Welcome from the Co-Headteachers

Helping students become successful, confident and responsible

It has been an extraordinarily busy week. Interspersed between their normal lessons, our learners have been bombarded with important messages within Year assemblies about becoming:

  • successful students
  • confident young people, and
  • responsible citizens within school and across our community.

This three-pronged approach is our core purpose. It largely involves students buying into our school culture of thinking hard, working hard; taking advantage of our vast array of enrichment opportunities’ and living out – on a daily basis – the traditional and deep-seated historical values represented by our school. On the issue of working hard, it’s important to stress that Year 11 and 13 students should now be accelerating their revision towards their March PPEs. Indeed, all Year 10 students have an external GCSE statistics examination in three months – the real thing – so should also be immersed in highly structured daily patterns of revision involving retrieval practice: past papers, knowledge organisers, Learn Its, and online platforms (Dr Frost).

Thank you to those parents/carers who have been providing feedback on the content within this newsletter through the feedback tool. A number of interesting suggestions have been made; we look forward to implementing some of these next half-term. One includes a drive to plan and deliver a range of parent/carer workshops on: “how to revise”, digitally safe literacy, and the importance of reading. Watch this space.

A reminder that half-term is next week (Monday 12 – Friday 16 February). Students return to school at 8.25am on Monday 19 February. Thank you for your support this half-term.

Simon Fisher and Jo Higginbottom

Being Digitally Literate

person holding iphone showing social networks folder

The importance of protecting young people from harm online

In school, we know that technology is an integral part of young people’s lives. Indeed, technology has transformed – and continues to transform – the way students learn, play, connect and communicate. But these opportunities don’t come without risk. During students’ time in school, we actively manage this risk, so it is also vitally important that parents/carers do the same at home.

Young people may experience abuse online and they may be exposed to harmful content. Of course, this can have a long-lasting impact on their wellbeing. So, a clear principle of the school is that every child deserves to be, and to feel, safe online – in school and at home. For this to succeed, we can all play a role in helping make online spaces safer for young people by:

  • Proactivity: talk to your child about anything worrying they experience online.
  • Listen: allow your child to recount any online experiences or online “near misses”.
  • Habits: make sure online safety is an ongoing part of your weekly conversation with your son/ward, not just a one-off session.
  • Rules: involve your son/ward in setting rules for the use of online platforms at home. Make sure they’re well understood. For example, some families only allow the use of laptops/work devices in a domestic public space.
  • Solutions: use technical solutions to manage access to online platforms. Make sure everyone knows about them and understands why they have been put in place. For example, conduct random phone check on images and video-clip content.
  • Privacy: we all need privacy. Help your son/ward understand and manage their privacy settings online.

Photo by Tracy Le Blanc on Pexels.com

Coming Soon!

Some more dates for your calendar

  • 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)
  • Tuesday 26 March – Year 11/13 Parents/Carers Evening 2
  • Wednesday 27 March – Drama & Music Showcase
  • Thursday 28 March – End of Spring Term (students dismissed at 12.30pm)
  • Tuesday 16 April – Start of Summer Term
  • Thursday 25 April – Year 8 Parents/Carers Evening

The full calendar is available at this link.

New Podcast Episode

Listen to students discuss the link between reading and writing

We have just published episode 5 of our podcast. In this episode, Axle (Year 10) and Godwin (Year 8), members of the creative writing club, share their enthusiasm for reading and tell us about how they have translated this into their own writing. 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.

Bridgelink Digital Support Cafés

An opportunity to upskill your digital literacy with a Sky employee

During February and March, the local Bridgelink Centre is holding three dedicated digital support cafés. These two-hour morning sessions are open to the people of any age to receive digital support from a Sky employee. If you want to increase your digital knowledge – for example, how to use your smartphone, how to do online banking, and how to book GP appointments – this free session may help. Find out more information in this flyer.

Poetry by Heart 2024

A wonderful opportunity to develop communication skills

Poetry By Heart 2024 was launched this week in English lessons. All students in Years 7-10 are being asked to learn a poem from the Poetry by Heart website as their compulsory PPA (homework) during the half-term period. Year 11-13 can enter optionally. Find out more information in this letter.

The school final will take place on Wednesday 20 March in the school hall – more details will follow next half-term.

Perhaps one of this year’s students will follow in the footsteps of Blake Lawrence (pictured), who last year performed in the national final at The Globe.

‘Emil and the Detectives’ – Audience Feedback

Some fantastic comments about our recent whole school production

As we mentioned last week, we were incredibly proud of last week’s whole school production – ‘Emil and the Detectives’. We weren’t the only ones! The feedback from our audience was overwhelmingly positive, so we wanted to share it with you too – as well as a slideshow with some promotional shots of the production.

  • “Terrific performance. Sensational music. Boys seemed to be having so much fun.”
  • “A very wonderful product. Made me wish I did Drama!!!”
  • “I enjoyed it the most out of any show I’ve ever seen.”
  • “Real great effort, wonderfully executed. Thoroughly enjoyed the music.”
  • “Great! One of the best performances I’ve seen at I&S. Suspense and humour – well done!”
  • “Truly fantastic, a fab production by everyone. Thank you for supporting the arts and our boys.”
  • “So much energy and humour, brilliant performances with an incredible live band of talented musicians.”
  • “Wonderful team effort, we came out smiling and full of joy.”
  • “Loved that it was such a collaborative production. Could really tell that every contribution was valued, not simply those with ‘main roles’.”
  • “Ingenious use of blackboards, staging, lighting. Well done.”
  • “Used light and dark to set the mood and really got the audience engaged in the story.”

Careers Corner

Welcoming a former student to share his experiences

It was wonderful to host former I&S student and now electrical engineer, Milan Mistry, to talk to our Year 12 and 13 Design Technology students on Wednesday. Milan delivered a really informative talk about his career journey via The University of Bath to his current employer Drumgrange Ltd in Chertsey. His insights into application processes and different pathways into the industry were greatly appreciated by the students and we look forward to continuing to work with Milan and Drumgrange in providing work experience opportunities for our students.

House Point Champions

Celebrating student success

46 more students have earned either a Diamond certificate for 200 house points over the last two weeks. They are shown below – well done! Will your son/ward appear on this list next week? You can see his progress via INSIGHT.

View the names

Well done to:

Abdalla ABDALLA (9Sn)
Ilyas AHMADZAI (7Tr)
David ALI (10Sn)
Akshay BAGHAT (9Am)
Mirza BAIG (8Br)
Kip BARCLAY-HARDING (8Ad)
Logan BRADBURY (8Sh)
Jay BYREPALLI (7Am)
Roo CLARK (8Sn)
Horatiu COJOCARU (9Sh)
Asher COLACO (8Am)
Alan DURA (7Tu)
Ryan EDWARDS (8Bl)
Younes EGHNIOUEN (7Br)
Isher GARCHA (7Tr)
Sam GOLDSMITH (9Ad)
Watson GOMES (7Sh)
Hadi HASAN (7Sn)
Harshdip Singh JASSAL (9Sn)
Parva JOBANPUTRA (8Am)
Ahmed KABO (11Sn)
Adam KHALIFA (9Br)
Ashan KHEHRA (11Sn)

Jashanjot KOHLI (9Tu)
Flynn MCKEEVER (7Tr)
Noah MERRY (8Sh)
Aston MIN (8Sh)
Salmaan MOHAMMED (9Br)
Axle MOLDERO (10Bl)
Alexander MORAN (8Sn)
Godwin OMONDI (8Am)
Eric ORDONEZ (8Tu)
Wojtek PLISIECKI (7Br)
Miguel PONCHIO LAMENZA (7Sh)
Aryan RAJAN (7Am)
Arnav RANA (7Tu)
Gérard RODRIGUES (7Am)
Ansh SAHANI (7Ad)
Vedansh SCINDIA (7Br)
Isaac SHAW (9Ad)
Aurav SHETTY (8Br)
Suraj SINGH (7Tu)
Ranveer THAKUR (8Br)
Fahad UPPAL (9Sn)
Oscar WILKINS (7Sh)

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

Below, you will find the most recent winners of our Pride of House awards, both for this week and last week. It is richly deserved for a fantastic contribution to school life – these students are everything an Isleworthian should be! 

5-9 February
29 January - 2 February

Safeguarding

Helping our students to stay safe

wide road with street lights

Over a third of secondary school children said they do not feel safe walking down the street by themselves, a survey commissioned by BBC reported in Autumn 2023. Sadly, we have recently had a small number of incidents reported to us of thefts after school in the community. Thankfully none of our students have been harmed. 

It is important that we do not cause further and unnecessary anxiety; the chances of being a victim are still rare. However, please speak to your child about their safety in the community and ensure that they know how to stay safe. After half-term, our Safer Schools police officer, Julie Dracup, will be visiting assemblies to speak to students on how to stay safe in the community.

She will include the following messages:

How to keep safe in the community?
  • Walk with another person whenever possible.
  • If you’re walking alone, try to choose a main street where there might be other people.
  • Stay in areas that are well-lit.
  • Stay alert. Look up and down the street on both sides, and even behind you. Keep your headphones off so that you can hear what’s happening around you.
  • Walk quickly and confidently to your destination.
  • If you’re lost, go into a store, fire station, or a police station to ask for directions.
  • Keep your mobile phone and your valuables hidden.
  • Put your wallet in a front pocket, where you can keep better track of it.
What should I do if someone attempts to harm me while I’m walking alone?
  • Don’t fight with someone who tries to take your belongings—if someone grabs your backpack or demands your wallet, give it to them. Even if you think you’re bigger or stronger than they are, the other person might have a weapon. Money and other things can be replaced—your safety is the most important thing.
  • Run in the opposite direction and go to the nearest business, fire station, or police station for help.
  • Don’t forget to yell for help—it’s a sure way to get attention.
  • Most mobile phones also have a tracking option. Make sure you know where your child is and use this to help you if possible.

The school is closed from 3.05pm on Friday 9 February and reopens on Monday 19 February 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 safeguarding@isleworthsyon.org. A member of staff will be monitoring the account. If there is an emergency call 999 or, for non-urgent matters that require police attention, call 101.

Photo by Alex Fu on Pexels.com

News

Outstanding opportunities to help students nurture existing passions and discover new ones

Speed Read

Yesterday (Thursday), we sent a group of students to take part in a Hounslow-wide reading initiative called Speed Read. Organised by the Hounslow Library Service, representatives from borough schools – including a group of I&S boys – had to talk about their favourite book.

The event’s format was like ‘speed dating’, but with books – students having just two minutes to explain why they enjoyed their book.

Congratulations to Horatiu Cojocaru (pictured far right in group shot above), who earned first place for ‘I Must Betray You’ – with Arman Sadat (pictured second-right) not far behind him in third place. Afterwards, Horatiu said, “I am so grateful for being offered this wonderful opportunity. I enjoyed it so much, it was so much fun.” In all, it was a fantastic celebration of reading.

Hounslow Golf Enrichment Trip

As part of the school’s enrichment programme, all Sixth Form students were invited to take part in an afternoon of physical activity on Wednesday. A large group took up the offer of an hour down at Hounslow Golf Park, learning basic golf skills and experiencing a new and unique atmosphere down at the range. Students had a fun – and competitive – afternoon!

Austria Ski Tour 2024

Tomorrow (Saturday), 43 students head to the snowy Austrian town of Zillertal for our week-long Ski Tour. This trip is always an incredible and unique experience for students!

If you want to follow their progress, members of staff will be posting updates from the slopes on X (formerly Twitter) – our account is @IsleworthSyon. You do not need to have an X account to view the updates.

Safe travels to the group!

Ali Soualah – London Music Fund Senior Scholar

Finally for this week, congratulations to Year 13 student Ali Soualah. Last year, he was nominated by our partners at Hounslow Music Service to receive a London Music Fund (LMF) Senior Scholarship for 2023-24. Ali is one of only ten young people in London nominated for this prestigious honour, which means that he has received a grant of £1000 towards his musical development as well as access to unique opportunities in the world of music. You can read more about this programme on the LMF’s website.

A talented clarinet and saxophone player, Ali has taken this one step further by winning the LMF’s February Scholar of the Month award. Read more in this article, where Ali talks about his Senior Scholarship so far as well as his musical hopes for the future. Well done, Ali!