Dear Parents and Guardians
It has certainly been an eventful and busy half term and I can’t believe that Christmas festivities are so quickly upon us! Last week’s Christmas Fair and Advent Service were simply delightful events and it was great to see so many of you there. Equally we are anticipating a lovely Christmas Concert and Carol Service over these last two weeks.
During this half term we have had Academic Reviews and Subject Review afternoons and this week we have the first of these for our Year Seven pupils, the youngest of our community who are also anticipating their first QES Christmas. Year Thirteen students are in the middle of UCAS applications and university interviews and Year Nines are looking at their next options for September. It is our Sixth Form Open Evening straight after Christmas on January 9th and we know lots of Year 11 students are asking about courses and planning their futures, whether that is in one of our Sixth Forms or in colleges or following Apprenticeships. On the subject of Sixth Formers, it was great to see the Sixth Form Student Leadership Team at a Governors’ Community meeting last week, sharing with governors all the work they do in moving us forward. Equally Governors received excellent presentations from the Boccia teams and the Year Ten pupils who spoke of their recent school trip to Berlin with the history department.
On a less uplifting note, we were, as you know, hit by illness a few weeks ago and I know many families were struck by different afflictions, which were really quite unpleasant. As we mentioned at the time, Public Health England were very helpful to us. I hope, if your household suffered, you are very much coming out of the other side of it. Of course staff illness or absence can affect if we can remain open or not and on that I would ask that you remind yourself of our early closure process as we move towards possibly more inclement weather. See here.
Leadership team colleagues have been working with me throughout the last two terms on completing a robust self-evaluation document. We have been exploring the new Ofsted framework and reviewing our standards and the quality of provision in this context. I’m keen for all parents and guardians to know that we are constantly reviewing and evaluating our school, from behaviour to teaching and learning and pupil voice, we know there are always ways we can develop, learn and improve. On the subject of pupil voice, we have relaunched a form of council with a pilot Year 8 group meeting for dialogue with Leadership Team, starting this week. We hope this will prove a way of ensuring pupils contribute their suggestions to improving their school over the year.
There have been countless rehearsals, sport fixtures, practices, debates – including lively discussions in the Sixth Form as we move towards the General Election as you might imagine! We have introduced a range of different hot meals to the café, raised awareness of anti-bullying week with Year 7, enjoyed a book fair with our fantastic librarians, celebrated a ‘well-being week’ and spent quite some time planning for what will no doubt be a busy 2020.
I do hope you will join us in one of the end of year celebrations and I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you all the very best for Christmas and the New Year, and thank you, as always, for your ongoing support.
Cathy O’Neill, Headteacher