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Headteacher Blog

what's happening at Chesham Grammar

Posted on: February 28th 2020

Head's Blog

Dear Parent,

I hope your children enjoyed the half term break.  It has been a very busy first week back. We have had Elevate Education in to work with Year 10s on study and exam techniques, the launch event for our Year 9 and Year 12 expeditions for the summer of 2021, an information evening for the Year 10 Iceland visit at Easter, a parental consultation meeting relating to Lifeskills and the new Sex and Relationships Education and the Friends of Chesham Grammar School AGM, to name but a few. On top of all of this have come the Coronavirus and snow! As a reminder, should bad weather mean that I have to shut the school (which is always a last resort) parents will be notified by ParentMail and we will also post notifications to our website and the main school Twitter account, @cgsbucks.  In relation to the Coronavirus, as I said in my email earlier this week, it is an emerging and evolving situation. Headteachers are receiving regular updates from various bodies and I would like to reassure parents that any advice and guidance I am given will be followed.

On Wednesday 4th March from 6pm to 8pm, we are holding our University and Apprenticeship Evening, details of which have been sent home earlier today. I would urge you to come along with your child so that s/he can get a good idea of the range of opportunities beyond CGS. Our Careers Leader, Cait Beck, is working incredibly hard to prepare for this and I am very grateful to her for what I know will be an excellent event. 

Well done to our Year 11 Food Technology students who have all taken their practical examination this week, creating three dishes within the three hour exam. On a different note, congratulations to Archie and Euan in Year 8 who belong to Chiltern Harriers Athletics Club. The boys were part of the Chiltern U13 team which won the National Cross Country Finals in Liverpool during the first weekend of half term, a superb achievement. Oscar in Year 9 participated in the England Athletics National Indoor Championships during half term and gained a huge amount from the experience. He is now hoping to qualify for the summer England Schools Championships. Well done to Nemiah in Year 13 who was also at the Indoor Athletics Championships over half term. Nemiah finished in 4th place overall in the pole vault, setting a new personal best during the competition. This means that she is now ranked 5th in the UK in the U20 age group for the pole vault. Congratulations. I am equally proud of Narishma in Year 12 who has been awarded a prestigious Arkwright Engineering Scholarship. CGS has a superb track record in this area, with numerous students in recent years receiving this highly regarded national award. We currently have five students in Year 11 who have passed the Arkwright test, the first stage in the recruitment process. They will now go to Cambridge, Loughborough or Uxbridge University for the next stage, an interview, with which we wish them well.

Happy 12th birthday to Alexandra, Skye, Ella, Hannah and Leila in Year 7 with whom I met for birthday tea during the week.

You will recall that Mr Jonathan Stoddern, Subject Leader for Maths, was appointed to the role of Assistant Headteacher at CGS last half term. This left his current role vacant and I am delighted to tell you that following interviews just before half term, we appointed Mr Karl Thomas as Subject Leader for Maths. Mr Thomas is currently Second in Maths at CGS and I am pleased that he emerged as the best candidate for the role. I am sure you will join me in congratulating him. He will take up this position in September.

On Wednesday evening, the Friends of Chesham Grammar School elected a new Chair and Treasurer at the AGM. I am thrilled that the superb work of our current Co-Chairs, Sue Valentine and Amanda Arnold, who are stepping down, will be continued by Petra Habbijam who will take over in June.  Sandip Patel is taking over as Treasurer from Libby Booth, who has also done a great job. Sandip will start this role in October. I would like to record my thanks, once again, to all the Committee members who work so hard to ensure that a significant amount of money is raised for the school every year.  A particular thank you to Amanda, Sue and Libby and also to Pratik Patel who is the Secretary and who will continue in this role. Over half term, the finishing touches to the redevelopment of the quad were added and this would not have been possible without the £43,00 given to the school by the FOCGS last year. The next FOCGS event is the Comedy Night next Friday, 6th March. This is almost sold out so do get in quickly if you would like one of the few remaining tickets.  The FOCGS have just launched a new event in the CGS diary, the inaugural 5k Fun Run, which will take place on the 3rd May. Details have been sent home today and I do hope you will put the date in your diary and come along to support this.

Finally, I would like to draw your attention to the work we are doing to support the climate change movement. Our school community currently produces a significant amount of plastic and paper waste and our mission is to vastly reduce this. Our Head Boy and Head Girl, staff and various student groups across the school are working on a community crowdfunding project with Aviva Community Fund to raise money for this and next Wednesday our Aviva Crowdfunding project goes live. We are aiming to raise at least £5,000 to enable us to install recycling bins across the school site and a plastic bottle/can reverse vending machine. We also want to be able to install additional water points so that we can encourage more students to use refillable bottles for water and are keen to plant native shrubs and wild flowers across the site to improve the environment. This crowdfunding project will work along similar lines to a ‘Justgiving’ page and further information will be sent out next Wednesday morning once it is live. There will be links on our Facebook page, Twitter and website, so please look out for this. The overall aim of this project is to inspire current and future generations of students to take pride in their school and make a positive contribution to climate change by addressing the immediate issues as well as developing life long habits. Please do look out for the details of this project next week.

With very best wishes for a relaxing weekend,

Annmarie McNaney