Head of School’s blog – summer
Another autumn term is nearly upon us, along with darkening evenings and falling temperatures but as a never-ending source of inspiration I would like to celebrate the achievements and endeavours of our children over this summer.
The A Level and GCSE results are every secondary school teacher’s August highlight and this year was no different. I had very few fingernails left unbitten as we waited to see if Jannah had got the grades for Med School, Fiona and Emily for Durham, Chris for his Higher Apprenticeship to name just a few but it was smiles all round as our Sixth Formers reaped the rewards of some seriously hard study. A week later and their teachers had to go through it all again with the GCSE results, this time with the added uncertainties associated with the new Maths and English gradings. It was such a pleasure to watch those splendid 16-year-olds open their envelopes and squeal – literally – in delight as they realised how well they had done. 82% of our cohort achieved at least a 4 (or old C grade) in English and 70% for the Maths. Those who took Separate Sciences achieved a 100% A* to C pass rate as did the Latin class which is a phenomenal achievement.
Well done to all pupils and to their hard working staff who put on so many revision classes over the spring and summer terms. It was the second – and last – time that I experienced the day not just as a subject teacher and Head of School but also as a parent of a young man opening his envelope and finding out if he had the grades for his college place. I would like to take this opportunity to thank every member of Chetwynde staff who has taught my son over the last 14 years and to express how grateful we are as a family for all your support and hard work. (And yes, he did get the grades, thank you!)
At the end of term, we had some lovely events to enjoy, not least the Race For Life fundraiser and Primary Sports Day, both of which enjoyed good weather, high spirits and a very close victory for the Spartan team. The beginning of summer also saw our very first ChetFest with local bands playing on the school field on a fortunately sunny afternoon and evening to the delight of a 400 strong crowd. It raised a very nice sum of money for the school and I would like to thank the Friends of Chetwynde for the huge amount of organisation that it took to put on such an event.
Just before we broke for summer, we also enjoyed an Art exhibition from the GCSE and A Level artists which was truly inspiring. Also benefitting the school with their artistic skills was a small group of Key Stage 3 pupils who helped Mrs Berry with the decorating of the Science corridor. Many thanks to all of you who participated, the walls now look bright, clean and very educational.
Our Year 9s had a great time on their Duke of Edinburgh expedition, Year 10 were a fantastic set of ambassadors for the school on their Work Experience week and the secondary school then rounded off a very productive year with days out to either Blackpool Pleasure Beach or Alton Towers.
Over the summer, we had a party of Year 10s and 11s spend five days in New York, having a wonderful time in the art galleries, museums and Fifth Avenue shops. We also had our first Operation Wallacea group go on on their research expedition to Honduras which was described by one of the party as ‘the best two weeks of my life.’
They camped in the jungle, documented rare species both on land and on the coral reef and did their PADI scuba diving course. These young adults will be able to add this incredible experience to their CVs and college applications for many years to come and hopefully some will be the biologists, zoologists and environmental trailblazers of the future.
I am sure that all of our young people have had productive and energetic summers but I would like to mention Hugh Williams in particular who not only sang in a celebration of Bach in the Furness Choir alongside Clayton Moore but also cycled 250 miles in the Prestwick Charity Challenge.
Lastly, I would like to welcome in advance all the students who are returning to Chetwynde and all of those who are joining us for the first time. We are delighted and excited to welcome you all and will all do our very best to see you settled in and happy from the very start. I am very much looking forward to being helped in my role by the new Head Girl, Amy Spry, and Head Boy, Antoni Kudelski, and their team of Senior Prefects who you will all know by their very distinctive golden ties.
Ms. S. Jeffreys, Head of School