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Headteacher Blog

what's happening at Chesham Grammar

Posted on: October 19th 2018

Head's Blog

Dear Parent,

Well the first half term of the year is now behind us and it has been exceptionally busy.  Over 200 students who joined CGS in September, mainly in Years 7 and 12, are now feeling at home and the students right across the school have had a good start to the academic year, working hard and making an outstanding contribution to the life of the school.  Over the half term break, a party of just under 50 Year 13 students of politics, sociology and/or history are in Washington and New York while a visit to Amsterdam is being undertaken by Year 11 art students.  Both parties have arrived safely.  The Year 13s left yesterday and have already packed in many of the sights of Washington including Arlington Cemetery, the Lincoln Memorial, the White House and Capitol Hill.  Year 11s flew off to Amsterdam this morning and have an equally packed itinerary ahead. Around 10 members of staff are giving up part of their holiday to accompany these trips and, as ever, I am grateful to them for enabling these rich, varied and rewarding experiences for the students to take place.

Next half term will be equally busy and will include mock exams for Year 11 as well as the first few Parents' Evenings of the year.  At the end of term, there will be the annual festive build up with the Friends of CGS Christmas Fair, always a superb event, our Christmas party for the elderly of Chesham and Christmas in Words and Music.  Further details of all these events will follow after half term.

Earlier this week, the Government's GCSE school performance tables for 2018 were published (A level data will follow later).  One of the key accountability measures for schools is Progress 8, which aims to capture the progress a student makes from the end of primary school to the end of secondary school.  It is a type of value added measure, showing the difference each school makes to students of similar prior attainment nationally.  We were delighted to see that our Progress 8 score is one of the highest of the 13 Bucks grammar schools and the highest of all the Bucks co-educational grammars.  Comparative data for Bucks grammar schools can be found here: I would like to congratulate the students and staff whose hard work and commitment lies behind these statistics.  The new GCSEs are much more rigorous than the legacy qualifications but what our students proved in the summer is that - unsurprisingly - if you work hard, you will do well. 

Over the last few weeks, students in Years 7 and 8 have been taking part in a Readathon organised by the English Department.  So far, the students have raised £800 which is superb.  Well done to everyone involved.

I was delighted to welcome back to the school this week around a dozen Old Cheshamians who attended the school in the 1950s.  While almost everything has changed since they were here, they nonetheless enjoyed reminiscing and loved their tour of the school and their discussions with our students.  Some of them were able to find themselves in old photos and documents we have and it was lovely to see the effect this had on them and to hear stories of their time here.  My thanks to Martha Ware, our Development Director, for co-ordinating this event.   

We start back to school on Monday, October 29th.  As a reminder, the Autumn term finishes on Friday, December 14th and we return for the Spring term on Wednesday, January 2nd 2019. 

With best wishes for a relaxing half term break,

Annmarie McNaney