End of Term Letter from the Headteacher
How quickly the year seems to be passing. Much has happened this term and I hope you have been able to keep up with all news and details with our website and the weekly Christ’s Chronicles.
We welcomed the National Theatre at the end of February who put on a wonderful production of Macbeth for our Year 9 students. They were enthralled throughout the performance and enjoyed a question and answer session at the end. We were also very fortunate to host the Orange Tree Theatre who performed a production of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ for our Year 7 students. A wonderful way to introduce them to Shakespeare and a fantastic opportunity for us, made possible through one of our Year 12 students, Lily Shield Polyzoids, who wrote a piece about the Orange Tree Theatre. They were so impressed with the article that they contacted the school and offered this opportunity free of charge, so we are very thankful to Lily and her hard work.
Continuing on the Literacy theme, World Book Day was an enormous success. Staff and students dressed up in book-related costumes and the day was full of literary fun and events. This included a visit to the school by the author of ‘The Territory’ and ‘The Territory: Escape’, Sarah Govett, who spent time talking and running workshops with selected students. All the costumes were wonderful, including Asterix the Gaul (Sara Crouch 7KAL), Arthur Dent (Nicholas Harder 7KAL), Doctor Jekyll (Lara Aldous 13MST). Students and staff were invited to vote for their favourite. Our winners were Pippi Longstocking (Gabriella Whiteman 7JHA), The Joker (Monty Lovell 7JCA), The Mad Hatter (Greta Keetch 8BCH ), The Queen of Hearts ( Jahnay Wilson 8BCH), Professor Calculus ( Louis Icke 10MMR ), a Dementor (Luka Pesic 10GPE) and Dobby (Ms Randall). Kew Bookshop came in and ran a book fair where many of our students used their vouchers. Thank you to Mrs Garrett, our Librarian, for once again organising a fun event for our students and staff to join in with.
Mr Hall took our Jazz Band and toured around three of our local Primary Schools, Holy Trinity, The Queen’s C of E School and Darell Primary. They offered a varied concert for over 1,200 primary school children. All the pupils and staff thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Mr Hall stated that our students were like true professionals: carrying equipment, setting everything up and packing away quickly and effectively. They were phenomenal ambassadors for the school.
Every Monday morning at 7.30am a group of our students from Running Club can be found running around Richmond Park ably led by Mr Smith and other willing staff volunteers. Basketball club starts early on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday mornings, with netball on a Wednesday and dance on a Thursday morning. All clubs are well attended and it is a great way to start the day, energised and focussed for the day ahead. Our thanks to all the staff who dedicate their time to our students.
The Year 8 and 9 Boys Basketball Team beat Hampton Boys and St Richard Reynolds in the Play Off Borough finals at Christ's. Well done boys on retaining the title! They also got through to the U14 London School Games Finals after beating Dulwich College 89-53 and we are proud to say they are now the London School Games winners! Mr Sedour, a very proud coach, states “This is a huge achievement for a school our size. An historic and unbelievable achievement for the School and Richmond Borough. We are now undoubtedly the best school in London for Basketball at this age group”. We wish them continuing success!
Our rowing group continue to go from strength to strength and recently attended the Hounslow Schools Regatta. We had winners with the Year 9 Girls Quad, Mollie Walters-Beagle 9EBB, Mary McWilliam 9EBB, Poppy Phillips 9KQU, Alessia Juarez 9EBB, Year 9 Ergo, Mohammed Rifai 9KQU and Henry Wells 9EBB and Year 10/11 Doubles, Louis Trott 10CBE and Nicolas Castedo 10ACO. A wonderful achievement and we are very proud of all who took part.
All clubs are advertised on our Facebook and website pages for parents’ information.
The History Department, Mrs Harris, Mr Heitzman and Mr Graham along with Mrs Bell, took a group of Year 9 students to the battlefields of Belgium and France. Those of you who have visited will know this is a very moving experience. I am informed that our students were very respectful and great ambassadors for the school.
Mrs McGrail, Mrs Connolly, Mr Higinbotham, Ms Smee and a group of our Year 7 students had 4 days in Spain to sample and enjoy the culture. We also welcomed the Spanish exchange students to enjoy and experience life in the UK, our counterparts having travelled to Spain before Christmas.
Our Year 11 PE students took part in their GCSE moderation exam last week, the first of this year’s exams and our Music, Art and Textiles students sat their practical exams. As the season for public examinations approaches, can I remind parents of Year 11 that they should have received a package of information together with a personal exam timetable for their daughter/son. If you have not seen either of these, please check in the first instance with your child. In addition, if you have any concerns about the forthcoming examinations and the potential impact on your family, please do not hesitate to contact your daughter/son’s form tutor in the first instance for support and guidance.
Year 13 are busy preparing for their final Pre-Public Exams after Easter; 94% have already been successful in receiving University offers and two students have received offers from Cambridge University. A number of Year 13 students are well on their way to completing their Extended Project Qualification and have produced some fantastic individual presentations in the last week of term to fellow students, staff and even to some parents.
A number of audits have been carried out across different departments and Year groups this term, most recently in Year 9. As part of this process, the school surveyed parents on a whole range of questions and it was heartening to know that 98% said their child was happy at Christ’s; 90% said their child was making good progress at Christ’s and 90% said that their child was taught well at Christ’s.
This term Christ’s School hosted its first TeachMeet with over 40 teachers from neighbouring schools attending the session. This was a fantastic opportunity to showcase excellent practice from many teachers. With teachers presenting from 5 local schools there was a real sense of sharing good practice within the teaching community. Teachers were able to take away ideas to improve their own classroom techniques, improving the standard of teaching across the borough.
On Wednesday the school community attended 3 parish churches for our Easter services. We are grateful to Serena our Chaplain for organising and to Revd Trevor Patterson, Holy Trinity Church, Revd Wilma Roest, St Mary Magdalene Church, and Revd Neil Summers, St John the Divine, for accommodating us.
Our Year 7 and Sixth formers have been busy doing a fantastic job raising monies for our Lenten Charities with cake sales, car washes, a Bake Off Competition. We thank them for all their efforts.
For the first week of the Easter holiday several of our students are travelling to Austria skiing, organised by Miss Wynn-Davies and Miss Chedda. They will also be accompanied by Mr Edwards, Mr Heitzman, Mr Arnold and Miss Harries. They will be returning to Christ’s School on Saturday 8 April at approximately 2.30pm. If there are any changes to this, parents of students on the trip will be contacted. We wish them well for a safe and fun experience and thank our dedicated staff for relinquishing their free time to allow these trips to happen.
After the half term break Miss Sowemimo joined our staff as a Cover Superviser. I am sure you will join me in making her feel welcome.
At the end of term we say goodbye and thank you to staff who are leaving. Miss Faiad (Learning Support Assistant), who will be changing roles and working nearer to where she lives, Mrs Saperstein, who has been helping us in reception and Mr. O’Connor, who is off on his travels again. This term we have been hosting a group of trainee teachers, Mr King (History), Miss Stearman (English), and Miss Hesse (Computing), who leave us to go onto the next stage of their careers. We thank them for all the support they have provided and wish them well for their futures.
The next main PTA fundraiser will be at the Richmond Mayfair on Saturday 13 May 2017, where we will once again have our Christ’s School Marquee. Any donations for the tombola, plant stall or cake stall will be gratefully received. Our PTA work tirelessly for our students and new members are always welcome. If you would like to help out please see the PTA website for further details.
Thank you to those of you who continue to consistently support your daughters and sons with their learning. The minimum expectation that we ask is that your child attends school on time, every day, ready to learn, in full school uniform. The school’s target for attendance is 100%. Thank you for doing what you can to ensure this.
Please be reminded that all absences need to be followed up with a letter when your child returns to school, even if a phone message has been left. Otherwise unexplained absences are recorded as unauthorised. Absences on the last day of term are always unauthorised unless there is an obvious medical reason. We do not give permission for early holidays and again we need confirmation of your child’s absence upon their return.
Thank you to those parents who contributed to the recent review of our Punctuality procedures. Whilst the current system will largely remain unchanged (in recognition of the reduction in lateness we have witnessed this term), there will be some tweaks to the process and these will be communicated to parents by Mrs Kieran, Deputy Headteacher, before the end of term.
Spring Term ends on Friday 31 March 2107 at 12.30pm and the Summer Term will start on Tuesday 18 April 2017 at 8.30am. Students can wear summer uniform - the school summer polo shirt is available from the school website. If students do not have a summer polo shirt they will be expected to wear shirts with ties. Blazers must also be worn with both the winter and summer uniform, as well as formal, smart shoes. Any Christ’s sweatshirts worn will be taken off students and parents will be asked to collect them.
Easter is the most important feast of the Christian calendar and I wish you and all your families peace and joy as we celebrate once again the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. I feel it appropriate to remember that Easter is about love; a love that comes from the knowledge of God’s love for us and that, in Christ, life has hope and meaning. In a world experiencing sadness and pain, the Easter message calls us all to have faith and trust in the God, who brings life out of death, hope from despair and the opportunity for new beginnings out of endings. Through faith, hope and love, I hope that we may be transformed by the power of the risen Christ to know the real joy of Easter.