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Headteacher's Blog 3-5-24

It's Bhambra vs Barclay as Year 11 and the Staff go head to head in the season's biggest fixture this afternoon

It seems amazing to write that next week sees the start of the GCSE exam season proper. It kicks off with RE and then all students will have a Biology paper on Friday. Every year it seems that Year 11 gets quicker (in my case it is certainly linked to age!!) and this year it is the case that exams are one week earlier.

I know our students have been well prepared and will be well supported through this challenging period in school. Thank you in advance to all the parents of our Year 11 students for all the support and encouragement I know you will be giving at home over the next 6 weeks.

Earlier this week we sent a message to all parents highlighting the issue of sextortion. Concerns around this issue led the National Crime Agency to ask all schools to raise awareness of it both in school and through communication with parents. I hope you had a chance to read the letter from the school and the opportunity to speak to your child / children about its contents.

Whilst we know there can be benefits to young people having a mobile phone, we also know that it can expose them to new risks and it’s important for us all to be aware of these. The pace of change of technology is bewildering at times, so keeping up to speed can be difficult. There is lots of excellent guidance from trusted organisations such as Barnardo’s and the NSPCC. I would strongly advise reading these and acting on the excellent guidance they give.

In school this week I had the pleasure of attending an event where we got to sample food from Afghanistan. We have a number of Afghan students who, supported by staff from our Food department, prepared a range of traditional meals for us to try. The boys did a great job and were justifiably proud of their efforts. I can confirm the food was very tasty.

On the sporting front:

  • Our girls U16 footballers continued their amazing form in the semi-final of the County Cup on Monday. Playing away to Downend School, the girls put in another high-quality performance. Their all-round dominance led to a 9 – 2 victory with goals from Leilani (5), Grace (3) and Lauren (1). Player of the match went to Chase. They will be playing Chosen Hill in the final next Tuesday. We all wish them good luck for the final.

  • Year 7 Cricket – the boys played their very first fixture this week against Holmleigh Park. There were some great skills on display and the boys played with real maturity. Most importantly, they really enjoyed themselves.

  • Year 8 Cricket – the boys played their first game of the season against Holmleigh Park this week. All involved bowled and batted well but unfortunately, just fell short of their victory target. Player of the match went to Rhys L for his outstanding batting and leadership skills. 

  • All-Stars Cricket – the All Stars came up against a very experienced Crypt side in the County Cup on Wednesday night. The boys bowled very well but were unable to prevent the Crypt from scoring a formidable 154 from their 20 overs. The boys tried hard to chase the game with some excellent runs from Mason F and Ollie W but lost on the DLS method when rain stopped play. In their second game of the week, the All Stars played Holmleigh Park at home. In what can only be described as mixed weather, the game ended in a draw. 

  • Congratulations go to Lauren H in Year 7. She recently competed in the All-Star World Championship in Orlando with her Cheer Team. Her team came first in their group to make the finals against 47 of the best teams in the world, finally finishing 7th. This is an incredible achievement. Well done Lauren!

  • Congratulations also go to Matthew P in Year 11. He plays Water Polo for Cheltenham and last week took part in the National Age Group Championships. His team came second in the Under 17 category. Very well done Matthew!

  • Congratulations once again to Year 11 student Zane H. He recently competed at the Regional Team selection. He won gold and was selected to be part of the South West tumble team. He will be competing in July at the British finals at the Arena Birmingham with two gymnasts from each region. Well done Zane!

Obviously, the biggest sporting event of the week will take place later today when the staff team take on a Year 11 team at football. It is rare for staff v student fixtures to take place and that we can do this is a reflection of the relationships that exist in our school. I know under Mr Bhambra’s management the staff are feeling confident and well-prepared. Could a victory be on the cards!?

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. 

I hope you enjoy the Bank Holiday weekend

Kind regards,

Richard Johnson