Letter from our Head of School

Dear Parents/ Carers

It has been a very busy start to term already. After only one full week back at school we have had Duke of Edinburgh expeditions, the launch of our PROUD performance curriculum with Year 7 and our Combined Cadet Force undertaking their first weekend training. This, of course, is on top of all of the usual demands of the new school term. Castle Manor is certainly an exciting place to be!

I am planning to write regularly to you this term, published on our website and also emailed home to parents. If you know we do not have the correct email address for you, please do send your contact details to our main reception so that you don’t miss out on key communications.

Your children will have told you about some changes at school in the new term and I just wanted to highlight them to you:

  1. Lesson lengths.

We now have lessons that last 50 minutes or 100 minutes. This enables children to have lessons more frequently and is impacting on the pace of learning. I have been really impressed with how quickly we have become accustomed to this big change and students have been excellent at moving around the building sensibly.

  1. Home learning.

We have published a home learning timetable for all students to help you and them track their learning at home. The home learning guidelines can be found on our website on the Home Learning page. If you have any questions at all about home learning expectations please do contact your child’s tutor. Thank you for your support so far in ensuring home learning is completed and handed in on time. We have supported study in our Library after school every day until 4pm and before school from 8am if you child would like to use this space to complete home learning.

  1. ’15 Things’ and our Expectations for Learning.

Consistency and routines are very important in making sure learning happens at its best. We have introduced a very simple list of 15 things we expect to happen every lesson. The list can be found here and your children will explain to you how this works in practise. We have also revised and updated what was known as our ‘SAG’ area, and have now set this area up as our Reflect and Resolve pace.

  1. Our PROUD Curriculum.

We had a very exciting launch to our new Year 7 PROUD performance curriculum last Wednesday. Every child in Year 7 received a ‘Golden Ticket’ – their personal invitation to see Roald Dahl’s Matilda musical in October. Their work in performance this term is all themed around Roald Dahl and I am really looking forward to joining you in looking at a showcase of their work on the 2nd December. We are also pleased to publish our new enrichment and study support timetable this week which you will be able to access here. As you can see, there are some wonderful opportunities for your son/daughter to participate in to enrich their learning experience. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support at the beginning of the new school year. I have been impressed by standards of student uniform, and students’ attitude and application to their lessons.

My closing thought is to share a Roald Dahl quote as we are marking Roald Dahl week.

“If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”

Vanessa Whitcombe

Head of School



CMA Home Learning Expectations 2015

Fifteen Things

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