End of Term Letter from the Headteacher
Another year is coming to a close, and we find ourselves at the end of the Autumn Term, waiting eagerly for Christmas period. As always, much has happened this term and I hope Christ’s Chronicles, parent email, texts, our website, Twitter and Facebook allow you to keep up to date with everything that is happening in our school.
I am delighted with our Ofsted report and hope you have all read it! It really captures all the amazing things that happen every day at our school. I am very grateful to all of you who completed the questionnaires and am very proud of all our students.
Christ’s School has been awarded a Good judgement, using the new assessment framework. Since 2015 schools have been assessed by Ofsted using a much more demanding and rigorous framework, therefore I am particularly pleased that Christ’s has performed so strongly in every criteria. In recognition of our values of Love, Justice and Peace I am thrilled that our work to ‘promote pupils’ personal development’ has been judged as ‘outstanding’ and ‘the level of care and support for all pupils is of the highest standard’.
Reflecting our culture of ambition for every student, Ofsted recognised that ‘teachers have high expectations of their pupils’ and, as a result, ‘attainment is high’ with ‘pupils attainment at the highest grades strong in a variety of subjects’.
Our students have access to a breadth of experiences to enrich their learning and I am grateful to work with so many colleagues who are willing to provide this essential dimension to our remarkable school.
There have been school visits throughout the school which included Year 7 who enjoyed stays at High Ashurst, where they had the opportunity to work in teams and further bond with each other supported by their relevant tutors and Ms Smee Head of Year. We are grateful to our staff who organise and give up their free time to facilitate these trips.
Our annual Fireworks Display, organised by our hardworking PTA, was held in early November. This was a most enjoyable occasion which involved many members of our local community. There were plenty of stalls providing refreshments before the main event which was spectacular. Our thanks go to all of those involved for their hard work. The amount raised was an impressive £4000 profit, an outstanding achievement. £1,500 has already been allocated to the sports department to cover the cost of a digital multisport scoreboard for basketball, netball, volleyball and handball, and also £400 for the sports leadership programme which is helping more students get involved in sport - not just playing but officiating and coaching.
We are extremely lucky with the diversity of sports clubs that are organised and run by our dedicated staff both before and after school.
As you may have read Christ's School has been awarded the Sport England Gold Sportsmark - the only secondary school in Richmond Borough to achieve this. The School has achieved this through the running of several initiatives and programmes led by the PE department. The Sport England Gold Sportsmark is awarded to schools who offer a comprehensive extra-curricular programme, can demonstrate high participation rates, offer a broad variety of sports within the curriculum and provide opportunities for sport outside of practical participation. The Sportsmark Gold award recognises those schools which show exceptional achievement, highly innovative schemes or outstanding progress in meeting their sporting aims. We are delighted that we have been recognised.
We thank Mr Wilson and Mr Hall for the wonderful Autumn Concert held in November. Yet again an eclectic mix of talent superbly brought together to provide an enjoyable evening’s entertainment.
Our Year 11s had their mock GCSEs last week and will be looking forward to getting their results on their return in January when we hope their hard work pays off and they are pleased with their results.
Serena, our Chaplin, organised the Christmas Shoebox Appeal and we were overwhelmed with the wonderful gifts our school community provided. Mrs Panesar had been very busy knitting hats to go in all the boxes. We are most grateful that our community embraced the act of giving and we were able to provide wonderfully filled gift boxes to an admirable charity.
Our Annual Carol Service was held at Holy Trinity Church on 15 December. The pupils who took part in narrating, the choir, including parents, Governors and staff, and our orchestra helped to produce a memorable reflection on the true meaning of Christmas and special thanks must go to Serena, Mr Wilson, Director of Music, and Mr Hall, Music Teacher, for all their hard work coordinating the service. We recognise we are very fortunate to be able to use Holy Trinity Church every year and again we thank the Reverend Trevor Patterson for accommodating us. Afterwards, we were grateful to the members of our PTA who supplied festive refreshments.
Our students enjoyed their Christmas lunch with the staff serving them and providing entertainment in the form of a staff band. There was also a special visitor who to the delight of the students, and some staff, interrupted his busy schedule from the North Pole to check who has been naughty or good this year! The school community all looked most festive wearing their Christmas Jumpers whilst also raising money for our Christmas Charity, Save the Children.
At the end of term we say goodbye and thank you to staff who are leaving. Mr O’Connor, who is off on his travels again and Miss Klejevskaja who will be changing roles to science research. We thank them for all their support they have provided and wish them well for their futures.
During the Christmas break please reflect on the Autumn term with your daughter/son. The simple mantra is that we expect students to arrive to school, every day, on time, in full school uniform, ready and equipped to learn. This is followed so well by so many of our students, and we are grateful for the continued support of parents and carers in supporting this. During the break please check uniform to ensure that it complies with our expectations – if in doubt check with your child’s form tutor or refer to the school website or your child’s diary. Particularly footwear should be formal school shoes. Blazers should be worn with overcoats, not replaced by them. Students will be sent home to change if they are not dressed correctly.
You will also have received a separate letter about changes to our Punctuality Catch Ups in the New Year. This has been sent out via parentmail and all students in Years 7 – 11 were given a hard copy. We remain concerned about the amount of casual lateness and will now be running lunch time Catch Ups every day for all students who arrive late that morning. Punctuality is an important life skill and I thank you for your support in this matter.
Term ends on Tuesday 20 December at approximately 12.30 in time for the celebration of Christmas. The new term begins for students in 2017 on Thursday 5 January at 8.30am. A reminder that Year 9 "Options" parents evening is on Monday 9th January.
Thank you for your continued support over the year. It is very much appreciated.
During Advent we look forward and prepare ourselves to celebrate the birth of Christ as the child of Bethlehem. I trust that in all the activity of this time you will be able to find moments of stillness and some space for reflection to prepare to receive that most precious gift of new life in Christ.
We all look to a world renewed and transformed through the all enveloping love of God, who through his Son offers himself to the world.
The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness did not overcome it.
The true light, which enlightens everyone,
was coming into the world. John 1: 5 and 9
As you prepare to celebrate Christmas, I trust you will experience the peace, love and joy of this time.
All members of the staff team here at Christ’s wish you and all your family a happy and blessed Christmas and a joyful New Year.
Mrs Helen Dixon