From the Co-Headteachers
It has been an extraordinary week.
Interspersed between their normal lessons, our students have been bombarded with messaging about the core values of Queen Elizabeth II: humility, selflessness and dignity.
In response, teachers have reported how, within assemblies and lesson time, students have enjoyed listening to stories about Queen Elizabeth after which many have contributed to classroom discussions about her decades of service. It’s been good to reminisce, take time to tell stories, be together, and talk together. We all need space to be quiet and reflect.
Other chances for students and families to pay their respect could also be by witnessing the royal procession to Windsor on Monday. The choreographed journey is likely to travel down the A4. In addition, public spaces across the borough have books of condolences for you to sign – check this link for the details.
Please do read the full newsletter which also contains information about arrangements for next week and our important Progress & Partnership Day in October.
Simon Fisher and Jo Higginbottom
School Day Changes
As per our communications, there are some changes in school next week:
- Monday 19 September – school is closed (Bank Holiday).
- Tuesday 20 September – school finishes early, at 1.10pm
- Wednesday 21 September – school starts late, at 10.45am
- Tuesday 20 September – Open Evening
- Thursday 22 September – Open Morning 1
- Wednesday 28 September – Open Morning 2
Progress & Partnership Day
For Years 7-11, you can indicate your preferred appointment time – full details on how to do this are in the letter that was sent to you via email. Please note that this is not a guarantee, but we will do our best to accommodate your choice. If you don’t indicate a preference by 9.00am on Wednesday 21 September, a time will be picked for you.
Some exciting amendments to our canteen service are starting next week:
- Free porridge in the morning for any student.
- An after-school service, just on a Friday, selling reduced food and a few other items.
- A new Sixth Form-only till in the Sixth Form study area, at break and lunch, offering a slightly different service.
We are also looking at further ways to support our Free School Meal students – further information will follow later this half-term.
We are proud of our tradition for exceptional educational outcomes. One reason that students achieve at this school is that we encourage parents/carers, teachers and other adults to notice what they do well and praise them regularly, consistently and specifically.
This fosters a positive environment in school. We recommend that all parents/carers keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter accounts, as these often celebrate student success stories from across the age ranges.
Many students now have a personal mobile phone, so it is important to make sure that they stay safe online. We work hard in school, through formal computer science lessons, PSHE, and Study Support sessions, to demonstrate best practice to students in this regard.
We recommend that parents/carers regularly check on their children’s usage of the internet, particularly regarding social media. Parents/carers also need to check messaging and imagery, especially those that might have been forwarded by others.
Check out this fantastic NSPCC guide.
If you have a concern about the safety or welfare of your or another child, please email the safeguarding team at firstname.lastname@example.org. In an emergency call 999 or, for non-urgent matters that require police attention, call 101.
All emails from the school come from PARS@isleworthsyon.org, so please make sure this address is added to your ‘safe senders’ list. If you think you’ve been missing emails, check your junk/spam.
As a further reminder, please do not send emails or replies to PARS@isleworthsyon.org as this address is not checked and your query won’t be actioned. All queries must go to email@example.com only. Thank you for your support.
Word of the Week
The word of the week is coronation.
This has a special significance this week due to the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. It also connects to the school’s motto, ‘Finis Coronat Opus’. Do you know what this motto means? The answer will be in next week’s newsletter.
The Bridgelink Centre, based in Isleworth, is an important community project that we are happy to support.
They are looking for a youth worker/sports coach. If you or your child is interested in applying, check out the advert for more details.
Isleworth & Syon is renowned for the outstanding opportunities it provides for all students. Indeed, Ofsted noted that we are the only state school to provide a full Saturday morning programme of sport. Rugby training has already begun, with first XV sessions taking place during the holidays and Year 7 open sessions happening last weekend.
This year, we have appointed Mr McDonnell as a dedicated Extra-Curricular Co-Ordinator. He will be responsible for maintaining the breadth of opportunities that is a hallmark of the school. Look out for much more on this in the coming weeks.
‘Antigone’ Theatre Trip
Our first trip of the year took place yesterday (Thursday), as Miss Thomson and Mr Davie took eight Sixth Form drama students to see a production of ‘Antigone’. This adaptation was set in modern Britain and performed in an outdoor amphitheatre. The production allowed students to experience one of their set texts in person and helped them to build ideas around performance, directing and production that will be needed for their exams.
Afterwards, Jack Barratt said, “It was great to see a Greek tragedy made relevant for our times!”
Work Experience – Success
At the end of last term, we sent many Year 10s on two-week Work Experience placements. These were fantastic opportunities for students to practise important ‘soft skills’ or ‘competencies’. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be highlighting a few of the success stories.
First up is Frankie Macis, pictured above working as a chef at The White Label Catering Company. He said: “It was a really great opportunity for me because I got the chance to take an interest of mine and apply it to a real-life job. During my two weeks as a chef, I was able to learn new techniques and ways of cooking that I never would have before. I got to learn lots about the industry and how much preparation goes into the things we eat.”
Alumni – Reece James
Our former student, Reece James, continues to scale the heights of professional football. Last week, he signed a new six-year contract with Chelsea FC. Journalists reported that this has made him Chelsea’s highest-paid defender ever.
You will be able to read more about Reece’s journey in the 2021-22 Annual Review, which summarises all the highlights from 2021-22 over 74 pages. All families will receive a printed copy soon, so watch out for that.
Photo copyright: Reece James’ Instagram.
Alumni – Taheen
Another former student success – Taheen Modak’s professional acting career goes from strength to strength. Fresh from his star turn at Chichester Festivsl Theatre in April, Taheen has just been cast in the Bristol Old Vic’s production of ‘Hamlet’. Performances will take place from 13 October to 12 November.
You may recognise Taheen from his series regular performance in ITV series ‘The Bay’, or Sky’s series ‘Two Weeks to Live’, where he starred alongside Maisie Williams (‘Game of Thrones’).
Taheen’s story is a real triumph for our performing arts department – he struggled somewhat in Key Stage 3 but once the drama department got hold of him, a passion was ignited! We are so proud of Taheen for his achievements – go and watch him this autumn if you can.
Photo copyright: Chichester Festival Theatre.
Remembering the Queen
Our local church, St Mary’s Church Osterley, will be open from 10.00am – 8.00pm every day between now and the state funeral. People are welcome to come in to pray and reflect, light a candle, leave floral tributes and sign the book of condolence. A special service will be held on the evening of Sunday 18 September at 6.30pm.