Welcome from the Co-Headteachers

Managing anxiety through regular exercise and ‘sharing the mental load’

Throughout the week, we have been raising awareness about wellbeing and mental health. Throughout Mental Health Awareness Week 2024, our main focus has been on how physical exercise can help with anxiety – which is a normal emotion for us all, but sometimes, it can get out of control and become a mental health problem. Lots of things can lead to feelings of anxiety, including examination pressures, relationships, starting a new job (or losing one) or other big life events. We can also become anxious when it comes to things to do with money and not being able to meet our basic needs, like heating our home or buying food. But anxiety can be made easier to manage through regular physical, strenuous exercise as well as by connecting with people – sharing the mental load. As ever, we endlessly aim to continually raise awareness among students about the importance of improving mental health through our commitment to the five MIND strategies.

This week, our outstanding Year group assemblies have also reinforced similar messages about maximising individual potential, promoting learners as leaders within the classroom, form groups working as effective teams and, in particular, the sum of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts. All these values highlight the importance of the form group which embodies these values. Indeed, such values are deeply embedded in our traditions and school history and, as such, we encourage everyone to reinforce them at every opportunity.

Over the last few weeks, we have had some great feedback from parents/carers about this weekly publication. Please do leave a comment if you have anything to say to us about The Isleworthian. Please note that all student queries should be made via the usual channels rather than the anonymous form.

Simon Fisher and Jo Higginbottom

Mental Health and Physical Wellbeing

Promoting our ‘hidden curriculum’

To continue on from the above – secondary schools in England are facing the enormous challenge of the deteriorating mental wellbeing of young people. The significance of mental health cannot be overstated – it influences attendance, behaviour, academic performance, social integration and, overall, quality of life. At Isleworth and Syon, we ensure that all students have two hours of physical activity each week; this is well above the national average. Students are also strongly encouraged to walk and cycle to school. In school, our hidden curriculum is powerful; students play football, table tennis, basketball and cricket every break and lunchtime; our boys are physically very resilient, robust and fit. Beyond school, we signpost external sports clubs and strive to push students to achieve excellence.

Reading

Did you know that I&S students have free access to over 10,000 e-books?

Every day in school, we want to instil a love of reading. An expectation of school life is reading at least 20 minutes each night, and we have a well-stocked library to help students develop this habit. All Isleworthians also have free access to our E-Platform, offering over 10,000 free E-Books which can be downloaded to your mobile device.

Is your son/ward reading every night? Try and engage them with a conversation about their latest story – or, perhaps, a favourite story of yours.

Coming Soon!

Some more dates for your calendar

  • Monday 27 – Friday 31 May – Half-Term
  • Wednesday 26 and Thursday 27 June – Year 9 immunisations (for those who given consent)
  • Friday 28 June – Track & Field Championships
  • Tuesday 2 July – Transition Day (Year 6 students) and Transition Evening (Year 6 parents/carers)
  • Thursday 4 July – Summer Arts Festival
  • Monday 8 – Friday 19 July – Year 10 Work Experience
  • Monday 8 – Friday 12 July – Wider Learning Week (Years 7-9 and 12)
  • Wednesday 17 July – KS3 Awards Assembly
  • Friday 19 July – End of Summer Term (students dismissed at 12.30pm)

The full calendar is available at this link.

Parking

Protecting the safety of our school community and local residents

Despite previous reminders, a few parents/carers are still parking on double yellow lines when dropping off or picking up students at the start and end of the school day. We ask you all to conform to the law and to put the safety of all children first. In addition, residents of Academy Place have asked that the entrance off Ridgeway Road is kept clear. Thank you for your support.

Edurio Parent/Carer Survey

Your views can shape the school’s future

Last week, we sent parents/carers a link to a new parent/carer survey to enhance our school’s performance and better cater to your child’s needs. Please note that this survey is only open to current parents/carers (Years 7-13).

We know that your feedback is invaluable in shaping the educational journey of our students. This year we are piloting a partnership with leading school survey provider, Edurio. Last year, Edurio surveyed over 34,000 school families. Using this established and respected provider will allow comparison of our community’s views with others. This insight will aid us in refining our curriculum, extra-curricular activities, and overall school experience.

The survey link was sent via email on Friday 10 May.

Your opinions matter greatly, and we are committed to ensuring your voices are heard. Please take a few moments to complete the survey, as your contribution will directly impact the future of our school community. The survey will close on Monday 3 June. 

Mobile Phones

A reminder of our policy

A small reminder to parents/carers, our school policy is that mobile phones are not seen, used or heard while on school site. This means that mobile phones brought into school must be switched off and stored securely (usually in school bags) during the school day.

Photo by Tracy Le Blanc on Pexels.com

Safeguarding

A behaviour pilot coming soon

This week we are writing to parents/carers about a pilot of some changes to our behaviour policy. This will introduce same-day detentions for serious misconduct.  

It is important to stress that at I&S, we do not take a solely punitive approach to managing behaviour. Rather, we use a strategy that has become fashionably known as a ‘warm strict’ approach. This is an approach in schools that combines high expectations with a supportive and nurturing environment.  

Teachers enforce rules and maintain discipline consistently, while issuing rewards and building positive relationships with students. This method emphasises structure and personal accountability, ensuring students understand the consequences of their actions. Simultaneously, it fosters a sense of care and respect, making students feel valued and understood.  

By balancing firmness with empathy, ‘warm strict’ teachers at Isleworth & Syon seek to create a safe, motivating atmosphere that encourages academic and personal growth. This approach helps students develop self-discipline and resilience, equipping them with skills for success both in school and beyond. 

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

House Point Champions

Celebrating student success

Well done to this week’s Diamond and Prestige award-winners, presented for reaching 200 and 300 house points respectively. These students are fantastic role models for their peers – well done to all of them.

View the names
Prestige (300 points)

Ilyas AHMADZAI (7Tr)
David ALI (10Sn)
Hussain ANIMASAUN (7Sh)
Kip BARCLAY-HARDING (8Ad)
Dan BURDEN (8Am)
Isher GARCHA (7Tr)
Seb HALLIGAN (7Sh)
Owais HUSSAIN (10Bl)
Abeer MEMDANI (8Br)
Jiyaan SHAH (7Tu)
Isaac SHAW (9Ad)
Oscar WILKINS (7Sh)

Diamond (200 points)

Oliver ADDIS (8Ad)
Shahnawaz AKBAR (9Sn)
Gabriel ALVAREZ (8Bl)
Ibrahim ASADI (9Tu)
Taha BUTT (7Ad)
Valancio D SOUZA (9Tu)
Mark D’SOUZA (7Am)
Logan DUNNE (8Am)
Sebastian GHIORGHICA (10Sh)
Urejahs MASCARENHAS (10Sn)
Vincent MATHAI (8Sn)
Ahmad MIRZAI (8Ad)
Muhammad SANAN (9Sn)
Artur TITOVS (7Am)
Shahmir ZAIDI (11Sn)

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. 

Pride of House

A new set of award winners

40 more students have won a Pride of House award this week, meaning that their form tutor has nominated them for a brilliant contribution to the life of Isleworth & Syon. Please join us in congratulating the winners via the badges below!

News

To follow

Junior Maths Challenge

Not long after Easter, over 120 students in Years 7 & 8 completed the national Junior Maths Challenge competition – organised by the UK Maths Trust. We were super impressed by a set of fantastic results, with almost half of the students achieving either Bronze, Silver or Gold. It was also fantastic to see that over 10% of Year 8 participants received a Gold, the highest possible award!

The best in each year group was Armaan Aziz (Year 7) and Parva Jobanputra (Year 8). They have now qualified for the Junior Kangaroo along with Noah Merry and Adam Arani. Four entrants into this next round is a school record for this challenge.

Well done to everyone who took part, and to the staff for the work involved to make it happen!

‘Wicked’ Musical Theatre Visit

As our previous newsletters have regularly demonstrated, Isleworth & Syon has a huge commitment to the promotion of the performing arts. This requires “buy-in” from our students – and we are so proud that so many of our students take part in drama and music. To that end, the department decided to reward a group of students for this commitment by taking them to the West End!

On Wednesday afternoon, students headed on the tube to the Apollo Victoria Theatre for a superb production of ‘Wicked’. The famous musical – soon to be a hit movie starring Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande – was a big hit with students, with one commenting afterwards, “I found it very impressive how the actors could act, sing and dance so well, which takes a lot of skill.” A very inspirational trip!

‘Machinal’ at The Old Vic

The week before, the drama team organised another theatre trip – this time to The Old Vic, a short walk from Waterloo station. The play in question was ‘Machinal’, whose mature themes meant that this trip was targeted at our senior drama student. It was a phenomenal production with a great atmosphere – indeed, at times there were periods of complete darkness in the auditorium!

When asked what they learned on the trip, one student stated, “All the detail and importance of positioning, lighting, and engagement with the audience through comedy and tragedy.” It is fantastic to see our students engaging with the mechanics of the performance – it will only help them when it comes to their exams!

Challenge Partners Review

This week has seen an expert auditor on school site with the specific focus of scrutinising and reviewing our practical subjects: art, design technology, drama and music. The audit was wide-ranging and, as well as conducting learning walks through subject lessons, involved an array of meetings with student ambassadors. Given the performing arts team’s incredible progress and outstanding performance events since 2018, this year we put them forward as an area of excellence. As many parents/carers will be aware, at a time when the arts are declining nationally, we continue to invest an incredible amount of time, money and resources into our performing arts (drama and music) in the knowledge that students receive a truly well-balanced, creative curriculum. Simply, we strive for excellence as well as inclusivity and, in our opinion, we achieve it. We hope to hear back in two weeks as to whether this accreditation has been accepted. Watch this space.