Headteacher's Weekly Update 7 - 20th October 2023
I hope this letter finds you and your families well; a Friday update for you as we reach the end
of the first half term.
I reflect positively on the first half term and am pleased with the start we have made to the new
school year. Year 7 have made a terrific start to their five-year journey with us, Year 10 have
impressed in their first weeks of GCSE study, we have settled in well to the new Willow building,
and our Open Evening for prospective parents was a huge success. There have been some
problems in the canteen, as we have adapted to our new caterers; thank you to families for your
patience here. Over half term, our mobile pod is being installed behind the Science department,
which will serve a range of hot and cold food options at break/lunchtime. Hopefully, this will
improve, yet further, our capacity in the canteen itself.
We have asked The Pantry to phase out the super sweet options in the canteen including
flavoured waters and doughnuts. Whilst these are popular, we don’t believe the high sugar
content is conducive to optimum learning. We anticipate that the full menu of hot meals will be
returned to soon after the half-term holiday.
There was an impressive array of activities going on, in and outside the classroom, this week
On Wednesday afternoon, a group of Year 9 students were invited to see a modern performance
of 'Medea' at Woodford County School for Girls. The version of 'Medea' was a fresh adaptation
written by Liz Lockhead, a Scottish poet and playwright, based largely on the original tragedy by
Euripides. It was wonderful for our students to be among other local schools such as Forest and
Brentwood, in support of the students at Woodford County. In other news, it is officially
#ClassicsTober. If you would like your child to get involved in this month's competition, please
ask them to see Ms Ahmet in the Willow building. Winners will have an opportunity to showcase
their entries on the Classics Twitter account (@KelmClassDept) as well as receive an R4 reward
point for their outstanding work and effort.
Similarly, Bloomsbury are running a creative writing competition to give girls aged 19 or under
the opportunity to have their creative work published alongside bestselling authors Madeleine
Miller and Jennifer Saint. If your child is keen to get involved, please see Ms Ahmet for entry
requirements. Another opportunity for keen Classicists; on Thursday 26th October at 6pm,
Classics for All will put Cicero in the dock, in a moot trial, charged with murder and misconduct
in public office. He will stand trial for acting illegally in the suppression of the Catillinarian
conspiracy when he was Consul in 63 BCE, in particular for procuring the summary execution of
five of the Catillinarian conspirators. Lastly, congratulations to students who have been
nominated 'Student of the Month' in Classics - keep up the amazing work!
ICEE Ltd were back at Kelmscott to work with a group of fifty Year 10 students. The sessions
were centred on students really focusing on purpose and understanding “what is their why?”,
looking at critical problem solving and reframing, and wellbeing. Students were incredibly
engaged and we received many compliments from ICEE Ltd on the mature discussions,
engagement and thoughtful contributions from our students. The session culminated with a
great debate on which is more important: material possessions or experiences? ICEE Ltd are
already looking forward to returning to Kelmscott School for session 2 in February.
The Bridge took a group of students ten-pin bowling this week, students competed against other
schools to win a trophy. They all mixed very well and were also able to achieve a few strikes.
Students really enjoyed the event, all earning a certificate as well as a medal. Their conduct
was impeccable throughout.
Year 11 Geographers went to Kings Cross to assess the redevelopment that has taken place
there. Students were given a tour of Coal Drops Yard, by Aidan Potter who was one of the
Architects involved in designing the redevelopment.
Our Year 10 photographers spent the day at Kew Gardens where they discovered some of the
largest and most diverse plants in the world. Students visited the iconic Glasshouses, Japanese
landscapes and a multisensory hive. They engaged in macro photography, focusing on capturing
natural structures and intricate details. Staff and students were excited by the opportunity to
explore the work of multidisciplinary artist Jeffery Gibson. The artist's practice incorporates
painting, performance, sculpture, and textiles, characterised by vibrant colour and pattern.
Students will be using their notes, photographs and artist inspiration to develop digital paintings
for their GCSE coursework.
On the sports pitch, our Year 7 football team had to endure some very harsh weather conditions
for their 2nd round cup match against Leytonstone. Kelmscott were ultimately defeated, but
admirably demonstrated our school's STORM characteristics; showing resilience, maintaining
optimism and motivation, in not giving up. Although the whole squad played well, a special
mention must go to Norbet Dobrovat, and Muhammad Ahmed. In addition, well done to Joe
and Kit Rigby who played very well on their debut for the school football team.
Some wonderful news now; one of our Climate Ambassadors, Zayn Bham, successfully applied
to become a representative for Transform Our World's Youth Panel and will co-create content for
the Youth Summit in April 2024. Congratulations Zayn!
Our non-uniform day took place on Thursday; always enjoyed by students. There were three
suggestions from students as to which charities we support on this occasion:
1. The mental health charity, Mind, has taken the theme of ‘Saluting Our Sisters’ and
published a fantastic article celebrating Black mental health heroes. The five inspiring
Black women that Mind has chosen to celebrate have all made significant contributions to
2. Save The Children – to support innocent children caught in the crossfire of conflicts
around the world
3. The Kelmscott School Hardship Fund
Thank you for everyone’s contributions.
A few opportunities to signpost to you now, in case they are of interest. Please find details of a
cricket opportunity for girls here.
A further legal opportunity for Year 10 and 11 students for just after the half-term holiday.
Esteemed law firm Linklaters is running a virtual event, details of the event and how to sign up
can be found here.
Details of a new Stem club for after the half-term holiday were announced this week by Ms Giles
in the Science Department. The club will run in W109 on Wednesday lunchtimes; please see Ms
Giles if you would like more information.
A few important dates now for next half term:
⇨ Year 11 Progress Evening Thursday 2nd November 4.30pm-7pm. It is vital that
we see ALL Year 11 families at this event please where you’ll have an opportunity to
speak to your child’s subject teachers.
⇨ Week beginning 6th November Year 11 Autumn Exams. A guide to helping your
child revise over the half-term break has been sent out to Year 11 parents.
⇨ Thursday 9th November – Tutor Parent Day. Families will come in for a scheduled
appointment with your child’s form tutor to discuss the start students have made to the
academic year. More details to follow in due course.
This year, the Flu vaccine is being offered to all year groups; Vaccination UK will be in school on
Monday 13th November and Tuesday 14th November 2023. Please see the attached
information about the Flu Vaccine and the link to the consent form. Please click on the link,
contained in the information, and complete the consent form for either the Flu spray or the Flu
injection. The consent form gives you the option to decline your child having the
vaccine, so if you do not wish them to have it, it is important you still complete the
form so that your wishes can be recorded.
Finally, congratulations to Kai Molloy in 11C who topped the rewards points charts last week with
an impressive forty, keep up the good work.
Following our slightly extended half-term break, we will return on Wednesday 1st November
at the usual times and through the usual gates. I hope you have a fantastic half-term
Mr Sam Jones