Head’s Newsletter -3rd May 2024

Dear parents and carers


We are almost in full swing with the exam season now and it has been pleasing to see how focused and committed Year 11 and 13 have been since we have returned from the Easter break. With that in mind, please look out for further communication from the year teams regarding leaver’s assemblies, arrangements for the final day in school and provision for students during the school day beyond their ‘final’ school day but when they still have exams to sit. This will mainly apply to Year 11 and particularly students who use schools transport to get to and from school. Mr Jackson will communicate these important messages in the next week.


Wollaston’s Deputy Head, Mr Towers, will also communicate with you prior to half term about updates to our behaviour system that we have been working on this year and changes that will be made from May half term. He will also provide some detail about a strategy that we have been working on to develop students’ behaviour for learning. This is called ‘Learning Modes’ and will be trialled over the next few weeks in art and design technology. The premise of learning modes is to signpost to students expectations at each phase of the lesson, be it teacher instruction, group work or independent work. It will allow for every minute of a 50-minute lesson to be maximised and the intention is to provide clarity for students about expectations, provide consistency across faculties and to eradicate any low-level disruption as all students will know and understand what they should be doing in any given ‘mode’. Mr Towers will also be doing assemblies with students to formally introduce the strategy at the point of rolling it out across all curriculum areas.


Year 7 have an upcoming residential trip that will see over half of the year group out of school for three days. For those students not going on the trip, there will be some reorganisation of the remaining members of the year group into classes and for some a slightly amended timetable to ensure the smooth operation of the school and curricular provision for the students remaining in school. Head of year 7, Mr Rees will communicate details of this with families in advance of the trip on 15th May.


Sad News


Last week, we were informed of the very sad news that a member of our kitchen team, Gail Walker, who had been battling cancer had sadly passed away. Gail had worked on the kitchen team since 2017 but had worked at Wollaston in excess of 20 years having first worked as part of the cleaning team. She will be greatly missed, and we send our condolences to her family at this sad time. Gail’s funeral will be held on Thursday 16th May with some of our staff attending particularly from the kitchen team. Therefore, this will mean that due to these exceptional circumstances on Thursday 16th May, the canteen will operate as normal but there will be a reduced menu. I thank you in advance for your understanding.



PE Updates


Mr Bennett writes: ‘This week the Year 9 netball girls were competing in the final matches of the district competition and were sadly beaten in the final by Ferrers. The girls have been superb in their work and efforts throughout the year and in their recent netball leadership for the primary schools. They should be very proud of their efforts.


The Year 7 rugby team were playing in the county 12-a-side tournament and were pitched against some very strong opponents. The boys played hard and committed themselves to the matches and Mr Roberts was delighted with the way in which the boys progressed in their skills and really started to improve their gameplay by the end of the day.’


PA Arts Updates


Mrs Paltridge writes ‘On Tuesday 30th April, the year 12 and 13 Drama groups went down to The Old Vic Theatre in London to watch a performance of ‘Machinal’; a really rare opportunity to watch a play studied for the A Level exam.  The 6th form group travelled by train and manoeuvred their way on the tube to the theatre.  The performance was colourful, dynamic, and really challenging; showing that theatre really does have the power to make us question what is acceptable in society today and how we treat those who don’t fit the accepted ‘role’ they feel they’ve been allocated in life.  Although it was a very late return, the trip was an incredible experience, and the 6th form were simply outstanding ambassadors for Wollaston School.’

Best wishes for the week ahead.


Simon Anderson