Headteacher's Newsletter

November 2022

Welcome to the second half of the Autumn Term 2022, I hope you all had a very enjoyable half term break. Time has already flown by this school year with a huge amount already crammed in to the first seven weeks of last term. We have been delighted with the way our students have returned and how they have taken on board the new strategies and expectations put in place for this academic year by the Senior Team.

We recently had a safeguarding review by the Local Authority (LA) which was very successful; the Local Authority staff commented very positively on the behaviour and attitudes of our students, noting particularly that the changeover between lessons was one of the best they'd seen in any school. This review was part of a rolling programme for the LA across all schools in Essex and we were delighted with the feedback we received, detailing the rigour with which the school works to keep your children safe.

This is a really important Term for our Year 11 and 13 students particularly with their first PPEs coming up. Information regarding these is below but I would like to wish all of our students the best of luck in these exams as they really will set the scene for their achievement later in the school year. Thank you also to our staff who spend so much of their own time preparing for and marking these exams.

Please find below some useful information for you as well as a link to revision support for our students.

Sixth Form Open Evening 2022

To our Year 11 parents, a reminder that our Sixth Form Open Evening takes place on Thursday 17th November. Doors open at 5.30pm and there are two Headteacher talks in the main hall at 6pm and 7pm. Department teachers will also be available in their areas to provide you with more details about their subject at A level and BTEC.

An email has been sent out to our Year 11 families providing further details and a link to book your space for one of the Headteacher talks, so please look out for this. I look forward to seeing many of you at this event.


I wrote at the start of last term reminding parents about teachers' rights to set a detention for a student if they are following the school's behaviour policy, even if a student or parent does not agree with the sanction.

As a parent I know that my children regularly disagree with any sanctions I give them, and I am sure many of you endure the same endless questioning by your own children at home. However, we have seen a significant increase in parents questioning teachers about detentions on the basis of their child's word over a member of staff, despite them not being in the classroom at the time.

Schools have a legal right to set a detention, in line with the school's behaviour policy and parents do not have any legal right to question or refuse for a detention to take place. There will be times when a teacher gets it wrong, for example mistaken identity, but questioning detentions should and must be the exception and not the rule.

You want our teachers to set the highest possible standards for behaviour so that all can thrive and make exceptional progress; please support them in doing so. When you choose to send your child to West Hatch you do so knowing the school's expectations and agreeing to support them; please take the time to consider this before questioning staff as this is taking an inordinate amount of time for teachers to deal with, away from planning and supporting students with their learning.

A reminder of the procedure to follow if you do wish to query a detention;

· The school will not accept phone calls regarding detentions.

· Should parents wish to query a detention with a teacher the query must be put in writing via an email to the admin email (admin@westhatch.net) or the Department via the ‘contact us’ website link.

Teachers will only consider a removal of a detention for the following three reasons:

1. The teacher has the wrong student.

2. The student was not in school on the day the homework was due in (students should still attempt homework even if they are not in the lesson when it was set, they should speak to the teacher on their return with any queries about it).

3. The homework was not set on Show my Homework.

Reminder to Drive and Park Safely and Respect the Local Residents

Once again I must remind parents to please drive safely when dropping off and collecting your child, parents should not be doing U turns in the middle of the road and should not be driving on site to drop your child off. Also please park respecting the residents access, cars should not be parked blocking the Cedar Park driveway or the residents driveways.

Using Refillable Water Bottles

Around the school we now have water bottle filling stations so please encourage your child to bring to school a refillable bottle, so they can fill this up throughout the day and save on waste by using plastic bottles or cups.

The Me You Can't See

Every summer we ask our new Year 7s to prepare a 'me you can't see' project that they bring with them when they join in the September, and every year the work that is presented is fantastic.

Well done to the students below who were the House Winners this year.

Natasha McKiernan - Austen

Viya Vekariya - Brunel

Sophie Narolskaya - Fiennes

Marissa Higgs-Smith- Newton

Shaan Kalyan - Roddick

A massive congratulations to Marissa who was the overall Year 7 winner for the project.

Open Evening for Prospective Year 7 Students

On the 29th September the school opened its doors to prospective students and families for the Year 7 intake for 2023. It was a wonderful evening with considerably over 1000 families present. Our students really did the school proud and are certainly our biggest selling point. I'd like to particularly thank the students who presented to parents in the hall, Samar Butt, Richard King

Lavanya Satheeskumar and Ethan Haywood. They did such a wonderful job and really brought the school to life for the families visiting us.

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Young Carers Award

I am proud to announce that the school has been awarded a Bronze Award for it's hard work in making sure students don’t miss out on an education because they are young carers.

Young carers are responsible for emotional, practical or physical care for a parent, sibling or other family member who has a physical disability, mental health issue or substance misuse issue.

The 2011 Census statistics revealed that there are just over 166,000 young carers in England, but research reveals that this is just the tip of the iceberg. The Young Carers in Schools Programme helps primary and secondary schools improve outcomes for young carers and celebrates good practice through the Young Carers in Schools Award.

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Parents Voice

Thank you to all of the parents and carers who attended our recent Parents Voice meeting. I received some really useful feedback from parents and there will certainly be a number of changes made as a result of this meeting. I encourage all parents and carers to get involved in our Parents Voice as it really does make a difference to your children's experiences. We will send out more information ahead of the next meeting.

Yr.12 Art Trip

Before half term, students in Year 12 took part in a visit to the National Art Gallery in London where they saw famous works of art first hand. This was a great opportunity to do some learning outside the classroom. Mr Hanley, our Head of Art said "the extracurricular trips are among the most memorable days at school and it’s a lovely chance to bond with classmates. This experience will enable students to further develop their coursework folders."

The students enjoyed selecting their favourite painting in each room, which then led to some interesting discussions about their choices which helped the students see paintings from different perspectives. They also enjoyed seeing the details in the paintings up close, which photos don't always show. There were also opportunities to see the cultural diversity London has to offer with the variety of creative and entertaining performers in Trafalgar Square, which goes to show the artistic, diverse and creative art forms our London streets have to offer.

Important Dates for the Diary

Parent Events

Thursday 10th November - Yr.12 Parents Evening

Thursday 17th November - Year 12 Open Evening - Headteacher's Talks at 6pm and 7pm

Thursday 8th and Friday 9th December - Yr.7 Aspirations Days (by appointment)

Closures and Early Finish

Thursday 17th November - Early finish students dismissed at 1.30pm

Monday 5th December - Inset Day

Friday 16th December - Break up for Christmas students dismissed at 1.30pm

Spring Term begins on Thursday 5th January 2023

Scaling the Himalayas

Congratulations to a member of our site team Deniz who scaled the Himalayas last week making it to Mount Everest Base Camp. What an amazing achievement.
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Our Students' Achievements

Our Year 7s in the National Road Relays in Birmingham

Well done to Toby Taylor, Marissa Higgs-Smith and Sophia Parker who all ran in the National Road Relay that took place in Birmingham on the 8th October. They all run for Woodford Green and Essex Ladies Athletics Club.

Toby after being invited to a time trial qualified to compete in the event and this was his first time competing nationally, and the longest distance he has ever run before. He ran as a team of 3 and ran his leg of 3.6 km in 16.09 mins. The team overall came 36th out of 52 and was a great experience to take into future competitions.

Marissa and Sophia were both in the same relay team having to each run 3.8km and they came 38th with over 50 teams taking part for the under 13’s. The girls also ran in the Chingford Cross Country League and finished 2nd and 3rd in the first round and have the first round of the MET Cross Country coming up. Good luck girls.

Aladin Sait (Yr.12)

Aladin participated as a youth delegate at the World Urban Forum, held in Katowice, Poland in the summer. This is a prestigious global conference held every two years, which brings together world leaders, mayors, parliamentarians alongside civil society, community leaders, researchers, and youth groups to discuss the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for sustainable cities and communities.

The event was attended by 20,000 delegates and the theme of the conference was “Transforming Our Cities For A Better Urban Future”. Aladin took part in the youth assembly and several other events relating to innovation and technology, economic planning for cities, and climate action. The personal highlights for Aladin were meeting like-minded students and activists from all over the world at the youth village, urban cinema, and technology zone.

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Work Shadowing at Credit Suisse

Well done to Aliza Zarras in Year 12, who successfully gained a place on the Credit Suisse Shadowing Scheme. The programme is aimed at promoting women into the industry and every year the school invite sixth formers to apply for the opportunity. This year the applicants had to submit a video outlining why they should be picked for the placement and Aliza was selected.

We asked Aliza about the experience and she said " I was welcomed into a highly professional environment and instantly felt a sense of comfort and belonging. Everyone was so nice, and by the end of the day I was able to feel inspired into working in the corporate sector. I felt greatly encouraged to pursue a career this way due to the inspiration, support and kindness I received from the manager I was shadowing for the day. She gave me such great advice and a range of contacts that will help in building my social and professional network. We even got to sit in a confidential manager's meeting which made me feel involved and well connected with business dynamics and the overall office setting. The event was so well organized I can't wait to go back to the event in December!"

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I love hearing about our students wonderful achievements outside of school, thank you to all the families who have shared with us this great news.

Once again I'd like to wish our Year 11 and 13's the best of luck for their pre public examinations, they really get out of them what they put in.

I hope the information in this newsletter is of use and I look forward to writing once again in the New Year.

Daniel Leonard