Letter from Head of School

Dear Parents and Carers

I last wrote to you on 4th November and have pledged to write at least fortnightly to keep you updated on the work within school. Since I last wrote I have met with many of you, and have seen excellent attendance at Academic Tutoring Day, helping us and you to focus on the learning and progress of your children. I want to thank you for the support that many of you have shown the school.

We had a visit from Rosemary Prince from the Regional Schools Commissioners office on 10th November.  We went into lessons together and she met with a group of children to understand from them how the school is working. She was positive in her feedback about the work we are doing in school to focus on student progress, and of course about our young people, who are always impressive.

Our focus remains very simple, ensuring that students are guided and taught well to reach the best possible outcomes. We are focusing on high quality marking and feedback to children in their work and verbally so that it is clear what is needed to make the next steps. We are also working to embed Home learning and the work that children do out of school to get into the best learning habits. If you have any feedback about either of these areas please do contact me on VWhitcombe@castlepartnership.org.uk. I said in my last letter that I am always keen to make time for myself and the leadership team to meet with parents, please contact my PA, Gill Mitchell if you would like to make an appointment at any time. She is available by calling the school or on GMitchell@castlepartnership.org.uk.

Haverhill HeroesWe are looking forward to our first Year 7 PROUD performance project on 2nd December. Please do support your children by coming along and enjoying the Roald Dahl themed work that they have produced this year. Our next themed project will be around Haverhill Heroes and there is a nomination process currently open.  We welcome any nominations from our community and the link to the nominations is below:


Our Year 11 students are approaching their mock exams, which start this week. I’d like to highlight to parents a special Maths app that every child has access to – The PiXL Maths app. Please do talk to your child about this and their revision programme.

You will have seen the consultation documents for Castle Manor Sixth Form last week. I wanted to encourage you to feedback your views and to attend the drop-in sessions for feedback as listed in the letter.

My last letter to you encouraged you to follow us on twitter to keep up to date with the daily work of the school, it gives a very good snapshot of events. Since I last wrote to you we have had Children in Need, several sporting successes, seen home-made honeycomb in Catering lessons, showcased Miss Weston’s ‘takeaway homework’ and Mrs Baldwin’s Bushcraft outdoor learning training. There is always a lot going on!

Finally, please can I ask since the change in the weather at the weekend that you ensure that students are coming to school with appropriate cold weather clothing – waterproof coats, scarves, hats and gloves.

Yours sincerely,


Mrs Vanessa Whitcombe

Head of School

You can download a copy of the letter here: 20151124 HoS Letter


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