From the Headteacher

I do hope that you have found these newsletters, a new initiative this term, to be an informative weekly read. This is the final posting of the Spring Term and the next publication will be after the holiday.

Our students have enjoyed a really busy term both in class and by taking part in a wide range of additional opportunities. In a term when we have been hard hit by COVID-19, I do thank all members of staff (support and teaching) for taking on the additional workload caused by the absence of colleagues alongside their normal duties, and for continuing to show their impressive commitment to the students.

This Drama and Music Festival was the highlight of the last week of term and you can read some of the other news items below. I am very proud of the fact, that after the restrictions of the pandemic, we have returned to a full programme of additional activities which remains such an integral part of our school culture.

Celebration assemblies for each year group have also taken place this week and I add my congratulations to the many students who have been recognised for their achievements over the term. The highlight of the assemblies is always the excitement generated by the “top form” prize. In Year 7 this was decided by one point – the closest competition for many years. Well done to 7Br who just pipped Autumn Term winners 7Sh!

There are a number of religious festivals taking place in April. Ramadan Mubarak to our Muslim students and their families observing the Holy Month of Ramadan. I also wish those of you celebrating Easter or Passover this holiday a peaceful time. To all members of the school community, I do hope that you have an enjoyable break and I look forward to seeing the students return to school on Wednesday 20 April.

Euan Ferguson

Safeguarding Updates

Our boys and young men are frequently reminded about what constitutes positive male behaviour, including how they interact with girls and women. There is an excellent resource, ‘Have a Word With Yourself, Then With Your Mates’, produced by the Mayor of London’s office. We would encourage all parents/carers to watch the video resource – just under 2 minutes – with their children.

If you have a concern about the safety or welfare of your or another child, please email the safeguarding team at safeguarding@isleworthsyon.org.

Free School Meals – Information

FSM vouchers will be issued to those eligible on 2 and 9 April. Please look out for an email from Evouchers.com.

If you are eligible for free school meals, please do take up the offer, even if you do not want your child to eat at school. You will still get a holiday voucher and other opportunities (see below). In addition, the school receives additional funding for each student claiming free school meals. If you wish to apply, please do so here.

Hounslow Swimming Club is offering free swimming or water safety sessions. Please see this flyer for further information.

You can also learn more about Hounslow’s Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Programme which has a range of activities and events over the Easter holiday.

Parent/Carer Trustee – Vacancy

We have a new vacancy on our Academy Trust Board for a parent/carer representative. Should you be interested in becoming a trustee (governor) of the school, please watch out for election materials which will be issued early next term.

Job Opportunities – Support Staff

We are looking for Exam Invigilators to join our school. You will be employed on a casual basis to supervise students in mock and external examinations throughout the school year. For further details, read the full Job Description and how to apply here.

We are about to advertise for a Design Technology Technician, who will support the practical work in the Design Technology and Engineering Department. In addition, we will also be advertising for an ICT Technician to support our Network Manager, in the near future.

Reading

Please encourage your son/ward to keep reading during the break. Members of the school community have access to hundreds of free E-Books here.

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COVID-19 Updates

With the lifting of restrictions and the ending of free testing in England, we are still aware that COVID-19 remains a highly transmissible infection.

If your son/daughter/ward develop symptoms (a high temperature, a new or persistent cough, or a loss or change of smell/taste), we ask you to follow sensible precautions and keep your child off school until they are fit to return, just as you would with any other seasonal infection.

Vaccination is now the main defence against this virus and all members of the community should be ensuring that they protect themselves and each other from the worst effects of the infection by getting the injection and booster.

  • Information about the local vaccination programmes can be found here.
  • For a first or second vaccination, or a booster, you can book online here.

For the time being, we will continue to allow staff and students to choose whether to wear a face covering. This policy will be reviewed at the end of the first half of the summer term as our preference would be a return to being free of this restriction. This will mean that classroom communications in particular, so critical for learning, can return to normal.

We also encourage all students to carry tissues and to maintain good hand washing routines at all times.

Photography without cameras – Daniel (Year 13) takes full advantage of our darkroom facilities!

To get involved, email Donna Al Assaad here.

News

Eco and Sustainability Week

Our journey to being a sustainable school started in 2012 with an extensive energy audit and over the past decade, many alterations have been made to the school estate to reach our energy targets. Miss Gartland, our Eco Coordinator, is now focusing on working with students to highlight what individual behaviours can be changed as we journey to becoming an Eco school. 

Our first ever Eco and Sustainability Week took place from 21-25 March. Students in Years 7-10 took part in a series of planned activities, some linked to the curriculum and others delivered through Study Support. Assemblies for the week also highlighted some strategies for the students to be more environmentally friendly. In the photograph above, you can see a collage made by some Year 7 artists.

Charity Football

After school on Wednesday 30 March, our Sixth Form Sports Leaders organised a charity 7-a-side football competition on the school’s Astro. Six teams, including a staff team and sixth form teams, competed in the mini-tournament and the funds raised will be added to the Comic Relief monies.

Poetry by Heart

For many years, it has been a tradition to take part in the national ‘Poetry by Heart’ competition. The competition involves learning a poem and then reciting it for an audience of students and parents/carers. Previous years have shown that participation causes a marked increase in students’ confidence and written literacy.

This year’s school competition took place on Wednesday 30 March in the library. Participation was impressive, with students in Years 7-10 taking part as well as 2020 national finalist Albert Campling (Year 13). Four students progress to this year’s national final – Isaac Shaw (7Ad), Jonas Canniere (8Tu), Karanraj Birk (9Sn) and Kaname Asaki (10Tr). Well done, everyone!

Drama & Music Festival

It was a delight to host an in-person Drama and Music Festival yesterday (Thursday). This was the first time we had been able to hold this event since 2019, so it was wonderful to have a full audience from the school community.

This event showcased just some of the outstanding talent being nurtured by the performing arts team. There was a range of dramatic styles including murder mystery, melodrama, slapstick and Shakespearean monologues. There were also magnificent musical performances, all ably compared by hosts Shivom and Josh.

This event shows how Isleworth & Syon continues its strong tradition for outstanding drama and music education – we are always looking forward to the Summer Arts extravaganza in the Summer Term!