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End of term letter

24 July 2017

Dear Parent/Carer

It is hard to believe that we are already into the final week of the academic year, and what a brilliant year it has been!

The Lake District Mountain Challenge, in aid of Macmillan, was a real high point of the year for me. As I said to the pupils in assembly last week, the week-end itself was uplifting and challenging in equal measure for the coach full who participated, but what really inspired me was the huge enthusiasm to get involved in the challenge from the hundreds of pupils who signed up to do it. I hope they will want to join SMMA Mountain Challenge 2 next academic year if they didn’t get to go this time. Overall the Macmillan target of £5000 has been exceeded with the charitable giving for this year currently at over £7700. Thank you for your generosity in supporting your child with all the fund-raising efforts this year.

In academic results, Year 8 have completed the ISEB examination and many of the pupils did extremely well. The top performers were Habil Akbar and Gohena Deb, congratulations to them. This year’s International Baccalaureate results have proved to be the best ever. It is hard to single out anyone because the standard across the cohort was so high, however we are delighted that Eve and Harry are heading off to read Medicine, Sam to read History at Oxford and Tai to read Engineering at Cambridge. Mason is taking up a full scholarship at the University of British Columbia and Nikola has turned down a scholarship at Harvard to go to Sciences Po in France to read a combined law, economics, social & political sciences degree. We will have the full set of results by the end of August when the A Level and GCSE examination results come in. Good luck to those students still waiting!

We have grown accustomed to a high standard in Performing Arts and this year was no exception with the school’s musical theatre production of We Will Rock You. In music, it is great to have so many instrumental players right through the year groups. Those of us who endured the heat in the open air summer music concert could see how much the pupils are growing in confidence and technique. Much of that progress is due to the continued support of the Music in Secondary Schools Trust, which also organised a music residential at Radley College last week.

Regarding summer work, we have worked the pupils really hard this year and so we are asking you to ensure that pupils do just two things this summer, other than to have a well-deserved rest. Firstly, ensure your child reads at least one book from the Summer Reading list, and secondly encourage your child to enter the Photography Competition. Not only is it good fun, but also a real part of our community spirit when we come together and look at all the entries in the exhibition of entries held in the autumn term.

There is, once again, a parent category and so please do enter using the same email address but mark your entry ‘parent of + name of your child’.

Finally, there are some changes to responsibilities for September. Most important for parents are the Heads of Year who will be:

Year 7 Ms McNiven; Year 8 Mr Ford; Year 9 Ms Fernandez; Year 10 Mr Brown; Year 11 Mr Walmsley and Heads of House who are: Europe Ms Buster; Asia Mr Goward; Africa Mr Lovelock; Americas Mr Sumner. Furthermore I am delighted to welcome Mr Ajagbonna as Deputy Headteacher from September. He replaces Mr Boxall who is moving North with his young family and who I must take this opportunity to thank for all the support and guidance he has provided over the past 7 years at the Academy.

Finally, please refer to the uniform list when purchasing new uniform. Trousers must be grey or charcoal grey, NOT black. Shoes must be ‘proper’ school shoes such as those sold at Clarkes. Soft soled Kickers/Vans/Converse and other similar styles are not appropriate. The full uniform list is available online, including the new sports kit which is compulsory for Year 7. Other year groups can continue with the PE kit or move over to the new kit, as you prefer.

With very best wishes for the summer break.

Yours faithfully

Ms V Linsley

Follow this link for the important dates in September