Week ending 8th September 2017

Posted on: 09/09/2017

Dear Parents, Carers,

It is great to finally take over as Headteacher. Many thanks for all of your kind messages and words of encouragement. This really is a wonderful school and I feel incredibly excited by the challenges ahead. I wrote to you in term 6 and asked for your views on the school and these have been most useful as we work together to produce our development plan for the coming year. I look forward to sharing our key priorities with you over the next few weeks.

A level Success

Once again, we are celebrating excellent A Level results across the schools’ fully collaborative sixth form, WG6.  Despite the fact that staff were helping to prepare students for the new untried and untested examinations, students have managed to secure over half of their A Level passes at grades A*/B.

Notable successes include Alice W, who with 4 A* grades is poised to take up her place at Cambridge University reading Computing. Congratulations also go to Peter F, who with 3 A* grades will be heading up the motorway to study Maths at Nottingham University. Many other students have secured outstanding results and have shown that hard work and perseverance pay off, including Nicola D with four A grades and Jess M with three A* and A grades.

As always, results in Maths, Further Maths and Engineering are excellent. This paves the way for some excellent Higher Level Apprenticeship opportunities with industry partners Laing O’ Rourke and Whitecode Engineering and bodes well for the launch of the brand new Design Engineer Construct qualification that the schools are introducing in September.

The majority of students have successfully secured offers from their first choice universities and this year, more than ever before, the number of unconditional offers for universities has soared when compared with previous years.

Geraldine Tiddy, the Head of WG6 said “I am very proud of the individual achievements of all of our students and am thrilled to report that some of our most disadvantaged students have secured exceptionally pleasing results and know just how much effort goes into turning predicted grades into actual results. I wish each of our leavers all the very best for their futures.”

GCSE results

WGSB is also celebrating another fantastic set of GCSE results with 70% of all grades at A*-B. Students have performed particularly well in Mathematics, with 39% of grades at a 9 or an 8, according to the new, more demanding GCSE criteria.

We are immensely proud of our students, and although it will be a few weeks before the national picture emerges, we are able to celebrate individual success stories, which reflect hard work by staff and students. 

Edward H, Muhammed AR and Nathaniel H achieved two grade 9s in the new Maths and English GCSEs as well as a clutch of A* and A grades and 24 students scored an average A grade across all of their subjects.

As a result of our success, our combined sixth form with Wilmington Girls’ Grammar continues to grow, not just in numbers of students but also in terms of the range of courses we are offering, including Design, Engineer, Construct and the growing links we have with industry partners from a range of sectors.

A great start.

Welcome to Yr 7 and Yr12  

Years 7 and 12 came in on Monday and have settled in brilliantly. They are already working hard and have made a positive start. The challenges of transition, from primary to secondary, or GCSE to A level, are significant and I have been most impressed by the way the students have approached this. We expect great things!

Upcoming dates

Our expectations evenings for the coming year take place on the dates below. I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible on these occasions which will allow us to explain what will be happening over the next few months.  They take place on the following dates:

Operation renovate

Students arrived back at school this week to discover a number of changes to the premises. These include re-laid tennis courts, refurbished classrooms and redecorated corridors. Indeed the humanities corridor was decorated during ‘Operation Renovate’ where members of our community, young and old, donned overalls, picked up rollers and got stuck in. Thank you so much to all involved. More details to come next week…watch this space!

The Big Read

Literacy is a big challenge for many boys, who can appear reluctant to read and this is a challenge for us as a school. In the short term, the new GCSE and A level exams require a far greater ability to analyse, infer, hypothesise and synthesise when studying texts and sources, often rapidly and under exam conditions. These skills are also vital in the workplace so it is important for our boys to approach this aspect of their schooling with great determination.

The Big Read 2017 – 2018 is a fantastic opportunity for the students to develop and enhance their reading skills. It forms part of the WGSB Reading Challenge which aims to foster more independent, thoughtful and confident readers. Reading is a vital skill and the students who commit to and undertake the Reading Challenge and The Big Read will be rewarded with House Points and Prizes for their efforts.

For KS3, the rewards are as follows:

  • One of the Big Read texts from this year OR 'Wonder' RJ Palacio - Bronze award
  • Three of the Big Read texts OR Ten books - Silver award
  • All of the Big Read texts OR Fifteen books  - Gold award

For KS4, the rewards are as follows:

  • Five Big Read texts OR Five books – Bronze award
  • One Classic Big Read text OR Ten books – Silver award
  • Both Classic Big Read texts OR Fifteen books – Gold award

The Big Read Texts for 2017 – 2018 are:

  • ‘The London Eye Mystery’ – Siobhan Dowd
  • ‘The Bone Sparrow’ – Zana Fraillon
  • ‘Salt to the Sea’ – Ruta Sepetys
  • ‘A Monster Calls’ – Patrick Ness
  • ‘Gone’ – Michael Grant
  • The Big Read Classic Challenge Texts for 2017 – 2018 are:
  • ‘The Three Musketeers’ – Alexandre Dumas
  • ‘The Man in the Iron Mask’ – Alexandre Dumas

Students will need to have their completed text signed by a member of staff or a parent in their planners.  If the students are unsure of what to read, there are Recommended Reading Lists for KS3 and KS4 on pages 114-115 and pages 118 – 119 respectively, in the students’ planners.

We hope you will encourage and support the boys in their reading journeys.

Happy Reading and May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favour!

Enjoy your weekend

C Guthrie

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