The whole school enjoyed another dedicated Drop Everything and Read (DEAR) time this morning when all pupils and staff spent 30 minutes in silent reading.  This activity is part of a national initiative to promote reading within schools.  Inspiring a love of reading in our pupils has always been an important aim of the school.  All pupils are following a new English curriculum.  Success in this new programme of study depends upon the ability to read, evaluate and analyse texts effectively.  By encouraging your child to read, you will be enabling him or her to access a range of complex texts and supporting progress across the curriculum.  Pupils in Years 7, 8 and 9 have been given a Reading Passport by their English teachers.  This document lists four core texts that your child will be expected to have read by the end of the school year in July 2018.  Each core text will present something new and interesting and will capture the imagination.  At times pupils may find elements of the text challenging: this will help them improve their reading ability.  Reading the four core texts is a minimum expectation: we hope to see pupils reading many more.  The texts are differentiated and suitable for each child’s reading ability.  We believe that the level of challenge within these texts will enhance and develop reading, literacy, writing, imagination and critical thinking skills.  All core texts may be borrowed from our school library.  We suggest that local public libraries are used too.  Parents may, of course, wish to buy copies of the recommended texts.  They are widely available.

Year 7 pupils Lewis Chang and Daniel Appleyard completed a sponsored run in aid of St Gemma's Hospice last weekend. They raised £85.

Year 8 parents, please note that the Year 8 Options Evening will take place on Thursday 1 March 2018 at 7.00pm.  This is a change from the January date published in the School Calendar.

At the end of term on Wednesday we say good bye to one of our Deputy Headteachers, Mr Briggs, who will take up the post of Deputy Headteacher at Benton Park School, Leeds, in January. Throughout his nine years here Mr Briggs has been instrumental in raising standards of achievement, enabling our pupils to learn more effectively and to attain better GCSE examination results. As Curriculum Leader for Mathematics, Mr Briggs led the transformation of the department into one of the highest achieving teams in the city. As Senior Assistant Headteacher and in his current role, he has made a huge impact by pioneering improvements across the school, especially in developing teaching and learning, implementing robust systems for raising achievement, target setting, assessing and tracking student progress, school self-evaluation, providing timely information on key aspects of pupil performance to parents and pupils, improving staff performance, developing new technologies in learning, managing IT systems and enabling school leaders and governors to hold the school to account. For a man rightly respected for his accuracy with number and precision in analysing data, his impact for the good of this school community is beyond measure. We are immensely grateful.

We also say goodbye to Mr Broadley, Network Manager, and Mr Garwood, IT Technician. Both have served the school particularly well in ensuring that our IT systems function effectively every day. Teaching Assistant Ms Nazir moves on to begin training as a teacher. She will be missed. Mr Brayshaw is leaving us at the end of term to take up a post at St Mary’s, Menston. He will be replaced by Mrs Corcoran who is returning to Cardinal Heenan. Miss Bruning is leaving us to return to New Zealand.

We thank our former staff for their work here and wish them well for the remainder of the academic year.

Governors have appointed Dr Caldwell as one of our Deputy Headteachers and Mr Burton as Network Manager from the start of next term. Further appointments are pending.

Next Wednesday, 20 December, is the last day of term.  School will finish at 1.15pm on Wednesday.  School buses will depart at 1.25pm.  Next term begins on Thursday 4 January at 8.55 am for all pupils.

Wishing you and your families every blessing and joy at Christmas and a happy New Year.

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