Mr Croydon’s Senior School Blog 28th April 2017

We end the week with what appears to have been a hugely successful non uniform day, together with a bake sale for which the weather has held, and all in aid of raising money for Clic Sargent. As you will know from the Welcome Back letter sent last Friday, this follows on from Mr Young running the London Marathon and in so doing, raising money for Clic Sargent. When the final total raised is confirmed, I know this will be communicated to parents.

The school has played host to a number of overseas visitors this week, as on Wednesday, we welcomed the Australian International School Netball team and coach for a match held against our Key Stage 3 Netball team. The match extended into break time and attracted a large audience as the CHS team showed determination and tenacity in their approach – I am not an expert in Netball, but it was clear this was an enjoyable ‘friendly’ albeit competitively contested match. My thanks go to Mr Dowson and Miss Banks who organised this event and ensured it was a success on the day.

At the same time, Mrs Long, together with her German friend Herr Schifferli, brought approximately 40 German student visitors into school in order to engage with language activities alongside our Year 9 and 10 pupils who are studying German. This has become an annual event, and continues to be enjoyed by all. My gratitude for facilitating this event which enriches the pupils’ educational experience at CHS, goes to Mrs Long or rather – Danke schön Frau Long.

Other staff who deserve a thank you in this week’s blog, are all those who arranged to teach pupils in school over the Easter holiday – from the pupils and parents I have spoken to since the holiday, I know the additional revision sessions were appreciated and will have benefitted the pupils.

Aside from being an opportunity to welcome back pupils formally with a smile, assemblies this week in the Senior School looked at a few inspirational stories from people taking part in the London Marathon last weekend. Delivering these assemblies myself, I was able to provide clear examples of how people have succeeded in the face of adversity, the value in supporting charities, and the importance of mental wellbeing being equal to physical wellbeing. All pupils were reminded to speak to school staff if they ever have concerns, rather than keeping that burden to themselves.

Year 11 pupils have received an additional assembly this week during which details of the Year 11 Prom, exam period and timetables were elaborated upon. Intervention and revision sessions for Year 11 pupils both before and after school continue to be offered, and I urge all pupils to continue availing themselves of these.
On Thursday of this week, many Year 7 and 8 mathematicians took part in the Junior Maths Challenge as organised by the United Kingdom Mathematics Trust. Colchester High School has a long standing commitment to delivering this enrichment, with many examples of past successes – I look forward to learning the outcome of the challenge, as well as seeing who may sit a follow-up round.

Just prior to the return of pupils this week, staff received training on Firefly – the online platform which was introduced to parents at the most recent PEG meeting, and which is designed to inform parents of progress and provide resources which will support continual learning beyond the classroom. I am very excited about the operational value of this platform, and feel sure parents will soon be convinced of its value too. The new platform will be launched for all year groups as of September 2017.

Lunchtimes have been reinvigorated as Wellesleys have adopted new menus to accompany themed days, whilst a new rota of menus and a refurbished refectory have provided a bright and summery atmosphere for Key Stage 3 pupils during lunchtime.

As Colchester High School will be represented at the Tendring Show on 8th July, we will be looking for pupils to engage with House or class competitions which carry the theme of ‘Farming For Life’ – the gardening club are certain to be involved but there will be more details to follow.

And finally, two stories which have been reported nationally within the last couple of days may be of interest to parents: ‘Children report feeling unprotected from inappropriate content on social media site’ – Four out of five children feel that social media companies aren’t doing enough to protect them from pornography, self-harm, bullying, and hatred on their sites (ITV News); ‘Smartphone app ‘tells parents when children are sexting’ – Parents worried their children are swapping inappropriate pictures and selfies with friends or even strangers online are being offered a smartphone app to automatically spot suspect images (The Telegraph).
All that remains now is for me to wish you all an enjoyable Bank Holiday weekend.