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Headteacher's Weekly Update 16 - 12th January 2024

Dear Parents/Carers

I hope this letter finds you and your families well; a Friday update for you as we finish the first week of the new half term. 

I have led assemblies this week, focusing on a re-set as we begin the new calendar year.  I have reflected on our recent successes but also explored what we plan to focus on, as a school, moving forwards.  One of those areas is the improvement of our outside spaces at break and lunchtimes for students; we would like to provide better facilities here.  I have asked students for their ideas which I hope are forthcoming.

Linked to improved facilities at break and lunchtimes is a demand from me for better behaviour at break and lunchtimes too.  Whilst I don’t believe there is a significant issue here, I believe there is room for improvement; I would like the impeccable behaviour I see in the classroom to be mirrored outside.  This is something we are going to keep a very close eye on moving forward.

I am aware that some students have received smart watches for Christmas this year.  As these operate, in many ways, like a mobile phone, with the ability to send and receive messages etc, they are not permitted at Kelmscott I’m afraid.  This conforms with JCQ, the exams regulator, guidance too as students would be removed from an exam if they were found to be wearing such a device.  I thank you for your support in this matter.

I was thrilled to welcome Kelmscott alumna Michelle Brefo to school on Wednesday, for a catch-up.  You may remember that Michelle began at Cambridge University in September where she is reading Human, Social and Political Sciences at Magdalene College.  Michelle embodied Kelmscott values when she was here with us, displaying incredible levels of hard work and determination to achieve her goals.  She continues to adopt this approach to this day and is an inspiration to talk to.

It was lovely to catch up with her and hear how well she is getting on at University.  Unsurprisingly, as well as her studies, she has also taken on positions of responsibility at her University and is currently mentoring a large number of current A-Level students, who aspire to study at Oxbridge.  Michelle has tentatively agreed to be our speaker at Year 11 Graduation this year, on Wednesday 26th June, assuming this doesn’t clash with the various internships she has planned.  This is definitely something for Year 11 students and families to look forward to.

Like many people, I always start the new year with a renewed focus on my health, increased exercise and a closer scrutiny of what I eat and drink.  It always helps me to feel very positive during what is usually a cold and dark half-term.  Bee Zee families continue their excellent work in the local authority, supporting families to maintain a healthy lifestyle, more information about how you can utilise their support, can be found here.

Given the cold weather and a brief flurry of snow this week, I thought it would be timely to share our adverse weather considerations.  If you didn’t see this on Wednesday, when it was sent, please find this separate letter here.

A timely reminder from the PE department for students to arrive at PE with their water bottles full.  During the cold weather students can cool rapidly and become very cold when they go to the water fountains to refill their bottles.  We ask that you please ensure your child is equipped properly, lots of layers including hats and gloves are recommended for PE lessons. 

Well done to the following students for topping the reward point charts in their year group last week, (and, in bold, for the whole school) - keep up the good work:

  • Year  7 - Haris Matloob, 7C with 25 points

  • Year  8 - Rebeca Sukai, Ana Maria Iordan and Linus Hopkins, 8E all with 34 points

  • Year  9 - Thyron Sydney, 9M with 31 points

  • Year 10 - Yasmine Debbah, 10L with 22 points

  • Year 11 - Kai Molloy, 11C with an impressive 36 points.  Kai is our Head Student and continues to lead by example in all that he does; keep up the outstanding work.

Here's to a happy, healthy 2024. With every good wish, yours ever,

Mr Sam Jones 





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