Students rehearsing the school productionNovember is the month when the “hard yards” happen in school. Routines are set, teaching and learning flows and students absorb and grow as young people. This week has certainly felt like that and our staff and students are to be commended for all of their hard work and commitment as the leaves fall and the dark evenings have kicked in.  I would particularly like to commend our Year 13 and Year 11 students for how hard they are working. We are collecting progress data, visiting lessons and talking with them continuously and their approach is mature, focused and committed. We hope that the recent Parents’ Evenings for both year groups have been helpful and informative and as ever please do get in touch with the school if you have any questions, queries or concerns.

This is also a time of year when lots of the things which make our community special are brewing in the background - I think particularly of our school production which is being rehearsed and practiced at the moment and promises to be great.

Mr Keeling has spoken with students in assemblies this week about our expectations in school with their use of mobile devices. I am not going to repeat the details of what was shared with students as I would encourage parents and carers to reflect with their children on the message. There has been recent coverage in the media of inappropriate use of mobile devices in schools by students and – to be frank – we have had a couple of instances of such behaviour in our school. We have dealt with those incidents appropriately and we are going to further consider our approach to mobile devices moving forward. We will keep families updated as to any changes and I would reiterate as always that almost all of our students do “get it right” pretty much all of the time.

Finally, please do note a change to the school calendar. Due to the extra Bank Holiday next year to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee we are required to add an extra day’s holiday to the calendar, therefore this school year will now end at 12.40pm on Wednesday 20th July.