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Headteacher's Weekly Update 6 - 13th October 2023

Dear Parents/Carers


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


The news this week globally, has been dominated by the Israel-Palestine conflict. The senior

leadership team have been working hard to plan our response to this, as we feel duty-bound, as

educators, to help our students understand what is happening. This always needs very careful

thought though, as schools are apolitical institutions. Whatever we share must always be

factual and must clearly avoid taking any sides, whatever our own personal beliefs. A few years

ago our History and RE departments collaborated to plan some excellent lessons for our

students on this very topic, they were well-received and managed to tread just the right line. I

will keep you updated as to our response in the coming days and weeks. I’m sure, like me, you

are concerned about the amount of unreliable information that swirls around on social media,

and the internet more broadly on this topic. One of the areas we address in school is

highlighting this, and emphasising the importance of only engaging with material from credible

and reliable sources.


It has been a busy week in school. On Monday we welcomed back the Globe Players who

performed three plays, An Inspector Calls, Jekyll and Hyde, and Macbeth, in front of a

190-strong audience of Year 10 and 11 students. As always, this was an enjoyable event that

deepened students’ knowledge and understanding of the set texts, in preparation for their

English Literature GCSEs.


On Wednesday the Computing Department took students from a mixture of year groups to the

Sky Guild Gaming Academy. The day involved a tour of the London Headquarters whilst

exploring sponsorships, current gaming players, and career opportunities in the Esports gaming

industry. Additionally, students had a session with a pro-player psychologist, exploring the range

of emotions experienced when gaming and strategies on how to manage them; this linked

closely to our STORM characteristics involving self-control, tolerance, resilience, and motivation.

The day culminated in a gaming tournament which was thoroughly enjoyed by all.


Also on Wednesday, a group of Year 10 students had their first session on the ‘The Best You’

project. The Best You is a 6-week programme of workshops led by motivational coaches. Later

in the programme, the group are taken to The Ben Kinsella Trust where they explore ‘the

preciousness of our lives’. The workshops consist of building confidence, self-esteem, and

motivation, providing clarity to identify career goals, creating a winning personal statement and

generally being proactive in a very positive way.


It was lovely to see many of our Year 7 families on Wednesday evening for the Information

Evening. It was clear that families feel their children have made a fantastic start to life at

Kelmscott; something we can attest to here in school. We will review the format of the evening

for next year though, as I think it could have run a little smoother, reducing the queues to meet

with the form tutors. Thanks to all those who were in attendance though, and for your useful

feedback that we will now action.


This week’s Black History Month competition is an opportunity for our creative writers. Students

are invited to choose a figure from the black community who inspires them and explain their

choice in the style of an essay, interview, or poem/song lyrics. The figure can historical, or a

contemporary figure who is making history now. The deadline for this competition is 1st

November; interested students should speak to Ms Ridler for more details.


Some Law work experience opportunities for Year 11 students over the half-term holiday have

been shared with me, which might be of interest to some of our students; details can be found


The Year 8 football team were victorious again this week with a 4-0 win over Norlington School.

Scorers were Sercan Kucuk, Esa Bham, and Elsi Cuka who scored two; that brace earned Elsi the

Player of the Match honours - well done to all involved.


Next week is the final week of the half term, how quickly it has gone. We break up on Friday

20th October at 3.10pm. A reminder that our half-term holiday is extended by two days, staff

and students return for the new half term on Wednesday 1st November.


Finally, congratulations to Sahil Atique in 10C, who topped the rewards points charts with

thirty-nine last week. Well done and keep up the good work.


Mr Sam Jones

Headteacher

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