Welcome from the Co-Headteachers
Showing empathy for others across the world
It has been a hugely busy week in school, including an I&S Inspires talk that one student described as “life-changing”. See ‘News’ below for more on that.
A key focus has been on re-establishing basic classroom routines after the half-term break. Our expectations for written work are extremely high; all students must strive to take greater pride in their work. For example, there should be no gaps in exercise books with student using pens for writing and pencils for sketching or drawing. We ask all parents/carers to check the basic equipment of their son/ward on a weekly basis.
Our outstanding House assemblies have focused on developing empathy for others. In particular, students have learned that, this year, 110 million people have been displaced by conflict, persecution, or the impact of climate change.
As a result, there is an urgent need for our young people to display empathy to new arrivals to the country. Those who are forced to move their home need to feel warmth – and, with winter approaching, this is also a literal need as well as a figurative one. In the run-up to Christmas, our assemblies will cover a number of wider social issues such as homelessness, social isolation, and poverty.
We have been getting some great feedback from families about this newsletter – thank you if you have left us a comment via our feedback form. It is still open so feel free to drop us a comment, positive or negative, so that we can keep improving.
Simon Fisher and Jo Higginbottom
Honouring the sacrifices made
As we approach our annual, profoundly powerful Armistice Day remembrance assemblies on Friday 10 November, we remind parents/carers of the sacrifices made by past I&S students in both WW1 and WW2. This is one of our favourite assemblies of year as we see our young men reflect deeply and meaningfully on stories from past students who gave their lives for our freedom. During these assemblies, our students present themselves with immense dignity and pride. This is the history and tradition that students and parents/carers buy into when you join our school. Please encourage your son/ward to purchase a poppy to represent all victims of conflict across the world.
Please make a note of these important dates
- Tuesday 7 November – Sixth Form Open Evening
- Friday 10 November – Remembrance Commemorations
- Thursday 16 November – Year 11 Parents/Carers Evening
- Wednesday 22 and Thursday 23 November – Senior School Production
- Thursday 30 November – Friday timetable
- Friday 1 December – INSET Day
- Monday 4 December – PPA Day
- Thursday 7 December – Tuesday 19 December – Written December Exams (Years 11-13)
- Friday 8 December – Year 7 Induction Assembly
- Friday 15 December – Flu immunisations for those with consent
- Monday 18 December – Senior Awards Evening
- Thursday 21 December – End of Autumn Term (students dismissed at 12.30pm)
- Monday 8 January – Start of Spring Term
You can access the full calendar at this link.
Sixth Form Open Evening
All Year 11 are welcome
Our Sixth Form Open Evening takes place on Tuesday 7 November. We recommend that all Year 11 come along to hear about our exceptional academic outcomes, outstanding opportunities, aspirational next steps and extensive leadership experiences. There will also be the opportunity to speak to subject staff and students currently studying in the Sixth Form.
Senior School Production
Coming soon – a very special performance
Wednesday 22 and Thursday 23 November will see our first ever senior school production! The cast is made up of students in Years 11-13 only, with this production allowing our senior students to tackle harder-hitting texts in our new performance space – the drama studio.
We are delighted that our first production will be an adaptation of William Golding’s classic ‘The Lord of the Flies’. The adaptation sees a group of boys stranded on an island after their plane crashes. The boys seek to create order and rule in a chaotic situation, all against the backdrop of World War 2.
Tickets go on sale next week, and you will receive more information then. For now, please do put the date in your diary and come and support the arts at I&S if you can!
An opportunity for Hounslow borough residents to have their say
Hounslow Council are consulting with borough residents about how streets can be reimagined for the benefit of more residents and businesses. This includes updating how parking and ‘kerbside’ spaces are used to create well designed streets and public areas that work for everyone. To read more, and leave your opinion, go to their website.
Follow on socials to learn more
Applications for training to teach in the LWA ITT, in partnership with the University of Roehampton, are now open. Any parents/carers who are considering a change of career should follow the handle on X (Twitter) and/or Instagram: @LDNwestalliance. Any potential candidates could contact Mr Mullins, our coordinator for Initial Teacher Training (ITT), if they would like a one-day school experience.
Yoga, Lunch and Chat
Another community opportunity
Hounslow Council have organised some yoga lunch and chat wellbeing sessions for parents/carers of children and young people with SEND in Hounslow. For more information, please do check out this flyer.
Announcing – the next I&S Inspires!
Another inspiring session for all students
Following the success of this week’s I&S Inspires talk (see ‘News’ below), we are delighted to announce our next inspirational session:
Dr Jamie Frost
Tuesday 14 November
He is the founder of Dr Frost Maths, a fantastic learning platform that we use in school. He also earned a PhD at Oxford University, writing about AI, and was awarded the Global Teacher Prize Covid Hero Award during the pandemic.
Clearly, he will have lots of interesting things to say! The talk will run on the above date from 3.20 – 4.20pm, and will be of particular interest to those wishing to pursue careers in maths, computing or business. More information will follow next week, but for now please put the date in your diary!
Be safe, not sorry, with fireworks
At this time of year, it is imperative that students and adults are safe, not sorry, when it comes to fireworks. This means:
- Only adults should purchase, ignite and dispose of fireworks
- Plan your firework display with safety in mind to make it more enjoyable.
- Always use one firework at a time and keep all fireworks in a sealed damp-proof box.
- Read and follow all instructions via torchlight if required on each firework before using them.
- Light a single firework at a time with a taper at arm’s length
We recommend reading this really good guidance from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).
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.
Promoting National Green Careers Week
Next week is National Green Careers Week, and it is an opportunity to help young people get to grips with emerging technologies as well as careers that will change the world for the better. A study by the University of Bath in 2021 found that around 60% of young people are ‘worried’ or ‘extremely worried’ about climate change so we want to highlight the amazing career pathways they can follow to improve the future climate.
Over the course of the next week there will be opportunities posted and the Year group – Careers – Profile building channel on Teams. Already there are opportunities for students interested in fashion, civil engineering, and opportunities from companies like Airbus and Siemens Energy. This parent/carer guide to the week is worth reading.
Pride of House
Celebrating student success
For those who are not aware, our weekly Pride of House awards are a fantastic way to reward students for working hard and contributing to the life of the school. Each week, the pastoral staff nominate a student from each house!
These awards are available below.
Several inspiring talks – plus alumni success
I&S Inspires – Simon McDonald
On Wednesday, we were thrilled to welcome Simon McDonald into school for our latest I&S Inspires talk. This hour-long session was a fascinating introduction to the world of geopolitical diplomacy.
Simon has lived a colourful life, acting as British Ambassador to Israel and Germany, as well as working as a civil servant under Foreign Secretary Jack Straw during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and bringing about the downfall of Boris Johnson in 2022. He is now a Master at Christ’s College Cambridge and a member of the House of Lords.
Simon’s talk about his life was fascinating, giving students a peek into life as a diplomat and civil servant. He then opened the floor to questions. He answered lots of mature questions from students about the current conflict in Gaza, as well as how he became a civil servant and advice he would give to those pursuing such a career. It was a magnificent session; indeed, Year 12 student Nishant commented, “It was very insightful into current event and it broadened my view not just for the recent conflicts but about conflicts in the past”.
Oxbridge Talk – Emily Tomlinson
Before the I&S Inspires session, we were delighted to welcome another special guest into school. Emily Tomlinson is the Director of Admissions at Christ’s College, part of the University of Cambridge. She is also a trustee at Isleworth & Syon. We were delighted that she gave up some time to talk to Sixth Form students about the process of applying to Oxbridge and other prestigious UK universities.
The audience was made up of Year 13 students who have already applied to Oxbridge plus Year 12 students already planning an application. Emily’s 35-minute talk covered the application process, including advice on personal statements and guidance for how to conduct a good interview. She then opened the floor for ten minutes of Q&A, giving students the opportunity to ask some great questions. It was a fantastic session which gave students plenty of food for thought as they plan their next steps!
Seaford Fieldwork Trip
At GCSE level, hands-on fieldwork exercises feed directly into the course content and their examinations at the end of Year 11. This week, Year 11 geographers headed down to the East Sussex coast for a very successful day of fieldwork. They examined coastal processes, management and land use, putting their classroom studies into practice. In Year 11, they plan their own independent fieldwork, so this was great practice! A second group will undertake the fieldwork next week.
Senior Maths Challenge Results
A few weeks ago, we wrote about students in Years 10-13 taking the Senior Maths Challenge. Now, the results are in!
Congratulations to Mikaeel Shah who has, once again, achieved a score of 100% and qualified for the British Mathematical Olympiad round 1. A phenomenal achievement! Ayman Shah (10Br) also achieved a Gold and has therefore qualified for the Senior Kangaroo competition later this year.
Year 10 performed brilliantly, with a staggering 83% of participants earning either Bronze, Silver or Gold. As well as Ayman and Mikaeel, the other two top performers for their year group were George Seget (Year 11) and Hafidh Abdalla (Year 12). Well done, everyone!
Royal Academy of Music Young Composer
Well done to Year 9 student Sam Gilmour, who was selected to participate in the Royal Academy of Music’s (RAM) Young Composer programme during October.
The scheme was designed for aspiring young composers from London secondary schools, and consisted of two intensive day-long sessions at the RAM, with only 12 young composers invited to take part. Working with RAM staff, students collaborated with instrumentalists in composition tasks and had the chance to learn more about studying composition in further education. There was also a great discussion of career pathways! Well done, Sam.
Alumnus in the West End
And finally for this week… a fantastic alumni story. Former student Taheen Modak (pictured above, far right) continues to build a very impressive portfolio as a professional actor. Having recently appeared on TV – with main cast roles in ITV’s ‘The Bay’ and Sky’s ‘Two Weeks to Live’ – he has just finishing a stint on a West End stage.
From 6 September to 28 October, Taheen appeared at The Old Vic in a production of ‘Pygmalion’. The production gave Taheen’s character lots of stage time and attention through a series of comedic sequences where he tries (and fails) to get the main character’s attention! Well done to Taheen.
Immediately after this he is travelling to Ireland to film a series for Channel 5 where he will be one of the lead parts. He continued to credit with the school with being highly influential in his ability to follow his dream of being a performer.