From the Co-Headteachers
It has been hugely busy week in school with an array of internal “low stake” assessments and re-drafting exercises taking place in the run-up to the half-term break. Our daily learning walks have demonstrated how students are well-prepared for these in-class assessments – learners have been successfully guided through the use of Personalised Learning Checklists (PLCs) and effective active revision techniques. We are very proud of the fact that students learn how to revise from Year 7 through to Year 13. Parents/carers are asked to check the understanding of these active revision strategies with their son/ ward.
Within our outstanding House assemblies, a key focus point has been Holocaust Memorial Day which took place on 27 January; this is the same date that the Nazi’s largest death camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, was liberated in 1945. These powerful assemblies honed in on human rights and, in particular, the right to seek asylum in order to enjoy a life away from the risk of persecution. House Leaders also addressed the negative stereotypes about displaced people and concluded with life lessons for students, notably: be compassionate and empathetic to others as one never knows what life experiences they have undergone, and educate yourself about the challenges of being a displaced migrant, especially prejudice and discrimination.
Finally, thank you to parents/carers for your support during the strike day on Wednesday, whether helping students to access learning at home or sending them into school.
Thank you to those parents/carers who have given us feedback on this newsletter over the last few weeks.
Do you feel that this newsletter is helpful to you? Do you enjoy reading it? If you have any comments, positive or negative, please use this form to let us know.
Simon Fisher and Jo Higginbottom
This week has been National Storytelling Week, celebrating all stories – old and new. Every day in school, we want to instil a love of reading. An expectation of school life is reading at least 20 minutes each night, and we have a well-stocked library to help students develop this habit. All Isleworthians also have free access to our E-Platform, offering over 10,000 free E-Books which can be downloaded to your mobile device.
Is your son/ward reading every night? Try and engage them with a conversation about their latest story – or, perhaps, a favourite story of yours.
Our school production of ‘The Odyssey’ takes place next week, and students are working extraordinarily hard in rehearsal to put the final touches on this epic performance. They will be rehearsing in school all day on Saturday – going the extra mile to get the best possible results!
Tickets are still available for this must-see event; get them via the banner below.
Children’s Mental Health Week
Everyone thrives in communities; this connection is vital for our wellbeing and our survival. When we have healthy connections – to family, friends and others – this can support our sense of wellbeing and mental health. When our needs for rewarding social connections are not met, we can sometimes feel isolated and lonely – which can have a negative impact on our mental health.
Next week is Children’s Mental Health Week. Its theme, ‘Let’s Connect’, means making meaningful connections for all, both during next week and beyond. We encourage our community to connect with others in healthy, rewarding and meaningful ways.
Next week is National Apprenticeship Week 2023, and it is an opportunity to promote and celebrate apprenticeship programmes. We are increasingly seeing students apply for, and be successful in, a range of apprenticeships.
So why should your son/ward consider an apprenticeship? Apprenticeships are a brilliant route if students are ready to get out into the world of work. They can be taken at GCSE level (also known as level 2) all the way to degree level (level 6). Apprenticeships usually consist of around 80% on the job training and 20% in the classroom/university, which is great if you like hands-on learning.
Apprenticeship pay does vary but can exceed £20,000 for some traineeships. Finally, apprenticeships have been gradually introduced to the whole spectrum of careers from cyber-security to plumbing, digital marketing to nursing and law. Find out more from National Apprenticeships Week, Amazing Apprenticeships and the UK Government.
Don’t forget to follow our special careers Twitter account at @IsleworthCEAIG.
Safeguarding – Safer Internet Day
Safer Internet Day is next week and it will reinforce crucial themes about online safety that we constantly emphasise with students in assemblies, Study Support sessions and computing lessons.
One key element of this is the idea of digital detox – putting devices down and “powering off”. For parents/carers, we can recommend the following:
If you have a concern about the safety or welfare of your child, please email the safeguarding team at firstname.lastname@example.org. If there is an emergency call 999 or, for non-urgent matters that require police attention, call 101.
- Wednesday 8 and Friday 9 February – HPV immunisations for those who have consents (first and second doses)
- Thursday 9 and Friday 10 February – School Production of ‘The Odyssey’
- Monday 13 – Friday 17 February – Half-Term
- Thursday 23 February – Year 9 Parents/Carers Evening
- Thursday 16 March – Key Stage 4 Courses Evening (Year 9)
- Thursday 23 March – Year 10 Parents/Carers Evening
- Thursday 30 March – Drama & Music Festival
- Friday 31 March – End of Spring Term (students dismissed at 12.30pm)
Word of the Week
The word of the week is welfare.
Pride of House
Congratulations to the 40 Isleworthians who have won the Pride of House award this week. You can click a badge below to see that house’s winners.
The students were nominated by pastoral staff for their excellent participation and contribution in school over the last five days.
Website Spotlight – School History
The school has a rich history dating back to about 1630 – nearly 400 years. We are proud of the fact that hundreds of thousands of boys have walked through our doors during this time.
If you are interested in the fascinating history of Isleworth & Syon School, this week’s ‘Website Spotlight’ is for you. Check out the History of Isleworth & Syon page for more information, including the full text of the visual timeline from the main corridor (pictured below).
Class of 1979 Visit
Last Saturday, we were delighted to welcome back former students into school. This was the Class of 1979, meaning that they left the school 43 years ago! They were hosted by Co-Headteacher Ms Higginbottom and five student ambassadors.
The ambassadors took the alumni on a tour of the school before everyone gathered in the school hall for tea and biscuits! The former students loved reminiscing about their time at school and reflecting on how elements of the school still show that historical character.
We’ll have a full report on this event in the coming weeks, so keep an eye on this website for that.
Two Year 12 history students have been lucky enough to join the Lessons from Auschwitz (LFA) project. This unique opportunity is run by the Holocaust Educational Trust and gave students the chance to visit Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz yesterday (Thursday).
Students made their own way to and from Gatwick and then toured authentic sites and museum exhibits with a local guide as well as a trained LFA educator. We’ll have a full write-up on this poignant visit later in the term, but suffice it to say that students found the visit a sobering and thought-provoking experience.
Donmar Warehouse Theatre
One of our outstanding opportunities is the chance to experience live theatre. Our performing arts team have connections throughout the industry which, on this occasion, led to free tickets at the Donmar Warehouse.
This theatre trip was offered to selected Year 9s as a reward for their engagement and attitude in drama. They were also invited to a free workshop on Friday 27 January. Practitioners from the theatre took students through some of the themes of the play, ‘Watch on the Rhine’, before they went to see it.
The performance was yesterday (Thursday). Students enjoyed the performance, which certainly provoked many conversations on the train home.
Table Tennis Open
We have launched the Isleworth & Syon Table Tennis Open this week. The event is being run by Year 13 CTEC Sport students as part of their course, and was open to all students and staff. We have had over 200 entries, with the matches taking place during lunchtimes across the next few weeks. One of the Year 13s, Sam McMaster, has managed to secure a fantastic first place prize for the eventual winner – a pair of tickets to a Brentford FC Premier League game. Look out for more on this in the coming weeks!
Year 7 Athletics – Borough Winners!
Yesterday (Thursday) our Year 7 athletics team won the Hounslow Borough Sports Hall Athletics Championships. This outstanding performance mans they will represent Hounslow at the London Youth Games Qualifier round next week. A strong finish in this event will lead to the London Youth Games Finals in March – good luck to the team (pictured above, L-R): Zion Kofi (7Br), Jayan Rahllen (7Tu), Callum Cameron (7Br), Lachie MacIntyre (7Ad), Oskar Blazevicius (7Sh), Lukas Dominykas Macianskas (7Bl), and Bamba Sylla (7Sn).