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Head of Year 10 Blog


I am very proud to be the Head of Year 10.

If you wish to contact me, please email

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  • WEEK 12 - Friday 1 December 2023

    Published 04/12/23

    This week the Year 8 students watched a performance called ‘Smashed Live’ which aims to educate students about alcohol. 

    Smashed is a powerful and realistic story of young people and alcohol. Learners stop and ask, ‘What if that was me?’ 

    Learning Objectives: 

    Smashed doesn’t tell. We enable learning. Students observe, explore and reflect on vital underage drinking themes including: 

    • The social and emotional causes 

    • The impact on young lives 

    • Social influence and decision making 

    • Where and how to help yourself and others 

    This is what Mary Cousins (8Oo2) had to say about it: “On Monday at school, we had a company called Smashed come in. Smashed was telling us about drinking at a young age and the dangers it can lead to. I found it very interactive and fun, and I liked how it was comedic but still brought to life the dangers. Also, the show, I felt, was much more interactive and better than watching a video or being given a speech. I felt that people concentrated more and took more information from it because they could relate to it. Overall, I would like to see more things like it, and I really enjoyed it’. 

    As part of the Smashed performance the students were asked to take part in workshop activities answering questions based on what they had learnt. There were 18 students who received house points and a HOY rewards postcard for their participation in the workshops: Harrison Colby Brinkly, Robert Fordham, Riley Gray, Finley Hatton, William Heslop, Paisley Hilton, Saffie Hudson, Samanta Kalugunaite, Scarlett McCoy, Brandon Minns, Seb Minns, Tawfiw Mustafa, Harry Oliver-Smith, Abigail Palmer, Ava Parker, Ryan Pattison, Lacey Platten, Peyton Weaver. A huge well done to these students for having the confidence and excellent attitude to learning to share their views and answer questions. 

    Meanwhile, the Year 8 football team played brilliantly this week winning 7-0. The boys showed an exceptional attitude and effort put into the game. Goal scorers: Riley-Joe Chamberlain (2), Frankie Sizer, Harlee Fox, Ash Leaming, Asa Taylor and Matthew White. 

    Thank you for your continued support and please do contact us with any questions or concerns; 

    Miss Pinkney

    Head of Year 8

    Miss Briggs

    Assistant Head of Year 8

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  • WEEK 8 - Thursday 26 October 2023

    Published 06/11/23

    As we reach the end of our first term as Year 10, it is an opportune moment to focus on some of the positive contributions students have made to the school. 

    Firstly, house points: 

    • This term has seen a huge number of points issued to students in Year 10 with 32,359 points being awarded since September 

    • Five students have achieved over 250 points each  

    • One student has achieved 300 points already (an outstanding achievement) 

    By looking in the student planner you will be able to see where these points are being awarded and how many your child is achieving each week. Having spoken to a number of you in recent weeks, I know you are monitoring this at home using the Arbor parent app and this is a great way to keep up to date with the achievements and rewards being issued. If you haven’t already downloaded it, I would encourage you to do so to help students to hit the next benchmark and continue earning rewards. 

    In previous blogs, I’ve mentioned some of the values of the school. Over the last fortnight, I have asked the teachers and tutors of Year 10 to send me their “Student Shout-Outs”, highlighting where these values have been demonstrated by our year group. I’ve been exceptionally proud to read some of the words from staff and will share these with students individually and during our celebration assembly next term. To give you a sample of the comments I’ve received, I’ve included some anonymised feedback highlighting what staff have been saying about our learners. 


    • “A great start to maths in Year 10, always attempting the most challenging questions and going above and beyond with homework tasks.” -  Mr Fox 

    • “Brilliant effort and dedication in completing a whole term’s homework before the deadline for the first task!” – Miss Hughes 


    • “Always asks me how I am each morning – I really appreciate that” – Mrs Groak 

    • “This student has shown the utmost respect in the classroom for her learning. She works hard, listens to instructions and shows her understanding in the work produced – well done!” – Miss Lewis 


    • “Deciding to focus on work and move himself to concentrate better. It’s paid off – super work in class” – Mrs Groak 


    • “This student has been very dedicated to improving her singing. She has stayed after school a number of times to rehearse, and also contributed to the open evening.” – Mrs Webb 

    • “This student has smashed every maths problem I have thrown at her. She is respectful and strives to do her best every time. Well done!” – Mrs Phetla 


    • “This student shows real integrity and responsibility in his BTEC IT lessons. He completes all his work to the best of his ability. He also provides support to his peers if he sees they are struggling with certain IT concepts. He is a pleasure to have in the group, always greeting me with a polite and mature comment when he enters my room.” – Mr Leckenby 

    This is just a sample of a much more extensive list of positive comments from teaching staff which exemplifies what it means to be in Year 10. I’m incredibly proud of their achievements and am looking forward to sharing more of these comments with them in the future. 

    Finally, I’d like to take the opportunity to thank everyone involved for their continued hard work and efforts during this first term. I wish all students a safe and restful break and look forward to seeing them all again next half-term, refreshed and ready to go. 

    Mr Riches

    Head of Year 10

    Mrs Lacey 

    Assistant Head of Year 10

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  • WEEK 6 - Friday 13 October 2023

    Published 13/10/23

    Recognition and reward 

    Week Six has brought with it the opportunity to acknowledge a number of successes for students in Year 10.  Earlier in the week, the boys’ football team was successful in the cup with a 7-0 victory, including a four-goal haul from one in-form individual. The team all arrived back into school on the morning after the game full of excitement about their performance and it was a pleasure to see this level of enthusiasm and pride. This week has also seen the first wave of our whole-school rewards package being rolled out to students. On Wednesday morning, I had the pleasure of being able to deliver rewards to nearly 100 of our Year 10 students for reaching milestones for the number of House Points they’ve received this year. This is a part of the job I particularly enjoy and I look forward to many other opportunities to acknowledge the achievements of our students. 

    It’s also important to recognise when our expectations aren’t being met. Unfortunately, this week there have been examples of student behaviour in the year group that fall below the standard that both the school and I expect. Success, as we know, isn’t a linear journey: there are ups and downs along the way but we must make sure that the dips don’t become valleys and that we learn from mistakes rather than accepting below-par standards. As a year team, we closely monitor all students and, where possible, pre-empt any support they may need. Our logic is a simple one: if you can catch an issue upstream it prevents it from gathering pace and becoming something more serious further downstream. It’s through this work that our wrap-around pastoral care is at its most effective, when we can be proactive rather than simply reactive.  

    On a related note, our students are being given the opportunity to demonstrate their own proactive attitudes by taking part in the Work Experience programme we offer through our Careers Team. Next week sees the launch of the programme with a student assembly on Wednesday followed by a presentation for parents on Thursday 19th October. The event will give you the opportunity to learn more about the importance of students getting out into the world of work and developing skills they can take forward for the future. Our careers team will be available to take any questions and advise you about the steps you need to take to help your child to secure their placement. We look forward to seeing you there. 

    Mr Riches

    Head of Year 10

    Mrs Lacey

    Assistant Head of Year 10

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  • WEEK 4 - Friday 29 September 2023

    Published 29/09/23

    As I write this blog, we are now nearly four weeks into the school year and are settled into our timetables and routines. At this point it feels appropriate to think ahead towards what we hope to achieve during the coming year. For me, a successful Year 10 means happy and motivated students who have approached their first year of GCSE study with maturity and purpose, developing a strength of character along the way. For the vast majority of our students, they have started the year in line with this ambition and should feel proud of their efforts to-date. This is merely a foundation however and there are still many days ahead in which to build upon this start and achieve success this year. This leads me nicely on to my focussed school value for this blog: Aspiration, defined simply as our ambition to achieve something high or great. 

    For me, aspiration links intrinsically to a desire to improve. In order to aim high, we need to always be looking for how we can take what we do and make it even better: we must want the best for ourselves. Working in education, this is part of our annual cycle of school improvement. With the changing contexts of our learners and their lives, to stand still can mean to go backwards and, consequently, we use this time of year to set targets and to refine our daily practice. In any walk of life, it’s important that in our conversations around aspiration we understand that to strive for improvement may result in looking inwards and facing up to some difficult truths about where we currently are. This is true in sporting fields, at home, in the workplace and as students in school. Over the coming weeks and months, our students will have numerous conversations with staff about their own aspirations and what they need to improve in order to achieve them. We will always frame these discussions positively, with a focus on helping students to be the best that they can be but there also needs to be an understanding from our learners to accept the guidance provided and to work towards improvements where necessary.  

    On a daily basis, one of the most important people in your child’s improvement journey is their form tutor. They are the most constant presence a student will experience throughout their school year, meeting and greeting them each and every morning during our morning line-ups before heading to their form rooms or the assembly hall to start their day. As the Head of Year 10, I’m privileged to work with a dedicated team of tutors who know their students well and want the best for them. 

    This puts them at a distinct advantage when it comes to identifying any signs of worry or anxiety shown by an individual. They are tuned into what is “the norm” for their students and, consequently, are able to spot when a conversation or any additional support is needed. Over the last week, I’ve shared a lot of information with the tutor team and discussed the current strengths of students in their groups as well as areas to improve. They are working hard to ensure that students’ efforts are being noticed and that those who are meeting or exceeding expectations are acknowledged and rewarded. They are also holding conversations around attendance, punctuality, behaviour and attainment to help students who need support in these areas to set targets for the coming weeks. 

    To support the tutor team with this work and to ensure we can spend as much time as possible focusing on our aspirations for students, I ask for your continued support in ensuring students are adhering to our school policies on punctuality, uniform and jewellery. As always, the vast majority of our students are arriving to lessons on time and in line with expectations and I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for helping to ensure your children make the most of their time in school. 

    Upcoming events: 

    On a related note, the Year 10 Information Evening takes place on Thursday 5th October and will provide an opportunity for us to share our ambitions for Year 10 students with you in a face-to-face context. I hope that you can attend the event and I look forward to meeting you. 

    As always, both Mrs Lacey and I are on hand to support students on a daily basis and you can contact either of us in the Student Services office by phone or email. 

    Mr Riches

    Head of Year 10

    Mrs Lacey

    Assistant Head of Year 10

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  • Head of Year 10 Blogs 2022/2023

    Published 04/09/23

    To view Year 10 Blogs from 2022/2023 please click here.

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  • Head of Year 10 Blogs 2021/2022

    Published 07/09/22

    To view Year 10 Blogs from 2021/2022 please click here

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  • Head of Year 10 Blogs 2020/2021

    Published 17/09/21

    To view Year 10 Blogs from 2020/2021 please click here

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