The Sixth Form were proud to support Mental Health Day on Thursday 10th October by wearing something yellow and creating origami cranes, which now decorate the common room. Our students are keen to raise awareness of mental health issues and urging others to be confident to talk about their feelings. Head Students have been encouraging everyone in the school community to demonstrate their care for each other by making positive statements and celebrating achievements.

While on the subject of charity, we were delighted that the final tally for Macmillan was just over £500, an amazing effort for a phenomenal cause.

There are a number of events in the final week before half term. Firstly, a reminder that Year 11 subject parents’ evening is on Thursday 17th October, and you can book to see your child’s teachers on the electronic booking system, details are in the letter that has already been sent to Year 11 parents.

The whole school is also looking forward to the STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) Careers Fair on Wednesday 16th October and all year groups will have an opportunity to visit during the day.

GCSE geography students are looking forward to their field trip to Sorrento, which goes out on Friday 18th October, and we know they are going to have an enjoyable and very interesting time.

 

Ms Roz Hodges
Interim Headteacher

 

After the excitement of last week, this week has been a quiet and purposeful one so it was a lovely surprise to be contacted by an ex-student who was one of the very first to start at Stratton exactly 69 years ago on 2nd October 1950. At that time, Stratton was a brand new Grammar and Technical School with just 4 classes, 112 pupils and 5 or 6 teachers.

The only building, which existed, became the technical block.  Obviously much has changed since then but one of the great things about Stratton is its history and it’s always great to hear from former students about how the school has shaped their lives.

I am pleased to say the Whole School Council is well and truly up and running and one of their first projects is to raise funds for some new picnic benches for the school grounds. It’s lovely to witness their enthusiasm for improving the environment of the social spaces around school. I hope that as many staff, students and parents as possible will support them.

On another charity note, I am absolutely delighted to be able to announce that we raised over £458.26 for Macmillan Cancer Support last week in our biggest ever-coffee morning, which lasted 2 days. Students and staff were so generous that we were also able to donate a substantial amount of cakes to the Preen foodbank after school on Friday.

Further to my blog last week, congratulations to the overall winners of the STEM projects, Maisie Osborn, Holly Carles, Georgie Carles, Ellie Barker and Kiera Turner. 

Ms Roz Hodges
Interim Headteacher

It has been a very busy week at Stratton. While the whole school was preparing for our Open Evening on Thursday, the Year 9s were working hard to finish off their STEM projects down in science. This culminated with project teams presenting posters on their research, design, testing and results on Tuesday morning. Winners and runners up were announced for the categories of a self-sustaining island, an efficient rocket and a flood proof house. There was real energy down in the Science Centre as students explained what they learnt though the project work and it was great to see so much passion for their chosen projects.


Last night’s Open Evening was a huge success and I would like to thank our dedicated staff for all the extra work that went into the evening. It was a pleasure to meet so many prospective students and their families and receive some really wonderful feedback about our school, students and staff. Students are always our greatest ambassadors and they deserve a huge thank you too. The Year 9 tour guides were a real credit, having been at the school less than 4 weeks. They demonstrated great resilience, especially towards the end of the evening when energy levels were flagging. Many other students helped in departments and the Head Students did a great job of meeting, greeting and directing. I would especially like to thank Amy Andrews in Year 9 and Finley Woodward in Year 13, both bravely speaking in public for the first time to share their experiences of Stratton to large audiences in the Hall.

If you missed the Open Evening or would like to see the school in action during the day, please contact the Office to make an appointment for a visit. We would be very proud to show you around on a normal working day.

Our Macmillan Coffee morning on Thursday was hugely successful. We asked all staff and students to contribute and, with a bit of health rivalry between the year groups, an astonishing number of cakes were brought in to school. Cakes were on offer during the Open Evening and will be on sale again during Friday break time. Next week we will be able to announce how much money was raised for the incredibly important cause.

 

Ms Roz Hodges
Interim Headteacher

 

 

Scholarship Success: I was delighted to be informed that two Stratton students have achieved outstanding results in The London Institute of Banking & Finance Level 3 qualifications. Dominic Vallier from The London Institute of Banking & Finance will attend the school to present scholarship certificates to Taylor Gilling, who performed in the top 1% of students and Charlotte Hancock, who achieved an A grade. We are very proud of Taylor’s and Charlotte’s success – congratulations to you both.

It is an exciting time in the run up to our annual Open Evening next Thursday 26th September. I am always amazed by the number of students who volunteer to help on the evening, especially the Year 9s who will have been at Stratton for just over 3 weeks when they take prospective students and their parents on a tour of our large site. They are already demonstrating many of the Stratton Standards.

At break time on Thursday 26th September, we will be holding our biggest ever coffee morning in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. Every tutor group will be involved and year groups will be located in different parts of the school selling their cakes. Years 12 and 13 are setting up a coffee shop in the Sixth Form Centre and will be selling hot drinks as well. Nothing will go to waste, any unsold cakes will be available to families during Open Evening in the Exhibition Hall so we are hoping to raise even more money for this amazing cause then. So please do encourage your children to get involved by donating cakes; there is talk of a competition between the year groups!

 

Ms Roz Hodges
Interim Headteacher

At the end of the first full week of the new term, I would like to say thank you to everyone for what has been a very positive start to the academic year. I am particularly pleased with the response from the students to the six Stratton Standards of Excellence, Community, Dialogue, Challenge, Resilience and Passion. As I walk around school, it is a pleasure to see such high levels of engagement and enjoyment in lessons across the curriculum.

We are also delighted with the response from the vast majority of students who have wholeheartedly embraced the new mobile phone policy. Overwhelmingly the most noticeable success has been the impact during break and lunch times. In our social areas, students are interacting with each other, laughing, playing and developing their friendships. The change in the atmosphere around the school site is remarkable and a joy to observe. This positive change would not have been possible without the support of parents and carers. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who contacted us about the new policy and for your support in reinforcing the policy with your children at home.

We are rightly proud of the range of extra-curricular opportunities that are on offer to our students. The 2019/20 trips and visits calendar kicks off today with a music trip to the Royal Opera House which I am sure will be a fantastic experience for all who are attending. There is a lot more to come this term so do look out for our communications on activities both in and out of school over the next few weeks,

 

Ms Roz Hodges
Interim Headteacher

Welcome back to the new school year. Staff have been working hard over the summer and training days in preparation for the new term so we could welcome the students back to an organised and purposeful learning environment. It is worth noting that we have recruited some very strong new members of staff and we start the academic year with a full complement of specialist subject teachers.

The site team has been carrying out a number of maintenance jobs, deep cleaning and sprucing up the school over the holiday and the roof replacement at the back of school continues. We anticipate this work will be complete by the time we return from the October half term break.

Last academic year we introduced a new praise and reward system for students, which we are building further upon this term. We have also been revising our expectations of the whole school community and we have drawn together a ‘Stratton Standards’ document which you will find attached to this letter. The standards explain our agreed expectations around our attitudes to learning and how we behave within school and towards each other. They clarify our values and commitment to everyone in the community and specify the language we will use to praise achievements and deal with inappropriate behaviour; they are designed to focus on the positives.

These standards have been shared with staff and all students in their welcome assemblies and I also wanted to share them with all parents and carers as they apply to all of us in the school community; students, staff and parents as well as Trustees and Governors. Please familiarise yourself with these standards, talk about them with your child/children and have them in mind when discussing how things are going in school and when making contact with staff.

I firmly believe that students, who attend well, work hard and share our values and a sense of belonging to our school community, achieve really great outcomes both in terms of qualifications as well as skills and experiences. Together these support successful transitions to the next stage of education, training or employment and we certainly see strong evidence for this in the summer exam results and the destinations of students once they leave us.

We are excited for all the opportunities this academic year will bring and are looking forward to celebrating the achievements of our students.

Ms Roz Hodges
Interim Headteacher

 

It has been a delightful final week of term and end to the academic year. A highlight of the week was the Stratton Bake Off challenge organised by the Year 11 Council. We had some amazing entries from both students and staff and their delicious cakes raised over £100 for Dementia UK, a very worthwhile cause. Student winners announced in assembly today were: Millie Albon for Student Taste and Sienna Kelly for Student Presentation.

In true Stratton style, there continued to be opportunities for enrichment right up until the end of term. Year 10 History students spent last weekend on the Battlefields trip in Ypres, Belgium.  Students in Years 11- 13 attended the Paperbirds Theatre Workshop on Monday and some came back to school to attend a UCAS information evening in the Sixth Form Centre. The A level geographers have also been out on fieldwork in Southwold this week and the whole of Year 13 took part in their annual Summer Olympics event on Friday morning, which involved big ball football, mummy races and egg throwing.  Congratulations to Humphries House for winning Summer Olympics. After the event all the house points were totalled for the entire year and Howe House were the winners!

Today we celebrate this year’s achievements in final assemblies and say good-bye to students for the summer. We also bid farewell to staff who are retiring or moving on to new roles from September and we wish them all the best for the future. I am very pleased that we have managed to recruit some incredibly strong teachers for the new academic year and we are looking forward to working with them from September.

 

We would like to remind everyone of the summer exams results days, as follows:

A-level: Thursday 15th August (8.30-11.00am)

GCSE:  Thursday 22nd August (9.00-11.00am)

Results can be collected from the Sixth Form common room and you can access the school via the side gate by Sixth Form. The front doors of the school will be locked. There will be members of staff available on the day if your son/daughter has a query regarding their results.

I would like to wish all our students and their families a wonderful summer break and look forward to welcoming everyone back in September.

 

 

Ms Roz Hodges
Interim Headteacher

 

Winners of the Bake Off:

Michelle Ksher - staff presentation


Katy Ellis- staff taste


Millie Albon student taste


Sienna Kelly student presentation

 

The penultimate week of term has been a very exciting one. On Monday evening the A level and GCSE Art Craft and Design exhibition was open to the public. The standard of work this year is phenomenal and we are incredibly proud of the talent displayed by our students. The creativity and quality is such that many people have said that they would be keen to buy some of the pieces. The display will remain in place in our exhibition hall until the end of September. If you would like an opportunity to see it for yourself please contact us to make an appointment.  Due to current exam board legislation we are unable to post images until after the GCSE results have been made available.  Images will be posted in September.

The whole school took part in a huge range of activities during sports day on Tuesday. The weather was perfect, dry, not too hot and fairly cloudy. Students and staff were out all day and there was a fantastic, competitive atmosphere. It was great to see all students participating enthusiastically in various parts of the school during periods 1-4. For period 5, everyone came together on the field for the athletics events, which culminated in a departmental staff and sixth form student teams relay race, quite an event!

On Thursday, we welcomed around 280 new year 9 students for their induction days. We work very hard to ensure the smoothest transition possible for our new students and it is always a delight to see that, no matter how nervous they are when they arrive on Thursday morning, they leave smiling and confident on Friday afternoon having made new friends and looking forward to September. It was a pleasure to be able to greet so many parents on Thursday at our ‘Meet the Tutor’ evening and share something of the experience their children had over the transition days and our expectations for September.

The final week of term fast approaches and I would like to remind parents that students finish early on Friday 19th July at 1pm, and buses have been booked to arrive in time for the earlier finish.

 

Ms Roz Hodges
Interim Headteacher

 

Year 10 GCSE geography students completed their physical fieldwork this week at Epping Forest, Essex. With quadrats and tape measures in tow and the sun shining, students set to work collecting data, which they will use in their Paper 3 exam. Everyone really got stuck into their fieldwork and have developed their understanding of a small-scale ecosystem. Not to forget the geography mascot, Globey also came along to keep students and staff company! Another group are out on the field trip today and we wish them the same success.

 

It is a very busy time of year and some students from Year 10 are also on a Maths visit today at the University of Bedfordshire. It was a delight to welcome back so many Year 11 students on Monday as the new Year 12 for their induction and students from Potton Middle school visited on Tuesday, as they will be away in Paris for our full Year 8 into 9 Induction on Thursday and Friday next week.

Yesterday we welcomed the new teachers who will be joining us in September for a comprehensive induction programme. I am truly thrilled to have appointed a number of exceptionally strong and capable teachers and leaders for the new academic year. It was a pleasure for us to work with them yesterday and we are all looking forward to working together in September.


We are looking forward to the Art exhibition on Monday 8th July and we would love to see as many parents there as possible. Please do come along any time between 3.30pm and 6pm to see the fabulous work of our talented students on display. The display has already been set up in the Exhibition Hall and I can assure you it is worth a visit.

 

Ms Roz Hodges
Interim Headteacher

 

 

As we approach the final few weeks of the academic year we are busy with events that celebrate the achievements of Stratton students across the year groups. On Thursday this week we congratulated the winners in Years 9 and 10 at our Awards Evening. It is always an honour to recognise the endeavour, achievements and perseverance of so many students in the presence of their family.

After the awards evening I joined other staff at the Year 13 leavers Ball at Wyboston to say farewell to this amazing group of young people who are about to embark on the next stage of their lives. Then tonight (Friday) we will be at Knebworth celebrating with the outgoing Year 11 at their prom before welcoming most of them back to school for their Sixth Form induction day on Monday!

The new positive rewards system in now well embedded and it is a delight to see students looking for their names on the weekly list of winners. Each week there is an overall ‘student of the week’ for each year group as well as ‘form group of the week’ and ‘subject student of the week’ winners. These totals will eventually contribute towards some students having the chance to win some quite significant prizes, which I am sure is helping to keep many of them motivated.

There are still a number of trips, visits and other activities to pack in before the end of term, so there is plenty to keep the students engaged in their lessons and learning beyond the classroom, right up to the last day.

 

Ms Roz Hodges
Interim Headteacher