"Great use of a wide range of vocabulary, ability to write at length and much more accurate use of grammar and punctuation". This was how Mrs Nutland described the extraordinary progress made by some of her Year 11 English students. It was a pleasure to go in to the classroom this week and celebrate these achievements and hand out the awards to the prize winners, Danny Elmes and Callum Mountfield (pictured). Well done boys, keep it up.
More good news on the writing front this week is confirmation that Fatiah Okubadejo-Koroma is now a published author. Her short story about Boudicca has been published in Hampshire Ancient Adventures, a book based on submissions to a young writer's competition – congratulations to her.
Good luck to Year 7 student, Rhiannon Hood, who has entered the Great South Run at half term to raise money for Ellen McArthur's charity which supports children with cancer. Rhiannon told me she has known many people with cancer and was inspired by Ellen's bravery in sailing around the world and so wanted to take part and do her bit to make the lives of others better. Good luck Rhiannon.
"Thanks for making me feel so welcome in my new school", "The work is much harder but it is great fun and I love it", "I am really proud, I have had 48 positive referrals already" - three quotations that demonstrate just how well our Year 7 students are doing at the moment. Thank you to all parents for their support in making this happen. If you are a Year 7 parent, please ensure the 9th of November, which is the Year 7 parents' evening, is in your diary. This will be your chance to meet all of your son/daughter's teachers and explore how much progress they have made in their subjects so far and, more importantly, how much effort they are putting into their education.
Year 10 parents should ask their child about the Capital Radio Get In:volved competition and the chance to attend a concert in January for free, courtesy of Capital Radio. To qualify, all students need to do is be in school and encourage their mates to do the same - the House group with the highest attendance will win tickets to see Anne-Marie at the Theatre Royal.
In a week of great football controversy, our Year 11 footballers added to the sports woes when they lost in the cup to St Edmunds. This was a great shame after matching St Eds for much of the game and scoring 4 good goals. The Year 10 table tennis team put in a creditable performance in an area-wide competition, narrowly missing out on a place in the semi-finals. Well done to Daniel House who won 3 of his matches and Jack Stewart who represented the school for the first time. Remember, there is a full line up of after-school sports activities which can be found here.
In next week's Conservative Party conference, I expect there will be much coverage of their plans to reintroduce grammar schools across England and Wales. Well over 80% of headteachers surveyed don't believe there is any evidence that grammar schools will improve outcomes for children and think this is a distraction from some of the main challenges in our education system, for example, fair funding and teacher supply. If you would like to express an opinion on this topic, the DfE has opened a consultation which you can access from this link.
Keir construction tell me that 50% of the steel frame for the new building has been erected. Hurrah! I hope to upload more photos on the website next week so you can see the emerging ideas for the inside of the building.
Attendance has been a bit lower this week which is disappointing. Please remember the importance of good attendance (we are looking for everyone to have 95% or more) and ensure any appointments out of school for your child are made for after school hours. If you are unsure about whether your child is well enough to be at school, our website offers much guidance and the table below, based on advice from the NHS, will prove helpful.