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WEEK 12 - Friday 1 December 2023

Hello to all our year 7 students and their families, 

I hope everyone is staying warm as the cold sets in. 

The frosty mornings have arrived, and thankfully I am seeing more coats, bobble hats, scarves and gloves; however, bags are not as present as when the year started and more students are forgetting things in a morning.  Please can you encourage them to pack the night before and check what they need; this helps them start their day and stops us interrupting your day and asking for something to be dropped off. 

Last week the Year 7s had a wonderful assembly about diversity. Mr Chapman, one of our Deputy Head teachers, opened with a brave confession that he ‘Loved Jellybeans!’ The faces of the year group showed total and utter confusion; they were baffled as to why they were being told this ‘Weird’ fact. The assembly went on to introduce the year group to ‘Jellybean families’, again bewilderment filled the air, and then came the moment where the connection to the topic of tolerance and diversity became clear.  We are like jellybeans- each one different, liked by some and not others, but ultimately this doesn’t matter. Students have since been talking about accepting others, checking on isolated students, and showing awareness that each one is fine to be who they are and that they will find their family. I have been so proud of how they have taken on board such an important message. The uniqueness has also been a focus of our school Christmas tree, which has two tops- as one student added ‘We could have an angel and a star’. 

It then becomes clear that the buzz now is the build up towards Christmas; worryingly, some students have told me it is Christmas from today (1st December) and I can assure you that we are not ready for that just yet. There are some end of term assessments looming; our Carol Concert to be held; Competitions to take part in and a charity collection. The competition is running between tutor groups; they have been asked to create a festive display in their tutor rooms, showing their group traits and characteristics: please follow us on ‘X’ (formerly Twitter) to see these as I intend to share them. The charity collection is for P.A.U.L for Brain- we are collecting tea, coffee, hot chocolate, and biscuits for them to use when they host activity mornings and group support mornings.  Donations can be brought in and given to myself or their tutors. 

In the past week or two, I have been overwhelmed with the support from families when I am speaking about the year group. The parental backing is such an imperative relationship when supporting learners. I have had several students come and open-up to me about various issues, all adding that somebody at home told them to come and talk to me. For all we are less than a term in, the trust in me to support them, and you, is greatly appreciated. Tutors are also now fully understanding of students in their groups and our team ethos is gaining strength week on week. 

To support students, I am also reminding them about staying safe as they travel to and from school. Please encourage them to have location apps and trackers on devices, that they come to and from groups with friends, and the route travelled is known by family at home. There have also been conversations about being sensible in slippery conditions.  Nobody needs a trip to A&E at any time, let alone in the run up to Christmas. 

I close my blog with a message of thanks to Mr Fielden. This week he has left us to venture on to pastures new. We all wish him good luck and success in his new role and thank him for the support he has given the Year 7s since they arrived in September. 

Whilst we appoint a replacement, please be aware that the wider student service team are supporting me with the year group. If you cannot get hold of the year 7 office, please email us at and we will contact you at the first availability. 

Whatever you do this weekend: have fun, take care, and stay safe. 

Mrs Todd

Head of year