News

Odd Socks for Down's Syndrome Day 2019

22/03/2019

 

On Thursday 21st March we had a brilliant day supporting Wiltshire Police with 'World Down's Syndrome Day'. The police team presented an assembly during  the morning to students in Years 7, 8 and 9.

Over the last few weeks a group of students have sold 'odd socks' to students and staff in aid of the charity during their break, tutor and lunchtimes. A huge well done to Daisy, Beth and Tasha in Year 8 who worked really hard in every spare bit of time they had to achieve this. All three were given a Wiltshire Police goody bag during assembly as a reward for their hard work.

In total we have raised £368 for the Swindon Down’s Syndrome Group which beats last year’s amount of £300.

 

A great cause and an inspiring assembly.

Lots more photos on our twitter page @DevizesSchool

For more information on the charity click here.

 

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Science Week 2019

20/03/2019

 

This year Science Week was again celebrated at Devizes School.
Wednesday was marked by a Primary Science Festival, where over 200 students from some of the local primary schools (Bishops Cannings, Southbroom St James, Chirton, Trinity, Wansdyke, Rowde, Nursteed and Downland School) came and spent either a morning or afternoon session with the Science Faculty. Each school took part in four practical sessions all on the theme of plastics. The aim of the day was to increase student awareness of the impact of plastics in the water (fresh and marine) in and around the UK and globally. Students enjoyed the opportunity to use Bunsen burners to separate sand, water and salt from sea water. They learnt about feeding issues and how plastics can be eaten mistakenly by feeding animals and the impact on food chains.

In addition our brilliant 6th form Science students were on hand to help out where needed. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves and each school left with a much better understanding of the effect of plastics on our environment.

Science teacher Ben Riley who organised the event says: ‘a fantastic science day on the not so fantastic plastic! We had over 200 primary school students from eight feeder schools all involved with these activities with amazing help and enthusiasm from the science staff and Year 12 students from our 6th Form. A brilliant day of investigations and practicals into the damaging and worrying consequences we have surrounding the issues of plastics in our oceans. This is not just an issue for some countries and some people, it’s a global issue and we can all do something about it. Students from the primary schools had done work in their respective schools and had lots to go away and continue back in class’

We are already looking forward to Science Week next year!

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World Book Day: A Story of Success

12/03/2019

Last Thursday, our teachers and students had a great time celebrating World Book Day. A lot of fun and exciting activities took place, with students being encouraged to explore the thrill and emotion that reading inspires.

The use of books has long been a crucial part of education. However, with the internet becoming an increasingly common learning resource, books are being marginalised. At Devizes School, we still recognise the importance of books in helping children to learn, develop, and express their creativity, and World Book Day was a great opportunity for us to help our students understand what reading has to offer.

To celebrate World Book Day 2019 and help students have fun with reading, we held activities throughout the week, showcasing the amazing books available for young people. Students engaged in a variety of activities, including making bookmarks, new book covers, and book trailers; taking part in a reading quiz; and completing crafting tasks.

The much-anticipated announcement of the Devizes School Book of the Year also took place last week, and was marked with a five-minute big read in the LRC followed by a slice of celebratory cake. The staff looked decadent for these events as they dressed up in some incredible costumes to celebrate book characters.

Phil Bevan, Principal, said: “I’m really delighted that so many staff engaged with World Book Day and the activities that took place throughout the week. We all had great fun but, most significantly, raised the profile of reading, which is so important for all students. At Devizes, students are already really engaging with reading more, and this just adds real value to what we do.”

Of course, our celebrations wouldn’t be complete without new books being available for students. We are grateful for the support of Devizes Books, who arranged the exclusive availability of the book Beauty Sleep by Kathryn Evans, which will not be published until April. Kathryn also captivated students in three writing workshops last Wednesday and truly inspired them to work on their own stories. Additionally, Devizes Books ordered the World Book Day books for students to purchase with their free £1 World Book Day tokens.

Although our students and teachers had a lot of fun last Thursday, all of our activities had an underlying message — reading is important. Helping students become lifelong learners is a key value of The White Horse Federation and its schools, and we want our World Book Day celebrations to have ignited a lifelong passion for reading within our students.

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Year 8 University of Reading Trip - Tues 12th March

11/03/2019

 

 

Due to unforeseen circumstances causing problems with staffing, the Y8 trip to the University of Reading is postponed tomorrow (Tues 12th March) but will be rescheduled later in the year. Apologies for any inconvenience. We hope that we will still be able to run the Y9 visit on Weds 13th March. Mrs Puntis

 

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Important Ofsted Information for Parents

11/03/2019

 

Important Ofsted information will be emailed to parents this afternoon on our inspection taking place tomorrow (12th March).

Please check emails today and read the information provided.

Thank you.

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Reading Week 2019

08/03/2019

 

 

From Monday 4th to Friday 8th March we have celebrated Reading Week. An event that was enjoyed by many students across the school.

Every year, Devizes School LRC (Learning Resource Centre) hosts an event called Reading Week to celebrate World Book Day. It is a great opportunity for students to engage in activities that will encourage and inspire them to get reading.

Reading is a fundamental part of education and can seriously affect choices in later life. People who read are more likely to achieve better results in exams, meaning they have a wider variety of jobs and opportunities to choose from.

 

On Monday, students got creative and made bookmarks in the LRC during lunch break. On Tuesday students were able to take part in a quiz all about reading and books. The topics were set on Roald Dahl, animals, and general knowledge. 

Wednesday brought more crafts and bookmark making plus a visit from Author Kathryn Evans. Kathryn's book ' Beauty Sleep' proved very popular with Year 7 and 8 students who queued patiently to get their copies signed. Kathryn spent the rest of the day doing workshops with students in Years 7,8 and 9 which were enjoyed by all.

World Book day is celebrated across the globe and many people exchanged book tokens for a World Book Day short story. In an interview, David Walliams revealed that approximately 25% of children have never owned a book until they receive their free book. This shows how World Book Day can even change young people’s lives. 

On Thursday, World Book Day, staff  had the opportunity to dress up as their favourite book characters. Each Faculty had a topic to cover! At lunch time, lots of people engaged in the big read. After this, students were rewarded with a tasty slice of cake. The cake, baked by Mrs Lee was enjoyed by all who came along. A reward for great reading!

 

So you might be wondering why? Why bother with reading week at all?  Well, when asked about the importance of reading, our librarians said that reading week helps to encourage young people to read more. The activities, as well as being fun, stimulate the desire to read and learn. It has been proven that the more somebody reads, the better they will do for themselves in life.

 

 

 

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Business Studies Lecture - Dr Tracy Long CBE

08/03/2019

On Friday 8th March the Technology, Enterprise & Design Faculty welcomed Dr Tracy Long, CBE to our school for a Business Studies Lecture.  Tracy talked with over fifty 6th Form students about aspirations and principles for success.

Dr Tracy Long, CBE, DBA,MBA, Hon ARAM has had extensive experience across PLC, mutual, privately owned and public sector organisations in the UK, the US, Europe and Asia, and has conducted over 200 board evaluations and workshops.

She is an Advisory Director and member of the Nominations Committee of Carnegie Hall, a Trustee of the Windsor Leadership Trust, and a Council Member and member of the Nominations Committee of Marlborough College. She was awarded the CBE in 2016 for services to governance in the public and private sectors.  She was also a founding director of Avalon Productions and Classic FM. Previous board roles have included Central European Media Enterprises, eleven media joint ventures (as a director of BSkyB Ventures, and including the National Geographic, History, Paramount, Nickelodeon and QVC television channels), Botts & Co. Private Equity, the Van Tulleken Company, Lowland Investment Company plc., the London Symphony Orchestra, The King’s Consort (chairman), the Noel Gay Organisation, the development board of the Royal Academy of Music, and the Royal Society of British Sculptors (treasurer).

Head of Faculty and Business Studies Rachel Edwards said, "I am very excited that Speakers for schools has chosen Devizes School to host such a great speaker. I am very much looking forward to seeing the impact on students’ awareness of their opportunities and how their aspirations can be raised by a motivational role model such as Dr Long"

We thank Tracy for taking the time to visit us today, her experience and advice is invaluable and is something that our students can take with them when embarking on their future careers.

A great role model for the ladies in our 6th Form group as it was also International Women’s Day!

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French Trip 2020 Now Open to Year 7 !!

06/03/2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is now on parent pay. OPEN TO STUDENTS IN YEAR 7 - 10.

 

A copy of the letter can be found on our letters to parents page - click here.

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50th Anniversary Reunion October 2019

28/02/2019   We need you!   Devizes School 1969 - 2019

 

Please get in touch if you are an ex member of staff or a student of yesteryear! We would love to see you at our event on October 12th. If you are interested and in particular if you are an ex member of staff, please get in touch with Karen Sims, ksims@devizes.wilts.sch.uk for more details.

If you can spare half an hour or the whole day we need you to make the day special!...
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Important Safeguarding Information for Parents

27/02/2019

 

 

Dear Parents/Carers (& Staff)

 

Please be aware of sinister image being shared on the internet. The image is being used to threaten children and challenge them to cause themselves harm. We advise that you sit with your children to check their devices and follow the National Online Safety Guidance below.

 

Mrs A Robinson
Family Support Worker & Deputy Safeguarding Lead
 

 

 

Click here for more information

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Devizes School's 50th Anniversary Reunion

15/02/2019

Devizes School was formed in 1969 by the merging of two schools to form a Comprehensive School. Two schools existed in Devizes before this date, Devizes Grammar School on Bath Road and Southbroom Secondary School which was established in 1925 around Southbroom House – our current home. 

As we near the 50th Anniversary date of our Comprehensive School (as we know it) we have decided to celebrate this milestone. On Saturday 12th October we will open our doors to the public as we have in previous years for our ‘Open House’ events. This event however will have a difference. Alongside the usual cellar tours with John Girvan, tearoom, fantastic entertainment from Mac’s Theatre School and memorabilia display we would like to invite ex students and staff to celebrate with us. We are also pleased to announce that BBC Tv’s Paul Martin will join us for the day and will give a talk in the hall during the afternoon.

At this stage we are looking for people to come forward and get in touch. Anyone interested in taking part in this event are, of course welcome to visit us at this event on 12th October. In advance of this however we would like ex students and staff to contact us, please email Karen Sims on ksims@devizes.wilts.sch.uk  Let us know what you have been doing since you left our school. Does anyone have fond memories or any particular stories about staff that they remember? Were you here when the lions escaped? Did you dare to walk on the quad? Did that Maria Heathcote painting scare you just a little bit in Reception?!  Please include a recent photo of yourself with your email as we would love to display these ‘Alumni’ stories even if you can’t make it on the day.

Anyone who can make the event in October are encouraged to bring old photos, yearbooks or stories with them that would make the day extra special. We have our own vast collection of school memorabilia which will also be out on display.

School will be open between 11am and 4pm on the 12th October, come along and help us celebrate, all are welcome and admission is free. Our Principal Phil Bevan will also be celebrating his 50th Birthday during that week so we will have a double celebration on our hands – and birthday cake!

Please get in touch, we would love to hear from you, we need you to make this day special.

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Vacancies for Parent Governors

15/02/2019

WE NEED YOU!!!!

 

Devizes School has vacancies for PARENT GOVERNORS

 

 

 

 

If you are a Devizes School parent or guardian and would like to join us in supporting the school by joining the Governing Body, please email Gill Wheeler (gwheeler@devizes.wilts.sch.uk) Clerk to the Governors, by Friday 8th March 2019, outlining your interests and what you feel you could contribute to the school.  We look forward to hearing from you.

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Armed Forces Day June 2019

14/02/2019

 

 

Our brilliant student cadets did us proud yesterday by helping promote 'Armed Forces Day' taking place in June. Our cadets take part in various local activites and represent the school at events such as Remembrance in November.

Their photograph will be used and displayed at the Armed Forces Day events in Salisbury between  28th and 30th June.

Click here for more information

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Odd Socks Day Launch 2019

14/02/2019

 

 

 

 

 

We are launching the 2019 Odd Socks Campaign on Tuesday February 26th. Purchase your socks from Year 8 students Beth and Natasha during break and lunchtimes in Reception. £3 each. Proceeds go to the local www.swindondownsgroup.org.uk.

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Short Story Competition for Years 8 & 9

14/02/2019

 

Year 8 and 9 students are encouraged to enter our short story competition RAL Mrs Andrew is running alongside a national competition. There will be six competition winners who will receive book/stationery vouchers as their prize.  The best stories will then be entered into the national competition with BBC Radio 2.

The short story should contain no more than 500 words.

Deadline Friday 22nd February. Please email your entries to Mrs Andrew. aandrew@devizes.wilts.sch.uk.

Good luck and get writing over the holidays!

Support can be gained via the website live lesson - click here.

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Term 3 Letter to Parents from Principal

11/02/2019

Dear Parents/Carers

It has been a very busy and productive start to the New Year.

Revision and preparation for all-important examinations is in full flow. Y10 will have internal exams in the first week of Term 4, Y11, Y12 and Y13 are only a few months away from their public GCSE and A Level exams. Everyone is working hard and it is extremely important that students aim for 100% attendance to make the most of all the excellent revision and catch-up opportunities that are available to them. As always, ensuring that your child attends regularly is vital. The link between good attendance and academic success in schools is well-established. Punctuality is also important - students should be at school for 8.20am. each day.

It is timely to remind you that the medical support we provide at school is for genuine first aid and emergencies and to assist children with existing medical conditions. We still have too many students using the facility for very minor issues that do not require medical attention. This becomes an issue because students miss valuable learning time and it potentially takes time and resources away from students who need the service most.

We are looking forward to the launch of our new revamped school website. I would encourage you to check the website regularly as it contains, along with our twitter feed, all the up-to-date news and information about the school.

We are very proud of the high standards at Devizes School so will use this letter as a timely reminder to all parents to ensure that students come to school ‘ready to learn!’ This means correct uniform, equipment and homework. When these basics are not observed, valuable learning time can be lost. We will, as always, be extra vigilant at the beginning of term to guarantee this happens. If uniform or school equipment needs to be purchased, please ensure this is done during the half term break.

Unfortunately, we are Increasingly having some problems with disagreements/issues happening over the weekend spilling over into school, usually on Mondays, disrupting learning. Can you please impress on your son/daughter that these issues should be kept out of school unless they are serious, in which case your  child’s RAL should be made aware before the start of the school day.

Finally, for the first time since my arrival just under three years ago, there are opportunities to join the School’s Governing Body. It is a really exciting time to be part of the leadership journey of Devizes School; results and student numbers have steadily increased over the past three years. The White Horse Federation has invested significantly in the school for continued growth and excellence and we are very excited about the future. If you are interested in joining us in moving the school forward, please contact Mrs G Wheeler (Clerk to the Governors - gwheeler@devizes.wilts.sch.uk) by Wednesday 6th March 2019.

Term 3 finishes on Friday 15th February 2019, at 3pm and we start Term 4 at 8.30am on Tuesday 26th February (Monday 25th February is a Staff Development Day when the school is closed to students).

P Bevan
Principal

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Teaching Students the Dangers of the Internet

05/02/2019

The internet is becoming an increasingly significant part of young people’s lives, and although it is undeniably a great resource for learning, unsafe use can pose risks. At Devizes School, we believe that education is crucial to making sure that our students are able to use the internet safely. On Safer Internet Day, we will continue to teach students about the threats and dangers they may experience while online.

 

Every year, new statistics demonstrate the risks that unsupervised and unrestricted children face online. Here are some of the most alarming:

 

Almost 1 in 4 young people has come across racist or hate messages online. Around 1 in 8 has been bullied on social media. 1 in 4 children has experienced something upsetting on a social networking site. There were more than 12,000 counselling sessions with young people who talked to Childline about online issues in 2017

Safer Internet Day is a global event that is coordinated in the UK by the UK Internet Safety Centre, a partnership whose mission is “to promote the safe and responsible use of technology for young people”. This year’s campaign is being run with the slogan “Together for a better internet”, a call to action for people to work together and play their part in creating a better internet for everyone, especially younger users.

Although Tuesday is Safer Internet Day, our efforts to ensure the online safety of our students continue throughout the year. All members of staff are involved in encouraging safe online practices, and we are determined to prevent any of our students from being at risk.

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Shining a Light on Children’s Mental Health

04/02/2019 Today marks the first day of Children’s Mental Health Week, and Devizes School is taking the opportunity to educate students on mental health. Along with providing excellent support, we believe that teaching children about the effects of mental health problems is a great way to remove the stigma and create a caring and encouraging environment.   The first ever Children’s Mental Health Week took place in 2015. It was created and launched by Place2Be, the UK’s largest children’s mental health charity, to “support children and young people’s mental health and emotional wellbeing”.   The need for focus on children’s mental health is backed up by some alarming statistics. 75% of mental illnesses start during childhood, and 50% of mental health problems in adult life (excluding dementia) take root before the age of 15. What’s more, at least 50% of young people believe that anyone their age diagnosed with a mental illness would be embarrassed, which often leads to them suffering in silence and not receiving the support they need.   At Devizes School, we have provisions in place to support students experiencing mental health problems and always encourage them to seek help when they need it.   The health and wellbeing of our students is our utmost priority, and we always take matters of mental health seriously. We want our students to know that we are always available to discuss any problems they are facing, and that all the support they need will be provided.  ... read more

Calling All Artists!

04/02/2019

 

As part of the larger Kings Gate partnership, in collaboration between Gingko Projects, DOCA, and Beautiful Creatures Theatre Arts, (http://beautifulcreatures.org.uk/) we are creating a larger than life puppet to form part of the Amesbury Carnival procession in 2019.

Gingko Projects, Devizes Outdoor Celebratory Arts and Beautiful Creatures Theatre Arts are working together to create a new spectacular large-scale Carnival piece to be presented in June and July 2019. It will include two larger than life puppets, processing costumed musicians and dancers from the local community and will be presented in two Carnivals in Wiltshire in 2019.

We are looking for emerging artists who want to work with communities on large-scale work, have an interest in puppetry, would like to gain experience of processional work, may have experience of lantern making or working with withies to create larger structures. You may be an established artist who is looking to change direction or gain experience with working in new materials. You will have the opportunity to work with a new team, members of the local community and other artists on this exciting new project.

We will create opportunities to work with artists on large-scale animated structures, and with community groups throughout the spring term. You will need to be available to appear in Amesbury to support the delivery of a spectacular processing work on the 15th of June and in Devizes on the 13th of July. You will be required to document your experience throughout and report to the partnership and input into Social media groups.

As part of this opportunity, we will we will be seeking applications and will prioritise applicants from the Kings Gate area, and then those that are geographically closest to our target community. We would like your application to include a short biography outlining relevant experience. Please tell us how this opportunity would further your career or artistic practice and how it fits with your long-term plans. What do you hope to gain from completing this project and what will you bring to it to make you stand out from the crowd.

You will be required to spend a minimum of 10 days working with professional artists on a variety of elements of the project, these may be working with a group choreographing work, costume making, working on large scale puppets, music making, or working on graphic design and marketing to promote the project.

HOW TO APPLY

We’d like to receive a short (not more than 2 pages) proposal outlining why you would like to be part of this project, include a short biography outlining relevant experience. Please tell us how this opportunity would benefit your personal development or artistic practice and how it fits with your long-term plans. What do you hope to gain from completing this project and what will you bring to it to make you stand out from the crowd.

Tell us which fields of work particularly interest you and what you’d like to receive in terms of support for your development.

We’d like to see images of your work, links to instagram, facebook or a website if you have them.

Please supply at least one reference.

If you are successful you will be entitled to a £1000 bursary which will be paid in instalments to be agreed.

If you would like to have an informal chat about this opportunity please call Loz Samuels  on 07500786541 Please make your application by email by 28th of February 2019 to – info@docadevizes.org.uk 

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Year 11 Leavers' Hoodies 2019

31/01/2019

 

 

The Year 11 Leavers' Hoodie letter (which includes an order form) is now on our website under 'letters to parents'. Year 11 parents will also find this on parent pay. Cost: £14 without name and £17 with.

Please make sure you pay the correct amount and return order forms to Finance by 22.3.18.

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Sophie's Trip to Bangladesh with ICS

30/01/2019


Congratulations to Year 13, Devizes 6th Form student Sophie, who has become one of the youngest people to pass the final round of ICS interviews in London at just 18 years old. As a result she has won an 11 week placement in Bangladesh helping to develop and make a change in the community. Sophie will need to raise around £800 for the charity before she leaves and will be organising events in and out of school to achieve this.

Head of Devizes 6th Form Clare Dale says: "We are over the moon for Sophie; how fabulous that ICS have recognised her many talents and given her the opportunity to make a real difference at ground level in Bangladesh. She is undoubtedly one of the most socially conscious young people I have had the pleasure of working with and entirely suited to the role she has been awarded. The world is crying out for more young people with the integrity and courage to get out there and make a difference and as always, Sophie is leading by example at the head of the pack. I have nothing but admiration for her and am quite sure she is headed for big things in the world of International Development and Humanitarian Justice".

Sophie told us of her excitement to have been offered a place: “I am really looking forward to what I hope will be an amazing experience and can’t wait to immerse myself in a completely new environment.”

International Citizen Service (ICS) provides overseas volunteer placements for 18-25 year olds and Team Leader placements for 23-35 year olds. A UK government funded development programme that brings together young people to fight poverty and make a difference in overseas and UK communities. Placements are 10-12 weeks in length.

UK volunteers work side-by-side with local volunteers in developing countries, staying with host families in the local community. ICS isn't a holiday. It's demanding but hugely rewarding. It's a great opportunity for personal development, a stepping stone to future careers and a chance to make your world a better place.

Sophie will leave in June and return in September. If you would like to donate to Sophie’s fundraising page go to:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sophie-davis-birch

 

 

 

 

 

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Letter to Parents - Possible Snow Disruption

29/01/2019

 

Dear Parents

The weather forecast for this week includes a warning that we may get snow in and around the Devizes area. At the time of writing, light snow is forecast for Tuesday evening. There is also the possibility of snow later Thursday into Friday. It is always a difficult decision as to whether a school should be closed or not. Obviously, it is important for students’ education that we try and remain open as much as we can, however we are also duty bound to take the safety of 1000 students and 150 staff into account.

Last year we were forced to close for a day because 20 teachers were unable to get into school for the start of the day due to poor driving conditions as a result of the snow. This meant that we were unable to safely supervise students on site.

We are aware of the importance of making decisions about school closure as early as possible so that unnecessary journeys are avoided. Sometimes the forecasts are not accurate or slight changes can lead to very different conditions, so we have to be able to react quickly to the changing circumstances. We will always monitor the weather overnight and first thing in the morning.

By default, always assume that the school is open unless we communicate otherwise.

Any decision to close the school, either fully or partially, will be made as early as possible. You will always be informed by updates on the website, Twitter and the local Heart and BBC radio stations.

In the event of a disruptive snow fall, one possible option that we may consider, rather than a full school closure, is delaying the start of the school day until 11.00am. This will allow time for all students and staff to get to school more safely. With regards to school buses we would have to assume that they would not run in the morning but would run as normal at the end of the day. Some public services may well be running. This might cause travel problems for some students but would mean that we could still run for much of the day for the majority.

Thank you in advance for your patience and support with these potentially difficult decisions, if they arise. Please remember they are always made with everyone’s safety in mind. 

Mr P Bevan
Principal

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What's coming up

  • 28/03/19

    Year 8 Parents' Evening 2019

    Year 8 Parents' Evening will be on Thursday 28th March between

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  • 06/04/19

    Lions Club Sporting Weekend 2019

     

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  • 23/04/19

    End of Term Four 2019

      The final day of Term 4 will be Friday 5th April -

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Keeping you in touch

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