Welcome from the Co-Headteachers

Helping our students develop into mature, responsible citizens

This week, the school is well and truly in full flow with a vibrancy and energy within classrooms and around the corridors. Our outstanding Year assemblies have been driving the importance of personal and social development, in particular ensuring that students display tolerance and empathy towards each other.

Furthermore, in our daily tutorials we have continued to drive the promotion of positive wellbeing and mental health alongside the importance of reading for pleasure. In fact, on Thursday afternoon, the school was filled with a cacophony of teachers who were reading aloud, endeavouring to inspire their tutees.

As ever, this newsletter contains important information about our other traditions and values as so please read the whole thing.

Simon Fisher and Jo Higginbottom

Ready for Learning

Connecting to our “Ready, Respectful, Safe” strategy

Like their teachers, parents/carers should aim to develop their son/ward’s responsibility levels. Support them so that they are ready for learning, every day. This means checking that they have a suitably sized and well-organised school bag, plus all of their basic school equipment.

As a reminder, basic equipment means – pen, pencil, ruler, rubber and scientific calculator. All of these items can be purchased via the school shop on SCOPAY. Students are also expected to bring a water bottle and a reading book into school. 

Sleep Routines

Making sure students are ready to succeed

As students strive to establish strong and robust routines within school, it is important that parents/carers endeavour to do the same with sleep patterns at home.

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.

Visible Consistencies

Establishing more positive routines through presentation of work

As another example of how we are striving to embed routines, all teachers are having a huge drive on fundamental presentation skills in exercise books. At the start of every classroom lesson, students are expected to record and underline the title, and include the date and key words.

Presentation of work is so important: writing in blue/black pen, sketching in pencil, annotating all diagrams, maximising the space in exercise books, completing written work, and doodling (if and where necessary) only in the back of exercise books.

Progress & Preparation Activities (PPA)

Good work at home contributes to school success

When students complete their Progress and Preparation Activities (PPA, also known as homework), research shows that they make, on average, six months more academic progress. Given this, it is imperative that parents/carers monitor INSIGHT as well as check in on the PPA completion rates of their son/ward.

Our early advice is for students to complete PPA in a public place – not in their bedroom. Do this for 2-3 weeks; get students to earn your trust. Of course, 20 minutes of reading every day also counts as PPA.

Coming Soon!

Add these to your calendar

  • Thursday 28 September – KS4-Ready Evening (Year 10)
  • Thursday 5 October – KS3-Ready Evening (Year 7)
  • Wednesday 11 October – early finish
  • Wednesday 11 October – Open Evening
  • Thursday 12 October – late start
  • Friday 20 October – Progress & Partnership Day (Years 7-13)
  • Monday 23 – Friday 27 October – Half-Term

Progress & Partnership Day (PPD)

Save the date – Friday 20 October

During Progress & Partnership Day (Friday 20 October), normal lessons will be suspended for all year groups. Each student, accompanied by their parent(s)/carer(s), will have a ten-minute interview with a member of staff. Full details will be sent to parents/carers next week.


Protecting children from the dangers of vapes

While out and about this summer, you are likely to have seen congregations of school-age children accompanied by vape sticks. Within the space of a few years, it has become shockingly common place for underage young people to be in the possession of these toxic devices. Last year, we explicitly warned of the danger that vapes would become endemic among this demographic. Often brightly coloured, often sold at off-licences and too often flavoured with sweet tastes, they are designed for children. It is vitally important that your son/ward is fully aware of the potential health implications of this new trend. For support, Action for Children have published a page on the matter and it is well worth a read.

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.

Pride of House

The latest award winners

A huge well done to the 40 students across Years 7-11 who have been awarded the first Pride of House award of the school year. These are nominated by Form Tutors/Pastoral Staff to recognise an outstanding contribution to the life of the school. You can view the lists by clicking a house badge.


Alumnis making their way in the world – plus a new social media account

Alumni Hit the West End!

We were pleased last week to hear of the continued success of two successful graduates of our vocational performing arts course in the Sixth Form.

Raymond Anum and Taheen Modak achieved great success in the same 2014 class; we knew, even then, that they were both destined for great things. Fast-forward nine years and both have graduated drama school and established professional acting careers. 

Taheen (pictured above left) is currently appearing in ‘Pygmalion’ at The Old Vic in London’s West End – the run lasts from 6 September to 28 October. Meanwhile, Raymond Anum (pictured above right) will star alongside Kenneth Branagh in a production of ‘King Lear’, running in the West End from 21 October to 9 December. We are so proud of both boys! 

Embed from Getty Images
Rayan Kolli – QPR

Sticking with the alumni theme, a huge congratulations to former student Rayan Kolli (pictured above left), who has this season made his professional footballing debut at QPR. A dynamic attacker, Rayan has made four substitute appearances already this season at the age of 18. He left the school in June 2021 to pursue his footballing dream – we can’t wait to see how his career goes from here. Read more about his journey in this QPR blogpost from last year. 

First Fixture of the Year

Being part of a sports team is a great way for students to develop skills in leadership, teamwork and problem solving—as well as helping to improve personal wellbeing and mental health.

Our first fixture of 2023-24 took place on Wednesday, with our senior rugby team (Years 11-13) battling hard in defeat to Cardinal Vaughan. They showed real character throughout the match, showing great resilience. The team did four pre-season training sessions – including two during the summer – and that paid off in their teamwork.

This Saturday, our Year 9 and Year 10 teams play Windsor Boys in their first fixture – good luck!

KS5-Ready Evening

On Wednesday evening, we hosted our annual KS5-Ready Evening for new Year 12 parents/carers. This important event, hosted by Mr Doyle and the Sixth Form team, introduced families to our Sixth Form expectations and explained how we help students adjust to the complexities of Key Stage 5. There was strong messaging on the importance of profile-building using our excellent UNIFROG careers programme, as well as skill development using Cornell note-taking. These are all important employability skills! The event will provide a great platform for sustained success.

Library Twitter Account

And finally for this week…

This term, we have launched a library account on X (formerly Twitter). It will be a fantastic way to keep up to date with the superb work going on in a daily basis by our library team of staff and students.

Check it out at https://twitter.com/ISSchoolLibrary.