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    Message from the Headteacher

    Mr J Taylor, Headteacher
    Mr J Taylor
    Headteacher

    Dear Parent / Carer,

    I write as we look forward to two particularly significant after-school events in the life of the school. On 18 December, we have our annual Christmas Concert, where many of our gifted musicians and singers will perform a range of traditional and more contemporary music, and where there will be hearty audience participation with the more familiar carols, particularly to the rousing traditional finale of ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’, complete with actions. The calendar year ends with our Year 13 Presentation Evening on 20 December, when most of last year’s final year should be available to join us for the annual presentation of certificates and awards. We look forward to hearing how everyone is doing after joining the world beyond school. We are delighted that a huge proportion of the year group have already indicated their desire to join us on that evening.

    At the very end of last half term, the Performing Arts faculty hosted a Murder Mystery Evening, this year with the title ‘Halloween Homicide’. The fancy dress in the audience certainly added to the atmosphere as we tried to work out ‘who done it’ from a cast of Sixth Form drama students. The acting was of the highest calibre and thank you to all the staff from the Performing Arts faculty for hosting such an entertaining evening.

    As the end of term approaches, it is a very busy time for students preparing for external examinations. Year 11 students have recently completed their GCSE Trial Examinations. In January, they will receive a ‘mock’ certificate in a special assembly, attempting to mimic the publication of the Summer 2018 external examination results. Let us hope that any tears that need to be shed are dispensed with now rather than in August.

    The Trial Exams are very good practice for the external exams that begin after the Easter break, only just over four months away. It is a very important time for Year 11 as they prepare for exams that will determine what options are open to them post-16. We hope as many as possible will be successful and will be able to take advantage of the courses that we offer in our own Sixth Form.

    Following the Year 11 exams, Year 13 students have now had their own Trial Exams, which took place in the penultimate week of the term.

    The Main Hall was packed on 25 October for our ‘New Sixth Evening’, where prospective students came to hear about the opportunities on offer for next year’s Year 12. It was very encouraging to see the number of students that had been attracted from other, neighbouring schools across the region. It is very pleasing to note that the Sixth Form at Wath is held in such high regard.

    On 15 November, we had our ‘Year 11 Presentation Evening’ where certificates, prizes and awards were made to last year’s Year 11 students. I wrote in the last issue about their very pleasing exam results. It was lovely to welcome so many of them back together again as a year group, with students pursuing training and courses at local colleges joining with those who had moved into our own Sixth Form.

    Across our school community, we continue to focus on raising academic standards and opportunities, remaining fully committed to our aim of ensuring that all of our students receive a high quality educational experience and can leave us able, active and qualified. The target date for academisation has been pushed back again by the Department of Education, this time to 1 February 2019; however, we continue to work very closely with executive leaders from across Maltby Learning Trust, our sponsoring academy trust, to ensure continued success.

    Following improvements to the car park and main school entrance, we are in the final stages of completing some new fencing around the car park to create a clear differentiation between pedestrian and vehicular use at the front of school and to create an extra security precaution for all those within the school during the working day. Despite the improvements, it would still be appreciated if parents didn’t try and bring their vehicles onto the site at the start and end of the school day when it is, of course, very busy and can present an extra hazard for students walking across the school site.

    Individual tutor groups are currently busy putting together the final touches to their hampers for our annual Christmas Hamper Competition. Once the judging has taken place, the hampers will be distributed to senior citizens living in the local area and to a few residential centres. Thank you if you have been able to support this by sending in any items, such as a tin of food, a bottle of drink or a book. There will be a prize for the best hamper in each year group and a trophy for ‘best in school’, which will likely feature in the next edition of The Torch.

    Your continued support of the school is very much appreciated. May I please take this opportunity to wish you a very enjoyable Christmas holiday and a Happy New Year.

    Please note that the school closes to students at 2.45pm on Thursday 20 December and re-opens at 8.30am on Monday 7 January.

    Yours sincerely,

    Mr J Taylor
    Headteacher