Welcome from the Co-Headteachers
Re-setting school expectations for the year ahead
We hope everyone had a Happy Christmas and New Year. This week, the school is well and truly back into full flow with a vibrancy and energy within classrooms as well as around the corridors. Year group assemblies have been driving the importance of taking pride in both appearance and work presentation as well as re-setting behavioural expectations across our community. Furthermore, we are again reinforcing the importance of reading in all subjects as well as at home. We know that reading ability is a key indicator of academic success, so please continue to monitor how your son/ward reads at home. Our expectation is that students read for 20 minutes a day. This could be reading in silence by themselves or reading to or even alongside parents/carers. Our mantra is “little and often”.
Thank you to all parents/carers who have ensured that their son/ward is appropriately dressed with layers of clothing. The cold spell is expected to continue so please continue to be vigilant, ensuring that your son/ward dresses sensibly.
Finally, our extensive extra-curricular programme for the Spring Term has started. As ever, this enrichment offers a huge array of outstanding opportunities to learn, develop, achieve and grow – the full schedule will launch soon. Please encourage your son/ward to “buy-in”.
We want to know what YOU think about this newsletter – what do you enjoy? What do you think could be better? Let us know by leaving a comment in this form. Thank you.
Simon Fisher and Jo Higginbottom
Curriculum Focus – Science
Setting the spotlight on the science team
Last term was a fantastic start to this academic year in the science department. Students have really engaged with the bespoke curriculum, as teachers tailor lessons to students’ individual needs to ensure their own best outcomes are achieved. These lessons include building and cascading knowledge, practical lessons to test and evaluate theories, regular low-stake testing, and rigorous assessments throughout the year groups. These skills are even transferred to our primary school links.
The department’s focus this year is to develop a rich science cultural capital through varied extra-curricular opportunities which include: Year 7 Science Club, science movie and discussion nights organised by our amazing Sixth Form students, and various outside competitions to supplement our students’ enquiring minds. For the rest of the year, students will be part of the RSPB School Big Bird Watch survey, Science Week in March, educational trips, and an exciting conservation project coming in the Summer.
The science department’s aim is to promote a lifelong love and understanding of science with many of our students continuing science in further education and afterwards in a diverse array of science careers. Below you can see our proud display of some of these ex-students; you can also take a look at this PDF which showcases some more of our alumni.
Some more dates for your calendar
- Tuesday 9 – Friday 19 January 2024 – Sixth Form Vocational External Examinations
- Thursday 18 January 2024 – Year 7 Parents/Carers Evening
- 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’
- Monday 12 – Friday 16 February – Half-Term
- Wednesday 21 and Thursday 22 February – Year 8 HPV and MMR immunisations (students with consent)
- Thursday 22 February – Year 9 Parents/Carers Evening
The full calendar is available at this link.
Obesity Awareness Week
Making you aware about a local family project
National Obesity Awareness Week is taking place from 10-16 January. The Hounslow nursing team have asked us to showcase their Healthy Hounslow programme, a free health and wellbeing service for families in the borough. Read this flyer to find out about the 12-week family programme which can help you lead a healthier life.
The Big Ambition
Giving young people a voice this election year
A reminder that the Children’s Commissioner has launched the The Big Ambition, a new campaign to hear directly from children, young people, and adults from across the country about what they need to make their lives better. As a general election draws closer, this a crucial moment to take stock of young people’s voices, their views and experiences; it is vital that these opinions are understood by policy makers and decision takers. Young people should be front and centre of the debate.
This survey is for all children and young people aged 6-18 and for parents/carers who can complete the survey on behalf of children aged 0-5. Please note that the survey closes next Friday, 19 January.
County Lines and Gangs
Another community project helping parents/carers to be informed
Local community organisation AIM (Action for Isleworth Mothers) have partnered with the Hounslow Parent/Carer Champion Network to organise an important webinar about gangs and county lines.
The live and interactive online session will cover signs and indicators about how young people are exploited; ways in which you can have healthy conversations with your child about these topics; how to access professional support, and much more. It takes place on Wednesday 17 January 2024; read more in this flyer and then email for the entry link.
Completing school forms
An important administrative notice
As you are no doubt already aware, paper permission slips and consent forms are a thing of the past in school because everything is electronic. When you are asked to complete an online form by us, you are asked for several identifying details, including your email address. This is so we can confirm that you are a member of our community by matching with our database.
Therefore, please make sure that the email address you give in these forms is exactly the same email address where we send our emails. Otherwise, your responses will not be registered and you may receive further emails from us asking you to fill it out again. Thank you for your support.
‘Emil and the Detectives’ – Coming Soon
Save the date for our whole school production
Our whole school production of ‘Emil and the Detectives’ is now just three weeks away! Rehearsals are well underway on this fantastic play – a madcap romp through 1930s Berlin featuring a young boy battling a dastardly villain with a little help from his friends. It promises to be fantastic fun.
Performances are scheduled for Thursday 1 and Friday 2 February, with tickets going on sale next week. Please do come along and support the arts at Isleworth & Syon – we know that you won’t be disappointed!
Promoting good attendance to school
This week Gillian Keegan, the Secretary of State for Education, wrote to all schools to promote national strategies that tackle challenges around absence. Research shows that being in school every day with teachers and friends is the best way for students to learn and reach their potential. Time in school also keeps children safe and provides access to extra-curricular opportunities and pastoral care.
Missing school days has a serious impact on examination grades. In 2023, pupils who didn’t achieve grade 9 to 4 in English and maths missed 10 more days than those who achieved grade 9 to 5 in both English and maths.
We are pleased that our students’ average attendance continues to be higher than the national average. We will continue to celebrate this and reward our students for their good attendance.
- In 2024, please continue to encourage your child to attend school every day. Here are some tips that may help:
- Set attendance goals with your child for the term/year.
- Try offering small rewards for not missing any school.
- Talk about the importance of showing up to school every day.
- Help your children maintain daily routines, such as finishing PPA (homework) and getting a good night’s sleep.
- Try not to schedule dental and medical appointments during the school day.
- See help through the school or GP if there are barriers to regular attendance.
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.
Giving students the chance to prepare themselves for the wider world
Year 10 Work Experience Launch
This week, we have launched our Work Experience programme to Year 10 students. Taking place from Monday 8 – Friday 19 July, all Year 10 students will be expected to source and complete a ten-day work-based experience that will give them a valuable insight in to the world of work, build their confidence, and begin to see where their interests can take them. There will be more information to follow, but in the meantime, please support your son/ward in sourcing his placement by having a conversation with him and asking him what he would like to do.
Soaring to Success
Students in Year 8-12 have the opportunity to sign up for Soaring to Success. This is a careers enrichment programme for schools that bridges the gap between education and industry. It aims to inspire, enable, and support the next generation to consider a career within aviation and aerospace. It consists of seven online modules, each linked to a major player in the aerospace industry. These include BAE Systems, British Airways, and the CAA. Students can sign up on the ‘Careers – Profile Building’ tab on their year group Teams page.
Pride of House
Celebrating student success
Our Pride of House awards have resumed after the holidays, with one winner from each form group in Years 7-11 – eight per year and 40 in total. Students receive the award for a specific contribution to school life. Check out the winners via a house badge below!
House Point Champions
Rewarding students who go above and beyond in school
In school, students earn house points for outstanding contributions in all aspects of school life including lessons, PPA (homework), extra-curricular opportunities, student leadership and citizenship. At various milestones, certificates are awarded.
Two students have already reached the Diamond threshold – meaning they have received 200 house points this school year. An outstanding achievement! The next step for them will be the Prestige award once they hit 300. Please note that this will be updated weekly.
Well done to:
Veer BIJ (7Ad)
Arthur EAST (7Tr)
Note: this list is accurate as of 7.00am today (Friday). If your child reached a threshold after 7.00am on Friday, they will appear in the next list.
Setting students up for continued success
Sixth Form Applications
Following their internal exams in December, Year 11 students should be carefully considering their next steps for post-16 education. Our mixed Sixth Form has a proven track record for exceptional educational outcomes and outstanding opportunities for all students. We are proud to offer aspirational next steps and extensive leadership experiences so that students can maximise their potential.
Applications for September 2024 entry into the Sixth Form ‘close’ in just two weeks, on Friday 26 January. Applications received after this date will be accepted but be considered ‘late’, meaning that it is not possible for us to guarantee course places.
Co-Heads Celebration Meeting
In the last few weeks, the Co-Headteachers have organised celebration events with small group of students in Years 7-13. The chosen cohort this time was students with the most positive points in the year – meaning that they are those making the most positive contributions to school life. They should be proud of their achievements.
The Co-Heads asked the students about their progress this year as well as the ways in which student life could be improved in school. This sort of student voice is incredibly important as we seek to continually improve. We are grateful for their feedback!
Sixth Form Examinations
This week, examinations have begun for the Sixth Form. All Year 12 students are taking internal examinations in each subjects, with results giving them a fantastic barometer of their current progress as well as areas for improvement. There is also a programme of public examinations for students taking vocational courses – assessments which will contribute towards their final subject grade. We wish all students the best of luck!
Karanveer Sondh – BA Apprenticeship
Congratulations to Year 13 student Karanveer Sondh, who has just earned a place on a prestigious apprenticeship with British Airways. There were hundreds of applicants across the country for this apprenticeship, with Karanveer one of only 30 to earn a place after three interview rounds. The apprenticeship, which will take place at Heathrow Airport, is described as a “starting point to become a qualified Aircraft Engineer”. Karanveer will hone his hands-on skills working with BA colleagues to earn a qualification at the end of it.
Since Karanveer joined the Sixth Form in Year 12 as an external applicant, he has made clear his ambition to be a mechanical engineer for a career. This amazing opportunity will be the first step on that ladder – well done, Karanveer!