Welcome to my end of term newsletter.

Thank you for supporting all children to achieve the very best they can this term and in the future. We’ve had an excellent term with 97% attendance, despite the cold and wet weather. We’ve also had a very successful term with students gaining offers for places at Oxford, Cambridge, Russell Group universities, The Royal Northern College of Music and prestigious apprenticeships.

With virtually all GCSE, A level, BTEC and vocational courses now following new specifications and new exams, we all know we have to work together as school, student and home to support our young people through the exams. Last summer, 78% was required to achieve a Grade 9 in maths because the three papers were difficult and 29 of our students achieved a Grade 9. Examiners have told us that students will need to show resilience and perseverance as the questions will be tricky and get harder through each question. They have also said though that the beginning of question 4 should be easier than the end of question 3, for example. Examiners rate recalling information you should know as easier but it is only easier if you do know the answer. We will have revision sessions shortly before each exam at GCSE and A level so all students can benefit from bespoke help from the subject experts. I introduced this at my previous school and we achieved results such as 97% in triple science each year. As we have said all year, the best approach is small chunks of revision where the student is clear that they have gained knowledge or understood a concept that they did not know before. There are further links to revision tips on our website.

We expect to have a new classroom block for September 2019 and we have been approached to bid for funding to improve our sports facilities further. As everyone who came to see it will testify, our Grease production was brilliant. So professional and good fun! Our two Dance Show nights were fabulous, showcasing our exam candidates and younger students’ abilities. We reached the National Tennis Finals with our boys finishing in the top three and our mixed team seventh nationally. We are now in the top 1% of schools nationally for sport with great success in swimming, football, basketball and virtually every sport imaginable. Bolton Sailing Club would also like our students and families to contact them to try sailing at one of their open events. Our students have enjoyed a range of great trips including skiing, France, New York and our World Challenge group is off to India in a few months. We also have lots of Gold Duke of Edinburgh students in the Sixth Form making full use of our Direct Entry route.

Please find attached a poster from the Canon Slade Association, who do such great work fundraising and having fun as a group of parents and friends of the school. Please do follow the instructions to register with The Giving Machine so that when you shop online the company will give some money to help the school and it does not cost you anything.

Bolton LA have asked us if Mrs Jackson could be seconded to them for a year in the first instance from this Easter. The Governors and I decided that we could accommodate this move and we have appointed Mrs Iles as Acting Deputy Headteacher to fill Mrs Jackson’s role. We have also appointed Mr Downing, Acting Assistant Headteacher for Teaching and Learning, to take on Mrs Iles’ role.

You will be aware that from late May, GDPR will be a legal requirement. This means that we will publish privacy notices about what data we hold and how it will be used. Mr Lever has been liaising with colleagues in The Bishop Fraser Trust to ensure all schools in our Trust are compliant and we will be.

Have a blessed Easter. I hope all students enjoy a bit of a break before we return ready to work with 100% effort on Tuesday, 17th April at form for 8.45am.

Thank you for your support,

Please contact us if we can help you in any way and thank you for your interest in our school,

Mr D Burton MChem (Oxon.) PGCE NPQH