Letter from Headteacher


Dear Parents and Carers,                                                         25th September 2017

We have had a very positive start to the term and I am so impressed with how hard students are working. We enjoyed meeting many Year 7 parents on Wednesday at our Settling in Evening and we are looking forward to our Kick Start evenings this week for all other year groups on Thursday evening. Other dates for your diary include Open Evening on 12th October at 6pm. This is an opportunity for those with children in Primary schools to come and see us in action as they look to make choices about secondary schools. Many of our current students will be acting as ambassadors for this important evening so we thank you for your support with this. I have three areas to focus on in this letter. Firstly some excellent news that we have been allocated an improvement grant of £700,000 to start improving some of our existing buildings. This initial grant focuses on windows, roofing and lighting and I am hopeful that it is the beginning of a rolling programme of continued improvements to the school environment. My big thanks go to Samuel Ward Academy Trust for their hard work in bidding and securing this funding. Secondly I am looking for additional governors to join our local governing body and will be opening a nomination window before half term. We are looking for 1 parent governor and also other governors to become ‘Trust’ governors. So if you or someone you may know locally are interested in this role please get in touch with me on VWhitcombe@castlemanor.org.uk for an informal conversation with myself and our trust governance adviser to find out more. We are particularly looking for people who may have experience in school governance, or an area of expertise such as HR, finance or legal matters. Finally thank you for your engagement in the use of knowledge organisers and knowledge based learning homework. These are key strands of our approaches to teaching and learning that we are embedding this year in our school and across the Samuel Ward Academy Trust schools. We are really excited to be focusing hard on these approaches to learning and are finding our way. Your feedback so far has been really helpful in helping us to tweak and adapt our work, so please keep contacting us. I have been delighted to have Year 7 students speaking to me in German in their first weeks learning the language, Year 11s quoting Shakespeare to me and Year 10 proudly demonstrating their knowledge in Science. This is just to highlight a few amongst many.

In addition I have also attached below on the bottom of this letter a brief note from our new CEO Dr Tim Coulson.

As always, please do contact me if you have anything you would like to discuss with me, I am available on my email address or if you would like an appointment to meet me please contact my PA Mrs Mitchell on GMitchell@castlemanor.org.uk

Yours sincerely,

Vanessa Whitcombe



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