I hope the summer break has been positive and you have managed to enjoy the time, despite what seems to be the never-ending rain.
I am pleased to announce that our students achieved a strong set of results this summer at both A level and GCSE despite the harsher national standard. Their dedication, hard work and perseverance have truly paid off, setting an aspirational precedent for our future generation of students. Witnessing the emotional rollercoaster of results day is a privilege, as it reminds us all of the potential and determination within each student. I would like to thank our committed staff who ensured that these two days went by seamlessly, and for offering invaluable support even during their well-deserved holidays.
As we transition into the new term, our focus remains unwavering – to provide a high-quality learning experience for every student. To achieve this, it is essential that our students return to school well-prepared and motivated. Just as we reflect on our practices at the end of each academic year to improve for the next, we are implementing some changes that will enhance our approach going forward. We take pride in being an inclusive school with uncompromisingly high standards and expectations for our staff, students and parents alike.
The partnership between the school and parents plays a pivotal role in ensuring our students’ success. To this end, I kindly ask you to familiarise yourselves with the changes outlined in this bulletin. Although our students will receive the key information during assemblies and extended tutor time on the first day, I encourage you to take the time to discuss the contents of this bulletin with them, ensuring they are fully prepared and focused for the start of the new term.
We eagerly anticipate the return of all our students on Wednesday, 6 September, brimming with enthusiasm and determination to be the best they can be.
Thank you for your continued support and partnership.
Kath Pigdon, Headteacher
Scroll down for information, or download the newsletter as a pdf here: Headteachers Bulletin (September 2023)
School Day Change From September 2023
Just a reminder that the school day will finish at 3.15pm from September 2023. The new timings of the school day are as follows:
First Day Back
All Year 7s go straight to the Performance Hall on arrival for assembly, along with their House Form Tutors.
All other students will be directed to form rooms on arrival (there will be notice boards in the foyer with form rooms listed).
Registration and Assemblies:
Registration takes place in form rooms and a rolling programme of assemblies takes place as follows:
- Periods 1 and 2 will be an extended tutor period.
- Period 3 starts at 11.35am for the whole school.
|Year 7||8.45 to 9.15am||Mrs Buckley & Mrs Braithwaite|
|Year 8||9.20 to 9.40am||Mr Tidmarsh & Mrs Jones|
|Year 9||9.45 to 10.05am||Ms Ledger & Ms Furniss|
|Year 10||10.10 to 10.30am||Miss Mulholland & Mr Dawson|
|Year 11||10.40 to 11.05am||Mr Anderson & Miss Elliott|
|Years 12 & 13||11.35am to 12.00noon||Miss Nicholls & Mrs Swan|
Timetables should be visible on edulink and all students will receive a hardcopy with their planner during the extended tutor time. As always, when timetabling just shy of 1400 lessons a week, there may be the odd issue along the way but if there are any concerns please contact the Year Group Team.
Welcoming and Supporting Year 7
We appreciate starting secondary school for many can be both an exciting and anxious time but we are committed to providing the required support to all students. For the first three days of the new term, we will adapt the school day slightly to ensure our Year 7 students comfortably adjust to their new school life and routines.
At the start of the first day, Year 7 will go directly to the Performance Hall for an assembly. Following the assembly, students will be taken to their form room by their House Form Tutor. For the first two hours, all students will receive key information and support. At the end of the first day, all Year 7 students will regroup in the Performance Hall to enable the Year Group Team to check in with students and support the leaving of the school site comfortably. During the first three days in school, Year 7 will finish Period 2 ten minutes early to support them in accessing the canteen.
Following the settling in period, we will be organising a House Challenge Team Building Day; continuing our drive and focus on character. We encourage all students to fully participate and try their best for their House and House Tutor Group, forming strong positive relationships with their peers along the way.
Open communication is key to ensure a smooth transition, so please contact the Year Group Team if you have any concerns or questions.
Mobile Devices from September 2023
It seems this topic is never out of the news with many within education calling for an outright ban on mobile devices in schools. From January next year, the Dutch government are banning all phones, tablets and smartwatches from classrooms for the simple fact they distract from learning. As you are aware, we are tightening our expectations and sanctions on mobile devices in school and I am hopeful all students will responsibly adhere to our expectations. If you feel your child’s mobile device may cause conflict or distract from learning in school our advice would be to keep the device at home to avoid further conflict or distraction. Please familiarise yourself with the expectations below.
If mobile devices are brought to school, they are the student’s responsibility. With the exception of social times (breaktime and lunchtime) phones should be switched off and in a bag during lessons. Students who choose not to follow this protocol will have their device confiscated by the teacher and placed in the main office. Parents will be asked to collect the phone. Persistent use of a phone during lessons will result in an individual phone ban being issued. It is essential that phones do not distract from the learning in a classroom.
Phones should not be used between lesson changeover times – they should be switched off and in a bag. Students must be focused on arriving at the next lesson as quickly as possible and not be distracted by their phone. If students are found to have their phone out between lesson time, it will be confiscated and placed in the main office. Parents will be asked to collect the phone. Persistent use of a phone between lessons will result in an individual phone ban being issued.
Holidays During Term Time
A polite reminder that I am unable to authorise holidays during term time. There must be exceptional circumstances for leave to be granted during term time, and family holidays are not classed as such. Student attendance continues to improve at William Howard and we continue to work hard with all our families to improve it further.
Wearing the correct school uniform from day one is of paramount importance as it fosters a multitude of benefits that extend far beyond mere dress code adherence. Firstly, wearing the uniform consistently creates a sense of pride among students, as it symbolises their affiliation with the school’s values and identity. Our uniform cultivates a strong sense of belonging, instilling a feeling of unity and camaraderie among our school community. Moreover, adhering to the uniform policy demonstrates a readiness to learn and contribute positively to the school community.
If currently buying uniform, please check our uniform policy on our website to ensure items are acceptable or contact us if reassurance is needed. https://www.williamhoward.cumbria.sch.uk/parents-info/uniform/
Just a reminder, as a school we have a partnership with the Cumbria Cerebral Palsy shop in Brampton (located at 40 Front Street), who sell second hand uniform and accept donations.
Travel Time and Toilets
As you will be aware, we are introducing travel time between certain lessons during the school day. The five-minute travel time is designed to maximise the learning time of every lesson. During travel time, students are not permitted to visit toilets as this will lead to lateness and we do not have staff supervising toilets at this time. If students need the toilet during a lesson, the same process applies as before whereby students ask their teacher.
We appreciate that when students return from the summer break, learning habits take time to reform. Therefore, please support students’ homework completion by ensuring they start with good homework habits and routines from day one.
The school homework expectation is as follows:
- KS3 – English, Maths and Science set weekly. All other subjects at least bi-weekly.
- KS4 and KS5 – All subjects weekly with the exception of core PE and PD.
We expect all students to attend school with a school bag and a pencil case at the very least. Being equipped and prepared to learn is essential for an effective start to the new school year. Establishing a routine the night before, where students pack their bag to include their planner, pencil case, appropriate books and PE kit if necessary, not only teaches good organisational skills but also makes the morning routine a little easier.
Breaktime and Lunchtime
As you are aware, every common room has a pantry and food outlet which is open each break and lunchtime. Additional to this, Years 7 and 8 will have priority access to the canteen for hot food during the first breaktime at 11.05am. Years 9, 10 and 11 have priority access during the second breaktime at 12.35pm. The Sixth Form have access to food throughout the day from Café 6.
We have been notified by our food providers, Caterlink, that there will be a 3% increase in food prices for the new academic year.
Weekly Headteacher’s Award
We are constantly looking at ways to celebrate success and achievement at William Howard, including keeping our website and social media full of all the positive experiences and achievements of our students. This year we are introducing a weekly Headteacher’s Award that will be given to a student who demonstrates something exceptional within or out of school. The accolade will be awarded to the student who truly goes above and beyond to ‘be the best they can be’ and exemplifies our values.
Upcoming events include:
|Monday 4 September||INSET Day (students not in school)|
|Tuesday 5 September||INSET Day (students not in school)|
|Wednesday 6 September||Term begins|
|Monday 11 – Friday 15 September||Year 7 CATS|
|Monday 11 September||STEM Roadshow – Years 7 & 8 (Performance Hall)|
|Tuesday 12 September||Tempest Photography – Year 7, 9 & 12|
|Saturday 16 – Monday 18 September||DoE Silver Award Expedition|
|Monday 18 – Friday 22 September||Year 8 CATS|
|Monday 18 – Thursday 21 September||Work Experience at Holcombe Moor – Year 10|
|Wednesday 20 – Saturday 23 September||KS5 French Trip to Limoges|
|Monday 25 September – Friday 6 October||Year 7 Local History Trips to Brampton (during History Lessons)|
|Monday 25 – Friday 29 September||Year 9 CATS|
|Monday 25 September||School Video Filming Day|