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  • Writer's pictureMr S. Jones

Headteacher's Weekly Update 30 - Friday 10th May 2024

Dear Parents/Carers

 

I hope this letter finds you and your families well; a Friday update for you as always.  

 

I finished last week’s letter with an acknowledgement and apology for some issues we were having in the canteen.  Very disappointingly, we have experienced similar issues this week too.  Our caterers, The Pantry, have changed their supplier which has caused many of the problems, as they simply haven’t had the ingredients to cook with.  The whole situation is wholly unacceptable though.


We have had students going hungry as they didn’t want to face a long queue, students late for lessons as service has run over, students dissatisfied, rightly so, with the quality of some of the food on offer.  It is simply not good enough.  Many thanks to those of you who took the time to inform me of the extent of the problem,  I met with The Pantry today to talk through the issues.  Here was their response and the plan to improve things here on in: The Pantry have apologised profusely for the levels of service, and promised that things will improve dramatically; their actions must now speak louder than their words, of course.  They have promised a few instant improvements such as; an improved production plan in order that sufficient food is being ordered so it doesn’t run out, menus on display, labelling of food at the counter, flavoured water that is high in saccharin to be replaced with just water and fruit juice etc.  There will then be something of a re-set after the May half-term holiday with a new menu being launched, amongst other things.  In addition to this, a staff training plan is to be put in place to improve efficiency during service as well as other areas.  I plan to survey our families towards the end of June, to glean your thoughts as to whether improvements have been made or not. This feedback will inform a subsequent meeting we have scheduled with the Pantry in early July.  In the meantime, please keep your feedback coming, warts and all.


Our Year 8 footballers competed in the Waltham Forest playoff finals this week.  They were victorious in their semi-final against South Chingford (Rushcroft), and then had to face Frederick Bremer in the final. I’m thrilled to report that the team were victorious winning 2-0.  Special thanks must go to Azi Bham, Kelmscott alumnus, ex Head Boy and Deputy CEO at Salaam Peace, who has coached the team this year.  He has been so giving of his time, helping the players improve as a team, but also develop as human beings.  What a terrific role model he is.


More sporting prowess to report now, Ada Yeow in 7S who won gold for 50m backstroke and silver for 50m breaststroke in last weekend’s South London Summer Swimming Championships.  If she continues to impress, she may have the chance to compete at the Nationals later this year; very impressive indeed.  I am always grateful to families informing us of such feats, as students are often too modest to mention it themselves.  Keep this sort of information coming please, about our super talented and accomplished students.


Ms Hill has asked me to share details of an art project linked to sustainability.  On Wednesday 8th May we successfully launched our Sustainability Art Project.  Every Wednesday for the next four weeks, based in K206,  students will have an opportunity to design and paint a planter which will be used to grow sunflowers from seeds.  We are taking inspiration from the bright bold prints of Yinka Ilori and want to show how we can recycle and upcycle items from around our homes to grow plants and seeds.  There will be a prize for the best pot.


Ms Dempsey shared congratulatory news that some of our Year 10 artists work is on public display in the [Here] Story - a free exhibition on display at UCL East – One Pool Street.  Inspired by Emma Hart’s Hear, Now, students expressed their histories, identities, and voices; using the medium of print, they’ve shared how East London has shaped their artistic expression, as well as their personal histories and growth. 


Following on from the in-house workshop last week, students were excited to see the production of "Machinal" at the Old Vic this week; students were captivated and thoroughly engaged.  The play, set against the backdrop of 1920s America, offered a poignant exploration of societal pressures.  The moment the lights dimmed, students were immersed in the gripping storyline and amazed by the stellar performances.  Students hadn't, up to this point, experienced a fully darkened theatre, but the experience left students with a deeper understanding of the role lighting plays in theatre. The play sparked lively discussions about mental health and the use of staging for theatre among our students.


Iman Fatima in 10M recently took part in the Jack Petchey Speak Out Challenge digital quarter-final, and although she did not progress to the semi-final, she did exceptionally well competing against hundreds of other students from many different schools.  Iman receives a well-deserved certificate and our congratulations on this a fantastic achievement.


Last term our Classics Department hosted a Speech Writing Competition, delving into contentious topics like the morality of breaking the law, the justness of punishment, and the rightful ownership of museum artefacts.  After an overwhelming influx of entries, the department proudly announces the 2024 winners: Armita Yadollahi 9C, Augustine Essiaw 8S , Deepmoy Pal 9S, Lass Swara 8S, Leonardo Festante 8S, Olive Crawford 7T, and Tabitha Mastrangelo 7C.  Our congratulations to these outstanding students, alongside all participants who showcased remarkable talent and insight.


We have been made aware of a series of books called The Twisted Series, that students may be reading, which, in our opinion, are very inappropriate for secondary-aged children to read.  If your child has copies of these books, I would urge you to read them to see whether you agree that they are inappropriate. These books have been trending on TikTok, but they are not aimed at young people, and have an age rating of 18. They deal with topics of a sexual nature that are not appropriate for younger readers. For your reference I have included an example of the book covers below:


We have been enjoying the warmer weather this week in school; can I take this opportunity to remind you about our uniform expectations, particularly around the wearing of blazers.  If students are too hot, in weather like we have had this week, the first item of clothing to be removed is a coat or jacket.  If students are still too warm, they can remove their jumper, as this is an optional item of uniform.  If they are still too warm, they are permitted to take off their blazers, but these must be held in their hand.  As the blazer is the most expensive item of uniform students own, we do not want them getting spoiled by being stuffed in a school bag, alongside pens, packed lunch and similar.


Consequently, we should never see students without their blazer but with a coat on, or without their blazer with a jumper on.  This includes the journey to and from school, where students represent our school in the community.  We are proud of the reputation we have as a school and always want this to be upheld.  Many thanks for your ongoing support here.


We received a kind donation from the Asda shop, opposite us on Markhouse Road, this week, for the Kelmscott Food Bank. If any families would like to take advantage of this, please email foodbank@kelmscott.waltham.sch.uk  and we will organise a discrete delivery for you.  Times continue to be challenging for many in our community and this is just what the Foodbank is designed to support.


Finally, congratulations to the following students who topped the reward points chart for last week, with a special mention for Alex Wild in 10L who topped the charts for the school with thirty-one points – keep up the good work.


  • Year  7 Ryan Usman Khan 7S, for the second week running,  with 24 points

  • Year  8 Maisy Allen 8T with 21 points

  • Year  9 Anjum Suhail Seema 9S with 18 points 

  • Year 10 Alex Wild 10L with 31 points

  • Year 11 Lucas Gaspar De Bona Sartor 11S with 21 points


With every good wish,


Mr Sam Jones 

Headteacher 

 


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