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Headteacher's Blog 19-1-24

Our Year 8 girls started their season with a hard fought 1 - 1 draw with Denmark Road this week

It has been a bitterly cold week at school but fortunately the snow that has affected the north of the country kept well away.

The students have continued to make a positive start to the term. As I walk around the school, a purposeful learning environment is evident in the classrooms. Students are focused on their learning and in making academic progress, which is a joy to see. A highlight of my week was catching part of the lesson when Nikki Dobson, a Midwife from GRH, visited our Child Development students. Her presentation was a fascinating insight for the students and will undoubtedly help them in their course.

An area that is causing me concern is poor punctuality to school in the morning. School starts at 8.45am with year group line-ups beginning at 8.50am. Whilst circumstances can conspire to cause the odd late arrival, for too many students lateness is far too common. Lateness is not tolerated in the workplace and you would not expect us to tolerate it in school. We are lucky that the vast majority of our students live very locally, so getting to school on time should be straightforward. Persistent lateness is one of the biggest factors in students being added to our trips no-go list. It’s an easy thing to fix. Thank you for your support in ensuring your child arrives to school punctually.

This week saw our Year 11 parents evening. It was an absolute delight to hold this as an in-person event, the first we have had in 4 years. The evening was very well attended and many positive conversations took place that will help the students as they prepare for their summer exams. I spoke to a lot of parents and have looked through the feedback sheets. These were overwhelmingly positive about the return to in-person event. The Year 9 parent evening is rapidly approaching (8 February) with details being sent to parents early next week.

A heads-up that the first dose of the HPV vaccinations for Year 8 (and any Year 9 students who did not receive their first dose last year) will be taking place on Wednesday 7 February.  Your son / daughter should have brought a consent form that needs to be returned by Monday 22 January. If you haven’t seen one, please contact the school so a replacement can be sent home.  

Sporting fixtures resumed this week, including:

  • Year 7 Netball – the Year 7A team got off to a great start with a 2 - 0 victory versus Henley Bank. Player of the Match was Ellie W.

  • Year 8 Netball – the Year 8A team also got their season off to a start with a fixture against Henley Bank. In a dominant performance, the girls won 12 – 1. Player of the Match was Evie H.

  • Year 8 Football - the girls Year 8 football team drew 1 - 1 with Denmark Road High School in a really competitive game. The goal was scored by Daisy H. Abby J was Player of the Match, for a series of great saves.

As always, I include my weekly reminder about Free School Meals eligibility. If your financial circumstances have changed, your child may be eligible for Free School Meals. If you click on this link you will find guidance on the eligibility criteria and the application process. It's a quick process and we are notified of all FSM entitlements by Gloucestershire County Council each Monday. I would urge you to take a look if you think you may benefit from financial assistance.  

And finally, a plea… our school is in the middle of a large residential area. I have been contacted by local residents who have experienced cars being parked in front of their driveways. If you do have to pick your child up from school, can you please park considerately.

I do hope you have a great weekend.

Kind regards,

Richard Johnson