Headteacher Update 04.12.23
Week 13: “Life is too short not to celebrate nice moments!” Jurgen Klopp
It’s officially the start of Advent and all around the school there are signs of Christmas. This coincides with a fortnight of activities around the school that reminds me how privileged I am to work in this community.
Last Friday, I had the great pleasure of accompanying Year 11 on a trip to the Chichester Cinema at New Park to experience a lecture on the different ways in which ‘A Christmas Carol’ has been presented in film. A few things struck me. Firstly, the way in which the students conducted themselves as we walked the mile across town, was exemplary. If you don’t work with teenagers, it’s easy to feel intimidated by them when they are in a large group but the students were polite, moved out of the way to let people pass, and were a real credit to themselves and the school. Secondly, their knowledge of the novel was clear in their discussions with the staff at the cinema, and I listened to their comments about how Dickens’ novel had been accurately (or otherwise) translated to the screen.
I was invited by the students in the LINC building to come over and spend break time with them. The LINC building is part of our SEN provision; students spend time here working with staff, either in lessons, or in small groups. There are also quieter areas of the building for students with sensory issues. Some students spend almost all of their time here, whilst others have a mixed timetable of lessons in ARC 3 (for Key Stage 3 students) or ARC 4 (Years 10 and 11) and elsewhere in the school. As part of a governors’ visit to the school, the students baked cakes and came to talk about their work - I spent the half hour discussing baking, projects (particularly a brilliant piece of work on the Tudors which one of the Year 8 students had produced), and boxes that had been made with the Design and Technology department. Talking about the work was a real thrill, but I also have to give a shout-out to the students who baked what I can only describe as the best brownies I have eaten in years.
Over in the sixth form, the students have been having some fun with a dress-up week. Each day had a different theme:
Monday: Pyjama Day
Tuesday: Formal Day
Wednesday: No Backpack Day
Thursday: Swap Day
Friday: Famous Friday
As a result of Famous Friday, I have now been given the task of revisiting Lou Reed and looking up Kevin Gates (an American rapper) last weekend - a real mix of musical styles. A huge thank you to all the students who got into the spirit of this week and managed to balance their students with some quite - frankly hilarious interpretations of the above themes.
The ones I regret not seeing were the students whose interpretations of ‘No Backpack Day’ was to use an air fryer, a bucket, and a record player. I have no idea how these worked!
In advanced notice, please come and support the Sixth Form Fashion Show on the 17th -18th January. Information about tickets will follow in January.
On a similar note,our whole-school production of ‘Legally Blonde’ is being performed on Thursday 7th December and Friday 8th December. I think there are still some tickets available - please do come and support it if you can. The students and staff have been putting together the last touches and it looks like being another great Chi High performance.
Since September, our students have been completing their maths homework on Sparx Maths. This platform provides bespoke homework to each individual student with the aim of all students being able to attain 100% correct on their homework. To date, our students have completed almost 4000 hours of personalised learning; correctly answered 400000 questions and almost 300 students have improved their times tables fluency.
Thank you to Mr Bramley-Jones in the Maths department who has been driving this.
And in sporting news, congratulations to the following students:
Charlie M (Year 11) for scoring the winning goal against SPH
Issy D (6th form) for fantastic defence against SPH
Tom C (Year 7) for an outstanding rugby contribution
Fynn C (Year 8) for fantastic captaining of rugby team
Louisa F-C (Year 9) for coming 2nd overall in the West Sussex West cross country
A lot to celebrate and a lot to be thankful for. It's starting to feel a lot like Christmas!