Thomas Alleyne's High School
Friday Roundup - 16th January 2015

Headteacher's Blog

Watching a Year 10 class this week in their Science lesson, I was impressed by their attitude to learning, their engagement in the task at hand and that natural sense of curiosity that is so precious in great learners. It was in fact one of those lessons which is intriguing: Darwin’s theory of evolution, ‘the survival of the fittest.’ Perhaps, most importantly it was a practical activity which required patience and persistence.

At the end of the lesson when talking to students I asked them what their target grade was and one young lady explained she was working towards a C. I flicked through her book, a carefully presented well organised collection of notes, and asked her what grade she wanted and she said without a pause but with a smile: A* of course.

We then talked together about something which educators know as ‘chances graphs’. I am sure the equivalent theory is used in the worlds of business and economics. For our purpose I explained that whilst a student whose target was a C is more likely to attain the C grade than any other grade, research shows that not all students with the same target get the same grade at GCSE. Indeed chances graphs show that historically, a significant proportion will get a B or a D. Some will exceed their target. Some will achieve an A and a few will achieve an A*.

The question remains. What makes the difference? Looking at this young lady’s book, who I know has 100% attendance, the answer I found was the same as the view expressed in Malcolm Gladwell’s book ‘Outliers: The Story of Success.’

“...If you work hard enough and assert yourself, and use your mind and imagination, you can shape the world to your desires. (151)”

As year 11 complete their mocks and we approach our mock results day I hope that they are inspired to ‘shape the world.’ We are fortunate to have precious rights such as ‘freedom of speech’ which have been earned for us by our ancestors and it is in the hands of the responsible young people I work with to cherish these rights.

Year 9 Options

The year 9 Options week is the week commencing 16th January. Within this week pupils will be offered help and guidance on the GCSE Options process.

There will be an Options Evening and Careers Fair on 5th February between 6 and 8pm. Please see the link below for further details.

Pastoral Support

Should you have any concerns or questions regarding your son or daughter in school the following pastoral staff are available for you to contact.
Please note, our Student Support Assistants work directly with the Heads of House, Mrs Catterall and the Senior Leadership Team. Student Support Assistants do not have any teaching commitments and can therefore be your first point of contact with us in school.

Mrs Claire Catterall – Assistant Headteacher: Student Well-being

Elkes Students
Mr Chris Parker -– Head of House
Miss Tree Attwood - Student Support Assistant

Orme Students.
Mr. Simon Wright – Head of House
Mrs Tracey Smith – Student Support Assistant

Torrance Students
Mr Patrick Hawthorne – Acting Head of House
Mr Stuart Fletcher - – Student Support Assistant

Whitmore Students
Mr Damian Godwin – Head of Whitmore House
Mrs Jo Wainwright - – Student Support Assistant

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

On Thursday 29th January Thomas Alleyne’s Senior Prefects are organising a ‘Doughnut Day’. Fifty percent of profits will go to the Salvation Army Burton Corps (Food Bank) and fifty percent will go towards subsidising 6th Form Events. This is very popular with this being the fifth year running the Doughnuts have been sold.

Famous Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Doughnuts will be on sale at break and lunch time around school where students and staff will be able to purchase them. The Doughnuts will be sold at 90p each or £8.50 for a box of a 12, considerably cheaper than retail price!

Casual Exam Invigilators

Casual Exam Invigilators
Grade 2 pt 7 £7.10 per hour

We are looking to recruit casual exam invigilators to cover the exam periods throughout the year. The post is on a casual basis invigilating GCSE and A levels and helping to support students through the provision, supervision and monitoring of internal and external exams.

Working within a team of invigilators, you will report to the Exams Co-ordinator Officer. You will be playing a vital role in supporting the school by providing important support to the students.

If you are interested in working on a casual basis and you can be flexible with your time, we would like to hear from you. The post requires an Enhanced Disclosure check as we are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expect all staff to share this commitment. Details of this check can be found at

Closing date for return of applications: Friday 30 January
Interview date: Wednesday 25 February

For further details please see the school website linked at the bottom of this bulletin.

PTA Meeting

The next PTA meeting is on Wednesday 28th January here at the school. All are welcome to attend and support the PTA in their fundraising efforts.

They do a tremendous job is organising events and raising funds to support your child's education and any help you can give would be most appreciated.

Sports News

The Year 9 boys football team beat Leek High in the semi-final of the Staffordshire Moorlands cup by a score of 3 goals to 1. They will now play Cheadle in the final in a winner takes it all league and cup final decider.

The school hosted another Swimming Gala on Tuesday this, for pupils in years 5 and 6. 18 Alleyne's pupils from year 9 and 10 were responsible for time keeping and running the event. Well done to all involved.

Special mention this week to Charlotte Goodwin who came overall 3rd in the Staffordshire Moorlands Cross Country events, in the Year 11 Girls category, which is a year above her current age group.

Finally good luck to her and all the other runners attending the County Cross-Country Championships on Saturday 31st January.

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