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Letter from the Headteacher

20 September 2016

Dear Parents/Carers

Now that term is underway, I hope your sons and daughters are feeling settled and looking forward to an academic year of exciting opportunities and challenges.

Public examination results

I wanted to begin by mentioning the Public Examination results. You will no doubt be aware from the press that GCSE exams nationally saw a downward trend with many schools experiencing poorer results. We were particularly delighted, therefore, to achieve our best GCSE results to date. The headline figures are 76% 5+A*- C with English and maths and an overall 5+ A*- C pass rate of 84%. In addition, a record number of Year 11s achieved five or more A* and A grades.

St Mary Magdalene has hard working pupils, dedicated staff and supportive parents – congratulations and thanks to all involved in the class of 2016’s success.

The Sixth Form results continue to be outstanding. All the students have secured places at Russell Group and other very good universities in the UK, Europe and the USA to read for a range of degrees. Please do look at the website for further details about the great university destinations for Year 13. As the Sixth Form maintains its success rate and grows in popularity with the full A Level offer, we are especially delighted to welcome our second year of partnership with the French speaking Canton de Vaud in Switzerland. 14 students are settling into life in London with host families, I know the UK students will make them feel very welcome in school.

Enrichment

Enrichment begins again on Monday 4 October. There are some changes to this following a review of the programme. This year Monday enrichment will be compulsory for Year 7 only. Years 8 and 9 can continue to take Monday Enrichment, but must commit to weekly attendance at any chosen activity. Ms Alcade will be sending out further information about the Monday Enrichment offer in due course.

In addition, the usual range of clubs for all year groups on Tuesdays to Fridays will be running from Tuesday 5 October. The full schedule of these activities will be sent home and posted on the website by the end of next week. Regular commitment is required, but in the first instance simply turn up to the room advertised on posters in school (there is no need to sign up in advance).

Dress and appearance

The school prides itself on the high standard of dress of its pupils in Years 7-11. Please refer to the School Uniform Policy for detailed rules, or the Pupil Planner for a summary of the main points, but as the weather turns wetter and colder please pay particular attention to the rules regarding coats - they should be plain black or navy. In addition, my end of year letter in July specifically mentioned the rules on extreme hairstyles. Shaved sides and long hair on top is not acceptable. Please support us in not repeating summer hair-cuts that fall outside this description.

Dates for your diary

It has been brilliant to see so many of you at the Year 7 and 12 Welcome Evenings, thank you for braving the heat and joining us at those events. If you couldn’t make the events please check the website for the presentations and ask your child to collect the literature that was handed out at the talks. Year 7 can collect their Curriculum booklet from Mr Ford in the Pastoral Office and Year 12’s can collect the Parent Guide from my PA, Kim Turner-Wood.

Year 11’s Curriculum Talk is on Tuesday 27 September. The calendar of future events for the term can be checked using the ‘diary’ button on the website. Please encourage your child to enter the photography competition and consider entering the parent category yourself!

The closing date is at the end of this month and last year’s exhibition was a wonderful event. Details are here, but entries need simply be emailed here, stating your child’s name and year group and whether it is a parent or child entry.

Finally, please do not hesitate to contact one of the Senior or Pastoral team if you have a question or concern and a reminder that Mr Boxall has his Deputy Head’s ‘drop in’ for non-confidential questions and conversations in the Reception area every Friday morning between 8.45am and 9.45am.

Yours sincerely

Ms V Linsley
Headteacher