progress in their learning. We look forward to building on the good attendance of term one and encourage all students to aim for super attendance between now and the Christmas holidays.

Sixth Form Open Evening – Thursday 10 November 2022

Our first major event of the term will take place next week. Starting at 5pm (till 8pm) we have invited both year 10 and year 11 students to our sixth form open evening. We have remodelled the structure and hope it will enable each family to design an evening that suits both their timings and their course interests. Mr Ward, Head of Sixth Form, will be speaking on three occasions (5pm, 6pm and 7pm), with several presentations about each of our twenty courses running throughout the evening. We hope to see you there and that you learn more about our outstanding sixth form provision and outcomes.

Sixth Form Survey

Remaining on the theme of our sixth form, may I ask you to complete this anonymous survey (if you have not already done so) to explore thoughts and ideas about the future direction of our sixth form provision. We have received over one hundred responses so far but would value even more, so that we have a truly representative range of views to inform our thinking and planning.

Matilda – The Musical

Tickets are currently on sale for our production that is taking place between Thursday 1 and Saturday 3 December 2022. Whilst there are tickets still available, it is on a first come first served basis.  Tickets can be purchased via Parent Pay.

Road Safety

It is that time of year when the light and the weather increase the risk of accidents on our roads. We shall be reminding students of the basics of road safety in the coming days and stressing the importance of using road crossings at all times and ensuring no risks are ever taken when crossing a quiet or busy road.

Site Safety

Connected to road safety, we have also seen a rise in the number of parents dropping their children off on the bus park. In some cases, this has created unnecessary or dangerous levels of congestion. We understand that parents are often very busy indeed and do not wish to delay their journeys. Nevertheless:

  • If you drop your children off at school, please enter via the narrower entrance to the leisure centre and then leave via the wider exit from the coach park.
  • Cars should not enter directly on to the coach park and therefore be forced to block the movement of buses and traffic, and be forced to turn their vehicle in busy spaces.
  • All students must avoid walking in the bus park area. When students arrive, they must use the adjacent paths at all times and will be reminded to do so by bus drivers and staff as they arrive (and depart) each day.

We are blessed with a reasonably helpful site that enables a one-way system to operate. If universally adopted, we are able to minimise the risk to pedestrians and also speed up the average drop-off and pick-up times of families.

Admissions Consultation

The governors are consulting on the number of pupils who will be admitted to the school in Year 7 from September 2024. The proposed new published admission number (PAN) is 180, which is lower than the current admission number of 240. This new PAN reflects the demand in the local area which is projected to be about 169 pupils in 2024, and 163 pupils in 2025.

The reduction in PAN will not impact on students already on roll, and is not projected to impact on future demand for places, although eventually the number will need to increase in line with new houses in the area. The governors will work with Oxfordshire County Council to ensure there are sufficient places where there is demand in excess of the new proposed PAN.

The reduction in the PAN will help to provide financial stability for the school. This proposal will not impact the students or staff who are currently part of the school community. Comments on this consultation can be registered through this online form before 12 December 2022.


I hope the first week back has also been okay for you and your children. Getting back into those daily routines is not always easy but the weekend is almost upon us! Have a restful few days.

Yours faithfully
Barry Doherty

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