From the Co-Headteachers
There is a scene in the film Billy Elliot (2000) where Billy is leaving his County Durham village to take up his place at the Royal Ballet School. His gran hugs him tight, holds him and then pushes him away, an act of sacrifice and resignation. It is a heart-breaking but, ultimately, brave and courageous step which sees Billy take yet another step towards gaining his independence.
We highlight this because, within our outstanding Year group assemblies across the week, a number of memorable moments have included strong messaging about students becoming stronger independent learners and, in particular, breaking the cycle of avoidance.
Typical things that some students avoid are:
- being responsible for their own learning;
- completing classroom work;
- finishing all PPA (homework); and
- reading for 20 minutes every day.
Successfully breaking the cycle of avoidance – and therefore achieving at a higher level – are all our shared responsibilities. Given this, we encourage all parents/carers to devote time to discussing – and checking – these habits with their son/ward. These are shared responsibilities; a partnership between school, parents/carers and every student.
You can read all the news below. Please do read the full newsletter which also contains information about our values as well as forthcoming events.
Simon Fisher and Jo Higginbottom
School Closure – November
Earlier today (Friday), a letter was sent to all parents/carers with changes to school arrangements next week – namely, that school will be closed for students on Friday 25 and Monday 28 November. Thursday (24 November) will be treated as a Friday, so make sure students come to school ready for their Friday lessons.
Read the full letter for more.
January Examinations – Exam Timetables
On Tuesday, we uploaded examination timetables for the January series, consisting of internal examinations for Year 12 and public examinations for KS5 students taking vocational qualifications. Do click the links above to view the timetables or visit www.isleworthsyon.org/examinations. Students will receive individualised timetables, detailing venues and arrangements for exam clashes, later in the term. In the meantime, it is never too early for students in those groups to begin revising for these important assessments. Our mantra in school is ‘little and often’.
Starting next week, emails from school will come from email@example.com. This also means that you can reply to an email directly if you have a query about its contents; a member of our admin team will then forward it to the appropriate person.
Please make sure that this email is added to your ‘safe senders’ list so that you always receive our communications.
Finally, always let us know if you change your email so that we always have the correct contact.
Club of the Week – Volleyball
Staff: Mr Nowicki
Room: Sports Hall
When: Tuesday, 3.05 – 4.05pm
Who: Years 10 and 11
Volleyball is a recent addition to the school’s fantastic offer of sport. Created by Mr Nowicki following a request from students, the two squads go from strength to strength. Last year the Senior Team competed in the London Youth Games for the first time. This year, they comfortably won their first matches of the season and are looking forward to competing in Volleyball England’s Junior Grand Prix Series at JFS in North London. If you are in Year 10 or 11 and looking to pick up a new sport, you are very welcome to join our ever-improving development squad.
Please do check out our full range of opportunities if you haven’t managed to do so yet.
- Thursday 24 November – Friday timetable
- Friday 25 November – INSET 3 (students do not attend school)
- Monday 28 November – PPA Day (students do not attend school)
- 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
Word of the Week
The word of the week is integrity.
Last week we outlined how, as a school, we strive to protect and safeguard young people within, both, the local community as well as the online community. As a reminder, if you have a concern about the safety or welfare of your or another 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.
Pride of House
Each week, Form Tutors or Pastoral Staff nominate a student from each form for the Pride of House award. These are awarded for a number of reasons, but always reflect fantastic commitment to the school and the House. This week’s winners can be read by clicking a house badge below.
Following on from last Friday’s remembrance events, we were delighted to take a small group of I&S ambassadors to a local event on Remembrance Sunday.
Boys took part in a parade through the local streets, each wearing a sash with the name of an Isleworth resident who died during the First World War. There was then a small ceremony at 11.00am. It was a poignant day, remembering those who sacrificed their lives. Our thanks go to the students involved as well as the Sixth Form student leaders who ably supported.
Old Vic Technical Rehearsal
By Arthur Moore (Year 12)
Last week, me and two other sixth form drama students were lucky enough to get the chance to visit the Old Vic in London and watch a technical rehearsal of ‘A Christmas Carol’. It allowed us to see the stop-start process that the director must go through in order to make sure the actors are in the correct place in line with cues from both the lighting and sound team. They also showed us automation that is used within the play. Throughout, we were able to ask questions about the whole process to various crew members like the executive producer, director and lighting designer. They were very informative and helpful in answering our many questions!
‘A Christmas Carol’
On Monday afternoon, we welcomed Quantum Theatre into school for a special performance of ‘A Christmas Carol’ for Year 11.
Consisting of just three performers and a limited set, the company broke Dickens;’ text down to its bare essentials, giving students all the information that they need about one of their GCSE set texts. Indeed, the performance brought the text’s key themes to life in a way that will no doubt make it easier for students to write about in the summer!
Last Saturday, Mr Mullins (Curriculum Leader – PE) and the PE staff took a large group of Isleworthians to the local Twickenham rugby ground to watch England vs Japan.
The aim of this trip was to reward students for their ongoing commitment to improvement in rugby union at school. It was a wonderful day, offering students a fantastic insight into how elite players warm up, as well as how professional rugby players perform under pressure. Students thoroughly enjoyed this opportunity and were impeccably behaved throughout!
Ski Trip Parent/Carer Meeting
One of our key enrichment offers is our annual Ski Trip, with students given the chance to spend eight nights at the Austrian ski slopes, learning from trained instructors by day and absorbing Austrian culture by night. Previous participants have found it to be a truly special opportunity.
This year’s trip takes place in February half-term 2023, with 50 students signed up. On Tuesday this week, we held a parent/carer information evening, so that families could ask any questions and learn from trip staff about how it will run. It was a well-attended event!
Keep an eye on our Twitter account in February to follow the group’s exploits!
Cisco Work Experience
A recent survey showed that two-thirds of employers look for employees with relevant work experience because it helps them prepare for work and develop general business awareness. Importantly, one-third of employers felt that applicants did, too often, not have a satisfactory level of knowledge about their chosen career or job. As a school, we work very hard to expose students to appropriate career pathways, both, in term-time as well as in the school holidays. In this image, Nicolau and Nishant (both Year 11) complete five days on a work placement at CISCO systems in Bedfont, preparing them for a career pathway in computer science. Please discuss career pathways with your own child and access further advice and guidance via our careers page.