Head’s Newsletter – 27th January 2023

Good evening

This week we held our ‘Excellence Tie’ event, a rite of passage for Year 11 students who have shown persistent and consistent high performance in their attitude to learning and/or who have overcome personal challenges to demonstrate excellence. It is an evening that has fast become one of my favourite Wollaston events and it was a lovely to see our Year 11s revelling in the recognition, honing their ability to tie a ‘real tie’ and enjoying each other’s company. It is a really nice opportunity for me to also express my pride to them as a cohort, not only for the promise of great academic success, but also in the way they are our culture creators providing great examples of kindness, community and ambition to all of our younger students. I do believe their example will inspire our younger students  to work towards an excellence tie when they are in Year 11!

Today marks Holocaust Memorial Day and I visited the Year 11 assembly, led by Mr Hopkins and delivered in a large part by our Holocaust Ambassadors. Together they gave a deep and powerful insight into what they learned during their trip to Poland prior to Christmas. It was an immensely powerful message delivered by our young people and I would like to thank them for their time this week, delivering assemblies to all Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 year groups. They were exceptional.  The work that students have done this week around Holocaust Memorial Day will contribute greatly to our half term’s focus on inclusion and their understanding of how we can all contribute to making society an accepting place where everyone is valued. The assembly was extremely evocative and is definitely worth a conversation about around the dinner table over the weekend!

Our Eco Student Leadership group are working hard towards gaining the Eco Schools Green Flag award and as part of their work they would like to encourage as many students and families as possible to take part in the RSPB’s Big Birdwatch. Families can sign up on the RSPB website (Dr Sheldrick has also put a link on Go4Schools) . What we’re looking for is for as many families as possible to participate- it requires an hour of your time over the weekend to between Friday 27 and Sunday 29 January counting the birds, and uploading what you see onto the RSPB website. It’s free fun for all the family and will help conservation in the local area.


House Events

This week we held a brand new house event, University Challenge.  Combined staff and student teams took on a series of starter questions and then bonus rounds to be crowned champions.  This competition was extremely tough and the audience had great admiration for our participants who clearly have amazing knowledge of all things History, Science and Number.

An example question for you, ‘Give the result, in binary, of adding the binary numbers 110 and 11.’

The answer will be revealed next week.

So our winners were Austen house who now have a lead in the championship, runners up were Churchill who were then followed by Nightingale and then Drake.


NEU Strike Action

I have been working with the NVP and the NEU this week to risk assess our provision for next Wednesday 1st February and to establish how we can operate safely during strike action. I will correspond directly with families this evening to share our current plans.

Best wishes for the week ahead.

Simon Anderson