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WEEK 36 - Friday 2 July 2021

Hello to all Year 9 families,

As we enter July and approach the end of an unusual year, I want to start with an enormous ‘Thank you’ to everyone that works so tirelessly to support our students - both at home and when they are here at school. Working together is certainly making a difference for our students and, even though we have only been in post since January, I am really feeling that the level of collaboration between home and school has made some huge differences to the students' school experiences; ‘Alone we can do very little, yet together we can do a lot.’

Having recently had a new telephone system put in place, Mrs Green and I are now getting the calls coming directly to us, so long as we are in the office, and it has been lovely to hear how much difference this has made to some families; one parent said, ‘I cannot believe you have answered the phone. I didn’t imagine I would get to speak to you straight away.’  It made me smile that this was now possible for you all. Please know that both Mrs Green and I are always on the end of the phone or an email; we always endeavour to support you and your child as quickly as possible and we will always strive to find a way to solve a problem. We are aware that, due to busy working patterns, calling us isn’t always easy, but please leave us a voicemail out of hours or drop us an email if that is an easier option.

There has been a lot happening for the Year 9s recently and I have been overwhelmed at the attitude of our students.  Last week they were sitting their end of year assessments with some catching up this week following an absence. As I wandered around and checked the students were settled in their lesson, it was wonderful to see how focused they were on applying their knowledge to their exams. I have witnessed great levels of maturity, calmness, and independent focus on the tasks given to them. The great attitudes shown now will certainly serve them well in 2 years time. 

In tutor time we have continued to complete work on our core value ‘Respect’. This week students have been looking at how the language they use matters when it comes to showing respect. One topic was how the words they use can cause upset or harm to others, and then discussing how the messages could be shared in a kinder way, more respectful of feelings. 

We have also spent time reminding students of the need to be organised, especially as we end Year 9 and prepare for Year 10 next year. We have had a number of students forgetting equipment, planners, and losing shoes recently.  We have listened to cries of, ‘My mum moved it.’, ‘I think I left it at… and they cannot bring it back to me until the weekend.’ and ‘It’s not my fault!’. Both Mrs Green and I are now responding with a reminder of the need for personal responsibility for their possessions and behaviours, and it is nobody else's fault. Hopefully together we can combat this and get them fully prepared for September.

Thinking about September, hopefully normality might resume in our day to day school life.  Last week Mr Groak shared a uniform update with students and in a letter to you. As far as the policy stands, there are no changes to the uniform itself; however, we have sourced a range of skirts that are now approved. Recently there has been a surge in stretchy skirts and these are not in line with the policy, hence the need to tighten up on the styles accepted. The skirt styles are on show to students in the centre of the school. I would also like to remind you that shoes should be plain black leather/ leather look polishable, with no embellishments or decoration. If there is anything you are unsure about, when starting to source new items, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Stay safe, have fun, and take care.

Mrs Todd

Head of Year 9

Mrs Green

Assistant Head of Year 9