Dear parents and carers,

I hope everyone has had a safe and restful half term break. We are very much looking forward to welcoming students back to school tomorrow for what we hope will be another enjoyable six weeks of school.

COVID Update
As you will have seen in the news, the Prime Minister announced the end of covid restrictions this week as part of the government’s plan for ‘living with covid’. I’ve attached a letter that will be shared with parents/carers in the ten Pathfinder schools but thought that families would welcome a brief summary which is included below. The following information may well change from April 1st but until this point we will, as we have throughout the pandemic, continue to follow the national guidance.

As you would expect we will continue to:

  1. Ensure good hygiene.
  2. Maintain appropriate cleaning regimes.
  3. Keep occupied spaces well ventilated.

Asymptomatic testing – should children continue to test twice a week?
No – Students are no longer advised to take a lateral flow test twice a week. Although no longer recommended, students who wish to continue regular testing will still be able to access test kits by ordering them online or through their local pharmacy.

Do children need face coverings?
No – Face coverings are no longer recommended for use in any part of school, however if students (or staff) wish to continue to wear one this is absolutely fine.

Have the requirements for remote education changed?
Where a child tests positive for Covid and remains at home school will continue to provide remote education. Remote education is likely to be in place until March 24th at which point this provision will be reviewed nationally.

What should children do if they test positive for Covid?
As a trust we will still ask children (and staff) to remain at home should they test positive following a symptomatic PCR test. Staff/Children may be able to return to work from day 6 if they have two consecutive LFT tests:

Full guidance on remaining safe whilst positive for Covid-19 can be found here

Are there any changes to close contacts?
As of February 24th contacts of somebody who has tested positive, be that vaccinated or not, no longer need to isolate or take a daily test in order to attend school.

School Uniform
I would like to thank families for their support in terms of school uniform last half term. I am pleased to say that we saw a significant improvement in standards and this is something that we will continue to focus on in the weeks to come. The information below should provide any essential reminders:


  • Trousers and skirts will remain unbranded due to our continued commitment to poverty proofing our uniform.
  • Leggings, Jeans, short skirts and bodycon skirts do not meet the school’s uniform standards. Any student wearing these items will be asked to change into uniform provided by the school.
  • School skirts should sit just above the knee
  • Trousers and skirts will be purchased by school to offer students the chance to change, should they arrive at school in inappropriate uniform.


  • Two plain studded earrings will be allowed, no more. A single plain nose stud will be allowed; however, this must not be in excess of 0.5mm.
  • In the case of new piercings, students must wear a plastic temporary stud until they are able to wear the smaller nose stud.
  • Any additional jewellery will be confiscated by any member of staff who sees the student wearing it. It will then be handed into the main reception. Students will no longer be allowed to ‘put away’ their jewellery.
  • Students can collect their item of jewellery from the main reception at the end of the school day.
  • Please note that nose bars, nose rings and septum piercings are strictly prohibited.


  • Makeup is not allowed to be worn at school. This includes false eyelashes, painted nails and eye makeup.
  • Students will be provided with makeup wipes to remove any obvious signs of makeup. Students with painted or acrylic nails will be asked to remove them at reception.


  • School shoes need to be smart, black, leather like or leather shoes with no obvious colouring, patterned designs or metallic bars on the shoes.
  • The wearing of trainers is strictly prohibited in school.
  • Students who wear the wrong type of shoe to school will be sent to reception to change their shoes.
  • Upon return to reception, shoes will be thoroughly disinfected ready to be worn again.
  • For the time being, branded school shoes will be allowed, however this will no longer be the case in September 2022 in line with our commitment to Poverty Proofing.


  • Hoodies are not to be worn around school, or at break and lunchtime. A ‘Hoodie’ is classed as a hooded jumper or an item of clothing that resembles a jumper like garment.
  • The only exception to this is the AHS hoodie, which is allowed to be worn over the standard shirt, tie and Jumper. As the weather warms up we will review this further.
  • As part of our continued commitment to poverty proofing our uniform, AHS hoodies will be provided for disadvantaged students.
  • Should a student come to school in a hoodie, parents will be called and asked to provide an alternative item of clothing for their child and an agreed deadline will be put in place. Should the student continue to wear the hoodie to school, it will be confiscated from the student and an AHS school jumper will be offered as a temporary alternative.


  • Students who attend school without a tie will be lent one at the main reception. The students name will be taken and they will be expected to return the tie at the end of the school day.
  • Parents of students who do not return ties will be contacted by school in order for the tie to be returned. Lost or damaged ties will be charged at a price of £7.
  • Students will be able to purchase a tie at the price of £7 from reception at any time.
  • If a student repeatedly comes to school without a tie they will be placed in isolation and parents contacted.

Reading Books

  • Students in years 7,8 & 9 must have a reading book with them as part of their equipment. If they do not they will be issued an equipment code in planner (E)
  • Students will be given a ‘Reading Booklet’ to use for the day and encouraged to visit the library at break or lunch to borrow a library book. When students visit the library, their Accelerated Reader score will be checked and they will be able to borrow a suitable book to read based on their reading ability.


  • The planner is an essential part of the daily equipment and will be checked each morning. If a student does not have their planner they will be issued with a temporary planner sheet and given a lunch time detention.

Head of Year Updates
Year 7 – Miss Kincell, Miss Powell and Miss Cooper
We hope you have had a restful break. We are really looking forward to welcoming Year 7 back on Monday for another exciting half term. This half term there are lots of fantastic opportunities for our students to join in with, including Science week and the School Show which some of our Year 7s are involved in this year.

This half term we will be focusing on the British Value of Individual Liberty which links to our School Values of Trust and Compassion. At AHS we trust everyone to believe, act and express themselves freely as unique individuals, whilst showing compassion towards others. We are looking forward to learning more about this in Form Time and our Year group Assemblies.

Well done to our Students of the Week this week:
7ANn – Sophie Bowling – For collecting litter and helping to look after our school environment.
7ASu – Vincent Czechowski – for always contributing insightfully to class discussions.
7Bl – William Battams – always volunteering to read in form time.
7Cy – Lula Garcia for giving an excellent contribution to form time show and share
7Gr – Jacob Godson – For having such a great positive report. Thank you Jacob
7Hf – Joe Molloy – consistently high effort in lessons and living the School values
7Hv – Ollie Watson- Excellent work in English
7MLn – Isabella Baumann – for always living out the School values
7MPe – Star Harrison – For always looking after your form tutor and keeping him right.
7Mr – Jeanie Lamb – always being polite and friendly
7SMf – Will Olleranshaw – Fantastic work ethic and a brilliant embodiment of the school values around the school and in his classes. Well done!

Well done to Our Head of Year Awards:
Scarlett Kitson – For a fantastic 2 weeks in lessons! Well Done!
Lily Thompson – For showing compassion to others in her team in PE and presenting excellent leadership qualities. Well Done!

Library Newsletter:
There was a beautiful full moon to see us into our half term holiday. It peaked on Wednesday, but will still be looking big and bright against the dark February skies. This moon is called a snow moon, mainly due to the fact that America can have the most snow in February than any other month. It can be really cold here too. I remember my nanna saying that February was the worst month of the year, and not to be fooled by the spring flowers popping up. She called the month ‘February-fill-dyke’, as the melting snow and rain would fill the dykes and streams to the point of overflow. Nanna never listened to the weather forecast, just went with her instincts.

‘I’ll hang my washing out if the pavements look dry. If the wind can dry the pavements it can dry my washing, unless the chimney smoke is blowing down rather than up, because that means snow.’

Hopefully some of you were able to see your grandparents over half term. I’ve picked a couple of your favourite authors who have written about grans.

Secrets by Jacqueline Wilson (Quiz 204998. Level 4.4. Colour Purple)

Treasure lives on the local council estate, taken in by her loving and capable grandmother. She’s completely devoted to her nan. A chance meeting with India, sparks a great friendship. When Treasure has to run away to avoid her stepfather, India comes up with a hiding place. A hidden attic…

You can listen to Part One of the book by clicking on the link. It lasts for about 20 minutes.

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Gangsta Granny by David Walliams (Quiz 220860. Level 4.9. Colour Purple) starts off introducing Ben’s granny as a cabbage soup loving, whited haired tissue in the cardigan sleeve kind of old lady. Read on to find Ben realising that she’s also an international jewel thief!

You can read the first 29 pages by clicking on the link.

Those of you who are lucky enough to have BBC iPlayer can watch the whole film for free!

Those of you who like sport, don’t forget we have a selection of sport novels in the library. Some stories are made up, such as the series Frankie’s Magic Football written by Frank Lampard. Others are written by experience, including the Boy Who Biked the World (Quiz 227836. Level 5.3. Colour Green) which tells the tale of Tom who dreams of cycling round the world. Written by Alastair Humphreys, who did just that, spending four years cycling 46,000 miles.

This book is the first of a trilogy, all are available from the library. You can read the first chapter by clicking on the link.

Year 8 – Mrs Avey, Mrs Mennell and Mr Handley
Firstly, we would like to say we are really looking forward to welcoming our Year 8s back into school next week. We hope they have managed to have an enjoyable and restful half term break and we are sure they are eager to start back again.

We would also like to thank all Parents and Carers for their support last half term. There were lots of events which required support and input from parents and we thoroughly appreciate parental involvement. Last half term saw a really successful Year 8 parents evening which was a really positive event and it was fantastic to see many parents there. We also saw the Full Year 8 reports go home and these were an excellent set of reports. The Year 8s have had a great year so far and have much to be proud of. As well as this there has been many sporting and extra-curricular successes which have appeared across many of our recent weekly bulletin updates.

In the new half term, we will be continuing our push on uniform and the Five Fundamentals in school that was highlighted last half term. This has been very positive in Year 8 and again, we are thankful for parental support with this. One key focus within the Year 8, linking to responsibility, will be keeping their social area tidy and being respectful to lunchtime support staff. The Social areas for Year 8 are shared by other Year groups (at different times) and it is really important that these areas are looked after and kept tidy.

Tying in with the above, the Form TIme Collective Worship in the final week of last half term was about littering and showing respect for the community both in and out of school. Having popped into form times across Year 8 when this was going on, it is clear our Year 8s have an excellent moral compass and fully understand why all of us have a responsibility to respect the areas in which we work and socialise so we are keen that they get this right during their own social time.

The Act of Collective Worship in the final week of the last half term was taken by Mrs Hirst, the school’s intensive support worker and The Year 8 PSW on Fridays. This was on the importance of attendance and the impact of not attending school often. Regular attendance in school is so important to giving all students the best chances. We are pleased to say that Year 8 currently has the best average attendance in the main School but there is room for improvement here. Whilst we recognise the last couple of years has had its impact on families and students, being here in school is the best place for our students to continue to develop and progress in order to prepare themselves for the next stages in their lives.

Thank you for your continued support. If you have any issues regarding your child in Year 8, please do contact school reception to get in touch with Mrs Avey (Head of Year 8), Mr Handley (Assistant Head of Year 8) or Mrs Mennell (Year 8 Pastoral Support Worker).

Year 9 – Mr Arthur, Mr Deamer and Mrs Deacon
I very much hope you and your families have had a calm and relaxing half-term – we are very much looking forward to welcoming Year 9 back into school refreshed and ready to go as we move towards Easter. With Spring just around the corner, I think everyone is looking forward to warmer days, longer days and sunnier weather!

I want to take this opportunity to remind you of the whole school focus on fundamental standards. As I said at the start of last half-term, I want Year 9 to be the front-runners across the school for driving these standards forward. There is a big focus around school on the ”Rights and Responsibilities’ of AHS Students – ‘Rights’ in terms of what students can expect from the school, and ‘Responsibilities’ in terms of what students need to be doing as part of the AHS community. At AHS, students can expect to receive; excellent, high quality lessons; a broad extra-curricular programme; a safe, welcoming environment; individual care for each student and the capacity and opportunity to go onto their next steps. As a school we work very hard to ensure our provision is outstanding, and our recent Ofsted inspection certainly supports this. Young people have a right to a top quality education, and we will always strive to improve our offer to ensure students at AHS receive the best quality education and care possible.

Whilst students certainly have a right to a top quality education, they also have ‘Responsibilities’ as part of our school community. When considering this, I was reminded of the immortal words of US President John F. Kennedy in his inaugural address, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” We wish to develop students that are active citizens within the larger community – who consider the community as a whole and not just their own individual interests. This is why we are focussing also on the key ‘fundamentals’ that students should be following during their time at AHS (none of which will be a surprise to anyone!). These fundamental standards are that…

  1. We turn up on time to school and to every lesson
  2. We speak kindly and appropriately to people
  3. We wear the correct uniform
  4. We work hard to meet the deadlines we are given
  5. We care for our school and the people in it

As we have spent the last half-term embedding these fundamentals, there will be an extended focus this half-term related to reading and planners (although, students still need to maintain high standards regarding the fundamental list above!). Students in Year 9 need to bring with them an appropriate reading book to school with them every day. If a student is not sure what kinds of books they should be reading, please encourage them to speak to their English teacher, their form tutor or a member of the Year 9 Pastoral Team. If a student does not have a reading book, they will be provided with one by their teacher and issued with an ‘E’ (‘equipment’ code) in their planner. Three codes in a week will result in the student receiving a Head of Year Detention after school the following day.

Further to this, there will be a big push for students this half-term on planners. Planners are important as a means of communication between staff in school and you as parents. They are also crucial to students being able to organise themselves effectively with their homework and deadlines – this is a crucial lesson for students that they will need to develop for adult life. If a student does not have a planner due to it being lost or damaged beyond effective use, they will be given a temporary replacement planner sheet and we will be informed as a pastoral team. We will then be in touch with you to inform you that your child needs to buy a new planner from reception.

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 Johstone and Miss Montagu
We hope that all our students had a well deserved rest over half term, time with friends and family and the opportunity to recharge their batteries ready for the term ahead. We are glad to welcome them back and look forward to hearing about what they have got up to over the holidays.

Looking back for a moment, we are proud of all their hard work and resilience over the first half of term, not just in class but also in taking advantage of the many extra-curricular activities our school has to offer.

In our last assembly before half term we focused on the importance of looking after our mental health and, equally importantly, supporting others. It is normal to feel sad, anxious or unhappy at times. This is a natural and healthy response to bad events and times of difficulty. Everyone experiences these emotions. It is, for example, perfectly normal to feel anxious about an upcoming exam. We can’t always control what life throws at us, but we can choose to develop positive coping strategies and actively build healthy relationships to support us through difficult times. Having these things in place makes us more resilient and allows us to maintain positive mental health.

Helping others does not simply help them. It is also one of the best things we can do for our own mental health. So how can we do it? First, we must listen rather than judge. It is up to our friend how much they may wish to share with us. For them, to talk about how they are feeling is often more helpful than telling you why they are feeling this way. They might not even be able to explain this.

By being non-judgemental, you are encouraging them to talk. This conversation might start by simply asking them ‘how are you?’ or letting them know that you’ve noticed a change in their behaviour and you are concerned. Don’t be dismissive of feelings they may have found hard to share.

If you have already asked ‘How are you?’ or ‘Are you okay?’, a better course of action might be just to let them know that you are there for them. Your friend might not feel ready to talk yet but knowing that you are there for them is still valuable. Be patient! Depression and anxiety leave people feeling insecure. So, spend time together with your friend and continue to call, text or casually invite them to things. Even if they don’t feel up to it, your gesture of support will still make a difference.

During these coming weeks, let’s take care of our own mental health and be good supports to each other.

Finally, we are pleased to announce that the Head of Year Awards go to Zahra White and Freya Rowley, both of whom consistently live out our school values.

If you have any concerns or queries then please don’t hesitate to contact the Head of Year team.

Year 11 – Miss Turvey, Miss Reeder and Miss Chambers
We are looking forward to the start of a new half term tomorrow, and hope that all of our Year 11s have managed to enjoy a much-needed rest over the break following their second mock week.

Our focus this half term will continue to be on ensuring all our students are accessing all of their lessons, every day, and working to the best of their ability. High attendance, healthy working habits and hard work towards the end point of the year will be vital for everyone. The year group have certainly done us proud so far and we look forward to a continuation of this. We would particularly like to say a huge well done to all of our Year 11 students for their efforts in the mock week prior to half term.

Mock papers completed by students before half term are in the process of being marked and, much like before Christmas, students will find out their results within the next few weeks shortly before our second Year 11 Parents Evening of the year, which will take place on Wednesday 30th March. Unless there are any significant changes in the national bigger picture, we are very much looking forward to inviting parents into school for these important face-to-face meetings to take place. A small number of Year 11 students are involved in a school trip on this evening, however their parents will be able to make appointments to attend in the usual way.

For some students, BTEC exams are continuing this half term in Art and Media, with an overview of the exam dates given below. If your child studies these subjects it is vital they are in school on the dates given. Students will receive all the information needed from their subject teachers, and you may contact Heads of Department or the year team via student reception if you have any questions.

Tues 1st MarchBTEC Art and Design Practice
Fri 4th MarchBTEC Art and Design Practice
Mon 7th MarchBTEC Art and Design Practice
Tues 8th MarchBTEC Art and Design Practice
Weds 14th MarBTEC Art and Design Practice
Thurs 15th MarBTEC Art and Design Practice
Fri 16th MarBTEC Art and Design Practice
Tues 22nd MarchBTEC Media Production
Wednesday 23rd MarchBTEC Media Production
Thursday 24th MarchBTEC Media Production
Friday 25th MarchBTEC Media Production
Tues 29th MarchBTEC Media Production
Thurs 31st MarchBTEC Media Production
Friday 1st AprilBTEC Media Production

We appreciate the positive responses to orders of School Leaver’s Hoodies and Yearbooks prior to half term; the deadline for returning slips and payments is Monday 7th March. If your child needs a new letter, they may collect one from the Y11 Head of Year office or ask their Form Tutor for a spare.

Thank you for your continued support and we wish you a safe and restful half term when it arrives. 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. The Year 11 Team

Post 16 – Mrs De Lashley, Mrs Walton, Miss Balmer and Mr Charlton
Welcome Back – We hope students and their families had a restful week together despite the weather. We commence a busy half-term with a focus on feedback from assessment and making good progress. The summer term is not far away and this half-term will place students in the best position to tackle the assessments, both internal and external that come in the summer term.

Y13 March Mocks – These assessments take place next week (wc 7th March) during timetabled lessons. These are for A Level students and feedback will be given as and when papers are marked. The Sixth Form team will contact home for those that require some form of intervention to support progress.

Y13 P6 – A reminder of the support in place for Y13 after school and on a lunchtime. Students are expected to attend these sessions to further support their progress and preparation for the march mocks and summer exams.

Y12 Parent’s Evening – Y12 Parent’s Evening will be taking place on Wednesday 16th March in school. Appointments will be made shortly. If you are unable to attend, please contact Mrs Walton or Mrs Balmer

Y13 Leavers Celebrations – reminder – A Level students will be stood down on Friday 20th May with exams commencing Monday 23rd May. BTEC students will be stood-down on an individual basis as they complete coursework and finish resit exams. There has been an amendment to the advertised date for the Leavers Service, this is now going to be Thursday 19th May. Please ensure that deadlines for payments for Prom and Hoodies are met.


Y13Aiden Clarke, Hannah O’Connor, Maddy Hatch, Tilly Wilson-MossMiss BarrettTheatre StudiesAbsolutely wonderful mock devised performances last Friday- well done for working so hard on them!
Y13Y13 Computer ScienceMr. AppleyardComputer ScienceWell done all for your hard work on Object Oriented Programming over the last few weeks!
Y12Sophie FrizzellMr GladstoneITGreat work in the IT mock exam. A nice database created and excellent supporting evidence
Y1212CMiss BrownHistoryThank you to 12c for being absolute legends for their short time with me. I am sad to see you go, but you will be fantastic elsewhere!!
Y13Tarik SemicMrs HolmesEnglish LanguageWell done on producing your best exam answer so far!
Y13Ivy TegetmeierMrs HolmesEnglish LanguageWell done on a fantastic set of mock exam responses!
Y1313C/TsMrs ShortTheatre StudiesExcellent performances done last week for Miss Barrett – Great work!
Y12Daisy H Liv G Katie S Sophie W Matthew D Mollie OMr GoldsmithSportConsistent effort and excellent behaviour in lessons
Y12Hannah ReynoldsMr YoungSociologyAn excellent essay on Feminism and the family. Well done!
Y12Isla ListerMr YoungSociologyAn excellent essay on Feminism and the family. Well done!
Y12Sophia MackenderMr YoungSociologyAn excellent essay on Feminism and the family. Well done!
Y13Abbie KilvingtonMr YoungSociologyMaking really good progress in Sociology – your homework and effort has been much improved recently and you are putting serious effort in. Well done.
Y12Josh Riddell & Lyncy PhattanavibulMr Nciholson & Mrs HalifaxArt & DesignFor your excellent presentation
Y12Hannah ReynoldsKatie KellettChildcareHannah has attended every P6 session so far. She is amazing!
Y12Daisy Hardy, Liv Goldsmith, Katie Suchomska, Mollie Ovenden, Matthew DrummondMr GoldsmithSportFor just cracking on with their work in lessons!!! Consistent effort in Sport.

Collective Worship
This week the theme of our Form Tutor Collective Worship is entitled Be Compassionate. This is part of the Way Maker series. It will take us on a journey through Lent, reflecting on Jesus’ ministry and his example of being a “way maker” and serving others. .

Monday: “Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned.” – Peter Marshall, 20th C. Scottish-American preacher
Tuesday: “The measure of a man’s greatness is not the number of servants he has, but the number of people he serves.” – John Hagee, American pastor
Wednesday: “We cannot do great things on this earth, only small things with great love.” – Mother Teresa, Catholic nun and missionary
Thursday: “You can always give without loving, but you can never love without giving.” – Amy Carmichael, Irish Christian missionary in India
Friday: “Length of life should be measured not by the number of years but by the number of right actions.” – Desiderius Erasmus, 15th C. Dutch philosopher and Catholic theologian

PMAT Parent Update Feb 2022

The Wellbeing Newsletter Issue 44