Welcome from the Co-Headteachers
Celebrating students’ past (term) and looking ahead to their future (success)
In the run-up to Christmas, we have enjoyed a series of end of term Year assemblies to celebrate students who have been successful, confident and responsible. This prize-giving focused on key strands that lead to student success:
- high attendance and punctuality
- being a highly active learner
- strong independent learning (reading and PPA completion); and
- widespread extra-curricular club “buy-in”.
Clear and concise messaging from Oliver Hone, James Skinner and Joe Gilmour – three Sixth Form role models – in each assembly strongly supported this pathway to success. These student leaders used the central themes from ‘A Christmas Carol’ to ask students to learn from the past, prioritise the most important things now (the present), and leave a legacy (the future).
Thank you to all parents/carers who have supported their son/ward in achieving these broad goals; it does make a huge difference. In January 2024, every student has a fresh start; all barometers of success, confidence and responsibility are reset to provide every student with a clean slate.
This morning, we emailed all parents/carers an important letter regarding support during the cost of living crisis – signposting resources that can help families. Please do read the letter.
We wish everyone happiness, joy and peace at this time of year. Please be reminded that students return at 8.25am on Monday 8 January.
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
Well done to Years 11 and 13!
On Tuesday, the December examinations ended for students in Years 11 and 13. Over the last two weeks, these students have sat internal examinations in each of their subjects – to get a sense of their progress as well as what they need to do to improve further ahead of the public exams next summer. Results will be issued in the new year.
Well done to all students for their hard work and commitment throughout the term – and thank you to our exams support staff team for the extraordinary amount of work that goes into these assessments. Next up are the Year 12 internal school exams plus external vocational exams for KS5 students – these take place at the start of the Spring Term.
‘No Minutes Lost’
Relaunching this important punctuality project
We will be launching our ‘No Minutes Lost‘ competition at the start of next term. This is to encourage improved punctuality (being on time for school) and support students in being ready for learning. Students will compete to be the most punctual form and House; the best form groups will receive prizes at the end of the half-term. Please support this drive by discussing the importance of punctuality with your son/ward and encouraging their active participation to reduce their minutes lost.
Thank you to Vanessa and Alan Smith
We wish to inform parents/carers that long-serving and wholly committed school trustees, Vanessa and Alan Smith, finished their terms of office this year after over twenty years of loyal service to the school. Vanessa – as chair of Trustees – and Alan, who served on the Resources and Audit Committee, have been involved with our school since their own children attended. We will post more news on this next term.
Some upcoming dates for the diary for after the holidays
- Thursday 25 January 2024 – Year 11 Photographs
- Thursday 25 January 2024 – KS5 Parents/Carers Evening
- Thursday 1 and Friday 2 February – Whole School Production of ‘Emil and the Detectives’
The full calendar is available at this link.
One Stop Shop
Hounslow’s domestic abuse support service is moving
Not all families have a restful, peaceful festive break as, unfortunately, rates of domestic abuse increase over the Christmas period. Given this, we regularly signpost Hounslow’s One Stop Shop drop-in service which is based at the Arts Centre (first floor) in the Treaty Centre, Hounslow, TW3 1ES. Open every Wednesday between 10.00am and 12.00pm, this service provides free guidance on family law, protection orders, housing and benefits to anyone affected by domestic and/or sexual violence. As a general reminder, any child who is witness to domestic violence is also regarded as a “victim”. The contact details for this support are: 07810031780. No appointment is necessary. On 10 January 2024, this service will move to the Holy Trinity Church, High Street, Hounslow, TW3 1HG. Find out more on Hounslow’s website.
Ivybridgelink Trustee Vacancy
A community opportunity to support a local charity
IvyBridgeLink – the charity for the Bridgelink Community Centre in Isleworth – is looking for people to become trustees. If you have an interest in the local area, an understanding of the needs of local people, and the ability to advocate for under-represented groups – this may be the role for you. Please check out this flyer for more details.
An important safety notice
Our Safer Schools Police team have asked us to pass on a notice to families regarding drones and the use of them around Heathrow Airport. Please be aware that if you fly a drone within 5km of Heathrow Airport you could be arrested, fined or sent to prison. Read their full information leaflet for more.
Winter Concert Feedback
A small selection of parent/carer feedback
The Winter Concert was a superb triumph – in case you missed our report, check out last week’s Isleworthian. At the event, attendees were encouraged to complete a “feedback bauble” and hang it on the tree – which has had pride of place in the school foyer this week (pictured). We wanted to highlight just some of the overwhelming feedback we received:
- “Absolutely amazing. So much talent, fantastic support, fun, genius! Loved it. I can’t wait to come back next year.”
- “Excellent performances by the students. I am proud to send my son to such a prestigious institute where students have tremendous opportunities to explore their interest and hobbies.”
- “Remarkable talent! I was blown away by the show!”
- “Fantabulous. Electrifying.”
- “Wow – another amazing performance! Credit to the teachers, students and everyone involved!!”
- “Loved playing back here at I&S. Students are talented. Here’s the more shows like this!!”
- “Fantastic!! Great show. Such talented kids. Well done I&S.”
Photographing ‘Our Isleworth’
A superb community opportunity for students
Students are invited to take part in the ‘Our Isleworth’ community photo competition. Students from our school have had considerable success in this competition over the last few years. All winners receive a £50 prize; runners-up will be given £30. Find out more in this flyer.
Some important updates before the holidays
“If You Don’t Know, Don’t Go”
At the end of term, students have received messages on how to stay safe, including staying away from frozen water.
During Christmas party season, many young people will be heading out to celebrations, often in the homes of friends and acquaintances. Although many of these parties will end with nothing worse than tiredness, other events may lead to greater problems, including sexual exploitation, drug use, or other risky behaviours.
This information from West Yorkshire Police caught our eye. This weblink provides information for young people about the potential dangers of house parties, and how to keep themselves safe. Other pitfalls and advice about having safe festival fun can be found on this website.
Seven out of ten parents use technical controls on their child’s devices. These safeguards can be an important way to manage student exploration into the digital world – see NSPCC guidance. Despite our strong school messaging of phones “not being used, seen or heard” while on school site, mobile phone misuse remains a daily occurrence. So, we strongly recommend that parents/carers randomly check mobile devices during the holidays – to promote healthy online behaviour and prevent any reckless, experimental and/or malicious activities. Please try and extract your son/ward from his phone for at least one phase of the day so that he can actively live out our well-embedded MIND strategies.
The school is closed from 12.30pm on Thursday 21 December and reopens on Monday 8 January at 8.25am. During the holidays, if you have a concern about the safety or welfare of your child, please email the safeguarding team at email@example.com. A member of staff will be monitoring the account.
Student success and fantastic community projects
Senior Awards Evening
On Monday, we were delighted to host our Senior Awards Evening, celebrating students in Years 10-13 from the 2022-23 academic year. We once again held the event in December so that our leavers could attend, as many of them have just finished their first semester at university.
In total, 148 students received awards during the hour-long ceremony, which was compered by Mr McAlinden, Mr Doyle and Mr Mullins. We presented a range of cups, prizes, trophies and awards to encompass all aspects of school life, including academic, sporting, citizenship and arts success.
The final prize, though, was the most prestigious of all – the Headmaster’s Trophy. Announced on the night, the identity of the winner was known only to the Co-Heads. Congratulations to Matthew Nunan (pictured first above), a worthy winner due to his exemplary seven-year school career where he contributed massively to the life of the school. Well done, Matthew, and everyone else who received awards!
Podcast, Episode 4
This week, we have published episode 4 of our podcast. In this episode, Year 12 students Blake, Nishant, and Aayan reflect on their reading experiences throughout their time at the school and the role it has played in their academic successes.
You can listen via the embedded player below:
A direct link is also available if the player does not work.
Once again, we would love your feedback once you’ve had a listen – please leave any comments in this form.
Old Boys Game
The annual Old Boys rugby fixture took place at the Memorial Ground on Wood Lane on Saturday. Boosted by a plethora of returning university students, Mr Mullins pitted his team of young, fit gladiators against the more established, seasoned and long-in-the-tooth Old Isleworthians club side. In what turned out to be a highly competitive match, the school young guns ran out 29-19 winners with notable try-scoring performances from Diallo Williams (2), Archie Horton, Joseph Whittaker and Omar Ammoune. Particular thanks go to Mr West who refereed the tight game with his usual fairness. Overall, the event was a real triumph with the ultimate winner being the “spirit of rugby”.
A reminder to parents/carers and students that all pupils become Isleworthians when they first join the school. As such, every Isleworthian is welcome to join the club and its clubhouse at no cost; the club runs cricket, football and rugby teams. Find out more on their website.
End of Term Assemblies
At the end of term, we held our traditional celebration assemblies for all year groups. These events, lasting about 45 minutes, give students and staff the chance to reflect on their progress up to this point, and celebrate students’ achievements in a variety of areas. A number of certificates and awards were presented to Isleworthians who have been fine ambassadors for the school during the Autumn Term. It was a lovely way to end 2023!
Food Donations Delivered
As mentioned last week, part of our Christmas Charity Drive focused on raising donations for a local food pantry called Ivybridgelink. Our thanks to families for their generosity. Packages were taken down to the pantry on Wednesday morning by Mr West, Mr Jackson, and his team of Senior Student Ambassadors (pictured above with just some of the donations, and the staff down there were very touched by the community effort displayed. Charity drives like this are such an important way for students to feel both connected to their community and the benefits of being an active, considerate citizen.
Christmas Messages to Elderly
And finally for this term –
Students from Years 7-11 have been working hard over the last week to write letters, cards and poems to share with local residents who attend the Tuesday Club, at the community centre on St John’s Road, Isleworth. The letters were delivered by Mr Fisher on Tuesday afternoon. The residents were very pleased; the organiser of the club said, “Our ladies and gents were honestly thrilled to receive the letters, poems and cards. Such a lovely link between our older people and your youngsters. The letters created a great deal of chatter (and laughter) which is what the Tuesday Club is all about.”
This was a wonderful opportunity for our students to reach out to our local community and spread a bit of Christmas cheer, thinking especially of those who may be spending the festive season alone.