Once again a busy week as I support the Examinations Officer implement the new arrangements for mustering and registering Year 11 pupils for their trial exams.  Whilst the exams continue into next week, I know many staff have already marked the papers sat earlier this week.  The results from these exams are being used to support writing of the Year 11 full summative reports, update predicted final grades, and inform intervention.

Across the Senior School the reporting session is in full swing as short reports for Year 9 are currently being prepared, whilst those for Year 12 students have been written, and all that remains is for me to write my comments before posting to parents or guardians.  Those who regularly check the school calendar will know reports for other year groups are due over ensuing weeks.

In and out of lessons this week, I have walked in on a very engaging discussion led by Mrs Brindley.  The discussion centred on Year 8 pupils exploring the skills required to reach various levels of progress through their written answers.  Onto the next lesson, and there was a very engaging game taking place in Mrs Long’s German lesson, wherein the pupils’ knowledge of numbers was being tested.  The pupils were keen to show off their prowess, and there was plenty of opportunity for them to perfect their pronunciation.

It has also been a busy week for sporting activities, with pupils in all Key Stage 3 and 4 year groups finishing the cross country races – admittedly I felt sorry for the drenched staff and pupils I encountered returning to the main site.  Indoor sports have also been prominent this week, as some Year 10 pupils were involved with the ISA Swimming Gala – as always I am proud of the achievements of the pupils, as well as the effort required on the part of Mr Dowson and his team, to organise such events.

The Remembrance Service went ahead as planned, and benefitted from the pupils’ impeccable and respectful behaviour.  The Head and Deputy Head Boys and Girls also had a key role within the proceedings, as they recited carefully selected poems as part of this moving tradition.

Keeping with tradition, as you will be aware the Senior School is supporting BBC Children in Need through the fundraising made possible by running a non-uniform day.  When the grand total of money raised from this event is known, I shall of course share the figure with you. I thank all those who have been able to take part and support this worthy cause.  All other fundraising events for the current academic year are being organised through the Charity Council which works closely alongside the Senior School Council (and with the able assistance of Mrs Hoddell and Mrs Milburn).

Within the Music department, Mrs Romero-Fernandez (and a team of willing colleagues) has been running auditions for the CHS Talent Show, and after a few rounds, now has a list of pupils who are to perform at the final on Wednesday 25th November.  Whereas those Year 11 pupils forming teams for the BPW National Public Speaking Competition, have been practising their speeches ahead of the first round being held next week at a neighbouring school – undoubtedly my best wishes for success go to the team members, as well as my gratitude to Mrs Hampson who continues to give up her time to facilitate our pupils’ involvement in this worthwhile competition.

As a member of the Senior Leadership Team, I play a part in implementing a programme of reviewing and updating policies to encompass new developments and best practice.  Amongst others, this week the SMSC and E-safety policies have been reviewed.  As a result, the E-safety policy now references the use of i-watches (and other similar or newly developed devices) to be prohibited on the school site, as has been the situation with mobile phones for some time.

Finally, some will be pleased, whilst others will not…meteorologists are predicting a large quantity of snow this winter.  The school has a set of procedures in place for extreme weather conditions, and it will always be the case that if the school can remain open, and maintain safety for all those on site, then it will do so.  That said, if the weather is so extreme it is necessary to close the school, there is work available on the school website for pupils to complete in order to minimise any disruption to the pupils’ education.

I have no doubt this bad news from a pupil’s perspective, but good news for snowmen.

Have a great weekend.

Colchester High School