Letter from Headteacher

Dear Parents and Carers,

I have been so proud of our students last week as we held our own election – voting for our new Head Boy and Head Girl. Candidates undertook a very thorough process for election and carried out their own campaigns. My congratulations to all of those who were in the final vote and to our new Head Girl, Alicia Williams and Head Boy, Adam Loveridge. We have also been learning together about the European Referendum vote and it has been fantastic to talk to young people about how their families are engaging in lots of conversations about this huge national vote. At Castle Manor our students voted to ‘remain’ by a majority of 43 votes.

The weather is sometimes being kind to us and we have had several nice sunny days. It is lovely to see students playing football together on the field at lunchtime and enjoying our large site. Students have been very sensible and have been encouraged to drink plenty of water when it is hot, it is always good if they bring their own water bottle to school that they can fill up.

We have also enjoyed lots of sports fixtures, including athletics and rounders competitions recently. Our PE team regularly update their twitter feed so do look out for their tweets.

Outdoor learning is flourishing in the better weather, we have been taking part in detailed work in Science lessons identifying the many plants and different insects that we can find on site. This is part of a Pollination project Mrs Baldwin is leading. We have also installed fruit plants and other plants to encourage pollinators. Our polytunnel has started to be installed so even more community growing can take place.

We sometimes come across issues with social media and the use of communication apps in school and it is important for me to remind you to check which apps your children are accessing. They do have age expectations – Facebook, instagram and twitter do not allow under 13 year olds to access accounts and whatsapp has an age expectation of 16. An app that I had not heard of is Kik, used as a chat app, it has an age expectation of 17 and it appears easy for strangers to send unsolicited messages and pictures, which are not monitored. Please do make sure you know what your child’s online presence is and talk to them about staying safe on the internet.

A group of Maths students took part in the ‘United Kingdom Mathematics Trust’ Junior Maths Challenge event recently. We had several certificate winners but one student, Zak Bailey, achieved a Gold certificate and qualified for the next round. This is an amazing achievement as he is the first Castle Manor Student ever to do this! His next event is this coming week, we wish him the very best of luck.

I continue to remain very proud of our students taking exams. A huge amount of hard work has been undertaken and I am sure it will be rewarded. Students in all Year groups are heading towards their end of Year exams now and so will be working towards preparing for these.

Year 7 are looking forward to their overnight camp this week and I am looking forward to joining them. We are keeping our fingers crossed for an improvement in the weather forecast and will keep Year 7 parents up to date with any changes to plans due to the weather.

Yours sincerely,

Mrs Vanessa Whitcombe
Headteacher
VWhitcombe@castlepartnership.org.uk

You can download a copy of this letter here – HOS Letter 13th June

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