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Mr Barker's letter to parents about the new term

28th August 2015

Dear parents and carers,

I hope you all enjoyed a good summer break. All the staff are very much looking forward to welcoming our students back to school next week.

Our new Year 7 students will be joining us on Wednesday 2nd September with an additional class this year due to the increased popularity of the school. All other students start school the following day on Thursday 3rd September. School buses will operate from Wednesday 2nd September as normal.

I would like to congratulate all students on their achievements in this summer’s examinations. Students had to face some incredibly tough changes to the examination system this year and have coped very well. The school improved the proportion of students achieving GCSEs in both Maths and English by 5% using a like for like comparison with 2014. We saw some very good improvements in a number of subjects with outstanding outcomes in GCSE Art, Photography and Spanish. Our A Level results were again impressive with a 98% pass rate and 60% of students securing passes at the highest grades of A* to C.

Many of our new Year 11 students have also performed very well in the GCSE examinations they took early.  It is a very important year for Year 11 and I know they can do well, with the support of their excellent teachers and advisors, if they put in the required effort. We look forward to meeting parents and students at our early Consultation Event with teachers on Wednesday 23rd September between 4pm and 7pm to discuss the year ahead.

We are also pleased to welcome a large number of last year’s Year 11 students back into the Sixth Form this September. Many students in our new Year 13 cohort performed very well in their AS Level examinations. They all have an incredibly important year ahead and we wish them well. Year 13 students have already started their University applications and these will need to be completed in the next few weeks.

I would like to remind you of a few important routines at the school that we expect all students to adhere to and parents to support:

  • Organisation - The students in Years 8 to 11 and 13 already have their timetables so will know what equipment they need to bring on their first day back. Please make sure your child has pens, pencils, a ruler and a rubber in a pencil case and they bring this to school every day so they are properly equipped to learn. In addition, please make sure they bring their netbook to school fully charged if they have one. PE kit must be brought to every lesson without fail. (Lockers will be available to students to use this academic year free of charge. These will be allocated on a first come first serve basis and your child should see Miss Midwinter if they would like one).
  • Uniform – We are very pleased with the feedback we have received from visitors and the local community regarding how well dressed and smart our students have become. Please make sure your child has the correct uniform as described on the school website so we can maintain this excellent reputation. Please remember to label your child’s uniform.
  • Punctuality – Unless your child is on a school bus that arrives late, they are expected in school by 8-25 so they can start lessons promptly at 8-30am. Lateness is not acceptable and your child will be sanctioned for it.
  • Excellent attendance at school is critical for your child’s success. Therefore, your child should attend unless they are really not well enough to do so. Please telephone the school to inform us every day your child is absent.
  • Food and drink – Please make sure your child brings a water bottle, eats breakfast and has a packed lunch or money to be able to purchase food during the day. Do not send them to school with energy drinks as these do not help their concentration and they are likely to be confiscated.
  • Check what homework your child has and make sure they complete it to an acceptable standard. If you are unsure or concerned about your child’s homework, please make sure you communicate  with your child’s subject teacher or advisor. We expect students to read every day at home to support their learning in addition to the homework set by their teachers. The Howard Library is open Monday to Thursday so they can borrow a book if they don’t have one at home.

Your child will be given a new conduct card in September and it is important they keep it with them at all times. We are delighted with the huge number of students who have not received any signatures on their cards and they will continue to be rewarded with green flags.

We have a small number of new members of teaching staff and support staff joining us this September and I know you and your child will make them welcome.  A full staff list is on the school website.

A copy of our 2015/16 Parent Information booklet with information about all our key staff, policies and routines is available to download from the school website on the first page of the information section.

As further exciting developments take place, we will publish these on the website and through the monthly Hugh Christie News. I am looking forward to another successful year at Hugh Christie.

Yours sincerely

Jon Barker

Executive Principal

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