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Headteacher Blog

what's happening at Chesham Grammar

Posted on: April 15th 2016

Head's Blog

Dear Parent,

I hope you and your children had a relaxing Easter holiday.  It is always nice to get back at the start of term and to see the students again; their enthusiasm and energy after a long break are infectious. 

Of course this is a very busy and important term and every single student in the school will be sitting exams over the next ten weeks or so.  We will do all we can to support your children over that time but do get in touch with us if you feel there is anything we need to know.  This can be a stressful time for students - and their parents.  While some stress is inevitable, too much is a problem and we need to work together to deal with this.  It is important to try to get your child to maintain a sense of proportion.  There is only so much any human being can do to prepare for exams and while they are of course important, they are not life and death!  It is also worth trying to encourage your son or daughter to maintain a positive outlook and to ensure they have sufficient 'down time' planned in to any revision schedule. 

When I was in during the second week of the break, the school was a hive of activity.  There were dozens of students in Years 11 - 13 in each day attending revision or coursework 'catch up' sessions and I am very grateful to those members of staff who gave up some of their holiday to support students in this way.

I would like to welcome Ms Maura Humphries to the geography department.  This time last week, she was on a plane to the UK from Australia!  She is settling in well and slowly adjusting to life on this side of the world!  Ms Humphries will be with us for this term, covering Miss Butcher's maternity leave. 

The Politics Department hosted a very successful EU debate before the Easter holiday and I would like to extend a huge thank you to them for all their hard work.

This week I have spent a good deal of time meeting different groups of students.  On Tuesday, I wished a belated 12th birthday to: Simona Donker, Jessica Clark, Evie Horridge, Justin Li, Amelia Taylor-Beken, Beenu Matara Arachchi, Nitharsan Nanthakumaran, Aidan Hannan, Thomas Fitzgerald and Simon Payne.  Today it has been the turn of those who turned 18 over Easter: Harriet McKay, Teale Cuthbert, Harvey James and Matthew Thompson.  A very happy birthday to you all.

On Wednesday, I was delighted to present Danyal Abbasi, Jessica Clark, Ellie Lothian, Isobel Gardner, Anay Patel and Simran Ruparelia, all in Year 7 with a CGS pen for accruing 200 House points so far this year.   This is a superb achievement.

On Thursday, I met those who took part in the Intermediate Mathematics Challenge and who were awarded gold certificates.  They are: Oliver MacAlister, Thomas de Lisle, Levi Lovelock, Arthur Summers, Alex Grant, Yuwei Zhu, Peri Clayton, Nicholas Lawson, Bethan Hubbard, Nathan Forshaw, Taneisha Atkinson and Murhaf Al-Shalabi.  Special mention must go to Bethan who was also 'Best in Year' and 'Best in School'.  Well done to you all!

I also met a group of students on Thursday who worked with a firm of architects to discuss ideas for the development of the Asheridge Road site in Chesham.  The local planning group is keen to seek the views of the young people of Chesham on this issue and our students really enjoyed their session with the architects.  They are: Aimee Baillie, Harry Sawyer, Leona Goodey, Emma Crawford, Alex Smith, Steph Weston, Yasmin Parekh, Georgia Ware, Rebecca Mohr and Jamie Lloyd.  Alex Smith subsequently went on to present the views of the group to local residents during a Community Planning Day and the firm of architects are coming back into school this term to work with the students again.  It is gratifying to see our students taking such a keen interest in local issues which will affect them in future.

Now we are an Academy, we are able to submit bids to the DfE's Condition Improvement Fund for projects which keep the site safe and in good working order.  Recent successful bids have enabled us to rewire the school and replace our boilers.  On the last day of term, we heard that our bid to improve the security of our site has been approved.  Ever since I have been here, we have discussed this issue and I am delighted that the £240,000 we have been awarded will finally enable us to deal with it.  Further details on how we will be spending this money will follow.

Alice O'Reilly in Year 9 has been busy raising money for the Equestrian Club's Fencing Fund and before Easter, she held a 'Guess the Number of Easter Eggs in a jar' competition.  This was won by Emma Sheppard in Year 7.  Alice's initiative and hard work were impressive and enabled her to raise a total of £244 which is a fantastic achievement.  Well done, Alice.

Finally, our site manager, Lee Dessington, is raising money for The Rennie Grove Hospice.  He is running a 'Tough Mudder' event on 1st May and he would really appreciate any help.  His just giving page can be found at:  www.justgiving.com/leedessington

With best wishes for a restful weekend,

Annmarie McNaney
Headteacher