Thomas Alleyne's High School
Friday Roundup - 5th December 2014

Headteacher's Blog

We have received today our unvalidated RAISEonline. This is Ofsted's method of judging schools against each other. We are thrilled that it shows just how much progress students in Year 11 last year made in their GCSE examinations. The report highlights that students overall make progress which is significantly above the national average.
We will be analysing the report in more depth over the coming days but this shows just how well staff prepared students for their GCSEs last year. The challenge now is to support our current students to achieve as well or better than those in last year's Year 11. We are conscious that there is still work to be done but I believe there are moments when a school should pause to celebrate their achievements and this for me is one of those moments. We are clear on our areas for development and are working on these.
In the canteen I had the pleasure of talking to 3 girls who had been involved in preparing the Turkeys from the farm today. They were insightful and clearly passionate about the importance of the work they had done. I have to admit that when first asked whether the students could pluck the Turkeys in lesson, I was surprised - but not many of us will have had this experience. Thank you to the ELBs team and Rosie, our Farm Manager, for making this possible.

My student voice meeting this week demonstrated again how much the students appreciate the work that their teachers do. They continue to inform my understanding of the school alongside the views of staff, governors and parents.

I would like thank Mrs Shakespeare for taking over 100 staff and students to see The Christmas Truce at Stratford. Unfortunately I could not join them but following hearing feedback from staff and students I hope to be able to see the play.

This week we held Year 11 parent's evening. When Year 11 were in Year 9 75% of parents joined us for parent's evening. In Year 10, 75% of parents attended and this year, as students move into Year 11 80% of parents attended. Thank you for joining us for the evening. Please continue to feedback to us any areas where you feel we need to improve.

We will be holding a Thanksgiving service for Mrs McLeod on Monday 15th at 3.30pm at St Mary's Church . Students and parents who wish to attend will be most welcome. At the end of school on Monday 15th we will ask any students who wish to join us to meet in the Theatre and our staff will walk with them to the church. Students have also set up a collection for Mrs McLeod which will be used to plant a tree on our school site. A small number of staff and students will represent the school at Mrs McLeod's funeral on Monday.

Maths Inspirations Lecture

Today 23 year 12 students have been to the New Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham for a Maths Inspiration Lecture. It consisted of three talks:

The Hidden Connections - Hannah Fry

We all like to think of ourselves as strong, independent and single-minded individuals. But despite our illusion of free will, most of the time we find ourselves swept along by the actions of those around us, acting together in a gigantic human herd. The hidden connections that form between us cause everything from the movement of crowds to fashions and memes, and can be used to understand the mathematics of friendships and even catch the odd burglar or two. Hannah takes you on a whistle stop tour of how the patterns in how we are connected make us surprisingly predictable - as long as you know a little bit of mathematics, that is.

Desert Island Maths - David Acheson

If you were stranded on a desert island, which eight objects would you want, to remind you of mathematics at its very best? David Acheson has chosen his eight, and they include some washing-up liquid, a power drill, two large sausages, and an electric guitar. Yes, really....

Bouncing Bombs and Boomerangs - Hugh Hunt

TV engineering star Hugh Hunt explains the mysterious maths of spinning things including balls, bombs and boomerangs. He'll show parts of his awarding-winning TV documentaries on Dambusters and Zeppelins, he'll examine Frank Lampard's famous disallowed goal and he'll explain how a cat can land on its feet. He'll even throw a few boomerangs, if the management will let him.

Student Comments-

"It's been a great day and I've enjoyed how they've related maths to real life, especially with how traffic jams are surprisingly formed" - Michael Cane

Year 12 French Poems

Year 12 French students have been working hard writing poems about breakup. Some samples can be seen below - go on test that old O Level or GCSE French!!

Christmas Concert

Christmas Concert rehearsals are in full swing and tickets are selling out fast. The concert is on Wednesday 17th December at 7pm and seasonal refreshments provided by the PTA are included in the ticket price.

Reminder for rehearsals next week:

Monday lunch; Wind band, after school; Wind band

Tuesday lunch; Solo and group auditions

Wednesday lunch; Choir, after school; Jazz

Thursday lunch; Saxophone and clarinet sectional, after school; Choir from 3.15 until 4.30

Friday lunch; String ensemble

Thank you to the pupils for all their hard work, commitment and enthusiasm so far.

Farm News

The farm is busy at the moment making Christmas wreaths, dressing turkeys and has lots of packs of sausages for sale. If you would like to purchase packs of sausage they are various flavours and priced at £2.50, £3.00 and £3.50 per pack. Flavours include:

Pork, pork and Apple, Pork and chilli, pork and black pudding, pork and leek and Cumberland.

There is also ham and bacon available at various prices.

Please contact Kate Ellis at the school farm if you wish to indulge!!

Food Bank Donations

Many thanks to everyone who has made a donation to the Local Food Bank. The first shipment of donations has been taken to the depot. If you would still like to make donations they will be gratefully received. Congratulations to form 12D who have won the prize for the most donations - well done to Mr Beech and his form - prize will be with you soon!!

Art GCSE Coursework

ART GCSE COURSEWORK DEADLINE is Monday 2nd February 2015 at 3:05pm This is ALL work from Year 10 and Year11.

Art Club after school sessions are available til 4:30 most days - Some extended times are at discretion of your teacher- check with them. Art Cub is best way to get extra time and advice with dedicated art staff.

Year 11 have also had their 10 hour mock examination and some fantastic work has been produced. Follow this link to see some pictures of the results of the hard work that has been put in.

House Competition

The latest positions after 12 events are as follows
1st Whitmore 37.5 points

2nd Torrance 29 points

3rd Elkes 28 points

4th Orme 25.5 points

Events still to come include the swimming gala next week, maths puzzles, drama, winter sports and the much anticipated chess competition.

Latest Menus from the Canteen

To see the latest menus that are available from the school canteen please click on the button below. Remember that you need to keep your account topped up to the able to purchase food from the school canteen!

The Christmas Truce

106 students and staff including students from the three Middle Schools went to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford upon Avon on Thursday. Leaving school at 5 p.m and not returning until almost midnight was a long day for everyone. BUT, The Christmas Truce, a new play for families marking one of the most extraordinary events of the First World War was a truly stunning performance. Inspired by events of exactly 100 years ago, and continuing their tradition of a winter family production, Phil Porter’s uplifting new play for families tells the story of soldiers leaving their trenches, carrying only their courage and humanity to meet their enemies, to talk, to exchange gifts and to play an unforgettable game of football.

‘ that was ace, miss’ ‘fantastic ! really . really good’ were some of the comments from our students as the applause died down.

Mrs Johnson ( Head of History) said “ a spectacular production that tied in beautifully with our current year nine topic”

This production was very different to the others we have seen over the past ten years, A mouse and his child, Matilda, Robin Hood, Peter Pan, The Secret garden etc, all of them very different, all of them amazing with one element that is consistent, the sheer quality of the productions. Who knows what next year might bring?

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