From The Headmaster
Mr P T Fraser MA
Tel 0117 9655207
19th April 2010
Dear Parents / Guardians
Regrettably, the start of term has been compromised by the disruption to European flights which have left a number of staff and pupils stranded. We will, of course, look to maintain ‘business as usual’ and cover for absent colleagues for the first few days of term. Please be assured that we will do everything possible to minimise the disruption to teaching at this important time of year.
Travel problems apart, I trust that our school families enjoyed the Easter holiday and that pupils return refreshed to enjoy the recent fine weather. Pupils may wear summer uniform with immediate effect and Tutors will provide guidance regarding the relevant dress regulations that operate this term.
During the holiday the History Department ran a very successful trip to Italy (Rome, Pompeii) and our younger rugby players (Year 9) enjoyed the taste of an international tour to Toulouse. In addition, our Ten Tors teams have been training, D of E expeditions conducted and the sailors benefited from a residential course. These activities are, of course, overseen by members of staff and I would want to record my appreciation for all those who have been involved in holiday activities.
A number of staff will be leaving at the end of the academic year and I will, of course, look to recognise their individual and collective contributions at our annual Prizegiving. Colleagues and pupils would join me in wishing Mr Mike Graham and Mr Clive Warren long and happy retirements. Equally, we would congratulate Mrs Gill Bicknell on her appointment as Head of Drama at Painsley College, Miss Liz Young who will be moving to KES, Bath as Head of Girls’ Games and Miss Amy Slevin who has been appointed as Assistant Director of Music at QEH. In addition, Mrs Jenny Urquhart will be leaving to concentrate on her young family.
Details of major school events in the summer term are detailed in the school Calendar but I would draw your attention to Prizegiving (Friday 28th May) and the Leavers’ Day (Thursday 8th July) which are always excellent occasions. In addition, I would invite you to support the Family Fun Day (Monday 3rd May) featuring a Tercentenary Rugby Tournament which has received wide support from past and present pupils.
The arrangements for Study Leave for Year 11, 12 and 13 are enclosed and I would assure parents that we always attempt to operate normal teaching for as long as possible. Regrettably, the scheduling of public examinations continues to erode the first half of term and I would ask parents to ensure that they are fully aware of the structures and timings associated with Study Leave.
As regards wider issues, I would ask parents to assist the school in managing issues associated with electronic communication. There is, of course, nothing wrong with the appropriate use of mobile phones, texting and social networking sites which are widely used by young people. This said, our pupils are expected to use such means of communication in a civilised and decent fashion, displaying good judgment and sensitivity with regard to the messages and / or images that they send. Anyone communicating in an unacceptable manner or displaying a lack of respect for their fellow pupils is at odds with our stated expectations and may, in reality, be committing a criminal offence. I would ask all parents to ensure that they guide their sons and daughters regarding the appropriate use of computers and mobile phones.
In addition, I would ask that pupils display judgment regarding the possessions that they bring to school. Ideally, all items of value should be insured and the school cannot accept responsibility for the safety of such items. Pupils must accept responsibility for their property and make use of lockers when in school. In simple terms, pupils must look after their own property and respect the property of others.
I also, would be very grateful for parental support in respect of published dates. Leave of absence should only be sought in exceptional circumstances and family holidays should not be booked during term time. Any request for leave of absence should be made, in writing, in advance of any projected event. The school has a clear expectation that pupils will honour school commitments – particularly those scheduled in the calendar. Should this ever be an issue staff appreciate pupils contacting them in good time as a matter of courtesy.
Finally, I would want to stress that parents are always welcome visitors to the school and your support at matches, concerts and plays is valued and appreciated by us all.
I look forward to a busy and productive term and hope to see you over the course of the summer months.
With best wishes
P T Fraser