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  • Writer's pictureMr S. Jones

Headteacher's Weekly Update 9 - 10th November 2023

Dear Parents/Carers


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


It was nice to welcome so many of our families to school for Tutor Parent Day (TPD) on Thursday.

Having regular opportunities to meet with you and discuss your child’s education is very important to us here at Kelmscott. I know it is not always easy to shuffle work and personal commitments to

attend such meetings, so I am grateful that you found a way to make this work. I hope you found

the meetings useful. I hope too that students were able to complete the careers activities that were

emailed to them by Mr M Jones on Google Classroom. If they weren't able to do so on the day, I

would be grateful if you could ensure it is completed sometime this weekend.


I was disappointed to learn that the information, for the TPD, did not go out to families in a timely

fashion, I would like to apologise for this. It was particularly unhelpful for our Year 7 families who

have not experienced the day before and, as such, were somewhat in the dark, apart from my

communications in my Friday letters. We will do our utmost to ensure that relevant information is

sent out in good time for future events.


The lessons we have planned for students addressing the conflict in the Middle East will begin next

week. Our role as a school is not to tell students what to think, but how to think critically, as well as

respecting all of our community who have ties with different parts of the Middle East. It is crucial

that we recognise that members of our community are affected by this at the moment, and

regardless of their faith, background or viewpoint we respect and include them fully within our

school. We have more in common than what may divide us.


I must confess that as Headteacher, I am finding it challenging to navigate our way through this

complex issue as a school. One thing that is straightforward though, is that Kelmscott is a safe

space, and we want everyone to feel supported and included at this time. The images and dialogue on social media and the news are distressing, to say the least. I’m sure you are already speaking with your child, and making sure that they feel ok. It is vital that upset about this situation does not develop into hatred or anger within our community more broadly.


I thought this article about how to talk about this issue with your children may be useful to you.

Please contact us if your child is finding this difficult, or you are concerned about their reaction to

these events, we will do our utmost to support you with this. In addition, we would encourage you

to limit or monitor their use of social media to ensure they're not exposed to images that may be

distressing.


I believe that we need to be especially mindful of our language at this time, and please ensure your

child recognises that words matter. Whilst I’m sure we are all aware of this, it is worth reiterating:


● The terms Palestinian and Israeli refer to nationalities and Palestine and Israel are both

multicultural countries with citizens of many faiths

● Not all Israeli people support the Israeli Government, and not all Palestinians support Hamas.

Many Israelis and Palestinians, of all faiths, are united in wanting a peaceful resolution to the

conflict

● Citizens - whether Jewish or Muslim, Palestinian or Israeli - are not responsible for the

decisions made by the political leaders of Israel and Hamas

● The death and suffering of any fellow human, regardless of nationality or faith, is a tragedy


We will continue to keep a very close eye on the situation and support all of our community fully.


A student bike was stolen from the bike rack at the front of school last week, by an adult who

trespassed onto the school grounds. Regrettably, the bike was not locked up. Our Safer Schools

Officer (SSO) PC Owers is investigating the matter for us and reviewing the CCTV, which clearly

captures the theft. Please can all who choose to cycle to school, ensure that they lock their bikes up.


It is with great pleasure that I am able to announce the winners of the Black History Month creative

writing comp, run by Ms Ridler:

Winner - Hannah Arthur 8O - A moving poem about Harriet Tubman accompanied by a painting. I

am delighted that Hannah has consented to me sharing this fabulous piece of work.

Runners up -

Ikram Abdullahi 10L - Essay on Somali activist Hawo Tako.

Maleah Bangura 10E - Essay on the importance of Maya Angelou’s poem Still I Rise.


Special thanks to everyone who took part in this year’s competition, all who entered will receive a

certificate in the coming days.


This week Ms Sugathan began hosting a Numeracy Solar Panel Club on Thursday lunchtimes for

Years 7-9 in room K107. Working on a research-based project students will start to research how

solar energy can be utilised to generate electricity using solar panels. Students will conduct a survey around school looking at how beneficial solar panels at home/schools/buildings can be, progressing to small group work creating their very own Solar energy 3D models.


The Kelmscott Chess Championship will take place towards the end of this month. Those

progressing to the latter stages of the tournament will be selected to represent Kelmscott at the

Waltham Forest Chess Championships in the New Year. Any interested students should see Mr Eley

to sign up, please.


Finally, congratulations to Ozil Hussain in 8K who amassed the most rewards points in our shortened week, last week, with an impressive 17 – keep up the good work.


Mr Sam Jones

Headteacher

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