Welcome to the new school year
Welcome to the academic year 2022/23. I hope that everyone had a lovely summer break and you were able to spend and enjoy your time as families together. As this is my first newsletter of the year it has a lot of important information for you, for example our behaviour and uniform expectations, to ensure you are aware of the standards we expect; the standards that led you to choose West Hatch for your children.
I am incredibly excited about this year. Not only do we have a fantastic set of results at A Level and GCSE to build upon, which I have outlined below, but my Senior Team have put in place some outstanding strategies for teaching and learning, behaviour and curriculum, that I truly believe will help us build upon all our previous successes and make the school even better for our students.
Thank you for taking the time to read the messages below; I hope they provide you with the information you need to support your children to be successful at West Hatch.
It's been lovely to see all our students return to the school this week and we are looking forward to an enjoyable and successful year together.
A LEVEL AND GCSE RESULTS 2022
We are all exceptionally proud of our Year 13 and 11 students who, despite all of the challenges they faced throughout their course produced the most fantastic sets of results. The determination and perseverance they showed through multiple lockdowns, isolation periods and staff absences really paid dividends and we are so pleased to see so many of our Sixth Form get the University, Apprenticeship and employment opportunities they'd hoped for, and so many of our Year 11's joined us last Friday for their first day of Sixth Form; I'm particularly looking forward to seeing our new Year 12's develop over the next two years and building upon their fabulous GCSE results.
I was absolutely delighted with our whole school results, with well over 60% of A Level results awarded to students at grades A* to B, the students achieving an overall pass rate of 100%. At GCSE 58% of our students achieved 5 qualifications at 5+ including English and Maths, which is the key measure by which we are assessed and this is significantly above the national average. However, I want to use my newsletter to celebrate some of the young people who really excelled; please see our highest achieving students from this year's examinations below.
A LEVEL - STUDENT TOP PERFORMERS
GCSE - STUDENT TOP PERFORMERS
As well as looking at overall attainment, we also look at how well students have performed in relation to their target grades. We use something called progress 8 to judge this; it means the average best 8 grades a student achieves across all subjects. A progress 8 or P8 score of +1.0 means on average a student achieved 1 grade more than expected. Below you can see our top 5 progress 8 scores for GCSE, amazing achievements by them all.
BEHAVIOUR EXPECTATIONS AND CHANGES THIS YEAR
When parents choose to send their children to West Hatch they often tell me it's because at the Open Evening I talk about not allowing any child to disrupt the learning of others. We have always done our best to ensure this is the case and have very high expectations of our students.
This year we are adapting a number of rules for Year 7 and 8; these rules will follow the students through the school. Year 9 and above will continue to follow our previous expectations. Mr Tester will be sending parents a video explaining the new rules on Monday together with a copy of the up to date behaviour policy. However, in the meantime you will see below a few key points we ask parents to be aware of.
Please remember that students are only permitted to wear Black, Navy Blue and Dark Grey coats and they must be plain. This is an easy thing to get right but something that regularly causes conflict in school. The school does not permit students to wear hoodies - zipped or not. Please ensure your children have the correct coats as I'm sure we will not continue to see this lovely weather for long.
Students must have black leather school shoes and are not permitted to wear boots to school. This is and has been very clear in our uniform policy for some time. If students arrive at school without school shoes and no medical note for wearing different shoes, then they will be expected to change into the schools' shoes. Refusal to do so will result in the student being isolated from their peers until they are wearing appropriate footwear.
Please find below our uniform list and sixth form dress code.
Hair, nails and make up
Students may only come to school with a hair colour that would be considered a natural colour and that includes any additional items they choose to wear in their hair such as beads which must be transparent.
False nails and nail varnish are not permitted and students will be asked to remove them in school. Students in Key Stage 4 may wear minimal make-up.
Please also note that students are not permitted to wear nose or tongue piercings and are only allowed to wear a single stud earing in each ear.
Please make sure that your child has a skirt that reaches their knee. Students are not permitted to roll their skirts up and will be told to roll them down to maintain the professional look the school expects.
Uniform is something that is easy to get right but regularly causes issues in school. More often than not this is because of the students desire to challenge the norm, but sometimes it is because they have the wrong items. Please support the school by ensuring your children have all the uniform and equipment they need for the start of this academic year.
Following the successful trial in English and Maths, we are now extending the rule to the whole school and students will be expected to place their phones in a slot at the front of the classroom for every lesson.
If a student refuses to do so they will be isolated and their phone confiscated. If a student is caught with a mobile phone having said they do not have one, their phone will be confiscated for a week including the weekend.
Please support the school with this rule, we are only doing it for the benefit of your children
Students walking out of or away from lessons
Having discussed this matter with a number of Headteachers it seems that there has been a significant increase of students walking away from lessons across all schools since returning from the pandemic last year. We have certainly seen an increase of this, although from a generally small number of students. As a result our new rule for this year is that any student that leaves a lesson without permission or walks away from a classroom having been asked to remain outside will receive an hour and a half same day detention. Parents will be contacted to inform them that this will be taking place. Parents who wish their child to have a time out card need to apply via the schools website and the form can be found under the parent tab, and these will be reviewed regularly, however these cards only allow students the opportunity to stand outside the classroom for a period of time, not to walk away.
The picture below shows the schools expectations and the sanction students will receive if they do not meet these expectations.
If your child feels unwell in school
Please remind your child that if they start to feel unwell in school they need to report to the main office and the first aid team, after getting a note from their class teacher. Your child shouldn't be calling home to let you know they feel unwell, the first aid team will assess your child, and then notify you.
Picking Up and Dropping Off
Can I please remind you to be respectful of the local residents and the parking restrictions when dropping your child to and from school. Cars should not be parking on the zigzag lines near the school entrance and doing U turns in the middle of the road.
Reminder about the School Day
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
We will be starting up our Breakfast Club next Monday (12th September). If your child would like to buy breakfast in the morning before they start school, then the canteen will be open from 8am to 8.30am and on offer will be bacon rolls, yoghurt, fruit and toast.
Our Safeguarding and Pastoral Team
Please find below our Safeguarding and Pastoral Teams. Safeguarding your children is our number one priority at West Hatch. I hope this information supports you in knowing who to contact should you have any pastoral or safeguarding concerns for your child.
Head of Year 7 - Mr G Blain
Head of Year 8 - Mr J Limon
Head of Year 9 - Mr J Orton
Head of Year 10 - Mrs C Reid
Head of Year 11 - Mrs S Harman
Head of Sixth Form - Mr S Windsor
Head of Austen - Mrs M Fell
Head of Brunel - Mr N Vanhoutteghem
Head of Fiennes - Miss L Duck
Head of Newton - Miss K Young
Head of Roddick - Miss S Duddridge
Equality and Diversity Focus
Prior to Covid I committed to families that we would be having a significant focus on equality and diversity across the school. Unfortunately the pandemic limited our ability to make significant progress with this agenda even though it has always remained a priority.
I am exceptionally proud of our culturally, racially and religiously diverse school and want to both celebrate these differences while educating all within our community about them. Our culture week last academic year was the first step towards this and will become an annual event moving forwards.
During the summer term Mrs Steadman, our new Assistant Headteacher, set about meeting a large number of students from a range of backgrounds to understand their experiences in our school. She has as a result put together an action plan including creating a student and staff working group to make sure we take action to ensure our similarities and differences can be celebrated and that every member of our community feels safe and valued inside and outside of school. More to come on this in future newsletters.
My Ed App - Never Miss a School Report or Letter Again!
I would like to remind you about the MyEd App which the school has purchased on behalf of our parents and we have received excellent feedback from you about this service. This App allows you to view a huge amount of school information as well as key material specifically about your child, for example timetables, rewards and behaviour logs, as well as accessing their progress checks. We highly recommend that you download the App. For more information on what it does, how to use it and how to download it, please see the video below.
Please note that when signing up for the App you must use the same contact email address and mobile number that the school hold for the Priority 1 contact on your child’s record. The reason for this is that the system will link your child/children to your MyEd account automatically based on the information we hold and the information that you enter when signing up. This is also where the security codes will be sent to for the initial configuration of the App. If your contact information has changed please let the school office know of these details via the admin email before signing up for the App.
Here are the links for the App if the QR code doesn't work:
Encourage your child to read
Please find below reading lists from our Librarian suggesting a selection of books your child may be interested in reading.
Important dates for your diary
Wednesday 14th September - Year 12
Thursday 22nd September - Year 10
Tuesday 27th September - Year 11
Tuesday 11th October - Year 9
Closures and Early/Late Starts
Wednesday 21st September Inset Days -School closed to students
Thursday 29th September - Early finish at 1.30pm due to the Year 6 Open Evening
Friday 30th September - Later start at 10am
Monday 24th October-Friday 28th October - Half Term
It's great to have a full school again, the students have come back with a fantastic attitude and I'm looking forward to seeing what this year will bring us.
Our Year 11 and 13's from last year have set the standard for us and we will continue to work hard with our students every day to support their academic development, while offering many opportunities to develop personally across the school.
I would like to thank you all in advance for your support this year and particularly thank those parents and carers who took the time to write to me at the end of last term, the staff and I very much appreciate you doing so.
The only way schools can be effective is through open and honest communication. Please do ensure you keep in contact with the school, via your child's Form Tutor and Head of Year in the first instance, or the Head of Department if it is related to a specific subject, should you have any concerns.