Headteacher's Weekly Update - 9th September 2022
I hope this letter finds you and your families well; a Friday update for you, as we complete our first
week of the new school year.
It has been a sombre day in school, following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Accompanying this letter is a message that I shared with students this morning during tutor time.
We also observed a two-minute silence, at midday today, to coincide with the bells tolling at
Westminster Abbey. Flags are being lowered to half-mast across the borough in a sign of respect
and a book of condolence is available in the reception of the Town Hall, Fellowship Square, for
those who wish to pay their respects. We will give further thought to our response, as a school, in
the coming days, with our own book of condolence likely.
Despite the emotion of today, it has been wonderful to welcome students back to Kelmscott,
following the summer holidays. I have been impressed with the start that students have made.
They have been focused, displaying high levels of motivation around the school. In assemblies I
gave to years 8-11 on Tuesday, I impressed upon them the importance of leading by example, to our new Year 7 cohort. It has been pleasing to see students, across the school responding to that
request, demonstrating the Kelmscott Way so brilliantly.
Special mention must go to our new Year 7 cohort, who have had a terrific week, making a really
good impression in all aspects of school life.
We were thrilled to hear that four of last year’s Year 11 cohort began their 6th Form studies this
week, at some of the best schools in the world. This is as part of our Royal SpringBoard programme, on fully funded bursaries. We now have two former Kelmscott students, at Wellington College; Zaynah starting in Year 12, joins Casey who is now in Year 13, two at Epsom College; Kimberley starting Year 12, joins Liviu now in Year 13, as well as trailblazers - Ansa starting at Kingswood School in Devon, and Haddy starting King's College in Taunton. We know they will go on to achieve things.
Families in Years 8-11 may not be aware that we have a new PE kit at school. It is much smarter
than our old kit, and is made of a different material that is better at ‘wicking away’ sweat, so I am
told. Students are welcome to wear their old kits, until such time that they need to replace them.
The cost difference between the old and new kits is between £6 and £20 more expensive, depending on whether you buy the tracksuit in addition to the shorts and t-shirt; I am conscious of this in the current climate. As always, please get in contact if there are any issues here, as we are always more than happy to support.
It was pleasing to see our new Year 10 Peer Mentors receive their training this week, in readiness for the work they will begin, imminently, with Year 7. They work closely with our new students,
supporting them with all manner of things as they begin their secondary school journeys. I know
Year 7 will reap the benefits of this in due course. The mentors wear badges, so that any younger
students can approach them with any questions or concerns. We will ensure students are aware of
this so we can maximise the efficacy of the mentors.
You will already be aware that we have a School Photo Day on Monday next week. As detailed in the communication sent earlier this week, these will be individual photographs used for our internal
database, which we then use to produce our student ID cards. When we receive the proof cards
from the photography company, we will distribute them, allowing families, should they wish to, to
order and purchase the photograph. Although we have had discussions around taking class photos, we moved away from this, as a school, due to the poor uptake, however, we may be able to return to this if we felt there was a demand. We will survey families about this in due course. At some point I am also keen to have a whole school photo, more to follow.
After some initial glitches with the MyEd app this week, cashless catering for our new Year 7 cohort, is now fully functioning. Please could families, from all year groups, ensure they have the app downloaded and link to your cashless account via the Payments button in the Student section. This is important because, in addition to it being our main communication link with families, it is now also used for all payments; lunches, trips and other items such as curriculum reading books and revision guides etc. It is also important to open the app regularly, otherwise it is deactivated.
Please get in contact, if we can be of any assistance here.
Accompanying this letter is an information flyer for a local authority programme, BeeZee which offers support to families around healthy eating, just in case it is of interest.
Lastly, a reminder for families of Year 11 students to respond to the communication regarding the
Preparation for Excellence evening please; this is an extremely important event to support our Year
11 students and we ask that families attend. Please complete the form by the deadline, Monday
12th September; it can be found by tapping the Forms button in the Student section of the app.
Thank you for your cooperation and support here.
Mr Sam Jones