All pupils were welcomed back from what was hopefully a restful half term break.  I had the pleasure of delivering assemblies this week to both key stage 3 and 4.  I chose to focus my assembly on Divali.  I always like to include a Q&A section within my assemblies and for this week, I was impressed with the answers provided.  There was however, time also for reflection on the following questions: Where can you see good in the world today?; Who or what will give you hope?; Who are the friends that you can rely on?  The assembly also linked to the ways in which the school promotes the fundamental British values as pupils offered up the idea of having mutual respect for, and tolerance of, those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith.

Wednesday registration time saw the return of House meetings as all pupils and staff met with their respective houses to consider Inter-House competitions and rewards.  Pupils were forthcoming with ideas for competitions, as well as suitable rewards.  It is already the case that every curriculum area offers such competitions during the course of the year, though it is perhaps at present the Sports Day which is remembered most for its contribution to this part of school life.  The most recent Inter-House competition is that being launched by the Humanities Department which runs as a follow up to the trip to Ypres just before half term, and is looking for the most memorable moment of the trip as captured through poetry, painting or photography.  The winner of the competition will have his or her winning entry displayed within school.

Elsewhere within school this week, there was the Year 11 parent consultation evening, strategically placed to follow up on the pupils’ predictions published prior to half term, and to plan for the impending trial exam week scheduled for the end of the month. The evening was very well attended, and provided the opportunity to discuss progress, engagement with lessons and intervention, as well as targets and aspirations.  I had the pleasure the meeting with a number of parents, and the majority of my conversations addressed post-16 applications and how pupils can be supported through this process in order to maximise their outcomes.  Individual timetables for the trail exams are to be shared with pupils next week.

The weather may have turned colder this week – something I have certainly noticed whilst on duty on the playground at 8.25am, but that has not in any way prevented the senior cross country from going ahead.  When Mr Dowson read out the results in assembly there was much surprise as to the final result – a result never the less which was thoroughly deserved.  Staying with sport, there are swimming galas coming up too, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Dowson for the hard work put in to organising such events.

Year 10 pupils who are aspiring to prefect status at the end of the year have been busy this week, as not only have they been helping to serve refreshments and cakes at the parent consultation evening, but they have also been collecting donations in return for poppies ahead of next week’s act of remembrance.  For those who are new to the school, both the lower school and the senior school hold a 10 minute Remembrance Day assembly during which we turn to the school’s honours board and observe a two minute silence.  A talented musician from Year 9 has the honour this year of playing the Last Post and Reveille.

In and out lessons I’ve seen pupils constructing 3-D letters, whilst others were getting to grips with calculating acceleration, and others were looking at the ‘and’/’or’ rule for calculating probability, and others were analysing second world war propaganda, and others were discussing the rights of animals.

As always there has been plenty of material being published this week under the heading of e-safety, including an article entitled ‘Why children need social media lessons’ – to many parents and guardians I am sure this comes as no surprise.  As a school, Colchester High School will continue to work to educate pupils to be responsible and safe online.

As always, best wishes for the weekend.

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01206 573389
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