Thomas Alleyne's High School
Friday Roundup - 30th January 2015

Headteacher's Blog

It was a year this week since my appointment to the role of Headteacher at Thomas Alleyne’s High School. I am delighted to report that the school league tables, which were released by the Department for Education this week, identify the school as one of the highest performers when judged against similar schools in England, being 15th out of 55 similar schools for GCSE performance.

When compared to other Staffordshire schools (including independent schools, academies and local authority schools) the school was placed 10th for student progress in Maths and 13th for student progress in English out of over 60 schools. You can see this for yourself by clicking on the link:

As I mentioned in my last blog we are proud of students’ achievements and it is pleasing to see this recognised in the national performance tables.

As you can see in the table below, this has placed the school significantly above the local authority and national average for GCSE performance.

Percentage achieving 5+ A*-C GCSEs (or equivalent) including English and maths GCSEs 2014

Thomas Alleyne’s High School - 61%

Staffordshire Local Authority Schools - 54.9%

England - All Schools - 53.4%

We are also pleased that the report highlighted that Sixth Form students performed above local and national averages.

Whilst these results are a cause to celebrate, we are clear about the areas which we wish to develop and strengthen. We are highly ambitious for all our students. However, this does not mean that academic success is valued above the extra-curricular events in the school.

League tables can never capture all that makes our school a vibrant and creative place to learn.

We perhaps do not promote enough, the extra- curricular opportunities available to students. Next term, we will be looking to collate this information so that parents and students can look at it online. In PE alone this year: Year 9 students have taken part in 2 Rugby tournaments and a series of football fixtures; Year 11 are in the County Cup for Football; and girls have football floodlit leagues every Wednesday. Netball fixtures run on Tuesdays as well as Basketball fixtures on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. In addition to this when there are not fixtures: badminton is available on Tuesday evenings ; trampolining and table tennis on Wednesday, dance club, swimming club on Thursday and Climbing club on Friday. I have promised myself I will join the climbing club before half term which I look forward to: I may need to after being treated to some of the donuts our sixth form were selling this week in aid of the Salvation Army!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our staff for all the contributions they make to our students’ performance and to our enrichment provision including sport, the arts and Duke of Edinburgh Award programme.

On Wednesday I met with our PTA who are doing a fantastic job of raising money towards replacing the student lockers. It is a huge challenge as lockers are expensive but we hope to be able to replace the first set before the end of term. During the meeting we also reviewed the methods of communication between school and parents. We talked about the texting service, emails and Round up itself. Finally they viewed the amended reports which they advised on in our previous meeting. We hope to see more parents join us at our next meeting so that we can source a greater cross- section of parent views.

Next week I am looking forward to meeting Mr McLeod, Mrs McLeod’s husband who has generously offered to help us build a bike shed for students. This is something that numerous students have approached us to provide and we hope that with Mr McLeod’s help this may be possible.

Finally my apologies to those of you who were inconvenienced by the snow closure today. It is always a difficult decision whether to close a school and one which we take great consideration over. Whilst the snow cleared later in the day, we could not guarantee the safety of our students due to the number of road closures and accidents in the area impacting on the vast majority of our staff living some distance from the school. A number of students however did come into school to pick up work and I was pleased to be able to provide them with access to the school to collect what they needed. Many thanks to our site staff who had cleared much of the snow from the main paths in the school. I wish all students who are working towards their art deadline good luck with their work this weekend. In fairness, as a colleague of mine says ‘you make your own luck’.

Year 9 Options

It will soon be that time in the school year when Year 9 students get to choose the courses they will be following in years 10 and 11. To ensure these choices are as well informed as possible and that the whole process runs smoothly there are a number of key dates and events that you should be aware of.

  • The option process begins on 26th January. During this week students will experience lessons from subjects that they can opt for but do not currently study. These subjects are child development, health and social care, environmental and land based sciences and business studies. They will also receive guidance on how the process works and possible career options.
  • On Thursday 5th February we have our Y9 Future Intentions Evening. This is an opportunity for you to come in to school to have the process explained in detail and ask any questions.
  • In addition there will be a careers fair with over 25 employers and 18 higher and further education providers present and also an opportunity to meet with all our Heads of Department so that you can ask any questions about the courses on offer. THIS IS OPEN TO ALL PUPILS
  • On Tuesday 10th February there is the Year 9 parents’ evening where you can discuss your child’s progress with their subject teachers.
  • The options are completed on line via Frog. This will go live on Wednesday 11th February and the deadline for completing the form will be Monday 23rd February – the first Monday after half term. There is no rush to complete the form as we do not allocate places on a “first come first served” basis.

This is a very important set of decisions you and your child need to make in the next few weeks and as a school we hope to support you in this as fully as we can.

Due to the numbers involved and the seating capacity of our theatre we are splitting the presentation on a house basis. There is no need for the students to attend the presentation as they will be receiving exactly the same information in school, they can visit the careers fair or talk to Heads of Department. The timings are as follows:

6.15 pm Elkes and Orme parents in the Theatre for a presentation on the options process and an opportunity to ask any questions.

Torrance and Whitmore parents and students can visit the careers fair and subject stands

7.00 pm Torrance and Whitmore in the Theatre

Elkes and Orme visit careers fair and subjects

We look forward to seeing you on the 5th. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact the school.

UCAS Update

This year 89% of our students have applied to further education via UCAS, please see below for the latest position regarding these students.

Key Dates Reminder

February half term: 16th - 20th February

School opens on Monday 23rd February

Easter holiday: 3rd - 17th April

School opens on 20th April for students

Excellence in Charity Work

Since October, Lucy Randall-Smith in Year 13, has been volunteering at the Nursery next to Thomas Alleyne’s (Eleveden Nursery), particularly focusing her help on a child who was recently diagnosed with autism. Lucy has enjoyed interacting with him but wanted to do more. In her Health & Social Care lesson she had learnt about sensory rooms which are rooms full of lights, bubble tubes and other things to develop people’s senses. Lucy did research on the topic and found lots of reasons why these rooms are very beneficial, especially to people with autism as it is a very calm environment where they can explore their senses.

Sensory rooms cost thousands of pounds, so Lucy started to look at different websites to see what other options were on offer. She found lots of good deals for inflatable or mobile sensory rooms. Lucy decided that she would like to raise money to purchase one for the nursery so organised a raffle in school.

With the generosity of Cinebowl, Frankie and Bennies, Costa, Greggs and her grandparents Lucy got some great prizes together. Lucy sold the raffle tickets for a week in January and succeeded in raising £170.40!

With the money raised Lucy has been able to purchase numerous items including an inflatable dark den, a 0.9m high bubble tube with fish in that change colour, an infinity mirror, stretchy animals to feel, a star gazer and many more fun gadgets which bring senses alive.

The items should be delivered this week and Lucy is excited to see it in place and the benefits it will bring to the children at the nursery especially the child with autism.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

On Thursday the 29th January Thomas Alleyne's Senior prefects pulled off yet another successful "doughnut day". The team of Prefects partnered up with the Birmingham branch of Krispy Kreme to order 1200 doughnuts. All the effort was worth it as all 1200 doughnuts were sold and over £900 was raised! The funds will be split between the Salvation Army Burton Corps (Food Bank) and the 6th Form fund. The Senior Prefect’s would like to thank everyone who purchased doughnuts to help raise the money and particular thanks to local taxi firm ST14 Station Taxis who drove to Birmingham to collect the doughnuts.

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.

Sports News

Year 9 County Badminton Finalists

The following students Alice Smith, Sasha Hawksworth, Milly Radley and Shiri Green represented East Staffordshire at the Sainsburys Level 3 Games (County Finals) at Cannock Chase Leisure Centre.

They played 3 pool games against, Trentham (L), Chase Terrace (W), Ounsdale (W). They then played Madeley High School in the semi final and were narrowly beaten 3 games to 2.

All of the students played well and were very unfortunate not to qualify for the final. Well done.

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