Thomas Alleyne's High School
Weekly News Roundup

Week Commencing- 9th March 2015

Headteacher's Blog

I was privileged to be able to attend the House Drama competition this week. For weeks I have, to be honest, been slightly unsure about the groups of students rehearsing in school night after night. Some of these students are in Year 11 and I have wondered how they balance their preparation for GCSEs with their preparation for House Drama. But every time I have walked in, their passion has been clear and when I first arrived at the school, a group of students approached me to make sure they would still have the chance to participate in the competition. So I waited to see the day and was impressed by the results.

The standard of the competition and the passion and commitment shown by the young people was stunning. However what also struck me was the deep significance of what they performed. The 2 plays focused on the important issues of alcohol and abuse. These plays were brilliantly chosen by the drama team, I very much appreciate the work they put into organising the day.

Coincidentally and sadly this week I have needed to attend 2 meetings about child sexual exploitation. As a parent myself, and in my need to protect my son who is 10, I feel uncomfortable around the question whether in childhood we should be exposing our children to the information available around child sexual exploitation. However at my meetings this week it is clear that we must share all the information we know.

There is evidence that this is affecting children in East Staffordshire and specifically in both Burton and Uttoxeter. There are unfortunately people who wish to exploit our children. So my next assembly is due to be one on the topic of child sexual exploitation. To prepare for this I am able to access information (powerpoint slides etc) from agencies such as Barnardos and I planned to share this with our students.

My plan however changed on Friday as I know for certain that the impact of my assembly would be nothing in comparison to the potential impact of the plays which the students performed this week.

They did not shy away from presenting the harsh realities, of what is now known as CSE, through their drama pieces. In fact they made it real by producing and performing powerful and thought provoking pieces. As a result of this instead of planning my presentation, I will be asking the students who performed the play to repeat it to every year group so that no child misses their performance.

To some of you it may come as a shock that this is occurring in our local communities and so please check the link below with the guidance for parents. If you would really like to see the drama pieces yourselves let us know and we will see what we can do.

The link below offers you guidance on spotting the signs of CSE.

On a completely different note, we held the remainder of our Year 11 interviews this week. The chance to speak with Year 11 again about their possible options and their plans post GCSEs is valuable. Out of my group I worked with some students were unsure of their aspirations as yet but  others already felt passionate about a career where they wished to make a difference. The two that stood out for me by the end of the evening, were: a young lady who wished to be a psychiatric nurse – an incredibly challenging career but so important; and another student who is set on joining the RAF as a photographer. It is reassuring that we have young people in our community planning to take on these responsibilities for us.

And finally for this week I would like to thank anyone who has fed back to me on Round Up and who has let me know what you do or don’t like in the news letter. There is so much that goes on in the lives of our young people that we don’t know about which we like to share. This week I became aware of Joe Martin who has come 1st in the Junior Staffordshire Table Tennis competition. In any context this is impressive but given that Joe has only been playing for 2 months he reminds us of how important it is to keep trying new activities. Until we try and take that risk, we never know what is possible.

Mrs Reaney

I would like you to know that very sadly Mrs Reaney, one of our Language teachers, has been taken ill. Our thoughts are very much with her and her family during this time.

'Supporting your child with their revision' session for parents

Following requests from parents we have secured a speaker to guide parents about how to support their son or daughter with revision. We will be running the session on Thursday 16th April in our school theatre from 10.00am until 1.00pm.

Details of the session are below. I very much hope you can join us and please feel free to join us whichever year group your son/daughter is in.

Brain Box - Getting it right this exam season

Preparing for the exams is never easy. Students either don’t want to or feel overwhelmed (and often both!):

“It’s boring”

“I don’t know how to revise”

“There’s just too much to learn”

“What’s the point?”

“Nothing ever sticks anyway”

Parents sometimes feel helpless:

“They don’t seem to be doing anything!”

The revision process need not be a nightmare though. There are simple and practical things students can do to make the whole thing go well - to get the results they need. There are also things parents can do that will be really, really helpful (cue: nagging isn’t one of them!).

This session will cover the following vital areas:

  • Working smart, not just hard - getting more in your head in less time and making it stay there.
  • FIRM learning - making your memory work for you. Tricks and techniques for smarter revision.
  • Using technology well.
  • Motivation - what is the point?
  • Building a revision planner that actually works.
  • Understanding the teenage brain i) for students and ii) for parents.
  • Tears, Tantrums and Tiredness - how parents can minimalise stress and support effectively.
  • Dealing with exam time nerves.
  • Friend or Frienemy? Making mates positive.
  • Me, but Better - maximising potential. Using the supercomputer in your head.

Attendance & Punctuality


We pride ourselves on high attendance levels at Thomas Alleyne's School. Following statutory guidelines all students should be on school premises and in their form rooms by 8.40am. Students should also attend all morning lessons on time & be marked present again for afternoon registration at 2.05pm. Helping students to understand the importance of punctuality helps to create good habits for later life and also ensures that they do not miss any important messages and announcements for the day ahead.Students who do arrive late to school without a valid reason will be issued with a detention. We will, of course contact you should this situation arise.Thank you for your support in ensuring your child is punctual to school.


High levels of attendance are also essential for all students to maximise their progress whilst in school. The attached document offers practical advice for us all as parents and teachers when our children are ill.We do strive for students to achieve attendance of 95% and above and again ask for your support in this area of your child's education.

Change of Details.

If you change your address or telephone number (especially mobile numbers) please advise the school as soon as possible so that we can change the details on our computer system.

Year 11 Group Photograph

The problem with the year 11 photograph has now been rectified by the company. The new image is available to view at

A full size copy of the photograph will be available in school shortly and will be displayed in the exam notice board in the quad between the medical room and C block.
Order forms will be coming to you through your form tutor

Year 13 Year Group Photos

The formal and informal year 13 photos were taken this week by Mr Robinson-White and can be viewed below:

Recognition for RE

The Staffordshire Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education has passed on its congratulations to the RE department for achieving GCSE Full Course results that were 'well above the national average'.

Many congratulations to Mrs Lindsay and her team.

Staffordshire Young Musician of the Year

2 year 11 GCSE music students were selected to take part in the Staffordshire Young Musician of the Year competition. This is a an annual event which attracts young musicians of the highest calibre. Eve Abram and Anna Kasperowicz both played the flute at the competition heat which took place on Saturday 7th March. Both are highly accomplished musicians and the girls have both reported that they enjoyed the experience and were pleased with their performances. We will look forward to the results of this competition and keep you informed of their progress. A huge congratulations to both of the girls on their tremendous achievements so far.

YESS Easter Egg Bingo

On Thursday 2nd April at 6.30pm in Thomas Alleyne's theatre is the annual Easter Egg chocolate bingo evening. Any profits raised will help support the work of Youth Emotional Support Service in meeting the emotional needs of young people in the Uttoxeter area. Please consider coming along for a fun and exciting couple of hours. No tickets needed, just turn up on the night. Bring the whole family, bingo cuts across all age boundaries! Hope to see you there!

The Anatomy of a Rat

On Thursday, 13A's Health & Social Care group had the fascinating opportunity to dissect and study a rat as part of the anatomy and physiology unit of A level Health and Social Care.

This was a helpful experience because it allowed us to observe what we have learnt and put this into practice. It was interesting to observe the different body systems and help make what we have spoken about in class a reality! I am pleased we had the opportunity to do this, it is an experience I will never forget! (Laura Hamnett)

Having the opportunity to dissect a rat was an interesting experience as it allowed me to see the digestive system in real life which help to broaden my understanding and see how all of the organs lay in the body. I am certain the experience will stay in my mind for ever! (Katie Deakin)

It was interesting to see the digestive system and how similar it is to ours and it was helpful to see where each organ was situated. I think the experience has been beneficial to our understanding of the digestive system and it is good that we had the opportunity to do it (Lucy Randall-Smith)

It was good to see the different organs and how they all fit together in such a small body. It was quite disgusting to having to slice open the rat as it was looking right at you, but it was useful for us all to experience this dissection and see how each organ was used in the body. I can say it was a memorable experience that I won't forget for a long time. (Olivia Johnson)

Key Dates Reminder

PTA meeting - Wednesday 1st April 7.30 pm

Easter holiday - 3rd - 17th April

School opens on 20th April for students

Cakes for Relief

Over £30 raised today in a Comic Relief cake sale. Two year 10 girls named Abigail Hudson and Estelle Coyne baked some cakes and sold them at break and lunchtime. It was lovely that two students gave up their time for such a worthy cause.

Post 16 Transport Consultation

Can the parents of pupils in year 11 please take time to look at the consultation regarding transportation for post  16 students. You have until April 2nd to comment on the proposals.

Sports News

Rotary Club Art Competition

All our talented artists and photographers, get involved and submit colour or Black and white Photographic images for this years Rotary Club Young Photographer of the Year Competition- hopefully our proud tradition and success in this competition will get repeated again!

Entries for this competition need to be J:PEG format in folders on J Drive before deadline of Friday 20th March 9:00am.

Please ensure the image file name is 'YOUR name, AGE and TITLE for piece' See Mrs Derby, Mr Parkes or Mr Robinson if you have any queries.

Thank you and good luck!

Ski Trip 2016!!

We have not even gone on this year's trip and it is time to start planning next years!

The trip is booked for the Easter Holidays, 2016 and letters are now available from Mr Cartwright in room 43. In the first instance this is open to pupils in year 9 and 10 on a first come first served basis.

The deposit is on ParentPay, reply slips need to be returned to Mr Cartwright. For further details please do contact me at the school.

As the pupils who have been before say #bestweekofyourlife

House Trophy

Girls Netball

Year 11

1st Elkes - 4 House Trophy Points

2nd Torrance - 3 House Trophy Points

3rd Whitmore - 2 House Trophy Points

4th Orme - 1 House Trophy Point

Boys Football

Year 11

1st Whitmore - 4 House Trophy Points

2nd Orme - 3 House Trophy Points

3rd Torrance - 2 House Trophy Points

4th Elkes - 1 House Trophy Point

Well done to all the students that took part. Thanks to Miss Quinn and Mr Barrow for organising the house competitions.



1ST Whitmore 54.5 points

2nd Torrance 49 points

3rd Orme 39.5

4th Elkes 37 points

Tackk App

You can now view the Roundup directly on your Apple or Android tablet or phone by downloading the tackk app.

Simply search tackk in the App Store or Google Play and download the free app.