Dear parents and carers,

We are extremely grateful to all the students who have volunteered to support the school at Open Evening on Tuesday, this important event would not be the same without these valuable contributions. Thank you. A reminder that as usual Open Evening will be the second staff training day of the year so students will not be in school on Tuesday. Could I also draw families’ attention to both Newsletter 409 (available on the website) that was sent home on Thursday and the latest Wellbeing Newsletter which is attached to this bulletin.

PSHE in Form Time
On Monday all students took part in the first of 6 form time PSHE sessions. PSHE (personal, social, health and economic) education is a school curriculum subject through which helps pupils to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to thrive as individuals, family members and members of society. These new sessions will allow students to explore different age appropriate topics once a half term. Our half term focus was ‘Relationships’ to compliment our work on the British Value Mutual Respect whilst also giving plenty of opportunity to discuss our school values of compassion and trust. Year 7 and 8 focused on ‘What do healthy and unhealthy friendships look like’? and had some fantastic discussions around the characteristics of friendship and how to foster friendships. Year 9, 10 and 11 focused on ‘How can we have respectful relationships?’ this allowed students to consider attributes of a relationship which would be categorized as healthy, unhealthy and even abusive. The Year 12 and 13 session focused on ‘What is consent?’ Students were given the opportunity to unpick different terms relating to consent such as ask, give, withhold and decline. All the sessions went well and the students were a real credit to the school.

Head of Year Awards
Please find below our latest recipients of the Head of Year Awards

Head of Year Updates

Year 7 – Miss Kincell, Miss Powell and Miss Cooper
Yet again, I can only highlight how excellent Year 7 behaviour has been. From outstanding attendance, to being highlighted by the lunch staff as having the best manners in school- it is an absolute delight to be their head of year.

This week the students had their first assembly with Mr Daly, and they really impressed. He talked to them about the opportunities they have in life, ranging from astronauts to Disney Imagineers. It was inspiring to see their eyes light up when Mr Daly also discussed Alumni including professional footballers and England cricket players and how these are their first steps in going anywhere they want to go.

As students have now started to find their feet, the most important next step is attending as many extra-curricular clubs as possible. The timetable is available in all form rooms and there truly is something for everyone. Ranging from Feminist Club, MFL film club, War Hammer, Pokémon club, creative maths, badminton and much much more. Clubs are the ultimate way for students to ‘Join In’, make new friends and really have life to the full here at AHS.

A reminder that Tuesday is our Open Evening for prospective families and school will not be open during the day. If your child has been selected as one of our prestigious helpers we look forward to seeing them at 5pm. Please do recommend any families you know with Year 6 families to come along, we are so looking forward to seeing our families in person again. We understand that parents of current Year 7 have not had the chance to see the school but 20th October will be our initial parents evening with your child form tutor and you will be welcome to tour the school then.

A huge well done to our Head of Year Award students this week:
Sid Smith – Well done for settling extremely well to secondary school. Always being helpful, kind and polite to everyone.
Amelia Yeoman – Well done to Amelia for your increased independence and resilience.

Well done to our Students of the Week this week:
ANN – Ruby Thwaite – Excellent contributions to form time discussion.
ASU – Alfred Griffiths – for always being a happy, polite face on a morning.
BL – Maisie Bone – always engaging in form discussions.
CY – Hughie Jones – for his contributions to form time
GR – Amie Shaw, well done for making such an impressive start to the year, thank you
HF – Iris Muinonen-Martin – excellent attitude and effort in form time.
HV – Amira Benchouir – Always helpful and supportive during form time
MLN – Sewnaz Timur – For always being kind and compassionate and showing a smiling face in form!
MPE – Sonny Love – for giving some great answers during PSHE lesson
MR – Alex Lines for his great form time contributions
Lexi Thompson – For her fantastic contributions in form, caring attitude and a settled start.

Please get in touch if we can support your child further in any way.

Year 8 – Mrs Avey, Mrs Mennall and Mr Handley
Already beginning our 4th week this week! Last week’s ACW on Friday built upon the work on Friendships they explored in PSHE on the Monday morning where they were very much engaged in discussing and sharing thoughts and ideas and coming to conclusions. In the ACW we further explored how to cope when friendships go wrong, the feelings involved and the link to the school values, British values and the New Testament. Many year 8’s have taken the opportunity to sign up to help at Parents’ Evening this Tuesday and we are especially grateful and proud of them as it will be a long evening. Thank you to them and to you for this support.

A reminder that any year 8 pupil may attend Homework club – which is staffed- Monday to Thursday straight after school. It is held in IT4, a computer room, so that they can easily access their Google classrooms and should any student be having trouble with their technology at home, then they are very welcome to do their homework here at school. Regarding PE sports clubs, all year 8’s are welcome to attend whatever standard they may be. The clubs are open to any standard of participant to coma and enjoy. For those who wish to play more competitively, through attending the club there is then the opportunity to play for the school in inter- school fixtures.

Year 9 – Mr Arthur, Mr Deamer and Mrs Deacon
This week is an exciting one at AHS, as it sees the opening of the school to the wider community on the evening of Tuesday 28th September. We very much look forward to welcoming existing as well as prospective parents to take a look around our excellent facilities and find out how we ensure the students at our school “Have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10). Year 9 will have their part to play in this, and I implore as many Year 9 students as possible to help out in whatever way they can. Primarily, this would be as a helper in departments on the evening itself. This is a fantastic opportunity for your child to make a significant contribution to the school community. If you wish for your child to take part, please encourage them to take a letter from one of their teachers, and return it on Open Evening so we know how the student will be getting home.

During this Week’s Collective Worship, students were welcomed into the Main Hall by Miss Deacon, who had the opportunity to formally introduce herself to the year group as their Assistant Head of Year. In Week 3, the focus of Collective Worship across the school was centred around Social Skills and Relationships. For Year 9, this involved looking in detail about issues surrounding ‘anger’ – how we respond when we’re angry, how our anger can impact on other people, and how we might deal with our anger effectively so we don’t adversely affect our relationships with other people. Miss Deacon addressed the year group with a parable about an angry young boy and his father. The father advised the boy to hammer a nail into their fence every time he got angry, which he did 37 times on the first day! With each passing day, the number of nails hammered into the wood reduced – the boy realised it was easier to hold his temper than hammer the nails into the fence! The father was pleased, and said to the boy that for each day he holds his temper, he can remove a nail from the wood. Over time, the nails were removed one by one until finally, there were no nails left in the fence. The boy went to his father very pleased with himself, however the father directed his son to look at the holes in the wood where the nails used to be. He used this to explain the importance of holding your anger – because regardless of how many times you say “sorry”, actions carried out in anger can leave lasting scars that may never be fully reversed. Thus, it is incredibly important for students to learn to hold their temper. This was also linked to our British Value focus for the half-term which is ‘Mutual Respect’ – a key value that is the bedrock of strong and stable relations. Mutual Respect can be damaged when we lash out in anger at one another. This, in turn, also links to our School Values of Trust and Compassion – the Trust that we build over time can be damaged by lashing out in anger, and instead we must show Compassion and understanding to help us avoid turning to anger. Miss Deacon then went onto techniques students can try to avoid turning to anger, and finished with a message of love from the bible (Peter 3:8) – “Finally, all of you should live together in peace. Try and understand each other. Love each other as brothers. Be kind and humble.” This coming week in Tutor Time, in the time usually dedicated to our Cultural Roadmap sessions, students will be given the opportunity to engage with resources related to this Collective Worship on anger, with all of this contributing to students in Year 9 meeting their stage of the AHS Journey: ‘Understanding Yourself and Others’.

Students in Year 9 also need to be advised there is a big push on punctuality across the school currently. Students must ensure that whether it be getting to school on a morning, or to lessons during the day, they must ensure they arrive in good time. As we explained to students last week, 5 minutes late to the same lesson each week equates to 3 days of precious school time lost each a year. Furthermore, being 10 minutes late to school each day equated to 6.5 days lost in a school year. Whilst in individual circumstances, poor punctuality may not seem like a significant issue, it can have a huge collective impact if it goes unchecked. Please encourage your child to ensure they make it into school and lessons on time each day, so they do not miss out on valuable learning time or important messages. If your child needs any support regarding this, please do let us know through the use of the contact details at the bottom of this bulletin.

Let me finally take this opportunity to congratulate the HOY Award winner from Week’s 2 and 3 of the new term. It is wonderful to get all the feedback from staff about the excellent things students in Year 9 are doing across the school, and how students are meeting our School and British Values into being every single day. The four winners from weeks 2 and 3 are…

Very well done to you all – there will be a £5 Amazon gift card on its way to you very shortly.

Thank you for taking the time to read this parent bulletin. If you have any issues regarding your child in Year 9, then please do get in touch by emailing (head of Year), (Assistant Head of Year) and/or (Pastoral Support Worker); or alternatively, you can call Main School Reception and we will get back to you as soon as we can. Thank you.

Year 10 – Mr Avery. Miss Johnstone and Miss Montague
It has been a very successful week for Year 10, who continue to settle into their new lessons really well. I have been pleased to see consistent hard work in the lessons I have been visiting this week, and in my conversations with students I know how seriously they are taking their studies this year.

With this in mind I’d like to address the issue of attendance in the year group. The last two years have been difficult for the students, with many spending long periods of time out of school during lockdown. I believe this is now having an effect on the reliance of some of our students, who it seems are having days at home when they become tired. In order to overcome this, it’s really important that we work together in encouraging students to attend school. Below is a table that I have been showing to students in the Act of Collective Worship since we have returned to school, I think it clearly highlights the link between strong attendance and successful exam outcomes.

In our Act of Collective Worship this week we focussed on the dangers of gang crime toward young people in Britain. We looked at circumstances that had led young people being recruited into gangs such as wanting to belong or feeling isolated and lonely. The students were surprised to see some of the crime figures related to gangs, and listened very well as they were informed of the dangerous consequences of joining a gang. We linked this to the British value of ‘Mutual Respect’ and the school value of ‘Compassion’ and how important it was to respect each other whether people were part of our ‘group’ or not. As always we encourage our students to report any concerns they might have about themselves or others to a responsible adult.

This week has also seen the launch of the extra curricular timetable, which has been a very welcome addition to our school community after two years of covid restrictions. I am delighted that the staff have been creative in their offer of clubs, with a vast range of extracurricular opportunities for our students to enjoy. There are all the traditional sports and music clubs available to students but also backstage club, music tech club, warhammer club, gender equality club and craft club to name but a few! I really encourage our students in year 10 to take advantage of these opportunities as this expands their horizons and allows them to meet new people with similar interests.

Next Tuesday is open evening and it is not too late for the students of Year 10 to volunteer and contribute to their school community. I am delighted we have had a number of students agree to be guides in the evening (really important now we have all of our wonderful new buildings) but I really hope to recruit a few more before Tuesday. I have given out a number of letters with details for parents, but if your child is available to help out in school please contact the main reception on Monday.

As always should you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact either myself or any member of the Year 10 pastoral team.

Year 11 – Miss Turvey, Mrs Reeder and Miss Chambers
We have enjoyed another positive week with Year 11 as we approach the halfway point of half term, with lots of great achievements and opportunities undertaken by our students. Highlights include the excellent hard work being put into Speaking and Listening tests in Languages, and a fantastic performance from our Y11 Boys Rugby squad on Thursday evening who did the school proud. We have also had an excellent turn out for the Girl’s Netball team who will have their first fixture next week.

There are special shout outs from English this week for some fantastic summer project work – a huge well done to Millie Cartmail, Charlie Clennan, Harry Connolly, George Edwards, Eve Holding, Amber Lee, Henry Lucas, Elliot Lucquin, Louie Mantovani, Isabelle Marron, Erin Norris, Livvy Peel, Izzy Reed, Esme Sharpe, Lauren Taylor, Grace Wilson, Tom Wilson and Brooke Mitchell for their amazing efforts on this.

For individual commendations, parents can also look out for ‘Student of the Week’ Awards which will be posted directly home to parents each week for those who have been selected by Form tutors for outstanding performance.

On Thursday, the Y11 Student Prom Committee met for the first time and there were some very insightful suggestions from students for achieving an unforgettable end-of-year celebration – as well as some much-welcomed fundraising ideas. We will be encouraging all of our Year 11 students this year to participate in fundraising, both for their own enrichment and to help to cover the cost of their Prom tickets, Year books and hoodies. Additionally, we will also be offering FREE prom tickets to those students who are EITHER able to achieve 300 merits (the equivalent of 60 stamps in their planner), OR have 100% attendance by the end of April.

This week, we were particularly impressed by the incredible maturity shown by our students during the Form PSHE session on Monday, which focused on Relationships and Consent. The quality of behaviour and engagement shown excellent self-awareness in our young people. This theme was continued in our Year Group Act of Collective Worship, whereby we focused on Acceptable Public Behaviour, including the value of good manners and how to show these. This links to our British value of Mutual respect. As part of this, students were reminded of the need to look after their social areas and we will be having a push on preventing littering and upholding excellent manners and during social times next week.

After three busy weeks, some of our students are understandably showing signs of tiredness after working hard through lessons, homework, Period 6s and extra-curricular activities. As Y11s, we know our children are desperate to be independent and in charge of their own routines, however we also know we must act in their best interests to remind them to go to bed at a reasonable time, eat filling and healthy meals including breakfast and turn mobile phones off in the evening/for lessons. Your help and support in reiterating this is very much appreciated. It is also important for our students to know that it is normal, and okay, to get stressed and anxious from time to time. These feelings are valid and must be acknowledged, but we must also make sure our students are resilient to reasonable levels of pressure and we will continue to encourage everyone to be in lessons as much as possible through minor ailments and anxieties. Students are always welcome to talk through any worries twice a day with their Form tutors, as well as coming to seek pastoral or medical help before school, after school, during break and lunchtime. The Intervention room, however, can only be available for extended periods of lesson time for those who have a medical note or chronic illness/injury.

A reminder that this Tuesday 28th September school will be closed to students for a Staff Training Day and Open Evening. We have had a huge push this week to recruit Y11 students to act as guides on the evening: this is a great opportunity for students to gain some extra-curricular experience, interact with members of the public and enrich their CVs. Those who act as guides will be given the important (but hopefully not too daunting job) of helping new families to find classrooms in the school. We will be handsomely compensating those who take part with 50 merits to count towards their free prom ticket. It isn’t too late for your child to volunteer!

Thank you for your continued support. If you have any issues regarding your child in Year 11, please do get in touch with Miss Turvey (Head of Year 11), Miss Chambers (Assistant Head of Year 11) or Mrs Reeder (Year 11 Pastoral Support Worker) or contact school reception.

Post 16 – Mrs De Lashley, Mrs Walton, Miss Balmer and Miss Cox
Upcoming Open Evening – Thank you to all those students and their families that are supporting this coming week’s Open Evening. We have had so many Sixth Formers step forward and volunteer to support. We need as many as we can to help make the evening a success and ask that you encourage your sons/daughters to volunteer if they haven’t already.

School Closure – Please be reminded that school is closed to all students on Tuesday 28th September and to Sixth Form students Friday 15th October. They will not participate in live lessons but will be set homework to be completed in their own time.

PSHCE Week – On Monday the whole school took part in an interactive and informative lesson from our RSE curriculum. The Sixth Form were no exception and had good discussion and lots of information on consent and the issues surrounding it. They were mature and respectful in their approach and we were pleased to be able to have the opportunity to deliver such important content to support their development, safety and wellbeing.

Phonics Training for our Paired Reader Mentors – Our dedicated volunteers that support main school with their reading had some external Phonics training this week that is usually delivered to staff and trainee teachers. The session was full and the students were exemplary. They asked great questions, were fully engaged and threw themselves into the training. Paired Reading has now commenced and both mentor and mentee are benefitting from the process. Welcome aboard to the new Y12 team!

Y12 Volunteering – All students in Year 12 take part in 1 hour of volunteering each week to support their school community and to provide opportunity to take responsibility, demonstrate commitment and support Post-18 applications. Year 12 will be making their volunteering selections this week.

Post-18 Options – Year 13 are focused on Post-18 options. If you have not done so already, please refer back to the UCAS communication sent out in July via email with a recorded introduction to the UCAS process for parents. Students started the UCAS process in the last week of the summer term and now continue with their applications. For those not wanting to apply to university, they are being asked to complete a personal statement to support applications for employment/apprenticeships. Please see the three guides attached from a company we have parented with to support parents in understanding the next steps for their son/daughter at Post-18.

Competitive Admissions – The Competitive Admissions applications deadline is Friday 15th October. This means that students applying for Medicine, Veterinary, Dentistry, Oxford or Cambridge need to be proactive in completing their personal statements, UCAS application personal information, booking admissions tests and speaking to Miss Cox & Dr King if they need anything. They have been provided with the Competitive Admission guides, had several sessions and have information posted on their Google Classroom. If they have any questions they must speak to one of the Sixth Form team for support.

Collective Worship – This week our Form Tutor Collective Worship looks at how different generations interact with each other and the gap that can exist. But if we can bridge that gap then we are living out our schools’ Christian values.

Monday – ‘The best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.’ – Andy Roony, American radio and television writer
Tuesday – ‘Aging has a wonderful beauty and we should have respect for that.’ – Eartha Kitt, singer and actress
Wednesday – ‘Respect old people; they got through education without Google or Wikipedia.’ – Anon
Thursday – ‘Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.’ – Eleanor Roosevelt, 20th C. American politician, diplomat, and activist
Friday – ‘We admire the strength of youth and respect the grey hair of age.’ – The book of Proverbs, 20 v 29. The Bible

The Wellbeing Newsletter Issue 26

The Parents’ Guide to Post 18 options (summary) 2021-2022

The Parents’ Guide to Degree Apprenticeships 2021 – 2022

The Parents’ Guide to Apprenticeships 2021 – 2022

Kind regards,
Andrew Daly