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Headteacher Blog

what's happening at Chesham Grammar

Posted on: June 24th 2016

Head's Blog

Dear Parent

Well, what a momentous couple of days.  As I greeted students at the front of school this morning, a group getting off a bus stopped to ask me about my reaction to the EU referendum.  It would not be right to give my own views on the issue here but I would like to say how impressed I have been with your sons and daughters as we have gone through our own EU referendum in school.  The levels of engagement and the quality of debate have been hugely impressive and many of our students are very well informed.  I am not just talking about Sixth Form politics or economics A level students here; students right across the school have been articulately, confidently and in many cases passionately outlining their own stance and defending their views.  Being able to do so is so very important as they move through life so it has been gratifying to see such interest and participation.  Teenagers are often seen as apathetic when it comes to politics.  This is not what I have observed here!   The result of our own EU referendum differed markedly from the national one with 77% of our students and staff voting 'Remain'.  My thanks to Dr Southwood and the Year 12 politics students for organising this.  The events of the past few weeks and of the months which lie ahead will undoubtedly lead to some interesting debate in many lessons especially in A level politics and economics.    

This week I have met with Isabella Inga in Year 9 and with James Daw, Naomi Scott and Neta Margoninski in Year 7, all of whom have accrued more than 200 House Points this year.  Congratulations to you all; this is a wonderful achievement.

 I am delighted to tell you that our Year 7 team won the District Rounders tournament this week.  Well done girls.  You will recall from last week that our Year 9s are already district champions so it could well be a CGS whitewash again this year!

During the week, students in Years 7 - 9 have taken part in a range of activities.  Some of these have been off site, others in school.  Our aim has been to provide activities which are valuable learning experiences for the students and I know from talking to them that they have not only enjoyed the events but have learned a good deal too.  My thanks go to the staff who organised the week. 

As I write this, Year 10 are just going in to their last exam.  As I said earlier this term, all 1273 students in the school have sat exams this term.  As you can imagine this is a huge logistical undertaking and I would like to thank our exams officer Ms Robinson and her team who, led by Mr Josephson, Assistant Head, have once again done a wonderful job of running the exams smoothly and calmly.  There are one or two public exams left early next week but we are almost at the point where we can breathe a sigh of relief and get back to normal.  Given the hall is the only space big enough to hold assemblies, the public exam season is quite disruptive as it means we have to suspend them for some weeks.  Assemblies are part of the lifeblood of any school and I see them as very important so always look forward to the point at which they can resume.  I would like to say 'well done' to your children who have worked hard over the past few weeks and months in preparation for their exams.  I know from having looked at the results of internal exams that there are some impressive performances.  Of course one key purpose of tests is to identify areas of weakness and staff will have been/ will be going through exam papers with their classes so that any misconceptions can be identified and ironed out.

Next week, we welcome our Year 11 students back for their Sixth Form induction.  They will be joined by a number of students from other schools who are hoping to join Year 12 in September.  We also have our information evening for Year 6 parents and students on Thursday of next week, with the induction day for students taking place on July 12th.  This will be the first visit to CGS for the vast majority other than for our open evening.  Our existing students are always superb hosts on these occasions and of course vertical tutoring provides a perfect setting for new students to get to know existing ones across the school and to realise that the older ones are not as scary as they might have thought!

With best wishes for a relaxing weekend,

Annmarie McNaney
Headteacher