29th June 2016

Summer Letter from the Principal

As a very busy and exciting year for Ashington High School draws to a close there are a number of updates I would like to share with you.

Firstly, I’d like to thank all students, parents and staff for their support this year. Reorganising to two tier has of course provided many challenges, and we accept that our journey is very much in its infancy. However, I feel that overall this year has been a great success on many fronts and students have settled extremely well into Ashington High as a secondary school. We will continue to take feedback and will strive to improve again in September with the benefit of a full year’s hindsight to now rely on.

Uniform

Bedding in a new uniform has been one of our biggest challenges this year, yet it also receives the most praise from visitors and members of the community. Next year we will continue to expect very high standards from our students with regard to their appearance. Please ensure your child has formal black school shoes – a number of parents purchased black leather ‘trainer shoes’ in September 2015 and students were issued with uniform passes for Term 1. However, we will not be issuing any uniform passes next year for purchase of incorrect footwear, please check our website for details if you are unsure. Clip-on ties are also required please. As the year has progressed a number of students have tried to revert to their old Ashington High School tie, this also will not be acceptable next year.

If any student has outgrown their current uniform and is happy to hand it in to us to use as spares or to donate that would be much appreciated. Feel free to bring spare uniform into the main school office. We have also collected a wealth of lost property this year! This will be displayed in the Learning Hub on Wednesday 6th July from 3.00 – 4.00pm ready for collection; after this point all lost property will be donated to charity. If you cannot attend this session and know of a particular item that has gone missing please do let our Care and Guidance team know. All items of new or replacement uniform can be purchased from either of the following outlets:

Emblematic

30 Glebe Road

Bedlington

Northumberland

NE22 6JT

Tel: 01670 820 262

Monday to Friday 9:00am – 5:00pm and

Saturday 10:00am – 4:00pm or online at http://emblematic.co.uk/bedlington-store/ahs/

TeenScene

62a Station Road

Ashington

NE63 8RN

Tel: 01670 855200

Mon, Tue, Thu & Fri 9:30am – 5:00pm

(Wed 9:30am – 4:00pm during school holidays) and Saturday 9:30am – 4:30pm

 

Please be aware that orders can take up to 4 weeks to process, so remember to order early enough for your uniform to arrive in time for school starting in September.

 End of Term

The last three days of term culminate with our traditional Challenge Activities Week and Sports Day. A separate letter about Challenge Week will be given to students and Mr Walton will be talking students through their options in assemblies. Students will be able to access a range of activities throughout Monday and Tuesday, whilst Wednesday morning will be our House Sports Day with students competing on the field in a range of events and races.

School closes for the start of the summer holidays on Wednesday 20th July at 12.20pm. School transport will be ordered for this time for students who require it.

Training Day

As advertised on our website this year, a reminder that Monday 4th July is a training day for staff and therefore school will be closed to all students.

NUT Industrial Action

On Thursday 23rd June the National Union of Teachers (NUT) passed a motion, linked to the recent Government White Paper and education policy, for a day of national strikes in schools on Tuesday 5th July 2016. Over 50% of our teaching staff are currently part of the NUT and to this end I have had to think carefully about our school site and the provision we can offer with a large number of staff potentially absent.

After careful consideration we have decided that the school cannot open safely to all students. Therefore, students in Years 10 and 12 who are currently on their A Level and GCSE pathways should come into school as normal, students in Years 7, 8 and 9 are not to come into school. All Year 10 students have a Maths Summer Progress Exam on the morning of the 5th July which they are expected to attend.

Please note, for Year 9 students who are part of the TICE programme with Miss Street, this trip will go ahead as planned, students should arrive to school in school uniform at 12.00pm and head to the STEM room. Similarly, any Year 8 and 9 students attending parliament with Mrs Sanderson, this trip will also go ahead as planned as per the letter that has gone home already to parents.

Year 8 English and Year 9 Science Summer Progress Exams will be rearranged from Tuesday 5th to Friday 8th July.

Summer Progress Exams

Summer exams for Year 10 GCSE and Year 12 A Level students have started well this week. Testing sessions are also planned in core subjects for Years 7, 8 and 9 students as you will know from Mr Redpath’s letter. I must stress again that for our youngest students these tests are not something to be worried about. They are about providing practice and experience for students in a more formal setting; we are more concerned with attitude and behaviour and getting our students ready for the exams they will eventually sit. When Progress Exams are completed and marked we will write out to you with a summary of your child’s performance.

September 2016

School re-opens to students after the summer break on Wednesday 7th September 2016; Monday 5th and Tuesday 6th are staff training days. Please note the staggered start to the first day back:

  • New Year 7 and Year 8 students should arrive for 8.40am.
  • Year 9, 10 and 11 students are required at 10.00am.
  • Post 16 students return to their normal school timetable on Monday 12th of September, however there are Year 12 and Year 13 induction days on Thursday 8th and Friday 9th – more detail of these induction sessions will be included in a letter from Ms Bell in Year 11 and Year 12 results envelopes.

Finally, I would like to thank all members of staff who are moving on from Ashington High School this summer. We have a number of teachers moving on to new or promoted roles elsewhere, and several colleagues are retiring. We wish them well in their future ventures and appreciate all that they have done whilst they have worked at Ashington High School. In their place we have made many excellent new appointments and I am very excited about the group of new teachers joining us in September; I will introduce them all to you then in my first letter of next year.

The last thing that remains is for me to wish you all a wonderful summer break, well deserved by so many of our students and no doubt their parents!