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Headteacher Blog

what's happening at Chesham Grammar

Posted on: December 17th 2021

Head's Blog

Well, that's a wrap! Your children have just left school and there was the usual end of term buzz as they did so. It has been quite a term. I want to start by congratulating your children on what they have accomplished since we returned to school in September. In all areas of school life, there is so much to be proud of both in terms of what goes on in lessons and what our students are involved in outside of them. They never cease to amaze us!



It has been a busy last week of term. We have enjoyed our Christmas lunch and years 7 and 8 have attended the pantomime 'Snow White' at The Elgiva in Chesham which was enjoyed by all. Mention of our students was made on a post on OurChesham, where a resident commented on how impressed she was by their behaviour, adding that 'they were a credit to the younger generation'. Thank you to Mrs Neagle for organising and to the many colleagues who accompanied the students. Fixtures have continued this week. We have played over 150 fixtures this term which is superb. Well done to everyone involved. Our U16 girls have reached the semi-finals of the County Cup following an 8-0 win against Sir William Borlase's Grammar School on Monday. Our First XI enjoyed a tough match against John Hampden Grammar School on Wednesday. Our team included a number of year 11s who have 'played up' this year which will prove to be good experience for them as they move into the Sixth Form next September. Some of our netball teams have also been in action with the 9Bs beating The Misbourne 22-6 while the 11As, also against The Misbourne, narrowly lost 18-16. Next term, we also have a busy fixture schedule, thanks to the hard work and dedication of our PE staff. Fixtures for next term can be found here.


Christmas in words and MusicOn Monday, we held Christmas in Words and Music. This was the first time our students have been able to perform in public for almost two years. Music plays an important role in life at CGS and as I sat there enjoying what our singers, musicians and readers treated us to, it really did strike me how much we have missed this in school. I don't mind admitting that I had a tear in my eye as I watched and listened. A huge thank you to Mrs Jashari who was the mastermind behind the event. Those of you who were in the audience on Monday evening will have noticed that many of the musical items were either arranged or composed by her; she is, herself, a hugely talented musician. Thank you also to Mrs Lewis and to the English Department for rehearsing the readers and, of course, thank you to the students who took part. The retiring collection for Make a Wish and Cancer Research raised just under £420. Thanks to those parents who attended for your generosity.



JUMPERWhile I am talking about money we have raised for charity, our Christmas jumper day last Friday raised over £1500 for Save the Children. Well done to Shakespeare House for leading this. As you are aware, The Friends of CGS held their Christmas Fair a couple of weeks ago and I was delighted to learn that the amount raised at the fair and raffle combined was £8552.11. This is fantastic! Thank you so much to everyone who was involved in any way. Mrs Hill, our Librarian, is equally delighted to report that £640 was raised by our recent Scholastic Book Fair. This gives us 50% commission to take as books for our library. Thank you for supporting this.



Picture 1Our year 13s have been delivering Christmas hampers this week to elderly residents of the town who, under normal circumstances, would have joined us for our annual Christmas party. We have received lots of messages of thanks such as this one from White Hill House: 'Dear CGS, the residents of White Hill House are delighted with the wonderful gifts you have sent us. We really miss your Christmas party and look forward to being able to come back to enjoy it with you in future. Thank you all for remembering us in these difficult times.'



Well done to Millie in year 9 who has passed grade 3 trombone with Distinction and to Liam in year 7 who has also been awarded Distinction, in his case, in grade 5 music theory. Rayan in year 12 has been shortlisted for a prize for his submission in the National Student Science Essay Competition hosted by while Ewan, also in year 12, was runner-up in a German essay competition run by UCL. Heidi and Southerly in year 8 presented a show recently on Radio Christmas. This station, based in Amersham, broadcasts internationally and the students really enjoyed it. Finally, Ryan in year 11 continues his cricketing success with selection for the Bucks U16/U18 squad for next season. Well done to them all.



CGS Sport and PE Team has set up a community link with Chesham 1879 Squash and Tennis Club. The aim is to get students actively involved in playing squash and tennis. If you are interested, please see this letter from Mr Pontin, Director of Sport. Mr Pontin would also like to inform you that the lunchtime rugby club for girls which has been so successful this half term will continue after Christmas.



You are probably aware that we have a staff training day scheduled next half term for Wednesday, February 2nd. Please note that we have decided to move this to Thursday, 17th February. This is because the deadline by which the exam boards will disclose content for the summer GCSE and A level examinations is February 7th, after which departments will need time to discuss how to adapt and modify their teaching for the remainder of the year 11 and 13 exam courses. It therefore makes sense for us to move the training day until after this deadline. This change will mean that our students will finish for February half term on Wednesday 16th instead of Thursday 17th. Parents of year 8 students have been asked to arrange some work shadowing for the training day on 2nd. The change of date means that this should be rearranged also. I apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. We aim to avoid any changes to training day dates after they are set but I am sure you can understand the rationale behind the change of date on this occasion.



Today we said goodbye to Mr McNellan who has been teaching in the science department for the last few years. Mr McNellan is an ex-CGS student and it has been lovely to have him back with us as a member of staff. I would like to thank him for his hard work and we wish him all the best in the future. All of Mr McNellan's classes will be taught by our science staff next term. This has necessitated some alterations to timetables which have been issued to students today. In other staff news, Miss Van Rooyen is getting married tomorrow and we hope she has a happy and memorable day. She will return after Christmas as Mrs Horn.



As you will be aware, schools have been asked to undertake on-site testing of students when we return to school in January and this will take place during the first two days of term. If you gave consent in August for your child to be tested in school and would like to make any changes to this, please get in touch with us. It is also really important, please, for students to undertake a lateral flow test on the evening of Monday January 3rd, the day before we return. Regular testing is one of the most important measures we have to try to keep the school safe. All students have been issued with lateral flow tests this week to enable them to test over the break. Thank you for your continued support.



All that remains for me to do is to wish you a very Merry Christmas. I would like to thank you for your unfailing support of your children and of the school and I look forward to welcoming the CGS community back after the break on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022.

With best wishes,

Annmarie McNaney