Thomas Alleyne's High School
Friday Roundup - 24th October 2014

Headteacher's Blog

Today we have just completed our staff training day. The programme was busy with staff: sharing good and outstanding practice in the classroom; looking at each others' marking and working with middle school colleagues to further improve transition. I wrote last week about the importance of life long learning and it was a privilege to work with staff today on our core business - ensuring we deliver the best possible lessons to our young people.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank staff for their work this half term. Each evening, after the bell has gone, the school is still a hive of activity with teachers offering additional sessions for students to help them with the areas of their learning they are struggling with. I have listed a sample of the sessions which are available below:

History revision classes: Year 11 with Mrs Johnson or Mr Taylor is week 1 Thursday and week 2 Friday 3.10 - 3.55 rooms 14 and 16 and also with Mr Thomason Thursday weeks 1 and 2 3.10 - 3.55 room 15.

Music support: GCSE and A Level support session every Thursday after school. Also GCSE pupils can use the music department facilities to make progress on their course work every lunchtime as staff run groups every lunch and can supervise pupils every day

Both the English and Maths departments run sessions after school each week supporting students outside the classroom.

French are running sessions for Year 11. The next one is on 7.11.14 Y11 and will focus on French pronunciation. This will be followed by a session on 14.11.14: Y11 French fluency and intonation.

For some students making sure they are on track with coursework is vital. Coursework catch up sessions for Child Development and Health and Social Care is available on Thursdays after school in room 62. Computing and ICT also offer catchup sessions on Thursdays after school in rooms 43 and 45.

Finally the Art department offers Y11 Art club every lunchtime and most evenings after school until 4:30pm -except Friday. This gives students up to 7hours a week additional time to work on their pieces and to refine them with guidance if required from art teachers.

Art GCSE Mocks start the week beginning 24th November 2015 (only 15 school days after the break) when students will see what they can produce in 10 hours under controlled conditions in preparation for real exams in April. The coursework deadline for Y11 is Monday 2nd February at 3:05pm, (ONLY 55 school days from when we return to school after October half term break.)

By listing a few examples of sessions available, I am conscious there are many sessions I have not highlighted, however it does give you an indication of the support on offer.

On a very different note, last night as many of you will be aware, we held a fantastic poetry evening again involving schools from right across the pyramid. The previous evening, Year 9 parent's evening took place in our hall. Making sure that Year 9 get off to the best possible start at Thomas Alleyne's is vital and I would like to thank all parents who have supported the school at either or both events. We obviously look closely at attendance at evenings such as Parent's Evening and if for any reason you were unable to attend and would like to arrange a time to come in to discuss your child's progress please email the school.

I hope you have a lovely half term and we look forward to welcoming the students back on the 3rd November. Please remind your sons and daughters, especially those who are in Year 11/12 and 13, that the links to the exam specifications are on last week's round up.

In the end, as a colleague said to me today, being in the habit of working hard will bring it's own rewards.

Levi's Visit School

Wow! What a great day! "Giving back to schools" Programme: Levi's, the denim company, in partnership with Coaching for Success; have donated 8 sewing machines worth over £1000, and a whole heap of Levi denim and t shirts for our creative students to get customising! Annette Gray from Levi's Marketing division, gave us an inspiring talk about her career journey in fashion, marketing and branding as well as showing us clips from the past and present iconic TV adverts to a group of GCSE textiles, A Level Applied Art (future BTEC) and business studies students. A few Applied Art students were also lucky recipients of a free gift box, full of kit to customise their Levi's. We hope to make more links in the future with our BTEC Art & Design Students.

For some pictures of the day please see our Facebook page as linked at the bottom of this news bulletin.

Upper School Book Club

The upper school book group got together for their second meeting to discuss Peter Abrahams’ ‘Down the Rabbit Hole’ the story of Ingrid Levin – Hill, soccer player, actress extraordinaire and unwilling detective , who is in the wrong place at the wrong time, or at least her soccer boots were!!

Voted a ‘cracking good read’ , the references to Sherlock Holmes were enjoyed. Not everyone guessed the ‘who dunnit’ early in the tale.

‘The Woman in black’ by Susan Hill is the next book to be read by Friday 14th November.

The Book Group will then read a novel by Bali Rai who will be visiting school on Thursday 11th December and hopefully joining the group for lunch. Plans for January include ‘Looking for Alaska’ by John Green. If you would like to join this friendly group , see Mrs Shakespeare or Mrs Fisher for a copy of the latest read.

PTA Events

The Annual Christmas Gift Market takes place on Thursday 27th November between 6.30 pm and 8.30 pm. Please contact the school if you would like to book a stall, the cost is £10 per table. There will be lots of stalls selling a wide variety of gifts and goods. More details soon.

Please do support our PTA events. The PTA work hard all year to raise money for the benefit all our students. The new fund raising project for this year is to purchase new lockers for use by the pupils.

The next PTA meeting which is on Monday 10th November at 7.30 pm in the Staffroom.


ParentPay have advised us that around 150 canteen accounts have been affected by an import error during September and some till transactions have been delayed in being processed onto customer acccounts. This affects around 150 accounts with a total transaction value of £240, so the individual amounts are not significant. ParentPay intend to correct this overnight on Friday 24th October and have issued a letter for parents which is attached to below. We advise parents to check their child's canteen account and to top up in preparation for the new half term. Many thanks.

Progress Reports

Pupils in years 10, 11, 12 and 13 will be receiving their latest Progress Report after Half Term.

Morrisons Let's Grow

Please remember to bring in your Morrisions Let's Grow vouchers. Collection box is in reception.

For more information on the scheme please follow this link:

Let's Grow Information

Sports News

The under 16 netball team began the Staffordshire Moorlands League with two victories beating Leek High School 10-1 and Westwood 6-3. Let's hope the winning run continues. Sports practices next half term

Monday - After School - Girls Rugby and Girls Mash up Football

Tuesday - Lunchtime - Basketball all years, need to bring trainers.

Tuesday - After School - Zumba (students), Badminton

Wednesday - Lunchtime - Basketball all years, need to bring trainers.

Wednesday- After School - Trampoline, Table Tennis, Year 9 Rugby, Climbing Club

Thursday - Lunchtime - Basketball all years, need to bring trainers.

Thursday - After School - All years netball, fitness club, Swim club.

House Competition

Latest positions after 6 events, its looking Gold:

1st Whitmore - 22 points

2nd Orme / Torrance - 13 points

4th Elkes - 12 points

The final positions in the poetry competition are as follows:

Year 9
1st Milly Radley, Whitmore
2nd Abbey Keeling, Elkes
3rd Georgia Cumming, Torrance
4th Matthew Hulme, Orme

Year 10

1st Lucy Vickers, Whitmore
2nd Rowan Bussey, Orme
3rd Kate Allen Torrance
4th Chloe Hatton Elkes

Well done to all and thanks to Mrs Bell for all the organisation.