Welcome to my first blog of 2017 which I would like to begin by wishing everyone a very happy and healthy New Year.
Students in Years 12 and 13 have now started their Pre Public Examinations (PPEs) and Year 11 will begin theirs next week. We all hope that the preparation by students and staff in recent months will result in positive outcomes for all and provide every student with the determination to stay focussed as their learning continues for the remainder of the school year. PPE examinations are a good benchmark for students to assess successes to date and further improvements that need to be made in advance of the formal external summer examinations. I would like to wish all students the very best of luck over the next fortnight.
Take pride in how far you have come and have faith in how far you can go
We are entering the time of year when extremes of weather can occur. This week I sent out a letter to all parents/carers informing you of the steps that will be taken in the event of snow. I would like to stress that the school will only be closed in extreme circumstances, and this is not a decision that is taken lightly. However the priority has to be on the safety and appropriate supervision of students given the weather conditions at the time.
As you know the Acts of Kindness continue to be a priority throughout our 40th birthday year and we have already observed countless numbers of students across all year groups showing their CHARACTER and contributing to the various Acts. Prior to the Christmas break, Mrs Shaw took a group of student volunteers out in to the local community to deliver our school Christmas cards and to wish our neighbours a very Happy Christmas. I have received several emails to acknowledge the students efforts and to thank us for embracing community cohesion. As part of the end of term house activity we also decorated Christmas trees which were then delivered to River View Care Home and our book donations were delivered to the Royal Berkshire Hospital’s fracture clinic. Both providers were delighted with the school’s sense of community spirit and care. Over the past fortnight we have focussed on two further Acts of Kindness, the first making New Year’s resolutions to promote positive mental health, both in ourselves and each other. Our second Act of Kindness gathered donations from our school community of any unwanted Christmas gifts which will be used to raise funds to support our house charities. Next week, we will aim to lift the spirits of everyone by holding laughter week. We will undertake a range of different activities to tackle the January blues and make everyone smile.
Finally, I would like to thank the parents and carers of Year 8 and Year 9 students for attending our GCSE Course Information Evening last night. Historically this event has been for Year 9 students selecting options for Year 10; however, with extensive changes to the National Curriculum we have taken the decision that it will be beneficial to students at Denefield to move from a three-year Key Stage 3 to a three-year Key Stage 4. This will enable students to have sufficient time to learn both the content and skills to reach their potential when they take their GCSEs in Year 11. The event was extremely well attended and it is essential that students, parents and carers work closely with staff to ensure that the right choices are made for each child.
Dates for your diary:
Year 9 Parents’ Evening 19 January 2017
Year 11 PPEs 16-20 January 2017
Miss L A Dawe