From the Co-Headteachers
Welcome to our final newsletter of the Autumn Term – we hope you have enjoyed reading all the issues this term. It forms part of our strategy to help parents/carers feel connected to the school community.
In the run-up to Christmas, we have enjoyed a series of masterful events and assemblies which have been highly applauded by teachers and parents/carers alike. It gives us great pleasure and pride when we hear and read comments which include “wonderful”, outstanding”, “mature”, “joyful”, “absolutely cracking”, “fantastic energy” and “amazing”.
Such is life at school; we are much more than an academic conveyor belt. Instead – we are outstanding. We are responsible. We are resilient. We are confident. We are ready to learn.
Nowhere best fits this description than our charity drive this month. Students have driven the collection of much-needed goods for those less fortunate than themselves, showing deep consideration for everyone and promoting kindness across both our school and local community. We wish everyone a very happy holiday period.
Simon Fisher and Jo Higginbottom
Cost of Living
Yesterday (Monday), we emailed all parents/carers an important letter regarding support during the cost of living crisis – signposting resources that can help families.
If you missed it, we have uploaded it to the website.
Flu Catch-up Clinics
Two weeks ago, we hosted the local NHS team into school to conduct flu immunisations via nasal spray for students in Years 7-9 with consent. The team are running some catch-up clinics in the new year – check out the flyer for information about how to book your appointment if your child did not get it in school.
School Bus Survey
We have started work with the London Borough of Hounslow and other local schools in the Isleworth area, to explore whether or not it would be possible to have a dedicated school bus, to serve students who live at least 1 mile away from the school.
The main aims of a service would be to provide a sustainable alternative for journeys, particularly those not well served by public transport routes, to reduce vehicle trips, cut down on parking pressure near the school and improve local air quality.
Please complete this survey to help capture your views and to gauge interest in the School Bus scheme. Please do help to circulate this link to other parents/carers who might be interested in using such a service. The survey will close on Sunday 15 January 2023, so please do take the time to complete it over the Christmas period if possible.
Club of the Week – Big Band
When: Wednesday, 3.05 – 4.30pm
Who: All years
Our Big Band has developed since last year with some of our most gifted musicians playing a broad and exciting repertoire from Christmas classics to drum and bass arrangements. Last week, the Big Band wowed audiences at the Christmas Concert and Year 7 Induction Assembly.
They are always looking for committed members to join and add to the ever-improving musicianship. If you play an instrument and want to take it to the next level, please speak to Mr Davie or Mr McKeever.
We are very keen to include some more brass players, especially anyone interested in learning the trombone.
We’ll be launching our Spring Term programme in the new year, with a few new clubs and activities to inspire students and perhaps create a few new passions! In the meantime, check out the full Autumn programme here.
Music Instrument Lessons
Please note that applications for Spring Term music instrument lessons are now open. Full information is available on the Music subject page (in the ‘Music Instrument Lessons’ tab).
Applications will close on Friday 6 January (ready for a Monday 9 January start), so please make payments via SCOPAY.
Pride of House
The final Pride of House awards for the year have been revealed – 40 outstanding students who have shown dedication and commitment to school life.
Click a house badge below to see who they are!
Those of you fortunate enough to have attended our recent Christmas Concert will have been wowed by the talent on offer at Isleworth & Syon. If you couldn’t make it, or if you did attend but want a refresher, the performing arts team have put together a compilation of some of the performances, which you can watch below.
December Examinations – Well Done!
Today (Friday), the December examinations ended for students in Years 11 and 13. Over the last two weeks, these students have sat internal examinations in each of their subjects – to get a sense of their progress and what they need to do to improve further ahead of the public exams next summer. Results will be issued in the new year.
Well done to all students for their hard work and commitment throughout the term – and thank you to our exams support staff team for the extraordinary amount of work that goes into these assessments.
Next up are the Year 12 internal school exams plus external vocational exams for KS5 students – these take place at the start of the Spring Term!
Safeguarding children is everyone’s responsibility. In our Year assemblies this week, a considerable amount of time has been spent on reinforcing issues linked to personal safety over the Christmas period. In particular, key messaging about online safety and, in light of the tragedy in Solihull earlier this week, water safety.
Finally, as ever, we want to endlessly promote our embedded five MIND strategies for wellbeing and mental health: Stay Active – Keep Learning – Take Notice – Connect – Give (click the image below to make it bigger).
Look after each other and where possible, check in on any elderly neighbours.
The school is closed from 12.30pm on Tuesday 20 December and reopens on Thursday 5 January at 8.25am.
During the holidays, if you have a concern about the safety or welfare of your child, please email the safeguarding team at firstname.lastname@example.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.
- Thursday 5 January – Start of Spring Term (students start at 8.25am).
- Thursday 5 – Monday 16 January – Year 12 Internal School Examinations
- Monday 9 – Friday 20 January – Year 12 and 13 External Vocational Examinations
- Thursday 12 January – Year 7 Parents/Carers Evening
- Thursday 26 January – Year 11 Photographs
- Thursday 26 January – KS5 Parents/Carers Evening
Word of the Week
The word of the week is devote.
In the last full week of term, we were celebrating the festive season in a number of ways. First, on Wednesday, we held our annual Christmas lunch in CucinA.
Always a popular day, students paid just £3 for a full halal Christmas dinner (vegetarian option also available) with all the trimmings! Students were also given a cracker to pull at the festive-themed tables. It was a huge hit, with students complimenting the quality of food provided by our caterers!
Christmas Charity Drive
This year’s Christmas charity drive focused on accumulating donations of non-perishable food items and toiletries to be sent to Ivybridge Link, a food pantry in our local community. Families were encouraged to donate as much as they could manage, and we were overwhelmed with the response! House & Citizenship Ambassadors assisted the House Leaders and Sixth Form Senior House Ambassadors to collate the items and then deliver them to the food pantry. Staff there were incredibly grateful at the generosity on display – so thank you, everyone.
Christmas Jumper Day
Also on Wednesday, we held Christmas Jumper Day in school, with students encouraged to wear a festive jumper underneath their school blazer! It really helped spread the festive spirit in school – 7Sh’s effort (pictured above) was one of the many!
Due to the ongoing cost of living crisis, we did not make donating to charity mandatory for this event. However, if families do want to donate to Save the Children, they can do so via their website.
Continuing on the theme of generosity, the school has presented small gifts to some of the students who have made great progress this term. Of course, it was impossible to give a gift to every student making great progress! So we chose just a small sample of students who we knew would enjoy their gift – a book, a football quiz, or a construction kit. Students were delighted with their gifts – it certainly sent them off to the holidays with much-needed Christmas cheer!
Senior Awards Evening
Yesterday (Monday), we were delighted to host our Senior Awards Evening, celebrating students in Years 10-13 from the 2021-22 academic year. We chose to hold the event in December so that our leavers could attend, as many of them have just finished their first semester at university.
In total, 168 students received awards during the hour-long ceremony, which was compered by Mr McAlinden. First up was the Subject & Pastoral Awards for each year group – special recognition must go to Joe Gilmour and Mikaeel Shah who won four awards each in this section! After a brief musical interlude courtesy of Ellis Madle (Year 12), Mr Mullins presented the sports cups and Mr McAlinden gave out the additional cups, prizes, trophies and awards. As you can see from the photo above, there are a lot of them! You can read the full list of winners.
The final prize, though, was the most prestigious of all – the Headmaster’s Trophy. Announced on the night, the identity of the winner was known only to Mr Ferguson, returning to school after his retirement to present the award for the final time. The worthy winner was Ben Rawsthorne, in recognition of an exemplary seven-year school career where he contributed hugely to the life of the school. Well done, Ben, and everyone else who received awards!
We were thrilled last week to welcome a professional actor, Dani Kennedy, into school for a session with students taking the silver Arts Award.
For those who are not aware about the Arts Award – simply, it is similar to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, but for the performing arts. The Silver Award is equivalent to one GCSE and asks students to develop and refine skills within the arts. The Award is portfolio-based and consists of two units. You can read more on their website.
This year’s group is made up of enthusiastic Year 9s, so they particularly enjoyed this session, where Dani ran some improvisation exercises that were reminiscence of acting auditions. GCSE and A level drama students were also there to take part in a question-and-answer session with Dani. She gave them fascinating insights into what their next steps could be! It was a fantastic afternoon – our thanks to Dani for taking time out of her busy schedule to visit us.