Friday, 17 June 2016

17 June 2016

Today was a very emotional day as we said farewell to our Year 11 students at their Leavers Assembly which followed the final Physics exam. They laughed and cried as they looked back at photographs (compiled brilliantly by Mr. Beck) of their younger selves and remembered the many friendships they have developed over the last five years. Although it will feel like the end, I tried to get them to think about today as the beginning. We have done everything we can to get them ready for the next phase in their life, whether that be at college or as an apprentice in work based training, and my wish for all of them is to go ahead with confidence and aim to "thrive not survive", as my hero, Maya Angelou, would have said.

Whatever future path our Year 11 students take, one certainty is that they will need many skills to succeed in the modern world. I was struck by this when visiting the building site for the new school last week and, realising just how few low-skilled jobs there are, couldn't help but notice how everyone on the site was having to use highly specialised equipment to complete challenging tasks - definitely very different to the building sites I worked on as a young man during university holidays.

With this in mind, Mrs. Sear has been busy organising our annual careers week (5th - 8th July) which will provide plenty of opportunity for students (especially, but not exclusively, Year 10) to think about their futures. There will opportunities to meet numerous employers, apprenticeship providers and colleges, practise writing CVs and develop the so called softer skills (team work, communication, problem solving etc.) that future employers so value. More details of this event can be had by contacting Mrs. Sear at or by phone, 02392 322 473.

Mrs. Sear also tries to encourage younger students to think about their plans and is starting to collect all the information they need to make good decisions about their future.

This week, she accompanied a group of Year 8 students to the Ageas Bowl in Southampton to  raise students' aspirations and give them the opportunity to meet with local business providers in order to ask questions about their career choices and paths, qualifications and industries.  The event was hands on and interactive and, as the picture shows, they had a great time and certainly gained a lot from the experience.

This week saw the final two Year 10 Geography field trips to the New Forest. The students behaved brilliantly and collected a large amount of valuable data for their controlled assessment tasks regarding the impact of tourism. The photos tell only part of the story as some students were even caught hugging trees in an attempt to get closer to nature.

Thank you to every single parent/guardian who came along to our very successful Year 9 parents' event on Wednesday. A successful education is always a partnership between school and home and my colleagues found it very useful to discuss with you possible option choices for next year and issues relating to your child's progress so far. Thank you also to those of you who completed our feedback forms and handed in the checked data sheets.  This information is what helps us get things right for you. If you weren't able to make it, you can collect your child's report from reception.  Please note, option forms need to be handed in by next Friday, 24th June.

I was thrilled to read about how well Year 7 students have responded to the Passport Challenge in the last few months. This week saw the deadline for them to hand in their evidence to show which experiences and challenges they have completed and some of them are truly amazing, with a number of students completing more than 20 of the possible tasks. Especially well done to Bobby Jo Jeans who completed an astounding 44 tasks! These photos show a little of what has been achieved.

Please don't forget these important key dates for the rest of the term: 
  • Thursday 23rd June – deadline for Parent Governor applications.  Please see the website under the ‘Governing Body’ tab for more details;
  • Friday 24th June – deadline for option forms from Year 7 and 9;
  • Friday 1st July and Monday 4th July – INSET days.  School will be closed to all pupils;
  • Thursday 7th July – end of year Arts showcase;
  • Monday 18th July – Prize giving ceremony for Years 7 and 8;
  • Tuesday 19th July – Prize giving ceremony for Years 9 and 10;
  • Wednesday 20th July – last day of term (school finishes at 12.50).
The builders on the new site have had an interesting week as slow worms and electricity cables have proven to be a real challenge for them. Because slow worms are protected, a survey is needed to see how many there are on site and what measures need to be taken to avoid destroying their habitats. And, a digger found a live power line running across the field that no one knew was there! This aside, there is much progress, and the setting of the foundations should begin next week.

Finally, we say goodbye to Mrs. Caroline Davies who stood in as receptionist for the last couple of weeks and thank her for the wonderful work she did. In her place, we welcome back  Mrs. Barbara Evans who joins us again shortly.  

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