Half Term Awaits

Dear All

Well, I have finally got to the last blog of Term 1, and it has been an incredibly busy, but extremely positive first term of the year.  We have welcomed new students to the school in both Year 7 and Year 12.  The start of the year has gone smoothly, and the students are immersed in their learning. 

This week has been our English, Media and Drama Week.  This annual event is one of the permanent fixtures of the Weald calendar and is a fantastic celebration of the three subject areas.  We have had a visiting theatre company in to perform ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ to our Year 11 students at both campuses, visiting authors in with Years 7, 8 and 9 and some amazing activities for the students to engage in all week.  However, the highlight for all the school community is our Character Day which is always the culmination of the week’s events.  I stood on duty this morning dressed as Queen Margaret, from Shakespeare’s Henry VI, whilst an amazing array of students in brilliant costumes paraded past me.  The spirit of Weald is always best judged on certain particular days of the school calendar and today is one of those days.  It was a day marked by a collective sense of community and enjoyment and for an English teacher, an absolute delight to behold.  I was asked by Mrs Creak, the Head of English to speak to the Year 7 students at the Tonbridge campus this morning about my favourite book from my childhood.  I was unable to limit myself to just one, but shared my own love of ‘The Magic Faraway Tree’ and ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’ and Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series of books.  In the case of Ingalls Wilder, so great is my love of the series that I wrote a feminist reading of her presentation of the frontier for my dissertation.  I want to thank all the English, Media and Drama Departments’ staff and our two Librarians for all that they have done to make this week special for our students.

This week saw the Meet the Tutor event for Year 7 students and their parents and carers, and it was lovely to see parents and carers being taken on tours around their school by their children.  I want to thank all the Year 7 staff who were involved in the meetings and know how valuable such meetings are to keep communication between home and school strong.

Yesterday saw our bake sales to raise money for Show Racism the Red Card which was very well-supported.  I would like to thank all those students who either brought in, or bought a baked good to raise money for such a worthy cause.  On Wednesday this week, we had amazing Jamaican Jerk Chicken at the Sevenoaks Campus and other Caribbean food on offer at lunchtime as part of our Black History Month celebrations.  On Thursday, we all wore red to support showing racism the Red Card.

You will have received a communication today from Mr Fidock, Assistant Headteacher, regarding our future arrangements for both Parents and Carers Consultation Evenings and reports.  It was brilliant that on this occasion we had such a strong response to our survey as it gave the school a really good insight into how parents and carers feel about these aspects of the school.  In reality, the very even split in the preferences between online and in person consultations in the parent and carer body was replicated in the staff body too.  We have, therefore, as Mr Fidock explained, chosen to adopt a hybrid approach, as this seems the fairest way of accommodating the different preferences that have been expressed.  Personally, I really value the opportunity to meet with you face to face at the consultation evenings that in person events presents and I look forward to seeing you at the upcoming ones this year.

We held our final open mornings this week at both campuses and the feedback that we have received has been overwhelmingly positive.  We now look forward to our open evening and open mornings for our Sixth Form from 2023 which are coming up at the start of Term 2. We will have further information about the development of the Sixth Form facilities at Sevenoaks to share with you all at the start of next term.

I am sure that like me, all the students and staff are looking forward to their week off, and I look forward to welcoming the students back to school on 31 October.

Yours sincerely

Mrs SA Clark