Welcome from the Co-Headteachers

Embedding a common language of learning

As staff conduct ‘learning walks’ across the school, it is clear that we have a common and strong language of learning within our school. Students are eager to reveal this language of learning through structured discussion, question and answer phases and storytelling. We have a distinctly powerful whole school focus on developing oracy – the link to our ‘quote of the week’ below is distinct.

This drive on “oracy” (structured speaking) has come across in our extensive enrichment activities, which have included a Poetry by Heart school final and a French Exchange programme – more on the latter to follow next week. Our Sixth Formers have also been leading on charity football events for national as well as international charities. Our mantra for this is: “Hounslow hearts, global minds.”

Across our outstanding House assemblies, staff have focused on encouraging regular and sustained development – both personal and social. This means a relentless scrutiny on being ready for learning – fully equipped for school and highly alert.

As ever, this newsletter contains important information about our other traditions and values as so please read it in full.

We would like to remind you that next Thursday (28 March) is the final day of the Spring Term, meaning students will be dismissed at 12.30pm for the Easter break. Students return to school on Tuesday 16 April at 8.25am.

Simon Fisher and Jo Higginbottom

Subject Focus – Geography

Learning about the world and those who live on it

Throughout the 21st century, it is clear that human actions are having a detrimental impact on our environment as well as our innovative strategies to ensure that our natural world is preserved for future generations. As students progress through Isleworth & Syon, they will develop the skills and knowledge to deepen their understanding of how human and physical geography are interconnected. Our Key Stage 4 curriculum is divided into two – Year 10 focus heavily on human geography and Year 11 looks at the natural world. By the end of the course, all students will be able to explain how human activity relies on effective functioning of natural systems and that future global goals should be developed carefully with sustainability as the focal point for future policies.

A key component in both human and physical geography is fieldwork. Therefore, throughout Key Stage 3 we develop the soft skills that will prove crucial during their GCSE, where 25% of their grade is centred around UK challenges and fieldwork skills. For the boys to complete this, they participate in two fieldtrips over their GCSE course. For their physical fieldwork, we take the pupils down to Seaford to investigate coastal erosion and how we can manage our coastline to limit damage to infrastructure and possible loss of human life. Following on from this, the boys are taken to central London to investigate urban change and the impact that it can have within a region. Fieldwork enables our pupils to put theory into practice and develop a love for geography through practical study. This is furthered at A level, where our Year 12 students take a trip to Belfast to study regeneration and human influence on ecosystems such as sand dunes.

The discipline of geography lends itself to nearly every aspect of our world, from food to fashion. Consequently, the career opportunities are endless, and geography degrees make students very employable. Indeed, take a look at where some of our former students have studied after taking geography with us.

Key Stage 4 Options

Deadline approaching for Year 9 to submit subject choices

Following last week’s successful KS4 Courses Evening last week, Year 9 students have now been sent the online form so that they can make their Year 10 subject choices. The deadline is today (Friday).

For those Year 9 parents/carers who couldn’t attend – or as a refresher for those who could – we do recommend reading the KS4 Options page on this website for more information.

Coming Soon!

Some more dates for your calendar

  • Tuesday 26 March Year 11 Raising Standards Evening
  • 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
  • Monday 6 May – Bank Holiday
  • Tuesday 7 May – Monday timetable
  • Thursday 9 May – Public examinations begin
  • Monday 27 – Friday 31 May – Half-Term

The full calendar is available at this link.

Online Safety

Challenging online unsafe behaviour

The school has profoundly strong monitoring and filtering systems and, where necessary, we challenge students about their online unsafe behaviour. We strongly encourage parents/carers to conduct random checks on all mobile devices at home and, if appropriate, apply consequences if and when students are unsafe.

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.

Partnership Working – NHS

A fulfilling partnership with Hounslow’s nursing service

Among a multitude of highly successful external working partnerships, one of our most important links is with the local NHS nursing service. They work with both staff who require professional input in subjects such as PSHE and science, as well as young people who need guidance and support on a range of issues which include: 

  • Diet and nutrition
  • Wellbeing and mental health
  • Personal hygiene
  • Sexual health and contraception

One other key feature of their role is to target individuals and their respective families who have displayed weight loss and/or weight gain. For parents/carers who are concerned about healthy living and weight management, the nurses recommend checking out BeeZee Bodies.

AIM Parent/Carer Drop-In

A local opportunity for parents/carers to discuss various issues

In previous newsletters, we have signposted some useful webinars organised by local community group Action Isleworth Mothers (AIM). The organisation has now started a weekly drop-in for all Hounslow parent/carers who are concerned for their children’s safety. It is a safe space for parents/carers to discuss all matter of issues including child exploitation, challenging behaviours and other issues.

It takes place every Tuesday (11.30am – 1.30pm) at The Bridgelink Centre Cafe. Find out more information in their flyer.

Bridgelink Digital Support Cafe

A final chance for parents/carers to get some digital support

The local Bridgelink Centre has one more digital support cafés remaining – on Wednesday 27 March. This two-hour morning session is free for everyone, and open to 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.

Drama & Music Showcase

A superb performing arts event next week

The performing arts department has been a hive of activity this week as rehearsals continue for the Drama & Music Showcase, which is just a week away! Taking place on Thursday 28 March (6.00pm), this fantastic school event will be a celebration of drama and music. It is open to all members of the school community, and tickets are completely free – you just have to register via the link that was sent via email. Get in touch with school if you need the link resent. We hope to see you there!


The importance of good sleep to students’ mental and physical health

Two weeks ago we had a 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.

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

We continue to be impressed with the amount of students collecting their Prestige and Diamond house point rewards. As a reminder, house points can be awarded for sustained positive contributions to any aspect of school life. Students receive a Diamond award once they reach 200, and a Prestige prize for hitting the 300 mark. Well done to the 25 students below for being such positive role models.

View the names

Prestige (300 points)

George DAVIES (9Tr)
Arthur EAST (7Tr)
Harry FISHER (7Br)
Sami KHALIFA (9Tu)
Gérard RODRIGUES (7Am)
Ansh SAHANI (7Ad)

Diamond (200 points)

Ken BURDEN (11Ad)
Joel CASHMAN (8Am)
Mohammed DIB (8Tu)
Ted EAST (9Tr)
Hussain FAZLY (9Tu)
Aldrich FERNANDES (9Br)
Kymani GUMBS-DUNN (7Br)
Colby HARDING (7Sh)
Ashish KURIAN (10Sn)
Aaran MAKWANA (7Sh)
Jonavon PEREIRA (10Ad)
Gishaan RAHLLEN (10Am)
Rohan SEEHRA (9Br)
Sunny SHIRZAD (7Ad)
Jake THOMAS (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. 

Careers Corner

A community project with the local MP

On Tuesday, we were excited to welcome Seema Malhotra MP and Prabhat Patel of local charity Hounslow’s Promise to launch their Connected Futures programme with some of our Sixth Form students. This locally led initiative, founded by the MP, seeks to equip young people with the skills and insights to make important decisions about their future. The programme will also provide opportunities for the students to develop and grow their personal and community leadership skills as well as tailored support for the participants. We are really looking forward to watching the participants develop.

For students that are keen to pursue careers in fashion, technology, animation, VFX, and game-related careers, it is important to understand the breadth of roles that are available. This post on LinkedIn and subsequent comments really gives a flavour of the huge variety of roles available. We would encourage students to broaden their searches as they might just find the perfect job!

Pride of House

Celebrating student success

Our Pride of House awards have just been given out. There is one winner from each form group in Years 7-11, meaning eight per year and 40 in total. Students receive the award for a specific contribution to school life. Check out the winners via a house badge below!


Enrichment across sport, computing and reading!

Badminton Borough Champions

At the tail end of last week, our Key Stage 4 badminton team once again won the borough championships. That is now fourteen years on the spin row that Isleworth & Syon have been the best in the borough at this level!

It was an all-I&S final, with our ‘A’ team beating out the ‘B’ team in a close final. All other borough schools entered teams but they were no match for our dominance – a credit to the work being done by the boys in training, led by coach Miss George.

Special mention must go as well to our Key Stage 3 young leaders from Key Stage 3, who supported throughout the event including impressive umpiring (pictured second above)!

Well done to the whole squad but particularly the winning four: Alex Goldsmith, Aayan Memon, Kai Joshi and Jayden Kwok! They are pictured first above with Sixth Form student leaders Rishikesh Nair and Rory Williams.

Rugby Season Ends

Last week, the school rugby season came to an end with a special win under the Friday night lights. The First XV (pictured first above), consisting of students from Years 11-13, beat Ibstock Place 10-5 in a match that had fantastic atmosphere due to the hefty crowd in attendance. For the Year 13s (pictured second above), it was their final match for Isleworth & Syon – an emotional moment, for sure, considering that all of them have played for I&S in every year they have been at school. Well done to all of them, and thank you to Joe Gilmour for his superb captaincy this season.

Across the rest of the school, the Great British weather has caused great disruption to rugby this season. Yet, there is optimism at the direction of travel. Students have been very competitive in their 7s matches, particularly at Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9). Indeed, Year 8 won the Middlesex under-13s shield, while Year 9 beat UCS, London Oratory and Hampton on their way to a narrow cup final defeat. The future looks bright for these cohorts!

Active in Mind Programme

Selected students in Years 7 and 9 have begun a six-week programme called Active in Mind. This exciting opportunity is taking place in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust. It is designed to promote mental and physical health through peer mentoring, sport and physical activity. Students have already had their first session with former Team GB 400m athlete Lesley Owusu, with initial activities focusing on team-building and problem-solving. 

Over the course of the next six weeks, six of our top Year 9 sports leaders will mentor Year 7 students, using the medium of sport to increase their confidence.

Stay tuned for more on this in the coming weeks!

IT Workshop and Data Centre Visit

As part of the school’s careers and IT programme, we took some Sixth Form computing students to Slough to take part in an IT workshop with current and recently graduated apprentices as well as visiting a Data Centre. 

It was a fantastic all-day event, giving students access to information on IT apprenticeships, application guidance, what an assessment centre will look like, and different roles available within the industry. It truly was an excellent opportunity to see a key part of the country’s IT infrastructure and to meet and hear from professionals working in IT. Indeed, one student said afterwards, “I found this experience incredibly invaluable for my advancements into university this year.”

Hounslow Teen Read

As part of our whole school drive towards reading for pleasure and empowerment, we loved being part of a community project called Hounslow Teen Read again this year.

This borough-wide competition has involved students from Key Stage 3 reading through a shortlist of six books over the course of a term, meeting weekly to discuss each book and submit their favourite. This week, they attended the Celebration Event at The Green School for Boys  – learning the winning book and meeting last year’s winner, author Pat Smy. It was a fantastic morning for these keen readers, who learned a lot about the process of writing a novel and crafting compelling characters.

Poetry by Heart School Final

Finally for this week, one of our favourite extra-curricular opportunities during the year is the national Poetry by Heart competition. Students are asked to learn a poem and then recite it for an audience. We know that participation causes a marked increase in students’ confidence and written literacy.

This year’s school final took place on Wednesday in the school hall. Representatives from Years 7-11 took part in front of an audience of their peers plus invited parents/carers. Students were assessed by a judging panel of staff on four areas: Performance, Voice, Understanding and Accuracy. 

From that, three students have progressed to the national competition. Well done to (pictured first above, L-R): Taha Hosseini (Year 7), Axle Moldero (Year 10) and Arjun Patel (Year 8). They will submit video recitals, aiming for a spot in the grand final next term. Well done to everyone who took part – it takes such bravery and resilience to step up in front of your peers!