Welcome from the Co-Headteachers

Driving reading aloud across the school

It has been a pleasure walking the school over the past week as we do every day. In particular, we would like to highlight the huge array of topical discussions and reading aloud which have been taking place in lessons. For example, in English lessons, students have been reciting poems as part of our drive to promote the Poetry by Heart competition. It has been inspiring to see so many students speaking aloud with confidence and clarity – therefore making rapid progress in their oracy. In school, we always take acute notice of when as well as what students do well and, subsequently, praise them regularly, consistently and specifically (usually verbally). We would encourage all parents/carers to conduct and copy similar routines at home; we call this “appraising and praising”.

An example of this approval and admiration took place on Monday when, mid-year, we congratulated our top readers from Years 7-10 (read more about that below). These students READ, READ, READ – they read in silence, read to adults, read and share their love of reading to their siblings. We are immensely proud of the student leaders that we term our ‘Reading Ambassadors’.

Got any feedback to make this newsletter even better? Let us know via this link. Please note that all comments are anonymous.

Simon Fisher and Jo Higginbottom

Pre-Public Examinations

Just days to go until these important examinations for Years 11 and 13

The Pre-Public Examinations (PPEs) for Years 11 and 13 begin on Monday (4 March) and run until Friday 8 March and offer students one final chance to get a sense of their progress before the summer.

Students should be revising frequently “little and often” over the next week to ensure they are prepared. We have just published a subject-by-subject breakdown; please do take a look. You can also check out our Study & Revision Skills page for some handy hints and tips.

Shaping the Future

Encouraging students to practice strategies for their own wellbeing

Creating memories, strengthening connections and promoting effective learning are key to the development of healthy and responsible individuals. In school, we live out and, indeed, practice on a daily basis, our fully-embedded MIND principles which are the essential foundations for positive mental health and wellbeing.

We know that not everything is about academic success, so we endlessly promote leadership opportunities and the soft skills of connecting with others, taking notice, and giving (time as well as compliments). We really drive our students to feel empowered with access to a toolkit of positive mental health and wellbeing strategies. In an increasingly diverse and interconnected world, this ability to connect with others and display empathy, even in the face of differences, have never been more crucial. We would strongly encourage parents/carers to refine their son/ward’s active listening and empathetic communication skills at home.

Coming Soon!

Some more dates for your calendar

  • Monday 4 – Friday 8 March – Year 11 and Year 13 Pre-Public Examinations (PPEs)
  • 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.

The Pantry

New menu launching Monday

Following on from last week’s message about The Pantry, we are pleased to announce that a brand-new menu will be launched on Monday; it will be live on The Pantry’s dedicated page by midday. Please do check it out then.

Update Monday 4 March: The menus are now live at the above link.

Holiday Activities and Food Programme

A fantastic Easter opportunity for students who receive Free School Meals

This Easter, students who receive Free School Meals can take advantage of Hounslow’s FREE Holiday Activities and Food Programme (HAF). During the two-week holiday, there is access to theatre, arts and crafts, sports, cooking and so many more adventures. For more information about HAF, including how to book into activities, can be found on their website.

If you think your circumstances mean that your child may be eligible for Free School Meals, check out Hounslow Council’s website.

Partnership Working

Working with specialist counselling advisors to support vulnerable young people

In school, we successfully conduct a series of successful external working partnerships. One of our newest is with Thrive, a team of specialist counselling advisors.

Thrive work with students who require support with their mental health and wellbeing, using a trauma-sensitive approach to meet the emotional and social needs of children. As teachers, we know all too well that it is only when the social and emotional needs of children are better understood and met that they feel safe enough to take chances with their learning.

The Thrive approach mirrors a number of our whole-school mantras; in particular, “high challenge, low threat”. This sees teachers regularly checking in with students, especially vulnerable young people.

We are delighted to work with such a progressive organisation, one that strongly supports the delivery of high-quality, independent counselling advice and guidance. Thrive is at the heart of our drive to provide every student with stability, safety and a snippet of light in what can sometimes be a very long tunnel of school-based learning.

Reminder: Online Webinars

Last chance to sign up to these important parent/carer sessions

We continue to promote community-led projects which support both young people and their families. Therefore, a final reminder about the two parent/carer online workshops that we mentioned last week.

One concerns Gang Exploitation and County Lines; the other discusses violence against women and girls. Click the links to view the flyers; feel free to provide us with feedback.

In future weeks, we will also share information about effective parenting and, in particular, no-violent resistance (NVR) approaches to supporting young people who, in their adolescent phase, are posing challenges.

Extra-Curricular Opportunities

A huge breadth of opportunities on offer

Last week, we revealed the Spring Term extra-curricular opportunities timetable – there are just so many different clubs and activities available.

To help students navigate the options, we have designed some shiny posters to showcase all the activities for each year group. You can view them on the ‘Extra-Curricular Activities’ page, and a preview of some below.

Ski Tour

A selection of our favourite images from the Austrian tour

Last week, we featured the Ski Tour – 43 Isleworthians heading to the Austrian slopes for a week of skiing and adventure. We are still collating all our photographs from this wonderful trip; we will post some of the best soon.


Helping students to perform their best every day

Sleep is an essential requirement for people to effectively carry-out our daily activities. It is hugely important for the protection of our wellbeing and mental health as well as self-esteem. Sleep helps with learning and the formation of long-term memories. Not getting enough sleep or enough high-quality sleep can lead to problems focusing on tasks and thinking clearly. To support your son/ward, please review our checklist as well as NHS guidance.

If you have a concern about the safety or welfare of your child, please email the safeguarding team at safeguarding@isleworthsyon.org. If there is an emergency call 999 or, for non-urgent matters that require police attention, call 101.

House Point Champions

Celebrating student success

Rewards are an important feature of life at school. House points are a key way that we recognise students who have gone above and beyond in school – whether in the classroom, extra-curricular activities, student leadership or citizenship. The 31 students below have received a Diamond award via email this week. This means that they have earned over 200 house points. 

Congratulations to them!

View the names

Well done to:

Affan AHMED (9Am)
Mohammed ALI QURESHI (9Bl)
Ishaaq ASLAM (7Sh)
Armaan AZIZ (7Tu)
Dan BURDEN (8Am)
Eddie COVILL (8Ad)
Adhrit GUPTA (7Bl)
Ollie HARRISS (7Sh)
Owais HUSSAIN (10Bl)
Arshnoor Singh JASSAL (7Br)
Manveer KAPOUR (7Bl)
Ayman KHIZER (7Tu)
Kerem KOSE (7Sh)
Reuben MANSARAY (7Ad)

Rian McKEEVER (9Tr)
Ishrak MUSTAFA (9Tr)
Aalam PANDHER (7Am)
Manav PATEL (8Bl)
Arjun PATEL (8Bl)
Cassius ROOHI (8Sn)
Darius ROOHI (8Sh)
Harvey SANDHU (8Tr)
Asif SHAH (8Am)
Anmolpreet SINGH (7Sh)
Maksym SMOLII (8Tr)
Harry STOCKS (8Sn)
Yousuf TAHIR (9Ad)

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. 

Careers Corner

Welcoming a former student to share his experiences

Next week is National Careers Week and we have some brilliant opportunities for our students. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday we will welcome three former Isleworthians to share their experiences of finance, law and IT. At the time of writing over 70 students have signed up to hear from one of these former students. On Tuesday, a group of 30 Sixth Form students will be attending the Festival of Apprenticeships at the Kia Oval with employers such as BA, KPMG, Travis Perkins, HS2, Coca-Cola, and Amazon to name but a few. Throughout the week, students will be able to complete a number of activities on Teams, including skills checkers, career quizzes, competitions and insights into the local labour market. We recommend parents/carers view this guide to the week; it is a really useful guide to changing landscape of qualifications and training options.

Pride of House

Celebrating student success

For those who are not aware, our weekly Pride of House awards are a fantastic way to reward students for working hard and contributing to the life of the school. Each week, the pastoral staff nominate a student from each house! You can check out the full roster by clicking a house badge below.


A variety of external partnerships lead to outstanding opportunities for students

Jack Petchey Regional Final

Year 10 student Axle Moldero took advantage of a fantastic opportunity on Wednesday as he competed in the regional final of the Jack Petchey Speak Out competition, held at Gumley House Convent School.

We began the Jack Petchey programme in school last term, as some Year 10 high-potential learners had a fascinating workshop with a trained facilitator. The aim was to teach and train basic public speaking skills. Axle was the top performer on the day, which earned him a place in the regional final against students from across the borough.

Axle did a fantastic job with his discussion about the impact of music on health and wellbeing – a fascinating topic which he delved into really well. He was very highly praised for his performance by the judges and fellow attendees alike – well done, Axle!

Natural History Museum Trip

On Wednesday, keen Year 12 biologists took a trip to London’s Natural History Museum. This trip was designed to bring their their ‘Topic 3 – Classification’ studies to life.

Students spent 90 minutes going round the museum, using a bespoke resource designed by Curriculum Leader Ms Stead. This workbook specifically targeted elements of the specification, particularly in terms of students’ learning about mammals and invertebrates. They also saw an exhibit about the evolution of humans, meaning they could actually see things that they had studied in class. Students loved it; their feedback included:

  • “I enjoyed learning about the limitations for classifying organisms.” “We got a much deeper knowledge on the species of animals and how they evolved.”
  • “I found the trip very useful.”
  • “Seeing the specimens while listening to the explanation really helped understand it better”
  • “This trip was helpful as it consolidated all the knowledge I gained from the classification topic. It made this topic more engaging.”
Applied Science Fermentation Trip

As well as A level sciences (biology, chemistry and physics), we offer applied science in the Sixth Form – a vocational course which puts more focus on hands-on learning. Within that course, Year 12 students study sampling techniques and commercial uses of fermentation. To that end, we took them to the local Fuller’s Brewery in Chiswick on Tuesday. This was a fantastic opportunity for students to practise their investigation skills as they took a tour of the facility – learning about the scientific processes involved.

Students thoroughly enjoyed their visit; one remarked, “It was very insightful [to show] how my course can be applied in the future.” Our thanks to Brewing Manager Guy Stewart for co-ordinating the visit.

Co-Heads’ Celebration

At the tail-end of last week, the Co-Headteachers held their latest Celebration Meeting with selected students in Key Stage 3 and 4. This termly feature celebrates students who have gone above and beyond in areas of school life.

The latest theme was ‘reading’, with students selected because they achieved the greatest overall reading progress this year Mr Fisher and Ms Higginbottom met with the students before break and treated them to something from the canteen as they talked about reading in school.

Students had the chance to air their opinions and offer suggestions for how our whole-school reading drive can be enhanced, as well as anything else they wanted to get off their chest regarding school life.

National Youth Theatre

Last Saturday, we were happy to team up with the National Youth Theatre (NYT) for a very special opportunity.

For those who are unaware, the NYT is Britain’s most prestigious drama company for young people. It has been the launching pad for many British actors, including Idris Elba, Helen Mirren and Daniel Craig. We have had significant success in the past, with 15 students becoming company members.

In the past, students have had to organise this independently of the school. Following on from last year’s successful in-school audition, the NYT once again offered to come to school last Saturday. Students took part in a three-hour workshop with a trained practitioner and then completed their audition. Good luck to all the students who auditioned – we are waiting to hear the outcome!

Royal Academy of Music

And finally for this week, a prestigious and unique opportunity for some of our talented musicians. On Wednesday, our partnership with the Royal Academy of Music (RAM) continued as we hosted a special after-school Audition Club workshop with some of their staff and students. We were also joined by students from the Gunnersbury School.

The RAM is one of the most prestigious music universities in the country which meant that the students had unique insight into the audition process. The workshop was targeted at aspiring music students who are keen to explore music options at the highest possible level. Students were invited to perform some of their examination pieces and compositions, receiving feedback from their peers and university staff. It was a fantastic and unique session!