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  • Writer's pictureMr S. Jones

Headteacher's Summer Update for the New Academic Year - 31st August 2022

I hope this letter finds you well and that you have had a good holiday so far. A summer update for you, as we near the end of the summer holidays, and the start of a new school year.

Year 11 were in school on Thursday, last week, collecting their exam results. I'm thrilled to report our best ever set of exam results across the board. Below are some comparisons with our last set of GCSE results in 2019, just before my headship began:

  • Number of students achieving a 4 or above in English and Maths up 10% to 60%

  • Number of students achieving a 4 or above in English up 4% to 75%

  • Number of students achieving a 5 or above in English up 6% to 60%

  • Number of students achieving a 4 or above in Maths up 15% to 66%

  • Number of students achieving a 5 or above in Maths up 17% to 45%

  • Big increases in Triple Science and Combined Science results

  • 17/20 additional GCSE subjects’ results increased

  • A number of students who secured all grade 8s and 9s

When compared to the other secondary schools in Waltham Forest, we are the most improved school, which is really pleasing for us. This is just the start though, as there is more that we want to achieve, in the coming years. It is wonderful that the hard work of all the school community has been recognised, by these results.

I would like to say a huge well done to our departing Year 11 whose last ‘normal’ year was back in Year 8. They have had to endure so much, so to see so many happy faces on Results Day was really heart-warming, with the vast majority off to their first choice Post 16 destination. Their hard work really paid off, we can’t wait to see the successes they achieve in the future, and hope they will stay in touch.

A reminder to families that the Leisure Centre car park next to the school now operates an Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system. Any car, in the car park, for longer than ten minutes will receive a fine, if a ticket is not purchased. Concessions are made to Blue Badge holders, of course, as well as a number of students who need to be dropped off and picked up each day, for different reasons – we have provided a list of these students for the leisure centre. Can Blue Badge holders and concessions please ensure they log in at the Leisure Centre reception for the first two weeks. If you have any queries about this, please let us know.

For families dropping students elsewhere, please ensure this is done safely; there have been far too many drop offs on Queens Road that have compromised the safety of students and other members of the local community. With ten minutes grace, it is possible to drop off safely in the Leisure Centre car park.

A reminder that we have phased out masks in school. This was to ensure that communication between students and adults in school is as good as it possibly can be. There were a very small number of students still wearing masks at the end of the school year, I hope the additional time provided has given them the confidence needed to now dispense with masks. If that is not the case, please let us know via your child’s form tutor; our Student Health Manager, a trained paediatric nurse, will work with the student and family to help. Many thanks for your continued support in this regard.

You will have no doubt seen the serious concerns raised about the social media behaviour of a man called Andrew Tate. He uses the platforms to push some worrying misogynistic views. I know you’ll be on top of your child’s social media use and online profile, but wanted to flag this up just in case you aren’t aware.

As I always do at this time of year, I would like to remind families about our stance on two very important issues:

1) Weapons - if students are found to have been in possession of a weapon on site, or on their way to or from school, it is likely that they would be permanently excluded from Kelmscott

2) Drugs - if students are found to have been in possession of drugs on site, or on their way to or from school, it is likely that they would be permanently excluded from Kelmscott

The safeguarding of our school community will always be my number one priority. I am proud that Kelmscott is such a safe place to be.

Please ensure that you have downloaded MyEd as this is our main communication channel with our families. This is also linked to PlusPay which is now used throughout the school to top up your child’s lunch account, pay for trips, and buy items such as curriculum reading materials and revision guides. If you already have MyEd downloaded, please ensure you open the app to reactivate it, ready for the new academic year.

Look out for some information from Mr Eley, Deputy Headteacher, about the introduction of a Parent Forum later this school year. He would like to improve our engagement with our families and this would be a great way for parents/carers to get involved with some key issues we face as a school. We would love to hear from you.

Finally, some important reminders to highlight for the term ahead:

  • Thursday/Friday 1st/2nd September – Inset Days, staff only

  • Monday 5th September – Year 7 only start

  • Tuesday 6th September – All years groups in school

  • Friday 21st October – break up for half term 3.10pm

  • Wednesday 2nd November – 1st day of new half term, usual timings

Please note the unusual return date from the half term holiday, a longer break for students and staff than usual. This has been created in lieu of some additional, out of hours, training that staff are undertaking. We believe the training, on managing behaviour, will be very beneficial to staff as we continue to boast impeccable behaviour at Kelmscott. We also believe the longer holiday will be of benefit to the wellbeing of students and staff alike, during the longest, and arguably, most challenging term. This may be a model that we continue in future years, but this will be reviewed, with all stakeholders including yourselves, later this term to see how it worked out for you.

Please note that term and event dates are now available on MyEd by tapping School Diary then the blue Upcoming Dates button at the bottom of the screen. If you would like to add an event to your personal calendar, just tap the blue + sign next to the event name.

A polite reminder that holidays should not be taken outside of holiday time. Our teachers do brilliant things with our young people in the classroom, as this year’s results testify. They can only do this if your child is present, many thanks for your support here too.

We have been busy over the holiday period with a number of jobs, including re-decorating the classrooms in the annexe building. The new light, bright spaces will provide a more suitable environment, spaces that I hope the students will be proud to study in.

Finally, I know we are very much in the midst of a cost of living crisis, exacerbated by the energy bill increase that we will see in the coming months. A reminder that we have a Food Bank here at Kelmscott for our community, please reach out via foodbank@kelmscott.waltham.sch.uk if we can be of assistance. We have also opened our own uniform shop with pre-owned, but good quality Kelmscott uniform, if that can be of use. Please use the same email in the first instance or get in contact with your child’s form tutor or Head of Year.

I’m very much looking forward to seeing you all at the many events, such as Progress Evenings (formerly Parents’ Evenings), later this school year. Please get in touch if you have any questions or queries ahead of the new school year.


Yours sincerely


Mr Sam Jones

Headteacher

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