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Headteacher Blog

what's happening at Chesham Grammar

Posted on: January 29th 2016

Head's Blog

Dear Parent,

Just after I finished my newsletter last week, I went over to the leisure centre to watch the Year 9 basketball County Cup Final. We were up against Dr Challoner's Grammar School, having made it into the final after the narrowest of victories over Aylesbury Grammar School. I am delighted to report that we are now the holders of the County Cup! The boys played superbly, led to an emphatic 33 - 12 win by Captain Nick Nicolaou. It was with a great sense of pride that I presented the boys with the trophy after the match. Well done and good luck in the next round against Hertfordshire County Cup winners, St Columba’s College, next Friday. You can read the Bucks Free Press article about the team here:

Also on a sporting theme, congratulations to Megan Ellis and Jess Downes who represented Chesham Grammar School at a show jumping competition last Sunday. Megan came 5th in the 90cm class (with 175 people competing in the class) and in the 1m class, Jess came 2nd and Megan 3rd (with 74 people competing in the class). Very well done to the girls.

This week I have met two Year 13s who have just turned 18: Rupali Bhardwa and Harry Seymour. Congratulations! I also met Antonia Bush and Chloe Butler who entered the T. S. Elliot Society's critical writing competition with Antonia being Highly Commended for her entry. Well done to you both.

Yesterday, we held our Enterprise Day for those in Years 7 and 10. Each year, we take part in the National Enterprise Challenge which is sponsored by Theo Paphitis of Dragon's Den fame and his company, Ryman. The Year 7s had to design a new outdoor activity and then had to present this to the judges. For Year 10s, the task was to devise a new business idea which could be run in their school. The winners of the national competition in Year 7 will have their design made and placed in one of several Kingswood Outdoor Activity Centre. The winners in Year 10 will work with Theo Paphitis to set up their business idea in their own and other schools. I was so proud of the students whose creativity, imagination and team work were hugely impressive. Some of the ideas were amazing! As the winners of the KS4 Y10 national competition in 2014, CGS has something of a reputation to uphold so good luck to the winning teams from yesterday on the next stage of their journey. A huge thank you to Miss Grice, Miss Thoday, Mrs Harris and Mr Choules without whose hard work the day simply would not have happened. It is no mean feat to deal with the logistics of a day involving almost 400 students and numerous visitors so I am very grateful to them all and wish them a very relaxing weekend!

You will know that for many years now, we have asked parents to sign Student Planners each week. Having reviewed their use recently following the introduction of Show My Homework, it is clear - and not surprising - that students are using their planners far less than they were before we had SMHW. We have therefore decided that we do not need them signing each week. If you do tend to use your child's planner as a means of communication with school, please can you email or call instead from now on. Many thanks.

Many of our students use the school dining room at break and/or lunchtimes. We have noticed a tendency for some of them to eat more unhealthily than we might wish! As parents, we have the facility to look at what our children have been eating in the dining room so it might be worth a look at this if you have not done so for a while. Do get in touch with any comments, queries or questions.

This week I have delivered assemblies to three separate year groups: 7, 11 and 12. To Year 7, my message was a reminder, half way through Year 7, of the need to persevere and be prepared to see failure as a crucial element of learning. I covered some of the same ground with Year 11, also touching on what lies ahead for them and the importance of planning, effective time management and hard work over the next few months. I made it clear that this can be a very stressful time. Some stress is inevitable but too much is a problem and I would urge you to reiterate the message I delivered which was to seek help if you need it. To parents I would say something similar; please let us know if you feel your child needs some support. We do not of course have a magic wand but we do have years of expertise in
dealing with students sitting examinations.

In the Year 12 assembly this morning, I launched the selection process for our next Head Boy and Head Girl. We have the leaders of tomorrow sitting in our midst and it is vital that we help them to develop their skills and qualities in this regard. We have numerous leadership roles especially for Sixth Form students and selection of these will follow once the Head Boy and Head Girl have been chosen. Please do talk to your child if you have one in Year 12 about whether s/he would like to apply for this position.

Finally, thank you to those parents who have responded to my message last week about dropping off their child in the lay by at the front of school rather than pulling into the slip road; this is much appreciated.

With best wishes for a relaxing weekend,

Annmarie McNaney