Welcome from the Co-Headteachers
Curating a positive climate for learning
An array of learning walks around classrooms this week have demonstrated the common and strong vernacular we possess within our school. Students are eager to reveal our common language of learning in every lesson through structured discussion, questioning and answers phases as well as storytelling. On occasions, wandering the corridors, one might think that there were no students inside the building – such is the quiet, positive learning climate.
Outside the classroom, as part of our extensive extra-curricular programme, Years 7-9 rugby teams enjoyed Saturday morning training at Busch Corner (following an unexpected, late match cancellation) and our Year 9, 10 and 11 football teams all earned victories in both borough-wide and county competitions.
Our outstanding Year assemblies have again been driving the importance of personal and social development, in particular ensuring that all students are 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 the full newsletter – including a very special visit from a former student…
Simon Fisher and Jo Higginbottom
Every lesson matters
Written presentation really matters in school. Across all non-practical subjects, our students are being taught the art of routinely recording and underlining titles as well as identifying key technical words. Personalised learning checklists (PLCs) must be visible, either glued within exercise books or accessible on IT platforms. All good schools are based on robust systems; these in-class systems are instrumental for ensuring that our students make an effective start to every lesson.
Progress & Partnership Day
Appointment times are coming soon
Thank you to those parents/carers who indicated their preference for appointments on Progress & Partnership Day (PPD). As previously mentioned, we cannot guarantee to meet with you at your preferred time but we will do our best to accommodate your choice. Please note that confirmation of your appointment will be sent at the end of next week via email to parents/carers as well as a card given to your son/ward.
As a reminder, normal lessons will be suspended for all students on PPD – Friday 20 October. The original letters are available on this website for your reference.
Student travel will be affected
Students that travel on South Western Railway (SWR) should be aware that the company are undertaking strike action on 4 October. Find out how this will affect you via their website.
Knife Crime Tragedy
Our condolences to the family of Elianne Andam
We are shocked and appalled by the wholly needless death of Elianne Andam, the teenage school girl fatally stabbed in Croydon on Wednesday. The tragedy is a devastating, painful reminder that all schools must continuously work with all external partners – especially parents/carers – to educate young people about the risks of serious violent crime.
Parents/carers should be aware that we work tirelessly on issues of personal safety within weekly assemblies as well as through PSHE and daily Study Support sessions. Schools and local communities can never be complacent about such life-changing issues. We strongly encourage parents/carers to have deep discussions with their son/ward about this subject.
For reference – first, we have an outstanding culture of vigilance within school and, second, our Pastoral Support Managers (PSMs) are our Single Point of Contact (SPoC) for all potential crime reports. Our heartfelt sympathies and deepest condolences go to the family of Elianne.
Driving real change in our community
Thank you to the parents/carers who attended the Area Forum at West Thames College on Monday evening. It was an interesting three-hour event with a host of engaging presentations about community issues on which parents/carers should be aware. For example, bike theft is on the rise; in response, we will look to host an on-site bike “marking” event. Representatives from Transport for London (TfL) reported on proposed new bus routes; in response, we argued for more buses at peak afternoon times on both the A4 (H91) and the London Road. Hounslow Parks highlighted improvements across all of our local parks; in response, we are striving to identify volunteering and student leadership opportunities to support local nature recovery – this would be real student empowerment in action.
Dates for the diary
- 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
You can access the full calendar at this link.
How to help students stay safe online
We regularly receive reports about how our young people are unsafe online. Much of this unsafe behaviour is linked to a lack of parent/carer knowledge about social media in the digital age. Given this, we recommend watching the 15-minute video which is really intense and thought-provoking; it includes Jodie Whittaker, formerly of ‘Doctor Who’.
Many of the unsafe issues raised are at the heart of what being safe on the internet looks like. After viewing it, we urge parents/carers to reflect on the fact that many of those people who work for social media companies do not allow their own children on social media. What can we do to make things better? How can we make parents/carers better informed? Feel free to feedback by contacting the school.
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.
A huge breadth of outstanding opportunities
In case you missed it last week, we have published the Extra-Curricular timetable for this half-term. It includes an incredible range of clubs, groups, masterclasses and more, showcasing the outstanding opportunities that this school offers its students.
Hounslow Symphony Orchestra
A great opportunity for parents/carers
Pride of House
Celebrating student success
Our latest Pride of House winners for Adam, Brunel and Shackleton are included below. These 40 students are shining examples of what an Isleworthian should aspire to be – well done to all of them.
Signposting pathways for students
It is the start of the academic year and we have already sourced a number of opportunities for our students. For those students in the Sixth Form who are considering a career in law, we have insight events with Bird & Bird (3 October) and Charles Russell Speechlys (4 October). For students who may be considering a career with a digital focus, the NHS are running an insight event looking at careers in analytics, web design, social media and more. The event takes place on via Zoom on 19 October between 4.30pm and 6.00pm; register here.
Finally, we are pleased to give parents/carers access to Careermag for Parents, Carers & Guardians. This digital publication is full of information on careers, pathways, and key dates. Please let our Careers Leader know if you find it useful.
A professional footballer visits – plus outstanding enrichment opportunities
Reece James Visits School
The highlight of the week for the students was, without doubt, the visit of footballer Reece James into school. Reece is the Chelsea FC men’s team captain – and also a former student of Isleworth & Syon!
Head of PE Mr Mullins made contact with Reece and invited him into school; he graciously accepted and visited on Tuesday for an hour and a half. During that time, he visited Year 7 games lessons – the shock on the students’ faces when he appeared during their football match was a picture! He then met some sports leaders in the gym, answering their questions and posing for photographs. He also met our Co-Head Students, Ollie and Anya.
Shortly after, we took him on a tour of the school. He loved seeing some of his old classrooms – and a few of his old teachers who are still working with us! We also took him to see his old form room, ML3, where he sat in his old seat!
We are very grateful to Reece for giving his time to come and see us – it is fair to say that the students were very excited by the visit of a professional footballer! However, the students must be congratulated for their respectful and polite behaviour throughout the visit. It was an amazing day for everyone involved, and incredibly inspirational.
‘Red Pitch’ Theatre Visit
Wednesday saw our first theatre trip of the year. Mr McDonnell and Mr Mullins took 26 Sixth Form students to Bush Theatre in Shepherd’s Bush for a performance of ‘Red Pitch’. The play follows three aspiring young male footballers who are experiencing change in their local community.
It was a fantastic production. Stevan commented afterwards, “The play was amazing. I loved the atmosphere. The energy of the performers was really good and the comedy was really true to life.”
One of the most difficult changes for students is the transition up a key stage, so we do everything we can to support them with this journey. The move from Key Stage 3 (Year 9) to Key Stage 4 (Year 10) is a great example, with GCSE courses offering a more challenging curriculum and way of working for students.
On Thursday, we hosted a KS4-Ready Evening. All Year 10 parents/carers invited were invited to an hour-long presentation led by Mr Dargan. It gave parents/carers a number of tips to help them maximise students’ progress ahead of their examinations in Summer 2025.
European Day of Languages
And finally today… Tuesday was the European Day of Languages – a celebration of all things linguistic! The MFL department organised a number of activities including:
- A multiple-choice language quiz for Years 7-11
- A language word hunt for Years 7-9, with limited flag badges available for the first to complete (pictured)
- French and Spanish snacks served by our caterers, The Pantry
It was a fantastic celebration of all things linguistic. Congratulations, Félicitations, Felicidades!