Thomas Alleyne's High School
Weekly News Roundup

Week Commencing- 20th April 2015

Headteacher's Blog

Firstly welcome back to all students after our Easter break. During Easter the school was a hive of activity. The ski trip was a superb success and Duke of Edinburgh continues to ensure that our students have the chance to have incredibly memorable events in their school lives both inside and out of the classroom.

In school we had a fantastic 600 sign-ins during the holiday with students attending revision classes or using the school to prepare for their drama or music examinations. My thanks to the staff who ran these sessions; to parents for getting their sons and daughters to the sessions; and to the students for putting that extra time in to revision. In addition to this, Thomas Alleyne's students have been in the top 5% for use of GCSEpodcasts across schools nationally. During the Easter break  they downloaded or streamed over 12,000 podcasts.
Year 10 have streamed as many podcasts as Year 11 and have clearly been using these to prepare themselves for their mock examinations this week. We will now to work with Year 9 students to show how useful the podcasts can be following lessons. Either to embed their understanding of a topic or to help them understand a topic they may have found difficult in the lesson. We have appointed 12 GCSEpod ambassadors who can be found in school as they have an ambassador badge. If your son or daughter is still struggling to log on please ask them to either speak to their form tutor or ask one of our student ambassadors for help.
Right at the end of the Easter holiday 20 parents joined me for our revision tips session. We were fortunate to have a fantastic speaker who we have already booked in for next year. Next year however we will run the session earlier in the school year. It was particularly good to have a parent from one of our middle schools join us and to see a father and son in the audience. Thank you to one of our parents for the feedback below:

'Following last week's 'Revision Tips' session, we have been putting what I learned into practice.

Tim Benton was a fabulous facilitator and introduced different revision methods in an engaging and fun way. My son and his teenage brain thought what I came back with was great!! ....and it works! It works for my 40 something brain too.

If you do this again (which I hope you do) I urge other parents to attend. The coffee/tea and scrumptious cakes were a bonus.
Thank you'

Over the coming weeks I will be visiting middle schools to talk to parents and students as we try to ensure that transition from middle school to high school is as smooth as possible. The dates are below:

Parents 19/5 - 4.00pm Assembly 24/4 3.20pm
Windsor Parents 11/5 - 4.00pm Assembly 19/5 1.30pm
Ryecroft Parents 22/5 4.00pm Assembly 20/5 9.00am

Finally this week a congratulations to a very humble but talented young man who I met this week who has come 3rd in a national competition for showing his sheep. Not only is he clearly exceptionally talented with his work on his farm he also shows great commitment and attitude in school. He has however asked to remain nameless.

Business Appointments

We are very pleased to announce the appointment of Mrs Featherstone and Mrs Basi to the Business Department. Mrs Featherstone has already started and will be teaching A-level Economics and Business Studies and also GCSE Business Studies for which she is an exam specialist. Mrs Basi will start in September and will also be teaching these subjects. I am sure that you will join us in welcoming them to TAHS.

6th Form Diary Dates

Monday 11th of May - Sixth Form external examinations commence

Thursday 21st of May - Year 13 Leavers Day

Friday 12th of June - Year 12 visit to Staffordshire University for Higher Education convention

Monday 29th of June until Friday 3rd of July - Future Intentions Week for Year 12

Science News

The Science Revision Sessions during the Easter holidays proved to be a huge success. Over 110 students attended Mr Gilson’s sessions over the two days. Coursework help was also on hand from Mr Crum.

The School revision GCSEpod, accessed online at school or at home, has also been a big hit with Science obtaining the most downloads! The revision podcasts with audio, text and images help students to prepare for their forthcoming exams.

This week’s Science Students of the Week nominated by Miss Pickford are:

Ella Herrod and Emily Cole in Year 9

Jamie Hartley and Tom Hollins in Year 10

Millie Gillan and Yasinthorn Jaenprakhon in Year 11

Well done to all!

GCSE Pod Login

1. open internet browser and go to

2. PC in school go to the shortcuts folder on desktop and select shortcut

3. Frog via the link on the iPhone

4. From school website click on the banner on top website home page

5. Download the Apple iPhone app from the app store

Year 11 Information

Y11 Study Leave and Celebration Day.

Y11 are required to attend school for all their lessons up until the May half term holiday. After that time they are only required in school for examinations or to attend revision and warm up sessions. The Y11 Celebration Day will be held on Friday 26th June. This is the earliest date it could be calendared after the exams.

RE Revision

Two Saturday morning Year 11 RE revision sessions will run on 9th and 16th May 9.30 - 11.30 in 33A and 33B. Please can students let their teachers know if they are able to attend.

News from Maths

Year 11Revision sessions are at the following times:

Foundation tier: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday after school

Higher tier: Wednesday, Thursday and Friday after school

  • Maths Watch ( or download the app). This is a great maths revision website which explains each topic, give you questions to try and then goes through the solutions. You can also print off a worksheet for each topic to try more questions. The centre id is tahs and all students have their own login and password (see your maths teacher if you have lost yours!).
  • MyMaths ( Another great maths website for students to use. Login: alleynes password: fraction
  • Past papers are available on FROG

Year 12/13 Revision sessions are Wednesday and Friday afterschool.

  • Past papers are available from your maths teacher
  • MyMaths ( Login: alleynes password: fraction

French Revision

French revision leading up tp the exam on Tuesday 12th May is on on Fridays at 3.05, all in room 10.

Ski Trip

Another fantastic ski trip safely returned from the Italian Alps over the Easter Break. 34 Students and an assortment of staff set off from school on Easter Saturday and 18 hours later we had popped out of the Mont Blanc Tunnel and we were in the Aosta Valley.

Six days of skiing, eating loads of chips and pasta and an assortment of apres ski saw the party return extremely tired, but full of excitement from the superb week they had just experienced.

If the pictures below inspire you, then see Mr Cartwright for details of next years trip.

Sports News

New Sports Clubs are starting this term.They start straight after school, are for all years, gender and skill level - unless stated otherwise. Would be great to see lots of people there.

Monday - Burton Albion Girls Football starting at 4pm

Tuesday - Badminton and Boys Cricket

Wednesday - Girls Rounders

Thursday - Athletics, Girls Cricket and Dance

We also have two fixtures this week.Tuesday 28th April (afterschool) - Year 10 Girls Football County Cup Final

Wednesday 29th April (afterschool) - Under 16 Rounders Away at JCB

Construction Sponsorhip

THe BTEC Construction Course is sponsered by local business including Tippers, Travis Perkins & Howdens. Much appreciation for their support in supporting this valuable Course. Making sure we have Tradesmen for the future.

Also every Wednesday after school Mr Quigley is running an after school Systems and Control class for the 3 main Middle Schools. This is taught through Lego Mindstorms and is just the beginning of an ongoing program to introduce Systems back into schools as the new National Curriculum desires KS3 to do so.

What is an Apprenticeship

Apprenticeships are a valuable way of gaining experience and qualifications. They are very competitive so you need to work hard to find an employer that will take you on as their apprentice. You will also need a back up plan. This means you also need to apply to Sixth Form or College for a full time course.

The following are ways of finding an apprenticeship:

  1. The National Apprenticeship website advertises vacancies.
  2. Different Training Providers specialise in different career areas. They provide the training part of the apprenticeship. Email Elaine for a full list of Training Providers and their contact details.
  3. Send speculative applications.
  4. Look for vacancies on the vacancy bulletin Entrust produces. Ask relatives, Teachers and friends if they know about any apprenticeship vacancies. Ask your part time employer or work experience contact.

What should you do next?

  • 1. Register with today.
  • 2. Contact Training Providers using the list from Elaine.
  • 3. Prepare your CV and speculative letter. Ask your Form Tutor or Mentor for help. E-mail Elaine for a CV pack. E-mail it to Elaine if you need more help and support.
  • 4. Make a list of companies to contact and post your CV and letter too.
  1. Email Elaine to receive the Entrust Jobs Bulletin.

.Elaine is the Entrust Careers Adviser for Thomas Alleynes. Her contact details are 01283 239400 or

Feedback on Reports

The current set of reports are the first to use the revised format. As such we are very interested in parents’ views on them and are grateful for the feedback we have received so far. One observation was that if a student has targets of A* they cannot achieve “above target” and the report will not be coded blue. The reporting system does not allow us to code specific grades differently so we are looking at recognising exceptional achievement in other ways.

Secondly, some parents have asked for more guidance on levels and their meaning. The table shows what proportion of students nationally achieved a given level in 2012 and what GCSE grade we would expect a student with that level at the end of Y9 to go on to achieve at the end of Y11.

Levels are further divided into sub levels using a, b or c. So, for example, a level 5a is towards the top end of the level 5 range. 5b would be in the middle of the range and 5c towards the lower end of the range.

If parents have any further comments regarding the new report format please feel free to contact the school with your thoughts.

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