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WEEK 16 - Friday 12 January 2024

Aiming High 

Firstly, welcome back. The run-up to the Christmas break was a long and tiring one for everyone involved so I hope that you were able to find an opportunity to relax and spend some time with those closest to you. As we often do at this time of the year, we now look to the future and, in Year 10, we do so with an eye on Year 11 and next year’s examinations. 

In our assembly this week, Mrs Meir spoke to the year group about their target grades for the end of Year 11 and our ambition for all students to maximise their potential. The target setting process provides each student with personalised target grades across the range of subjects of subjects they study. These targets are ambitious but, importantly, attainable. They will require work but are within the capabilities of every individual if they attend and engage during the remainder of Year 10 and Year 11. 

We often have conversations with students about fulfilling their potential, particularly in relation to exam grades. Too often these conversations include students’ desire to follow the “path of least resistance” whereby they are happy to achieve the minimum they need to move to the next step. As a school, we work to challenge this thought process and to encourage students to aim higher. This makes a difference for a number of reasons. Firstly, a higher grade can open the door to courses and careers you may want to follow or maybe haven’t even considered yet (and, according to DfE research, higher lifetime earnings). The greater the range of academic success, the more options you have to choose from when you move on to the next step. Furthermore, not only do you achieve a higher grade but by aiming high, you will acquire a greater wealth of knowledge and master a wider range of skills. Ultimately, this is the purpose of an academic education: to be able to know and do more than we otherwise would. This is why simply settling for the minimum is never enough when the opportunity to achieve so much more is in front of us.  

Of course, academic achievement on its own is not our only goal - without the personal and social skills required to succeed it will only take you so far. With this in mind, we continue to promote and develop a rounded sense of character through our Bridge programme and the pastoral support available within the school, equipping students with the skills they need to reach their aspirations. 

Careers update 

As you’ll be aware, this year has seen the return of the work experience programme for Year 10 and over 80% of parental consent forms were returned to school before the Christmas deadline. The next stage of this process is to secure placements and return the completed placement forms to school. The deadline for completion of this is Friday 26th February which then allows the relevant visits and checks to be completed. If you are struggling to find a suitable placement or have any questions about the process, please contact Miss Lawes for additional support and guidance. 

We have also recently started the initial round of Careers Guidance Interviews with Year 10 students, conducted by our external advisor Graeme Peart. These initial interviews will then be followed in Year 11 with additional support to help students identify suitable pathways for their post-16 education and beyond, as we continue to raise aspirations. 

Well done 

Finally, a huge “Well done” to students in 10cd/En4 for how well you are currently working. After I dropped into your lesson earlier this week, Mr Burnett visited me to sing your praises. He couldn’t speak highly enough of the attitudes and atmosphere in your lessons and how much he enjoys teaching the class. Keep up the good work.  

Mr Riches

Head of Year 10

Mrs Lacey

Assistant Head of Year 10