Letter from Headteacher


8th May 2017

Dear Parents/Carers,

I wanted to start by thanking you for your attendance with your child at our recent academic tutoring day. Working closely with parents allows us together to support children and ensure that they are thriving and learning to the best of their abilities.

I am accompanying this letter with two quite contrasting additional documents. Firstly our promised write up of the America Trip, where children from Years 9-11 enjoyed a fantastic experience during the Easter break. The second is from our local police, regarding a knife amnesty. We sometimes hear from the police that there are people in the town who are carrying knives on the street and of course this is very serious and illegal. Often reports are of older teenagers and young adults, but I thought it really important to enclose the information they have given me and encourage you to talk to your children about it.

I have enjoyed seeing our GCSE and A level Art exams being undertaken in the past weeks. We are looking forward to our Drama performances very soon, and the first written exams begin next week. We also have end of year exams for all of our students in every year group and I wish students all the very best. I have been so impressed by the preparation and focus of our students. In fact we were really proud this week to be crowned the top school in Suffolk for the use of GCSEPod and we are in the top 2% of schools across the world!

I enjoyed our Music showcase last week, where a wide range of performances took place, our children are very talented and are really developing in their showmanship and confidence. It was particularly impressive to see so many Year 7 performers and beginners who were performing for the first time on stage.

You most certainly will have seen in the press that there has been nationwide, in fact worldwide response to the presence of ‘fidget spinners’ in school. As a school we will not allow them to be out in lessons, they are distracting to students and teachers alike. Children have generally been very good at putting them away when told to, but I have told teachers that they should confiscate the items if there are any repeated disturbances. I understand that for some students there is medical professional advice that fidget toys are a support to concentration and appropriate devices are of course supported for those very few individuals. Please contact Mrs Beaton our SENCO on JBeaton@castlemanor.org.uk if you wish to discuss anything about your child’s specific needs.

In the time since Easter I have received several leave of absence requests for holidays. I wanted to just be very clear that we do not authorise term time holidays and that we do engage in issuing fines through the local authority. I am always happy to discuss this issue with you, so please contact me if you would like to talk about this or any other issue at any time. My email address is VWhitcombe@castlemanor.org.uk

Yours sincerely,

Vanessa Whitcombe


You can download the accompanying letters here:

America Trip letter

Knife Amnesty Leaflet 2016



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