Welcome from the Co-Headteachers
Encouraging students to read, read, read
It has been busy week with six different year group assemblies reinforcing the importance of good habits. Over time, cultivating effective study habits can lead to improved oracy (structured speaking), better comprehension and improved academic performance. Key issues for students and parents/carers to reflect on include:
- Improved punctuality and attendance based on our whole school strategy of “No Minutes Lost”
- Improved reading for a minimum of 20 minutes every day: read, read, read
- Improved positive and active attitudes to learning when in class: answering and asking questions, completing written work, building-on the answers of others
- Improved rates of PPA completion – this might take the form of revision, re-drafting, research or, yes, even more reading
Be aware that the school library is open for both PPA completion and reading for pleasure from 8.00am every morning until 4.30pm. There is simply no reason why students are unable to read more often and/or complete their PPA on a weekly basis. We even have an online reading platform to support those young people who prefer to read from electronic devices. Our mantra relating to the slow development of healthy habits is: No Excuses, No Exceptions.
A lot of work goes on behind the scenes to bring this newsletter to your inboxes each week. We are still looking for your feedback – leave us a comment if you have something to say.
Simon Fisher and Jo Higginbottom
Supporting our community
We are very clear in school that anti-social behaviour is unacceptable – our basic expectation is for students to be mature, responsible school ambassadors throughout their time on site but also during journeys to and from school.
Be aware that strong internal disciplinary action is taken against any individual student found to be involved in nuisance behaviour, harassment or public disorder. We always report any such behaviour in our community to the police as crimes. In some cases, robust internal school action will also be supplemented by external police action; namely warnings, arrests and formal charging as well as convictions. Simply put, this sort of behaviour brings the school into disrepute and will not be tolerated.
Some more dates for your calendar
- 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
- Monday 4 – Friday 8 March – Year 11 and Year 13 Pre-Public Examinations (PPEs)
- Monday 4 – Friday 8 March – Sustainability Week
- Thursday 7 March – Year 10 Parents/Carers Evening
- Thursday 14 March – KS4 Courses Evening (Year 9)
The full calendar is available at this link.
South Western Railways Strike Action
Important information for students travelling by rail in January and February
Please find below information from South Western Railway confirming their services during industrial action in January and February:
- Strike action takes place on Tuesday 30 January and customers should only travel if absolutely necessary, avoiding the first and last trains of the day if possible.
- An overtime ban will be in place on Monday 29, and from Wednesday 31 January to Tuesday 6 February, with short-notice cancellations and alterations likely.
- Journey planners are now up to date through to Thursday 1 February with subsequent dates set to be updated in the coming days.
- For more information visit southwesternrailway.com/strike.
Partnership Working: Sport Impact
Helping to raise levels of physical fitness among young people
We have a range of highly effective working relationships with a range of organisations across London and the UK. One of these organisations is Sport Impact, a team of specialist PE teachers based out of our. Sport Impact work across the majority of Hounslow schools, actively supporting the delivery of high-quality PE, competitive and recreational sport as well as physical activity in schools; they even support community programmes such as the visionary Model City Project. More recently, as part of the new Mo Farah campaign entitled Mo’s Mission, Sport Impact was also at the heart of striving to get every Hounslow young person to exercise for 60 minutes everyday. As a school, we proudly fund and support Sport Impact, raising levels of physical literacy and physical fitness among children and young people across our borough.
Protecting students’ wellbeing, mental health and self-esteem
We regularly focus on the importance of sleep as an essential requirement for people to effectively carry out our daily activities. Sleep is hugely important for the protection of our wellbeing and mental health as well as self-esteem. Crucially, it also helps with learning and the formation of long-term memories which, of course, supports rapid academic progress. Given this, it remains disappointing that a small minority of students continue to not obtain enough high-quality sleep by getting to bed early enough. Frequent problems involve students charging their mobile phones inside bedrooms or, more simply, not having a “lights off” curfew. Failure to develop strong sleep routines can lead to problems focusing on tasks and thinking clearly. To support your son/ward, please review our checklist as well as NHS guidance.
‘Emil and the Detectives’ – Last Chance
Tickets still on sale for this outstanding production
There is just ONE WEEK TO GO until the first performance of this year’s whole school production, ‘Emil and the Detectives’. Featuring over forty students from across the school – and a live soundtrack from some of our top musical performers – you really don’t want to miss out! Tickets are still available – check out the poster below for the full details and then buy yours in our ‘Tickets’ section.
National Youth Theatre Audition
A prestigious opportunity for students in Years 9-13
Yesterday (Thursday), parents/carers of Years 9-13 received an email invitation for students to audition for the National Youth Theatre (NYT) in school on Saturday 24 February. NYT is Britain’s most prestigious drama company that people from the age of 14-25 can join. It has been the launching pad for many British actors, ranging from Idris Elba to Daniel Craig. We have had significant success with 15 students becoming company members; they have all described the experience as life changing.
Please note that this opportunity is available to all students in Years 9-13, not just performing arts students. Find out more information in this letter.
Extra-Curricular Programme – Spring
Helping students develop existing passions and find new ones
This week, we have fully launched our Extra-Curricular Programme for the Spring Term, with nearly 60 opportunities available for students throughout the week. New clubs include Scratch Programming Club, I&S Big Band, Current Affairs Club, Woodworking Club, Board Games Club, MFL Karaoke Club and Film Friday. Check out the full list and see if your son/ward can take part and “buy in” to our culture of outstanding opportunity. All he has to do to get involved is speak to the member of staff listed.
Give us your feedback about local and national issues
We were pleased that Ofsted praised our relevant and impactful PSHE provision (Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education). It is vitally important that we constantly review our provision and adapt it so that it meets the needs of our local context. We invite parents/carers on an ongoing basis to “tune in” and report back on local and national issues which result from their discussions with their son/ward. These “live” youth issues help inform our innovative PSHE education programme, which aims to equip students with a toolkit of knowledge and skills to make the right decisions. Please report any contextual issues using the email address below.
If you have a concern about the safety or welfare of your child, please email the safeguarding team at email@example.com. If there is an emergency call 999 or, for non-urgent matters that require police attention, call 101.
Preparing for National Apprenticeship Week
We are starting to build towards National Apprenticeship Week, which runs from Monday 5 – Sunday 11 February. This week-long celebration brings together businesses and apprentices across the country to shine a light on the positive impact that apprenticeships make to individuals, businesses and the wider economy. Recently, we have seen an increase in students applying and indeed securing apprenticeships with organisations like the Civil Service, TFL, and British Airways. These apprenticeships offer a hands-on experience and are increasingly available in non-traditional fields like medicine and law. You can find more information about apprenticeships on the Government website.
House Point Champions
Recognising students going above and beyond
Well done to this week’s Diamond award-winners, presented for reaching 200 house points. These students are fantastic role models for their peers – congratulations to all of them. Will your son/ward appear on this list next week? You can see his progress via INSIGHT.
Well done to:
Finn BARNES (7Tr)
Kabeer BUTT (8Tu)
Gus CLARK (7Sn)
Swagat DAHAL (7Br)
George DAVIES (9Tr)
Rafi HODGES (8Tu)
Sami KHALIFA (9Tu)
Tiago TADRZAK MAIA (7Ad)
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.
Pride of House
Celebrating student success
Please do click a house badge below to celebrate our 40 Pride of House winners for the last seven days. The prize has been awarded by pastoral staff to reflect a fantastic contribution to school life – well done everyone!
Inspiring students now and preparing them for later
Geography Trip to Docklands
GCSE geography takes the course beyond the textbooks and outside the classroom, with fieldwork a key requirement. Simply put, this means that students have the opportunity to go out into the world and identify key geographical features. Interacting with real-life geographical examples helps to illuminate complex concepts and is also great fun! This Year 11 cohort visited London’s Docklands area earlier this week.
All the work completed on the day was crucial for their public examinations in just a few months’ time. Therefore, it was important for them to keep their focus throughout. This was easy as the geography team planned an engaging day, including a walking tour around the Millwall Dock area. After a successful day, the groups came back to the classroom and analysed what they had found. This meant comparing notes and working together to build a detailed case study of the area.
National Theatre Archives Trip
Year 13 students are just months away from their summer examinations, which will go a long way to determine their next steps. For students taking English literature, this means constant revision of their set texts to ensure they have all the knowledge they need. To that end, Miss Thomson organised a very useful revision session on Tuesday – with a difference. The group of 12 students headed to London’s National Theatre archives to watch a special screening of a filmed ‘King Lear’ theatre production. Seeing one of Shakespeare’s most famous tragedies in performance was a vital tool to bring a set text to life!
KS5 Parents/Carers Evening
Last night (Thursday), we held our Key Stage 5 Parents/Carers Evening in school. This event saw parents/carers of Year 12 and Year 13 students have short appointments with subject teachers to evaluate progress so far. These meetings were very helpful as a means to establishing where students’ strengths lie, as well as ways in which they can improve. Attendance was good, so thank you to those parents/carers who attended.