From the Headmaster

From the Headmaster

In service Training

I was rather perturbed on Thursday afternoon last week when one Year 10 boy said to me “enjoy the four day weekend sir" – I quickly explained that the teachers were doing training and would be working very hard on Friday and Monday – “oh" he said “I thought you would be making the most of 'Black Friday' and you all went shopping!" Training this year focused on how we can ensure we make the most of the strategic improvements we have implemented over the last four years in order to raise attainment of Year 11 and Year 13 students. Additionally, departments spent time working on further planning for the delivery of the new GCSE and A Level specifications. We also reminded staff of the School's safeguarding procedures including updating them on our offer of 'early help'. The rigorous training of staff is critical to school improvement.

Lockdown practice

Additionally, we reminded staff of our lockdown procedures. Whilst the likelihood of us needing to utilise these protocols is extremely low, it is important that we all know what we would do if there were a dangerous intruder in School. We will be therefore practicing this with pupils on Tuesday 5 December just before break. Whilst we would not want to worry pupils unnecessarily, it is right that we do all we can to keep them safe. I was enormously proud of the conduct of the School during the last evacuation practice and I very much hope that the same approach will be taken next Tuesday.

Arrangements for poor weather

With the weather turning rather cold, I ought to remind all pupils and parents of the arrangements should we have to consider closing the School. Firstly, we will not close the School unless it is unsafe for us to remain open. This may include situations where very few staff can travel to School and it would be impossible for us to supervise students adequately. However, normally a number of pupils and staff, including myself, can walk to School, whatever the situation, and therefore it seems right that they should have the option to come to School if they can. If a weather situation serious enough to threaten school opening hours arises, the message will appear on the school website, so do please check the website first in the event of worsening conditions. We will also inform the Local Authority if we close, who publish information on their website; This news is often reported on BBC Radio Gloucestershire (104.7 FM/1413 AM/Digital).

If the school buses operate in the morning, but the weather deteriorates during the day and the coach companies take the decision to send the afternoon buses to school early, we shall ensure that the pupils who use those services are made aware of this and seen safely onto the coaches. It is important that your son or daughter has instructions as to how he or she should gain access to their home in this eventuality and I would be grateful if you could discuss this matter with them. Where the School is closed during the course of the day, there will be plenty of staff on hand to supervise pupils until they have been collected or made arrangements with their parents about travelling home. It would be most helpful for your son or daughter to have a telephone number on which we can contact you on such a day if you are not at your usual contact point. Pupils should not leave the school site without an agreed plan of action with their parents about how they should travel home.

Forthcoming events

It was really pleasing to see so many parents at the recent information evening regarding

The impact of Social Media on well-being. We hope to hold similar events regarding alcohol and drug abuse later in the academic year. As we approach the festive season, I remind parents of my invitation to the School's carol services on 11 and 14 December. As well as helping us 'get into the Christmas spirit', I know the Choir who work so hard to perform really appreciate the support. Additionally, I would like to draw your attention to a Christmas Concert to boost funding for young people with Epilepsy which will be held in our school hall on 7:30pm – 9:30pm on Friday 8 December. This event has been organized by Year 10 pupils as part of their Duke of Edinburgh's award and will feature Cheltenham Silver Band and the Sir Thomas Rich's chamber choir. Proceeds from the concert will go towards EPIC a charity which helps to provide extra care and items over and above the NHS, for children and young people diagnosed with epilepsy. Tickets are available in advance from EPIC by emailing or can be purchased on the night for £6 per adult and £4 for children. More information is available here:

M SR Morgan

Matthew Morgan,

MM - Wednesday 29 November 2017