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    Message from the Principal

    Mr J Taylor, Headteacher
    Mr J Taylor
    Principal

    Dear Parent / Carer,

    School Events

    We have just had two highly successful evenings of ‘Cinderella’, this year’s school pantomime. Written, directed and produced by Mr McHale, Head of Drama, but supported by others in the Performing Arts faculty, it was immensely entertaining, and has involved over 60 Wath students. I am very grateful to all the parents, students and staff that came along to support all the hard work and preparation that goes in to putting on such a grand event. Prior to this there was a matinee performance, performed for future students, from local feeder primary schools.

    I write as we look forward to two further significant events in the life of the school. On 17 December we have our annual Christmas Concert, where many of our gifted musicians and singers will perform a range of traditional and more contemporary music; and where there will be hearty audience participation with the more familiar carols, particularly to the rousing traditional finale of ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’, complete with actions. Then on 18 December we have our Year 13 Presentation Evening, when most of last year’s final year students should be available to join us for the annual presentation of certificates and awards. We look forward to hearing how everyone is doing after joining the world beyond school. We are delighted that a large proportion of the year group have already indicated their desire to join us on that evening.

    At the very end of last half term, the Performing Arts (PA) faculty hosted a Murder Mystery Evening. With the title ‘Till Death Do Us Part’, it was set within the grounds of a mansion house, on the occasion of a wedding, that ended in a murder. The wedding attire in the audience, suitably seated for the wedding banquet, certainly added to the atmosphere as we tried to work out ‘who done it’ from a cast of sixth form drama students. The acting was of the highest calibre and thank you to all the staff from the PA faculty for hosting such an entertaining evening.

    The Main Hall was packed on 14 November for our ‘New Sixth Evening’, where prospective students came to hear about the opportunities on offer for next year’s Year 12. It was very encouraging to see the number of students that had been attracted from other, neighbouring schools across the region. It is very pleasing to note that the sixth form at Wath is held in such high regard. On 28 November we had our ‘Year 11 Presentation Evening’ where certificates, prizes and awards were made to last year’s Year 11 students. It was lovely to welcome so many of them back together again as a year group, with students pursuing training and courses at local colleges joining with those who had moved into our own sixth form.

    Trial Exams

    As the end of term approaches, it is a very busy time for students preparing for external examinations. Year 11 students have recently completed GCSE Trial Examinations in English and Maths. The Trial Exams are very good practice for the external exams that begin after the Easter break, only just over 4 months away, and so there will be further Trials in students’ other subjects from 13 January. It is a very important time for Year 11 as they prepare for exams that will determine what options are open to them post-16. We hope that as many as possible will be successful and will be able to take advantage of the courses that we offer in our own sixth form. Following the Year 11 exams, Year 13 students have now had their own Trial Exams.

    Fund-Raising

    Across our school community, we continue to focus on raising academic standards and opportunities, remaining fully committed to our aim of ensuring that all of our students receive a high quality educational experience. However it is also good to report on the fund-raising activities that staff and students have been involved in over this last half term, including a bake sale for ‘Children in Need’ and the sale of handmade Christmas decorations in aid of ‘Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice’.

    Premature Closures Due to Bad Weather

    As we now enter the winter season, and the weather deteriorates, may I please take the opportunity to remind parents that there may be occasions when emergencies make it necessary for students to be sent home prematurely and that, in these circumstances, parents should have advised their children of necessary care arrangements. We would of course strive to avoid these circumstances but we must plan for all contingencies.

    End of Term Arrangements

    Individual tutor groups are currently busy putting together the final touches to their hampers for our annual Christmas Hamper Competition. Once the judging has taken place, the hampers will be distributed to senior citizens living in the local area and to a few residential centres. Thank you if you have been able to support this by sending in such as a tin of food, bottle of drink or book. There will be a prize for the best hamper in each year group and a trophy for ‘best in school’.

    This year we are hosting a Christmas Lunch for all students on Friday 20 December. Students will attend their normal lessons until lunchtime; they will then follow a rotation of lunch, Character Education sessions with their tutor group and House competitions. The last day of term will finish at the normal time of 2.40pm.

    The lunch will be free of charge and will be based in the Main Hall. We will have three sittings of 650 students and staff. All students will engage in the festivities in their tutor group and enjoy good conversation around the dinner table. There will be table-cloths, crackers, bunting, banners, Christmas Jumpers, Christmas songs, table games, snow machines, quizzes etc. We want all students to engage in the festivities and create positive school memories which last a life time.

    To raise money for the NSPCC, in return for a small donation, students can wear a Christmas Jumper instead of their blazer on this day. Students must still wear their shirt and tie under their Christmas Jumper and can wear their blazer over the Christmas Jumper if they wish. Donations will be collected on entry to the Christmas Lunch.

    On behalf of all staff members at the Academy, I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We look forward to welcoming all students back into the Academy on Monday 6 January at the normal start time.

    Yours sincerely,

    Mr J Taylor
    Principal


    Dates for the Diary

    Some important forthcoming dates:

    • 28 January – Year 10 Student & Parent Consultation Evening with subject teachers
    • 4 February – Year 8 Student & Parent Consultation Evening with subject teachers
    • 11–13 February – Dance & Movement Evenings
    • 14 February – INSET day: school closed to students
    • 17 February – half-term break begins
    • 24 February – new half term begins (for students and staff)
    • 25 February – Year 10 Student & Parent Consultation Evening with subject teachers
    • 3 March – Year 9 Student & Parent Consultation Evening with subject teachers