From the Co-Headteachers
The vast majority of young people are far more resilient than those of us long in the tooth – they have that sense of invincibility about them. On a daily basis, this begins with their journey to school under now grey, dark skies. On arrival, our I&S bubble is bright, shiny, tidied, well-resourced and eager for students to buy into our core, central purpose – making rapid progress in every lesson. There is no excuse not to work hard and while sometimes students fret and grumble, we promise, there are no excuses. Students are given every opportunity to realise their potential.
Throughout this newsletter, you will find an array of opportunities for your son/ward to “buy-in”. Please reflect on these outstanding curriculum and enrichment opportunities: Does he buy-in? Do you encourage him to buy-in?
Simon Fisher and Jo Higginbottom
Wider Learning Week – Year 9
Today (Friday), we launched Wider Learning Week for our Year 9 students. This exciting week of off-timetable activities takes place from Monday 10 – Friday 14 July 2023 and offers students the opportunity to participate in a pathway of personal interest, to develop their key skills, and to engage in wider learning.
All Year 9 students will choose one pathway, consisting of five days of activities. Full details can be found in the information booklet which has been emailed to families this afternoon. Students need to complete the Activity Form to indicate their preferences – full details are in the booklet. Students that have already signed up to the Barcelona trip have not received the booklet as that residential visit takes up all five days.
Students in Years 7 and 8 will also take part in Wider Learning Week – plans are currently underway for an exciting timetable of challenging and fun activities for those students. More information will follow in the Spring Term.
Safeguarding – Online Safety
All parents/carers should be aware of the risks and dangers associated with online devices and the internet. The school strongly recommends that parents/carers randomly check children’s phones and online devices.
Check out this helpful guide from the NSPCC.
If you have a concern about the safety or welfare of your or another child, please email the safeguarding team at email@example.com. If there is an emergency call 999 or, for non-urgent matters that require police attention, call 101.
Website Spotlight – Annual Review
Our latest feature is the ‘Website Spotlight’ – pointing you in the direction of some interesting content on this website that you might not have seen.
First up is our Annual Review. Each year, the school produces a full review of the year, summarising everything that has happened inside and outside the classroom. It is the best way to learn more about our range of outstanding opportunities and our exceptional educational outcomes!
The website archive goes all the way back to the 2014-15 academic year, meaning these Reviews are also a meaningful historical record of what was happening at the time. Take, for example, the 2019-20 academic year, where the school closed its doors for the first time in its history due to the Covid pandemic. Or the 2014-15 issue, featuring the school’s launch of a special four-year project to commemorate each of the former students who died in WW1, on the anniversary of their deaths.
If you have some spare time, please do dig into the archive. We know you will find overwhelming evidence for why this school is the best choice for boys.
Christmas Messages to the Elderly
We will again be asking students to write Christmas messages to the elderly within our community. For the last three years all age groups have had the opportunity to connect with the elderly by writing joyful stories about their own inter-generational experiences. In response, many of the elderly recipients of our heart-glowing letters have written back to individual students. As a general plea to parents/carers, please drive your son/ward to be an active citizen and encourage him to reach-out to a member of our community. The festive messages can be in the form of a letter, poem or card; they can include current affairs. We are hoping that some student leaders are able to visit some venues to read their stories first-hand.
December Examinations – Good Luck!
The December examinations series has begun for students in Years 11 and 13. These assessments will provide students with an important benchmark of progress at the end of the Autumn Term, giving them pointers on where to improve ahead of the public examinations in Summer 2023. We wish all students the best of luck!
Check out this tweet from South Western Railway (SWR) for an update about the Hounslow loop closure.
- Tuesday 29 November – Friday 16 December – KS5 December Exams
- Friday 2 – Friday 16 December – Year 11 December Exams
- Thursday 8 December – Christmas Concert
- Friday 9 December – Year 7 Induction Assembly
- Wednesday 14 December – Christmas Lunch
- Monday 19 December – Senior Awards Evening
- Tuesday 20 December – End of term (students dismissed at 12.30pm)
This week, our opportunities focus is not on a club, but instead on an event which all members of the school community are invited to enjoy!
It is of course, the Christmas Concert, which takes place at Isleworth & Syon School in just six days – Thursday 8 December.
The show starts at 7.00pm and will last for two hours, featuring students from across the school in a celebration of music and drama. It’s all themed around the idea of ‘One World’ – and many different languages will be featured in this world-spanning spectacular!
Final rehearsals are underway, and it is clear that this is not to be missed. Get your tickets at www.isleworthsyon.org/tickets now – just £2 for adults and £1 for students, under-18s and senior citizens. All money from ticket sales will be donated to the Children’s Society, to benefit young people across the UK. We hope to see you there!
Please do check out our full range of opportunities if you haven’t managed to do so yet.
Word of the Week
The word of the week is infer.
Pride of House
We are delighted to announce the latest winners of our weekly ‘Pride of House’ awards. A student from each form group is nominated by a member of pastoral staff for a brilliant contribution to one aspect of school life! Well done to this week’s 40 winners – click a house badge below to see who they are.
Youth Health Champions
Last year, a small group of students trained to be Hounslow Youth Health Champions. They undertook two days of facilitated workshops before an assessment in the RSPH Level 2 Certification for Young Health Champions – equivalent to one GCSE.
Following these July training sessions, the eight boys – now in Year 10 – have been applying what they learned and thinking about health initiatives in school. This has included the Movember charity campaign (see next article), where they designed some resources to be used in Study Support sessions. Indeed, they created a mantra to encourage their peers to speak up about men’s health: “Don’t be peak, speak.” Mr West wants to pay tribute to these students for their commitment and assistance during the campaign!
The Movember charity appeal has been taking place throughout of November. You can learn more about the appeal in the ‘Charity’ section of this website.
It has led to some fantastic and mature conversation about men’s health in school, with each week focusing on a different topic: mental health, suicide prevention, testicular cancer and prostate cancer. We have been so impressed by students’ sensible approach to these difficult topics, and we feel that students will go aware with more knowledge than they started with. Pictured above are some of 9Ad’s reflections (click for full size).
We would love some parent/carer feedback about the success of this charity drive, so please do fill out the form if you have a spare minute. Your views will help us evaluate our charity drive.
Emergency First Aid Certificate
As part of the popular CTEC Sport course in the Sixth Form, students can earn an Emergency First Aid at Work certificate – an additional qualification which can be hugely beneficial in future employment.
This took place yesterday (Thursday) and was led by an external facilitator. Students were taught about typical accidents and injuries that can happen in the workplace. Students learned how they would treat them in a fun yet realistic way, with plenty of artificial blood and the opportunity to splint plastic limbs!
Old Vic Schools Club
This year, we have been delighted to be part of the Old Vic Schools Club, a prestigious grouping of schools from across the UK. The Old Vic is one of the most famous theatres in London’s West End, and this partnership means that a group of keen dramatists receive four free shows this academic year plus four in-school workshops.
This week saw a workshop on Wednesday after school, where a practitioner from the theatre put students through their paces. The focus was on sound design, with students given the opportunity to design their own soundscape for the Old Vic’s production of ‘A Christmas Carol’.
The next day, the plan was for students to go and see the production at the theatre and review the production’s sound design in light of their own efforts. Unfortunately, public transport issues meant that students were unable to get to London – due to bus and train cancellations. Although students were disappointed, they were very resilient in the circumstances, as well as being very sensible and mature about the situation. We hope that students will still be able to screen the performance before the end of term.
A Level Geography Study Day
Also on Wednesday, eight Year 13 geographers visited the Royal Geographical Society in London for a special conference for A level students.
The boys met Miss Lawler at the venue at 9.40am before embarking on a fascinating day of talks – each specifically tailored towards their A level specification. Students learned new and relevant case studies and focused on a number of topics including global governance, changing places and the carbon cycle. They also attended several workshops to develop examination skills and support access to higher education. It was a fantastic day which will equip students for the tools needed for success next summer!