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Headteacher's Blog 24-5-24

It was DofE expedition weekend last weekend for our Bronze and Silver groups as they tackled walks along the Ridgeway

Term 5 draws to a close today as another academic year continues to fly by.

Most of our Year 11s have now completed more than half of their exams. During the first two weeks of the exam season the students applied themselves superbly through what is an incredibly demanding period. Their attitude and conduct remain first class and they have definitely earned themselves a break. As well as an opportunity to rest and recharge their batteries, the half-term also presents the chance for some all-important revision so that each student can ensure their give themselves the best opportunity of realising their potential.

Our Year 10s began Year 10 exams this week. The Year 10 exams act as both a great opportunity to measure the progress students have made to date, and an opportunity to prepare for what lies twelve months ahead. These exams will continue in the first two weeks of Term 6. Again, the half-term break provides an excellent opportunity for revision.

Attendance remains a key focus for the school. Data shows attendance in term 5 was better than in Term 4 which is pleasing. There is however, much room for further improvement. We know that on average, students with better attendance will achieve better results. We want all our students to have the best opportunity to realise their individual potential and so want to support them to attend every day possible. Support is available in school so please do contact the school if you feel your child would benefit from that.

Last weekend saw the 2023/24 DofE cohort undertake their practice expedition. They set off from Barbury Castle, which is just south of Swindon and walked on the Ridgeway and Marlborough Downs. Over the weekend, Bronze groups walked about 25km with Silver groups walking on an additional day and doing about 40km. As well as walking, groups were expected to be self-sufficient by carrying everything they needed for the weekend, setting up camp and cooking their food on a Trangia. They were also expected to use the skills they had been taught to navigate their way from start to finish. On the whole this was done very well with only a few minor navigational errors which were corrected quickly and is all part of the fun. One of the Bronze groups were determined to set a new land speed record for a DofE group on foot. They were walking at 6km per hour, until we did things to slow them down slightly. A big thanks to the staff who gave up their weekend to help to support our students.

Fixtures this week have been badly affected by the weather.  One set of fixtures which did survive the weather featured our Year 7 Rounders Team. The girls experienced their first fixture against Crypt at home this week. Two teams took part and it was a great first experience for them all. The As narrowly lost 13 ½ - 8 ½ and Bs lost 10 ½ - 8 ½. The girls did really well and there's a great lot of potential for the team with the more experience they get!

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 a great bank holiday weekend. We look forward to seeing the students on Monday 3 June. This will be a Week B.

Kind regards,

Richard Johnson