News from half-term break!

(Posted on 08/11/19)

Welcome to the first Headteacher’s blog of the new half term. I hope you all had an enjoyable week and that our students are refreshed and eager to learn!

The Art department has announced the winners of the autumn sketchbook competition:

Y7 - Oliver Wrigley & Marika Miller

Y8 - Callie Evans & Matty Young

Y9 - Zach Rowe & Lucy Reeves

Congratulations to all the winners and well done to everyone who took part; the standard of work was truly amazing.

On Wednesday, 117 of our Year 11 students attended a production of Blood Brothers in preparation for their GCSE English exams later in the year. Blood Brothers is the set text for the exam and the opportunity for our students to see a live action interpretation will give them a different insight into their work in the run up to the exams.

Wednesday also saw our annual Careers Information Evening. Over 50 exhibitors filled the school Hall, ranging from higher education providers, universities to apprenticeship providers and local employers. Students from Year 9 through to Year 13 were in attendance, many accompanied by their parents; it was a very busy and successful event. I thank all those who attended and made the event such a success, especially our office staff, who worked so hard to get all the exhibitors into school, whilst ensuring they were sufficiently hydrated! I also need to mention that we have recently appointed Mrs Lawson as our new Pathways and Employer Engagement Co-ordinator. Mrs Lawson will be working closely with the rest of the team to ensure that our Pathways programme offers all our students appropriate advice and guidance, to aid them on the next steps of their individual pathway to employment.

Bullying is a very emotive issue; it is an example of a lack of respect for another person’s human rights and, left unchecked, will promote the continuation of a society divided by conflict.  This is as much a tragedy for the bully as for his or her victims, since they often end up on the wrong side of the law while their victims have to endure physical and psychological trauma. It is difficult enough to stop bullying in the classroom or on the playground, but when bullying moves into cyberspace it presents a whole new challenge for children, teachers and parents. We have a zero tolerance of bullying and spend a lot of time in lessons, in Citizenship & PSHE, in assemblies and in our general interactions with students, emphasising the need for respect for the individual. As part of our efforts, on Thursday we hosted the Diana Award, an organisation that works with schools on implementing anti-bullying strategies and this week, they were training some of our students to become Anti-bullying Ambassadors. This is the second year we have hosted this training and we were delighted to be joined by many other local schools – some 70 students in total attended. In itself, it will not solve the issue, we remain ever vigilant and will act when made aware, but our efforts need support from parents and students to ensure that Christleton remains a safe place for everyone.

Over the half term break, a group of Year 11 students and staff visited Krakow in Poland as part of the Citizenship & PSHE programme. You may have followed their itinerary through the various social media accounts (another plug for my Twitter feed: @HeadteacherCHS )!

During the trip, students attended the film set of Schindler’s List, visited the Schindler Museum, the Salt Mines and made pilgrimage to Auschwitz-Birkenau, visiting the Museum. During the chilling, but memorable trip to Auschwitz, students explored the appalling conditions that prisoners endured, including the gas chambers, death block and execution courtyard, where thousands of Jewish people were murdered, including the family of one survivor, Lydia Maksymowicz. Lydia, met with Christleton High School students on the final day of their visit. She was just three years old when she was separated from her mother in 1943. Her younger sister was shot on arrival at Auschwitz and her grandparents were taken straight to the gas chambers. Lydia told students how she was put in a children’s barrack in Auschwitz-Birkenau and survived, partly by receiving food smuggled to her from her mother and partly because she was allocated to the notorious Dr Josef Mengele for experimentation.  

“It was clear Lydia’s story touched everyone in the room,” said Mr Hollywood, Head of Citizenship & PSHE. “Students were in a very reflective mood on their return to the hotel”.

As we approach Remembrance Day, it is incumbent on all of us to, not only pay our respects to those who lost their lives in conflict, but also to reflect and ensure we are respectful in all our interactions with others.

I hope you all have a restful weekend.

DP Jones


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