Welcome from the Co-Headteachers
Helping students learn, achieve and grow
This week, the school is well and truly in full flow with a vibrancy and energy within classrooms and around the corridors. As an evidence-based school, we place a huge emphasis on oracy within the classroom (structured talk), reading aloud, active and rich questioning, the modelling of work before independent practice as well as presentation of work. Put all these ingredients together and students make rapid progress. Some of the student work on display has been outstanding (one example is pictured). Ask your son/ward about his own work.
On top of this, our extensive extra-curricular programme – offering an array of outstanding opportunities to learn, develop, achieve and grow – has also wholehearted begun. Find out more about that in the ‘News’ section. In our daily tutorials, we have continued to drive the promotion of positive wellbeing and mental health alongside issues linked to personal safety in our local community.
Simon Fisher and Jo Higginbottom
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
How to indicate your preferred meeting time
Progress & Partnership Day takes place for all year groups on Friday 20 October. Normal lessons will be suspended for the day, with all students and parents/carers having a ten-minute meeting with a member of staff.
Yesterday, we sent a letter to Years 7-11 parents/carers inviting them to indicate their preferred time for the meeting. Please note that this is only a preference and cannot be guaranteed – although we will, of course, do our best to accommodate your wishes. Sixth Form have received a separate letter about arrangements earlier today.
Check your emails for the link to the online form. If you have multiple children at school, please only complete a form for your youngest – we will then attempt to co-ordinate interview times across the siblings.
Learners as Leaders
Enhancing students’ personal development through leadership
Within four really outstanding House assemblies this week, our young people have been learning about opportunities to significantly enhance their personal development, namely through an array of dynamic student leadership.
Students can apply to one of four Ambassador roles within their form group:
- Digital & Online
- House & Citizenship
- Reading & Literacy
- Sport & Extra-Curricular
All students have been encouraged to apply for these positions by writing a short written, formal statement in Microsoft Forms; they have until 29 September. Ask your son/ward about these opportunities which, of course, develop life-long ‘soft skills’.
This all connects to our strategy of developing ‘learners as leaders’ within the school – take a look at this fantastic photo from a Year 7 Spanish lesson earlier this week.
An app connecting parents/carers to the life of the school
We are always delighted to receive direct feedback from parents/carers on aspects of school life which make a significant difference to their son/ward in making rapid academic progress.
This week we received glowing feedback from one parent/carer of a Year 9 student who reported the following: “Thank you, INSIGHT [is] a great tool; it’s absolutely fantastic in helping parents be more informed about their children’s progress and development while also helping parents keep an eye on the their homework (PPA). Great stuff.”
Emails were sent yesterday to those who have not registered for the app – follow the instructions to make your account.
An opportunity for you to feedback on issues affecting young people
Isleworth & Syon is an outward-looking school, always willing to connect with external partners locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. This is essential as all citizenship, entrepreneurship or political activity is located in a real-life context.
Students know the value of this because it is relevant to the real world; we teach them the systemic nature of interactions and connections beyond the physical borders of the classroom.
With this in mind, we wish to signpost students as well as parents/carers to the local Area Forum on Monday evening at West Thames College. One of the Co-Headteachers will be present to feedback on issues which most affect our young people. Check out the flyer pictured or at this link.
The importance of sleep routines
Last week, we focused 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 email@example.com. If there is an emergency call 999 or, for non-urgent matters that require police attention, call 101.
Music Instrument Lessons
A brilliant enrichment opportunity – and great fun!
There is still time to sign up for music instrument lessons, which is a fantastic enrichment opportunity that helps develop important ‘soft skills’. The lessons are run in school by our partners at the Hounslow Music Service. You can learn more in this letter then sign up via SCOPAY.
Pride of House
Celebrating student achievement
Congratulations to the students who have won this week’s Pride of House award – one for each form group. Nominated by a house representative, these boys have made a great contribution to school life.
Our enrichment programme begins – plus the launch of the official school podcast
Extra-Curricular Enrichment Programme
This week, we have launched our extra-curricular programme, led by our Extra-Curricular Coordinator, Mr Gaskell. There are a huge range of clubs, workshops, masterclasses and study sessions for students to enjoy. These enrichment activities are a key component of school life and a fantastic way for students to develop their ‘soft skills’ – vital for later life. We really do encourage every student to take part in at least one lunchtime or after-school club this half-term – take a look at the schedule and have a chat with your son/ward about which activity they may have an affinity for!
Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award
One such enrichment activity is the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. We are proud to be one of only a few local schools to run all three levels of the award – Bronze (Year 9), Silver (Year 10) and Gold (Year 12). More information will follow later this year about how students can sign up for this exciting adventure activity.
This week, the Gold cohort from last academic year went to Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) for their five-night expedition. Students enjoyed some of the most torturous weather conditions an I&S group has encountered, dealing with driving rain and fierce wind throughout. We were delighted showed great resilience and work ethic on their way to passing this section. They will finish their Award with a presentation to their peers about the expedition. Well done, everyone!
School Podcast Launch
And finally for this week…
We are delighted to launch the pilot episode of our brand new podcast. This pilot was recorded last year by librarian Mrs Matthews and a group of keen Year 7 readers. The boys share their love of reading and encourage their peers to read at least 20 minutes each day. Please do give the podcast a listen via the embedded player below.
We are looking forward to recording more episodes this year to give other members of our community the chance to share their love of books.
We’d love your feedback once you’ve had a listen – please leave any comments in this form.