Start of Term September 2023
Dear Parents and Carers,
We have today welcomed our staff members to the start of this autumn term, with two planned professional development days today and tomorrow.
Later this week, we look forward to welcoming just our new year 7 pupils and year 12 students on Wednesday 06 September for an induction day, and all pupils and students then on and from Thursday 07 September. Please be reminded of the slightly revised timings of the School day this year – with all pupils and students expected onsite by 08.50 each day (this is not a change from last year) – and an end of day for children at 14.50 each Monday, 15.45 each Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and 15.00 each Friday.
Through the national media, I am mindful that you may have concerns at this time linked to RAAC (a type of lightweight precast concrete) used in some public sector buildings from the mid-1950s to the mid-1990s. Reassuringly, our main School building was constructed just 10 years ago. A smaller part of our site was constructed prior to that. We are presently working with the University and the Department for Education to actively check whether RAAC has been used in the construction of any parts of our buildings. We do not have any confirmed use of RAAC and have not been asked to close any areas. If RAAC should be identified I shall of course let you know straight away, at which point contingencies for the continuity of education would be arranged. Safety of our pupils, students, and staff is of paramount importance.
Sharing news of a more upbeat nature with you, we are keen to celebrate the very many successes of our year 11 and year 13 graduates, with this summer’s GCSE and A level outcomes now known. We are proud of our diverse and inclusive School community, and we remain focused always on supporting each young person to an aspirational pathway of choice – be that next steps in education, or employment, or an apprenticeship. For example, 80% of our year 13 graduates (144 of 181 students) will shortly commence undergraduate courses at different universities, with 33 students from year 13 gaining passes at an overall standard of no less than grades AAB from their A levels.
For our year 11 graduates, 80% of pupils gained at least a grade 4 (standard level) pass in English Language and in mathematics, compared to national outcomes at 65% and 61% respectively for those core subjects. A fifth of GCSE pupils gained grades 7+ (equivalent to legacy grades A/A*) in English language and mathematics. Beyond these core subjects, we are particularly impressed with outcomes in art, history, religious studies, psychology, sociology, and food and nutrition.
On behalf of all at the School I offer my congratulations to our graduate cohorts, and wish each individual every fulfilment and success moving forward.
With best wishes,