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  • Writer's pictureMr S. Jones

Headteacher's Weekly Update 8 - 3rd November 2023

Dear Parents/Carers


I hope this letter finds you and your families well; a Friday update for you at the end of our first

(half) week of the new half term.


Even though it has been a shorter week, we have done our best to pack as much into it as

possible. On Wednesday and Thursday lunchtime the art department held a ‘Day of the Dead’

Fiesta, students could partake in Mexican mariachi music and making hojalata (Mexican folk art)

as well as an ofrenda to honour Mexican artists. This activity also supports the learning in Year

8 art lessons. Lots of fun was had by all, not least by the art team who channelled their inner

Frida Kahlo.


On Thursday, our Year 9 students attended a Sustainable Careers event at the London Stadium.

They attended a workshop run by the BBC on sustainable career pathways within the media.

They also had an opportunity to speak with people from Balfour Betty, TfL, University College

London and many other companies. The day sparked many discussions on GCSE options and

future ideas for careers. Next week is Green Careers Week please click on the link to view the

parent's guide to Green Careers.


On Thursday evening, we welcomed our Year 11 families to school for the Year 11 Progress

Evening. This is a vital meeting for their child, between parents and individual subject teachers;

even more vital when we get to Year 11, given it is their final year of schooling with us. Thank

you to all of those who attended on what was a wet and wild evening, weather-wise.


Mr Lowe, our Head of Computing launched a competition this week. The UK Bebras challenge

will run from 6th - 17th November 2023. The competition is designed to explore students'

computational thinking and logic skills whilst competing against other participants in schools

across the UK. Students who would like to get involved, and have not done so already, should

see Mr Lowe on Monday 6th November.


A reminder to all parents/carers that it is extremely important to complete the Flu vaccination

consent forms as soon as possible if you would like your son/daughter to be given the

opportunity to have it in school. The form must be completed even if you are refusing it.

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

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. Please expect a call from Vaccination UK if you do not

complete the form on the attached link, as it says all wishes must be recorded.


A few external opportunities that I wanted to signpost, in case they are of interest to families:


1. Bee Zee bodies provide information and support to help families develop more of a

healthy lifestyle. They do some terrific work in the local authority. More information can

be found here

2. Goldman Sachs are providing some careers information for young people interested in a

career in finance, more details on this can be found here

3. Amazon are running an event to share information about apprenticeships within Amazon.

You can find more information about this and sign up on the following link

4. Deloitte, one of the most prestigious professional services and accounting firms in the

world will be hosting a virtual webinar via Zoom giving you an insight into Deloitte,

on Wednesday 15th November from 5.00pm – 6:30pm. If you’re interested in a career

at one of the Big 4 - you may be keen to get involved in this event. For more

information please follow the link or to sign up now:


Thursday 9th November, next week, is the first Tutor Parent Day of the school year. This is an

opportunity for you to meet with your child’s form tutor to discuss the start they have made to

the new school year. Year 11 have a slightly different focus, as the conversation will centre

around the college/sixth form application process. It is vital that families attend these meetings

with their child, students should be dressed in full school uniform, please.


We wish Year 11 the best of luck in their first set of Pre-Public Exams next week. I know they

have been working hard in preparation.


With the improved conditions for cycling in the Borough, the number of students using their

bikes to travel to and from school has increased; we have ample bike storage on the school site

to accommodate this. However, I ask you to please remind your child that any bike left should

be safely secured with a bike lock on every occasion. I include here some information

about cycle and road safety that may be of interest to you.


The news globally continues to be dominated by the Israel-Palestine conflict. The Senior

Leadership Team has been working hard to plan our response to this, including lessons for

students, as well as drop-in sessions for students to safely discuss this highly emotive topic. As

I have mentioned in my previous update, schools are apolitical institutions and, as such,

whatever we share, must always be factual and balanced, clearly avoiding taking any sides,

whatever our own personal beliefs.


Additionally, can I reiterate the importance of gleaning information from reliable and reputable

sources. Factually incorrect information is awash on the internet and on social media platforms,

and these can serve as somewhat of an echo chamber, potentially. I really do appreciate your

support, as always, on this particularly challenging and emotive issue, for all of us.


Finally, well done to Kirsten Singh in 7E who amassed the most rewards points last week with

a total of 50.


Mr Sam Jones

Headteacher

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