21-10-16

Monday’s assembly was delivered by Mrs Candler and it provided an opportunity to go through expectations of pupils in Years 10 and 11 for the external exams (and trial exams) which they will sit this year – not just school expectations, but crucially, JCQ regulations.  Pupils were left in no doubt about how to avoid inadvertent malpractice.  At the end of the assembly all pupils were provided with a booklet of regulations which can also be found on our website on the examinations section.

Tuesday’s assembly for key stage 3 was a celebratory assembly, in which Mr Rayner awarded house point certificates, discussed future house competitions and rewards, as well as introducing Mrs Romero-Fernandes who provided piano accompaniment to the lower school rotary choir.  Mrs Sillett was also on hand to support the musicians, and there was even time for a piano solo from an accomplished Year 7 pianist.

Whereas on Wednesday during registration time all Year 9 pupils were briefed for the Thursday morning to Friday night annual trip to Ypres.  Mrs Croydon,who has organised this trip in conjunction with Anglia Battlefield Tours for many years, gave the pupils a final run down of what to bring (and what not to bring), as well as other tips from the benefit of her experience in order to ensure all those accompanying the trip would be able to gain maximum educational value from what is a very moving, and for much of the time a sombre, trip.  Having received confirmation the coach had arrived in Calais to be greeted by torrential rain, and since been informed the weather has remained the same, I am sure the pupils are grateful for the last minute reminder to bring boots and waterproofs.  I wish them all a safe return this evening.

Year 11 artists have continued work on their Fauve Project, painting in the artists’ style, experimenting with ground or palette knives, as well as evidencing visual links to the artists’ style.  Year 11 historians were taken through an examination question grid which encouraged pupils to develop one another’s answers in order to reach top marks.  Year 7 pupils have been mapping out electrical circuits, whilst other Year 7 scientists were heating purple crystals to show convection currents.  In Design & Technology Year 8 pupils have been soldering their own circuits and developing designs for lamps.  Year 9 pupils investigated the origins of the enigma machine.These of course are just a few of the lessons I have dropped in to observe.

We may have a week’s holiday upon us, but when we return there will be plenty taking place.  During the first week after half term we will be actively collecting for The Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal 2016 ahead of our annual Service of Remembrance on Friday 11th November.  There are trips planned for post half term too as the Year 8 pupils will spend a day orienteering on Monday 7th November before being taken to a production of Sweeney Todd on Thursday 10th November.  Additionally, there is also a swimming gala, two parent consultation evenings, a National Public Speaking competition and the photographer is returning to the school to take family photographs all within the first few weeks back.   That should be enough to keep all busy in addition to lessons, homework and after school clubs.

Year 9 teachers have also been completing assessments with pupils as the Year 9 reporting session opens.  The first reports for this year group are short reports which this year will, as always, show effort grades, as well as current and target grades alongside areas for improvement.

There have been two Open Mornings this week for prospective parentswhich have been particularly popular with parents of children currently in Years 5 and 6.   Pupils in Year 8 and 9 were chosen as tour guides, and each undertook the role with due diligence.  I am always proud of the way in which pupils present themselves on such occasions, particularly when it is often the case that many have triumphed over an initial lack of confidence when joining the school.

Finally for this half term, news of a survey of parents and carers conducted by the NSPCC and FACTs International, to find out what they know about sexting and how they can be better supported to help their children.

Key findings include how half of parents are unaware that it is illegal for a child to take a naked or sexual image of themselves and feedback from parents that they would like to receive information on healthy relationships and tips on how to start conversations about sexting.

New advice for parents tackling issues surrounding sexting has also been published and can be accessed at: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/sexting/?_sm_au_=i6VVP345BFjSMPQN

I hope all CHS staff, pupils and their families can enjoy a relaxing half term break.