Headteacher's Weekly Update - 24th February 2023
I hope this letter finds you well; a Friday update for you, following our return from the half term holiday.
I trust you had an enjoyable half term and that students felt suitably refreshed and ready for the challenges of this half term. I always find that the pace quickens at this point of the school year, as the GCSE exam season looms large on the horizon.
Year 11 have been straight into the thick of it this week with their second set of Pre-Public Exams, sat in the exam hall. The results of these will allow us to assess where each and every student is in each of their subjects, and provide data to class teachers about specific areas that each student needs to work on, between now and May. There will be an opportunity for families to discuss these results, and subsequent targets for each subject, at the Year 11 Tutor Parent Afternoon on Wednesday 22nd March.
It was very nice to welcome Year 9 families to school on Thursday Evening for Options Evening. Year 9 are taking the process very seriously and many of them have already considered a sensible plan for their GCSE years. I am always proud of the broad offer we have at GCSE and know there is something for everyone, in terms of our options. I believe this is one of the many things that sets Kelmscott apart from other schools. Please click on the link to view Year 9 Options information and to access the SIMS online options portal: Year 9 Options | Kelmscott School
Thursday 2nd March is the next scheduled strike action that is taking place. Please see the accompanying letter detailing our plans for this. The final two strike days are scheduled for Wednesday 15th and Thursday 16th March. We will share our plans for these two days in due course. As Thursday 16th March was due to be our Year 8 Progress Evening, we have rescheduled it to the following week, Thursday 23rd March.
Year 8 DC1 Individual Reports have been sent to parents via the MyEd app today. Please click the link in the message to access the report. If you experience any difficulty accessing your child's report please email: email@example.com
Today, we came together as a school community pausing for a minute, in silence marking the one year anniversary of the war in Ukraine; a poignant moment in our school day.
There have been two incidents in school this week, where students have used either sexist or racist language, resulting in serious consequences for the two individual students involved. Whilst the vast majority of our student body would never dream of using such language, I wanted to remind you all of the importance we place on being such a diverse school. We talk often about actively celebrating diversity, and pride ourselves on an anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-homophobic, and suchlike, culture here in school. I know you will be discussing such issues at home with your child, we thank you for your ongoing support here.
A number of Prime energy drinks have been spotted in school of late. A polite reminder that all energy drinks are banned at Kelmscott, due to the caffeine and high sugar content. We would recommend that students bring a refillable bottle of water to school to stay hydrated during the school day.
On Tuesday 7th February, Kelmscott took part in Safer Internet Day. This year the UK’s theme was ‘Want to talk about it? Making space for conversations about life online’; a celebration by putting children and young people’s voices at the heart of the day, and encouraging them to shape the online safety support that they receive. Students engaged in discussions with their form tutors about their positive online experiences and how the Internet can be a safer place, after watching an assembly.
The UK Safer Internet Centre has provided a useful parent and carers guide to help keep your child safe with their phones, laptops, smart speakers, games consoles, tablets, smart TVs and social media guides: Parents and Carers - UK Safer Internet Centre There are also some useful top tips for students to help them use the internet safely, responsibly and positively. Resources for 11-19s - UK Safer Internet Centre These guides complement the Computing department’s Online Safety scheme of work which all Year 7 students receive.
Our students enjoyed the following co-curricular opportunities this week – Year 8 Art trip to the wonderful William Morris Gallery, and a visit to the inspiring British Museum for EAL students across Years 7, 8 and 9. Please encourage your child to take up as many of these opportunities as they can. We are tracking the activities that students are taking up, and will begin conversations with students who we would like to see taking up more co-curricular opportunities, later this half term.
Bags of Taste Waltham Forest are offering the opportunity to access free home cooking classes. If you would like more information and to sign up please visit their website: www.bagsoftaste.org
You will recall that in an earlier weekly update I referenced that electric scooters are illegal and are therefore not allowed to be brought on to school premises. This week I have noticed a small number of students arriving on an electric bike, and worryingly so, without any safety equipment. Electric bikes, we acknowledge, are potentially a greener option than using public transport or travelling by car, however they are unregulated and capable of speeds in excess of 15 mph. As an unregulated method of transport electric bikes are not to be used by students to travel to school and may not be brought on to school premises please. We would urge parents, if they have not already done so, to have a discussion with their children about the importance of wearing safety equipment when using bikes, scooters and skateboards. Many thanks for your cooperation and understanding here.
Finally, congratulations to James Mackenzie in 8L who topped the rewards points charts in the week before the holidays, with an impressive thirty-four – keep up the good work.
Mr Sam Jones