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Headteacher Blog

what's happening at Chesham Grammar

Posted on: July 19th 2017

Head's Blog

Dear Parent,

Well, here we are at the end of a very busy and hugely successful year.  I thought you would appreciate an end of term update ahead of the long summer holiday.

A number of staff are leaving us for pastures new and I would like to wish them all well and thank them for what they have done during their time here.  We currently have three teachers called Heather at CGS; from September, there will be none as all three Heathers are departing!  Heather Hunt is moving to Jersey in a new role as a Subject Leader for Geography while Heather May heads to Shrewsbury School where she will be Second in the Drama Dept.  Heather Gage in maths has decided to return home to Ireland.  Alexander Gold and Helen Savage have worked in science this year.  They were joined after Christmas by Lynn Heath. Also leaving in science is Marianne Lohr who is going to work at Merchant Taylors’ School.  In geography we say goodbye to Simon Longworth, who heads off to Watford Grammar Schools for Girls as Subject Leader while in maths, Gary Compton will be teaching in Dubai next year and David Docherty at Baylis Court School in Slough.  Sarah Pimm will be Subject Leader at Roundwood Park School in Harpenden with Ariane Broomfield leaving to relocate to Hampshire where she will be Subject Leader at Churcher’s College.  Cath Sole will be closer to home, just a stone’s throw away at Dr Challoner’s High School.  Also relocating is Nora Maw, our Attendance Officer, who is heading to Somerset while Jennifer Wolf-Corrigan, one of our cover supervisors, leaves for a new role at Claires Court School in Maidenhead.   Ollie Choules and Dan Whittall, our gap year staff, are both heading off to university.   We wish them all the very best for the future.  I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Kevin Mutter for fulfilling the role of Acting Assistant Headteacher for the last four terms.  Mr Mutter will continue in his role as Team Leader for Science next year.

I know that the Winter is a distant memory but you may recall that we had a problem with our heating back in the Spring term which meant we needed to leave it on constantly.  With the help of a government grant, all pipes are being replaced this summer so that we can turn the heating back on when it gets cold later in the year.  This is a simply massive operation and as a result most of the site will be inaccessible for the whole summer holiday.  Over the summer we will also having a total refurbishment of one of our Food Tech rooms.  This has been funded by the FOCGS to whom we are most grateful.  We would also like to thank Ridgeway Kitchens, a local company, for their generosity.  Mary Berry has agreed to come and open the new kitchen for us in September which we are excited about.  We are also enormously grateful to Waitrose in Chesham for helping us with the cost of the new pots and pans needed for the new kitchen’s induction hobs.

This week, I have seen lots of students which has been a real pleasure.  The last birthday tea of the year for Year 7s was on Monday when I wished a happy birthday to: Alice Burlingham, Elinor Thiruchelvam, Rohan Bakhda and Paris Hinchliffe.  On Monday I also met students whose House points tally for the year exceeds 200, which is superb.  Well done to: Robyn Simpson, Priyal Muthiah, Anay Patel, Jacob Gardner, Joe Rees, Lily Henderson, Lola Bailey, Hamanpreet Walia, Ani Platt-Bowles, Adam Sergeant, Stefanie Buckland, Alice Burlingham, Caitlin Debbage, Sumeer Brar, Naomi Scott and Harry Mabbs.  I also enjoyed congratulating: Armani Patel in Year 7 whose recent art work hugely impressed her teacher, Charlotte Docwra on her success in the Misbourne 5k, Emily Scott who received a gold certificate in the Biology Challenge and Aadityan Sooriyakumar who was awarded a gold certificate in the Junior Maths Challenge.  Finally on Monday, I met with: Lauren Dare who raised a huge amount of money by taking part in a triathlon recently, Jonathan Below who is a member of the National Scout and Guide Concert Band, Aidan Morris who has enjoyed recent success in dressage, Casper Collier-Moore who has been cast in Pinocchio which will be on in Chesham later in the year and who also recently gained a distinction in his grade 5 drama exam and Daisy Lawless who has passed her LAMDA level 1.  Last but certainly by no means least was Raffi Pollitt.  Raffi is in Year 9 and I am absolutely certain that in years to come he will be very well known, such is the success he has enjoyed so far.  Raffi is the current U14 British Foil Champion, the Under 15 All England Youth Champion and the youngest U17 Cadet Fencer to have gained GB Squad selection for the start of the 2017-2018 season.  Congratulations Raffi.  On Tuesday, I met my final group of students for the year!  A good number had won awards in the end of season football presentations at Berkhamsted Raiders Football Club.  Some were chosen as ‘Players’ Player’, others as ‘Manager’s Player’.  They are: Darren Lai, Alexander Burrows, Louis Firth, Charlie Waugh, Catherine Reeves, Barnaby Watts, Tyler Clayton, Elinor Thiruchelvam and Hayden Chappell.  I must also mention Joseph Grindrod here although he was unable to attend as he is on the Vietnam trip.  Well done to them all.  Ella Boothroyd plays for Chesham United and was named as ‘Star Player’. She was also the top goal scorer. Well done Ella. Sammy Lee, Michael Joyce, Louis Jackson, Thomas O'Reilly, Tom Veall, Rico Spinelli, Adam O'Sullivan, Nic Nicolaou, Abbie McCarthy, Izzy Painter, Izzy Bricheno,  Megan Maddison, Amy Wells and Cailin Waddell were our athletes who were so successful in the District Athletics Championships a couple of weeks ago, helping us to win it; very well done.

On Monday evening we held our very last formal event of the school year, Junior Prizegiving.  This was a lovely evening and a fitting way to bring the year to a close.  During the event, we celebrated the achievements of a large number of students in Years 7 – 10.  Students were presented with awards recognising their efforts and achievements across the school year or the contribution they have made to school life. The awards were presented by our Chair of Governors, Sue Walton.  Our guest speaker this year was Dominic O’Tuminu, a former CGS student, who is now studying at Cambridge University.  Dominic spoke to our current students about his experiences at CGS and at university.  He concluded his speech by saying “The main thing I would advise is that you have a plan. I knew friends in my year who wanted to be doctors, actors, lawyers and even astronauts, but whatever your goal, have a plan to get there and use all the wonderful help at CGS to fulfil it”.  Because of the size of the hall, we were only able to invite parents of those students who were awarded prizes.  Lots of students were nominated by their teachers but, as is the case with any prize, there could only be one winner in each class or group.  I am attaching a copy of the programme from the event which includes a list of all the prize winners.  As you know, I never make any apology for celebrating achievement so I do congratulate those whose names appear in this programme.  Of course the vast majority of our students work hard throughout the year and so, as we finish for the summer, I would like to extend my warm congratulations to them all too.

A good number of you are leaving the parent body this year so this will be the last Head’s newsletter you receive by Parentmail.  Thank you for the way in which you have supported your children and the school during your time here and please do keep in touch with us.  You and your family will always be part of the CGS community and are assured of a warm welcome back when you come back to visit in the future.  Should you wish to keep up to date with what is going on at CGS, you might like to know that my weekly newsletter can be found under the ‘Headteacher Blog’ tab in the ‘News, Events and Media’ section of our website.

Well, I am now going to sign off by wishing you all a very happy and relaxing summer holiday.  I look forward to welcoming you and your children back to CGS in September.  Please remember that the first day back for the whole school is Thursday, September 7th, with Years 7 and 12 starting the previous day, September 6th

Best wishes,


Annmarie McNaney