Parent Newsletter 20 March

Dear parents,

I trust you have enjoyed a happy and healthy week. 

I have been trying to be super fit to shed some kilos but after seeing the Year 8 Chocolate Challenge today my enthusiasm for dieting has waned! 

Year 8 were asked to form a company and, in their house teams, they had to design, package, market and promote a new brand of chocolate. They worked in groups to develop teamwork and to help cultivate their entrepreneurial talents. 

A team of judges selected the winning marketing campaign, they received chocolate prizes and pupil profile points. 

Congratulations to all who participated. Well done to the winners, Cordoba!

Next week Year 9 will participate in a similar challenge – watch this space!

Thank you for your feedback last week regarding the younger children; secondary parents often forget the beginning of their own child’s school experience. You all agreed our young children are so precious. Our EYFS department is an outstanding section of the college, as we can see:

School reports
Next Friday your child’s school report will be uploaded on the parent portal. Please address any issues to the relevant key stage leader. Please remember that you may not receive an instant reply as staff, like you, have all broken up for a well-earned rest.

Email addresses:

Mrs Emma Matthews Head of Foundation Stage (Nursery and Reception) –
Ms Kate Edwards, Head of Key Stage 1 (Year 1 and Year 2) –
Ms Liz Keys, Head of Lower Key Stage 2 (Year 3 and Year 4) –
Mr Pete Smith, Head of Upper Key Stage 2 (Year 5 and Year 6) –
Mrs Emma Saunders, (Pastoral matters in Primary) –
Mr Diego García, (Spanish in Primary) –
Mrs Jacqueline Brice, Head of Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9) –
Mr Darren Roth, Head of Key Stage 4 (Year 10 and Year 11) –
Ms Elaine McGirl, Head of Key Stage 5 (Year 12 and Year 13) –
Ms Louise Verinder (Pastoral matters in Secondary) –
Mr Francisco Escobar, (Head Teacher Secondary School) –
Mrs Elizabeth Batchelor, (Principal) –

Speaking about my staff I cannot thank them enough for the daily efforts that they make to keep your children safe and educate them so well in such unprecedented times. Thank you for all the positive communications I receive appreciating their efforts. It means a lot to them.

In closing, I want to reiterate my gratitude for your continued support. I wish you and your families good health and good spirits. Warmer weather and better times are ahead. 

Next week there will be no “normal” newsletter as we shall write to you about an important initiative we will be launching in school.


I hope you have all enjoyed a wonderful week. The short video below was presented to each class on Monday morning and the Value of Respect discussed at length. Your beautiful children were stopping in the corridors wishing me Happy Mother’s Day, saying how sad they were that my mum is no longer here and sharing loving stories about their mums!

New Pupil’s Spanish Prowess
We welcomed Sara Nejno (5ES) last week from Poland. She joined us speaking minimum Spanish and not writing in this language. Maddie kindly brought her to my office to show me a piece of independent Spanish writing; it was amazing! Well done Sara and once again thank you Maddie, my superstar of kindness in the Primary section.

Miss Lucy Atkinson
I have great sadness and heartfelt joy to share with you regarding Miss Lucy Atkinson, teacher of Year 2. Miss Atkinson’s mum sadly passed away very suddenly, and for this we offered her our deepest condolences. Miss Atkinson then went into early labour and gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, Oliver, who had to remain in hospital for a short while, but is now safely home. Our thoughts are needed for Miss Atkinson at this very difficult time.

Children’s Progress
Children in Miss Lynn Tarry’s class have been very busy bees this week with some  much-improved writing skills. Miss Lynn was, and I am, very proud of Stefaniia. Well done superstar!

‘Quiet Area’ Garden
Miss Freeman’s class has been very busy helping to weed and water the plants in the ‘quiet area’ terrace. They have brought in stones to weigh down the ‘rain catchers’ so they won’t blow away. We are now going to put into place a compost bin so the plant waste can be put there. Thank you children!

In Spanish Class on World Book Day, Years 4, 5 and 6 discussed their favourite books and authors and then decorated their butterflies using the newly acquired book vocabulary. What a lovely celebration!

School Bags
I have expressed concerns before about the size of some school bags. At times when I see the children coming up the stairs trying to manage oversized bags with nothing in them, I am concerned. The children only require at the moment, under Covid restrictions, a bottle of water, a reading book and their homework. The PE kit is not required as children are wearing it to school.

In order to help social distancing we have removed some furniture from rooms, therefore allowing more space. Freeing up the room from oversized bags will also help with this. Please discuss bags with your child and even whether a bag is necessary at all during this time.

Have a lovely weekend.

March Personal Learning Goal – TO BE A COMMUNICATOR
Next week’s Aloha Value  – RESILIENCE             


Elizabeth Batchelor


Dear Parents,

This week, I met a Year 12 student who wanted my advice on her future career. She explained that she has always wanted to be an engineer so she chose Physics and Mathematics at Higher Level in KS5. However, things seem to have changed recently and she does not have the same passion for one of her subjects anymore. She is thinking about neuropsychology instead of engineering. Oh dear! What do we do now? 

The student said that her peers know what they are going to study when they leave school next year, and this worries her because it is like going back a step for her. I told her that it is wise to consider changing before starting a course she is not going to enjoy. She is thinking that a gap year might be a good idea before she decides what and where next. Many people in her position would have stuck to their original plans for no other reason than just taking the path one is expected to take when you are about to finish your last school year. I love the fact that this student is questioning and not conforming to what seems to be the established way.

Our belief system dictates what we are meant to do at every stage of our life. It is as if everything is programmed into us before we are born: we go to school, choose a degree course, study at university, find a job, get married, get a mortgage to buy a house, have children, have grandchildren and retire. Who, at 17, really knows the subjects they want to study or the job they will be doing for the rest of their lives? Students, at this age, do not even know who they truly are or where their true talents and interests lie, let alone be able to decide the path their lives will take. 

Our beliefs are so deeply rooted into our mental map that it is difficult to challenge them. Beliefs that are too ingrained serve only to stop you from getting closer to where you plan to go. It is like carrying a rucksack filled with heavy stones. When you start dropping these stones you have carried for years, you evolve and grow.

Our student who originally wanted to be an engineer can definitely become an outstanding neuropsychologist. Yes, of course she will need to spend extra time studying subjects such as Biology, but that is just a matter of getting on and doing it. The important thing is that she would be doing something she truly believes in and loves and not something that has been decided for her.

I hope you have a nice weekend.

Francisco Escobar
Head of Secondary