Mr Croydon’s Senior School Blog 9th December 2016

Having the 2016 Colchester High School Christmas Carol Service this week has obviously meant a late night for all those both performing and attending, but it was by no means the latest night of the week for some as I shall allude to later in the blog.  The Carol Service was, as always, a hugely enjoyable event which this year sparked comments from some parents that it was the best they have seen.  Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed the event, and am grateful to the readers and performers who made it such a memorable event.  As mentioned in my introduction to the service on the night, it was great to see so many in attendance, and I think, for many, it sparked the start of the festive season.  Undoubtedly, a huge thank you must go to Mrs Sillett and Mrs Romero-Fernandes for all their hard work.

There was however, a much later finish to the day on Tuesday when Mrs Romero-Fernandes led a trip to see Les Miserables in London – it was the early hours of Wednesday morning before the group returned to Colchester.  The late return didn’t stop pupils coming to school the next day, although there were a few sleepy eyes.  There has already been gratitude sent to the school by parents for having run this trip, such comments including ‘THANK YOU so much’, ‘very enjoyable’ and ‘it was an absolutely amazing day’.  Well organised school trips really do make a difference – my thanks to Mrs Romero-Fernandes and the other staff who accompanied the trip and to the CHSA for funding the workshop portion of the day (please click here for photos)

Wednesday’s trip to the Design Museum in London was organised by Ms Stanton for the Year 10 pupils.  Whilst this trip arrived back in Colchester at a much more respectable time, it has also received positive praise and was clearly found to be both enjoyable and educational by the pupils – again my thanks to those staff involved in ensuring the trip’s success.

Other reasons why pupils have been out of school this week have included a rehearsal for the Carol Service, a Year 8 & 9 girls’ netball team ‘away’ match and ISA Cross Country.

Year 11 pupils have been finishing their trial exams this week, but will resume assemblies next week.  Years 7 & 8, followed by Years 9 & 10 had separate assemblies which once again looked at the importance of respect.  All of the basic school rules and expectations were linked to: respect for yourself; respect for others; respect for the school.  Basics such as punctuality and manners were revisited, as were celebrating positives rather than focusing on negatives and the need to uphold school rules – I delivered the assembly alongside Phase Leaders, and as always, there was scope for audience participation.  As always, we appreciate parental reinforcement of such expectations.

Following from the success with which some of the senior pupils supported the Christmas Bazaar last week, Year 10 aspirant prefects volunteered to provide support with the CHSA Christmas Gift Stalls.  Dropping in on the event on Wednesday, I know the CHSA were grateful for the help, and having spoken to pupils afterwards, I know the pupils found it an enjoyable experience too.

As always, I made a point of dropping in on lessons to check on pupil behaviour and engagement, as well as the ‘teaching and learning’ taking place.   This week I have been treated to: a thoroughly enjoyable English lesson which analysed the effectiveness of language choices in the poem, War Photographer by Carol Ann Duffy; a great PE lesson about success rates in Basketball shooting, and how to apply more power to shots, which enabled pupils of differing skill levels to make good progress; a practical science lesson in which one of the newly formed Year 7 science sets undertook a practical designed to develop safety skills; a theoretical Chemistry lesson studying periodicity; a practical technology lesson which was the culmination of a project to create 3 dimensional typographic designs and models.

Clearly, this has been yet another very busy week, and although next week term finishes at 2pm on Wednesday, those few days will still be incredibly busy for the pupils.  Just a few highlights are as follows:

  • Monday – the Year 11 PE group will be on a trip to the Olympic Park in London.
  • Tuesday – the refectory will be serving Christmas lunch.
  • Wednesday – the Senior School will have the annual end of term non-uniform day which again will be raising money for CRY. Additionally, School Council members will be having their reward trip to a nearby Chinese restaurant for lunch.

All of these I am sure will be memorable events.

Finally, it has been reported there have been a group of people congregating near to our Sixth Form building at the end of the school day and asking for money.  Whilst pupils are encouraged to be charitable, the message is given that money is best donated through the official charitable channels.  Dr Georgiou has reassured 6th form pupils, whilst key stage 3 & 4 pupils have been informed of this occurrence by the form teacher.  Currently, there is no evidence this is taking place near the main school site however, vigilance is encouraged.  As always, pupils should speak to staff if they have any worries.

This will be the last blog for 2016.  I hope you have found the blog of interest and that you will continue to read the weekly blog next year.  In the meantime, I would like to wish you all a very happy and peaceful Christmas 2016.

Best wishes.