Head’s Newsletter – 6th January 2023

Happy new year! We were really pleased to welcome all students back to school on Wednesday and I am pleased to say that all students have made a terrific start to the term. My particular highlights so far this week have been visiting Year 11 lessons as they work through their mock papers and complete follow up activities. It has been really satisfying to see how well Year 11 have focused their attention to the mocks and are working systematically through their feedback. The year 11 reports were published on Go4Schools this morning.

With a shortened week, I have little news to share with you regarding news so I would like to take this opportunity to inform you in a little more detail about our pastoral programme for the half-term. The changes to the timing of the school day has afforded us the opportunity to have a longer form period each morning where we can work with our young people on some key aspects of their personal development. This includes PSHE and of course the statutory provision for Relationships and Sex Education, engagement with British Values and also engagement with behaviour and character activities to help them to develop into young adults who can flourish and thrive in modern society.

This half term we will be focusing on the theme of inclusion and specifically how as individuals we can contribute to maintaining our community as one where all students feel safe and valued as individuals. There are three key events coming up this term that will help us to explore the concept and practice of being inclusive as a community: Martin Luther King Day, Holocaust Memorial Day and also February is LGBTQ+ History month. These events will allow students to consider topics such as prejudice and discrimination, how allyship can develop inclusivity at the school and in our local communities and also how we can be curious about the world we live in rather than judgemental. I am particularly looking forward to hearing from Mr Hopkins and the students who visited Auschwitz during December. They will lead the assemblies focused on Holocaust Memorial Day later and I am sure their trip and experience will provide a powerful context to the discussion of how we can learn from history and ensure that discrimination, and the language of hatred or exclusion has no place in our communities.

With one term complete, we have already made significant developments as a school, in particular with our new rewards and recognition system where all year groups have received over 20,000 events logged on Go4Schools in recognition of their efforts between September and December. This is a staggering accomplishment for all year groups! We have also seen more students becoming involved in the development of our school with the new student leadership programme as well as high participation by students in our extra-curricular provision. Whilst we are clear on our areas for development, I would really value your feedback on the education we are providing for your children. If you could spare a few moments to complete the survey HERE, this will help us continue to develop our support and provision.


Mental Health Support Team

Further to our previous bulletin information regarding the Mental Health Support Team, we are now moving forward with finding out the views and concerns of our pupils, parents and staff regarding mental health and wellbeing.

To do this, we will be carrying out audits which have been designed by the MHST and who will be pulling together the responses to help us get a clear feel for our current position.

Pupil and staff responses will be facilitated in the new year when we return to school, however we are using this bulletin to share the link to the parent survey and to ask parents to let us have your views. Please do take a few minutes to complete this as, the more responses we get, the more accurate picture we will have.

The link here will take you to the survey. Thank you in advance for taking the time to give us your input.



Dates for the Diary

We have taken the difficult decision mid-year to change one of our staff professional development days, however, this change is to ensure that we are aligned with our trust primaries and will afford our staff the opportunity to participate in a trust wide professional development day.

The new day for the diary is Friday 24th March and will replace the original date of Friday 21st July.

For any families for whom the final day of the school year being Friday 21st July rather than Thursday 20th July poses an issue please speak with the relevant Head of Year.


Timings of the School Day

Please be reminded that since the changes to the school day in September, school now starts at 08.30 and students should arrive in good time to be in their form room for this time. For parents dropping children in the morning please ensure that you take into consideration how busy Irchester Road gets between 08.20 and 08.30. As we have a number of school buses arriving during this time, due consideration should be taken to ensure that your child(ren) arrive on time. Your attention to this will help enormously in ensuring that the school day gets off to a flying start for your child(ren).

Best wishes

Simon Anderson