From the Co-Headteachers
We hope everyone had a Happy Christmas and New Year.
This week, the school is well and truly back into full flow with a vibrancy and energy within classrooms as well as around the corridors. Year group assemblies have been driving the importance of taking pride in both appearance and work presentation. Furthermore, we are again reinforcing the importance in reading in all subjects as well as at home. We know that reading ability is a key indicator of academic success, so please continue to monitor how your son/ward reads at home. Our expectation is that students read for 20 minutes a day. This could be reading in silence by themselves or reading to or even alongside parents/carers. Our mantra is “little and often”.
Finally, our extensive Extra-Curricular programme for the Spring Term has started. As ever, this enrichment offers a huge array of outstanding opportunities to learn, develop, achieve and grow – see more details below.
We are always looking to improve and innovate with our communications. If you have any comments, positive or negative, about this newsletter, we’d be grateful if you could do so here.
Simon Fisher and Jo Higginbottom
Increased Vigilance – Street Robberies
The school works extremely hard alongside both community and safer school police teams to protect children. It is an unfortunate pattern each year that, in January, the number of street robberies escalate because criminals know that young people are likely to be in possession of new, expensive items: phones, coats, bikes, e-scooters etc. This is a problem across London; not specific to Isleworth.
Given this, parents/carers are encouraged to impress on their children the importance of vigilance. Please report any issues to the police via 101 or, in an emergency, 999. You can also report an incident online.
Spring Term Extra-Curricular Programme
At the start of 2023, there has never been a better time for your son/ward to join one of our extra-curricular clubs! There really is something for everyone – academic, creative, sports, and special interests! Check out the full list; students can sign up with the staff member listed.
Club of the Week – School Production
With just four weeks to go until the first performance, our club of the week is the school production.
Performances of ‘The Odyssey’ take place on Thursday 9 and Friday 10 February. This adaptation sees Odysseus’ many adventures as he tries to return home after the Trojan war, encountering the Cyclops, the wrath of the Gods and many other dangers. Take a first look at the poster below (click for full size) – tickets go on sale next week.
Pride of House
A huge well done to the 40 students across Years 7-11 who have received a Pride of House award for this week. These are nominated by Form Tutors/Pastoral Staff to recognise an outstanding contribution to the life of the school. You can view the lists by clicking a house badge.
Careers Corner – TfL Work Experience
This week, we launch a new feature – Careers Corner. It will signpost some fantastic pathways in careers. This week, a short piece from Sixth Former Arjun Notay about his work experience with TfL.
At the Ealing Common depot, I was introduced to the world of mechanical engineering, shadowing maintenance engineers while they carried out checks and repairs on Circle Line trains. As I use the tube frequently, it was quite eye-opening to learn about behind the scenes and how such a busy system is kept running smoothly thanks to the efforts of staff at these depots. I was given the opportunity to actually carry out a repair myself, replacing and reprogramming a train speedometer. I was also allowed the chance to ‘shunt’ a train, where I drove it from one maintenance bay to another.
This was an exciting experience that only a few trainees get the chance to do!
December Examinations – Well Done!
The Year 12 internal examinations have finished for the majority of students, with just the two-day art exam starting today and finishing on Monday. These internal assessments will provide students with a fantastic barometer of their progress after one term in the Sixth Form. Once the papers are marked, teachers will work with students to identify areas for improvement. Well done to the students for their hard work throughout the exams!
Safeguarding – Mental Health
The mental health charity Mind are launching ‘Circle’, a hub space and crisis cafe offering support for young people in Ealing and Hounslow between the ages of 5 and 18. It will be for those who are near, or at crisis point with their mental health. A mental health crisis is when you feel at breaking point and need urgent help.
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.
- 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
- Thursday 9 and Friday 10 February – School Production of ‘The Odyssey’
- Monday 13 – Friday 17 February – Half-Term
School Bus Survey
In the last newsletter before Christmas, we asked parents/carers to complete a short survey about a potential school bus service, to serve students who live at least 1 mile away from the school.
As a reminder, rhe 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.
The deadline to complete this survey is this Sunday, 15 January.
Word of the Week
The word of the week is principle.
Website Spotlight – Sixth Form
There are just two weeks to go until the deadline for current Year 11 students to apply for a place in our Sixth Form for September 2023. This deadline has been placed after the December examination results are released next week.
As students plan their applications, the Sixth Form section of the school website is a fantastic resource. The ‘About’ page provides basic information about the difference between KS4 and KS5, while the prospectus offers a deeper dive into the daily life of the Sixth Form. Through that section, you can also view a full list of university destinations going back nearly fifteen years plus some Sixth Form Success Stories, told in audio form by the students themselves!
Please do check out the section, whether you’re planning an application now or the parent/carer of a younger student who may make one in the future. It is never too early for students to start thinking about these pathways.
Mikaeel Shah – Top 20 Mathematician (Again)!
Congratulations to Year 12 student Mikaeel Shah, who has placed in the top 20 in a nationwide maths competition. After competing in BMO1 of the Senior Maths Challenge, he scored 50 out of 60 which qualifies him for the next round in a few weeks time. This is not the first time that Mikaeel has achieved success in these maths challenges – you can read more about his successes from 2019 and 2021.
Well done Mikaeel for your continued success, and good luck in BMO2!
Arts Award Success
Last year, selected Year 9 students took part in the Arts Award, a qualification equivalent to one GCSE that is the performing arts version of the Duke of Edinburgh’s award. You can read more about it in page 46 of our Annual Review for 2021-22; pictured above is one of the participants, Ashan Khehra, during the Summer Arts Festival.
We have just received notice that all of the students received a ‘pass’ mark for their portfolios. This is testament to their hard work and commitment – congratulations to them!
As part of our ongoing partnership with the London College of Music, members of our jazz band attended a very special jazz masterclass with musician Tony Kofi on Wednesday 11 January.
Tony is a renowned, award-winning saxophonist so the boys learned a lot from this hour-long workshop, where he worked with our students and their musical instruments (as pictured above). It was a fantastic chance for our talented musicians to explore future possibilities by networking with other gifted musicians and industry professionals, so students certainly got a lot out of the session!
End of Term Assemblies
At the end of last term, we held our traditional celebration assemblies for all year groups. These events, lasting about 45 minutes, give students and staff the chance to reflect on their progress up to this point, and celebrate students’ achievements in a variety of areas. A number of certificates and awards were presented to Isleworthians who have been fine ambassadors for the school during the Autumn Term. It was a lovely way to end 2022!
CHTs’ Celebration Events
This week, the Co-Headteachers organised celebration events with small group of students in Years 7-13 on Monday morning. The chosen cohort this time was students with the most positive points in the year – meaning that they are those making the most positive contributions to school life They should be proud of their achievements.
The Co-Heads asked the students about their progress this year as well as the ways in which student life could be improved in school. This sort of student voice is incredibly important as we seek to continually improve. We are grateful for their feedback!
Year 7 Parents/Carers Evening
Yesterday evening (Thursday), we held our Year 7 Parents/Carers Evening. For our newest intake of students, this was the first chance for families to speak directly with subject teachers about how students have been doing in their different lessons. This helps strengthen the connection between home and school as we move into the new term. It was a very well-attended event which lasted from 4.15 – 7.00pm!