Head of School’s Bulletin (February 2023)

Dear Parents

I hope this newsletter finds you well. As we near the end of the half term, I wanted to take the opportunity to update you on all the exciting things that have been happening here at our school.

As you are aware, I have recently taken on the role of Head of School and I am excited and privileged to lead our school and continue to drive improvement for our young people. As I presented in my assembly to our students last week, I am no stranger to high performance, having spent a long time competing at the highest level in my sport. It is this experience that I base a lot of my leadership and life principles on.

As we move forward as a school and as part of Cumbria Education Trust, we are committed to ensuring high performance and academic excellence sit at the heart of the educational experiences for our students. The core values of Respect, Responsibility and Resilience continue to sit at the heart of our school culture and ethos. Our goal is to enable them to be the best version of themselves.

I would like to express my gratitude for your honest and constructive responses to the recent parent questionnaire. Results were overwhelmingly positive, but did highlight a few areas for us to work on. I am currently working with the senior team to address some of the concerns raised in the questionnaire. I will be sure to keep you updated on the progress we make.

I believe that parent, student, and staff voice is a vital aspect of school improvement, and as a school we will continue to actively seek and value your input. I want to work together with you to ensure that our school continues to be a high performing, supportive, and stimulating environment for all our students.

As we reach the halfway point of the academic year, I wanted to share with you some of the exciting activities that our students have been participating in over this half term:

  • Firstly, we were thrilled to put on an excellent school production of “Strangers Like Me.” The hard work and dedication of our students and staff shone through, resulting in a memorable and entertaining show. This was part of the National Theatre’s Connection Festival and members of the National Theatre visited Thursday’s performance. Ten schools will be selected to perform their piece at The National Theatre in London and we are hoping to be one of them.
  • We’re proud to announce our students’ success in the Panathlon, where they excelled in both boccia and ten-pin bowling. Additionally, many of our students had the opportunity to experience wheelchair rugby, a physically demanding and exhilarating sport.
  • Cumbria Constabulary and Cumbria Fire and Rescue visited our Year 12 students to discuss road safety awareness, ensuring that our students are equipped with the necessary knowledge to stay safe on the roads.
  • Our Enterprise group and Oaktree fundraising efforts have been highly successful, and we are proud of our students’ hard work and dedication to these initiatives.
  • In line with our commitment to mental health awareness, our school took part in Time to Talk Day, which involved a coffee morning and provided a safe space for students and staff to talk.
  • Our students were also able to participate in the Cumbria Education Trust Robotics Challenge day, where they were able to showcase their problem-solving and technical skills.
  • Our Art Department have provided students with the opportunity to take part in a photography experience at the University of Cumbria and an art experience in Newcastle, providing an enriching and inspiring educational experience overall.
  • Our students have recently been engaged in charitable efforts, with a bake sale raising money for the Turkish and Syrian earthquake relief efforts. All proceeds have been donated to the British Red Cross Disasters Emergency Committee. Thank you for the overwhelming support from all our parents, staff and students who provided the delicious Turkish dishes for the sale; the total raised continues to rise as I write. There is a link on the school website if you feel you are able to donate.
  • Our regular ski and snowboard trip will be heading to Italy from 18 to 26 February, and we are sure that this will be a memorable experience for the students participating.

I am proud of the varied and exciting opportunities that we are able to offer our students, and we are committed to ensuring that they continue to receive the wider educational experiences. I ask all parents to encourage their child to involve themselves in the many wider activities we offer as a school.

I hope that our students enjoy a well-deserved rest and have plenty of fun over the half term break. When we return, we will be maximising every learning opportunity and preparing our Year 11 and 13 students for their summer examinations.

To ensure that our students are ready and focused for the term ahead, we will be dedicating an extended tutor period with their house tutor on the first morning back. As you know, as parents you have a key role to support in ensuring the return to school is successful. Please support us in making sure that your child has the correct uniform, a range of stationery and equipment, their school planner, PE kit if necessary and the correct books for the day ahead, also that they arrive promptly at the start of the school day. This will give them the opportunity to reset and refocus, ensuring they are ready to tackle the term ahead.

We look forward to the Year 9 Options and Parents Evening on Wednesday, 8 March and further information about this will be sent out after the holiday.
As a reminder, please take the time to review the recent school day consultation and strike day letters carefully, and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

I look forward to seeing our students return ready and raring to go. Thank you for your continued support, and I wish you all the best for a restful and enjoyable half-term break.

Yours sincerely
Ms K Pigdon
Head of School

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