A number of exciting things are happening next week:
British Science Week starts today and is a ten-day celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths with a huge number of events taking place across the country. The Stratton Science department have been planning a number of activities and trips for next week including talks from the Institute of Astronomy and Glaxo Smith Kline, a technology tournament, dissection club and a Year 9 trip to the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham.

During the course of next week, the Sixth Form will be taking part in a number of events focused on skills and careers including an apprenticeship fair, careers day, technology challenge, first aid training, self-defence, cooking on a budget and a mental and physical wellbeing workshop.

As if that wasn’t enough, Friday 15th March is also Comic Relief and the Sixth Form Student Leadership Team have organised a staff vs students rowing competition and other events to raise money for this charity, which we are always proud to support. Students in Years 9 - 11 are expected to be in full uniform as usual on Friday 15th.

Therefore, next week looks set to be an engaging as well as fun and exciting week across the school for both students and staff.

On a more serious note, Year 11 Core Mocks start on Tuesday 12th March and run until Friday 15th March. Students have been focused on revision and preparing for these assessments in their English, maths and science lessons. We wish them luck, as every bit of preparation they do now will be beneficial for the summer exams.

Ms Roz Hodges
Interim Headteacher
 
Revision Information and Strategies
Thank you to all parents and students in Year 11 who attended the revision information evening on Thursday. We have had some positive feedback from those who have attended and we have sent the slides used to all Year 11 parents and they are also available on the website http://www.stratton.beds.sch.uk/index.php/news/latest-news/219-revision-evening-a-guide-for-parents . We will be running the evening again for parents of Year 10 students on Wednesday 20th March at 6pm so please do come along, we would love to see you there.
 
World Book Day 7th March
The Library at Stratton is celebrating World Book Day with activities throughout the month of March.  Students will be given a World Book Day token during their English lessons over the coming week which can be exchanged at Sainsbury’s in Biggleswade for one of the special World Book Day books or used for £1 off a book at the book fair taking place in the Library from 20th - 25th March.  There are book-related quizzes, a bookmark making competition and a book cover designing competition taking place in the Library until the end of March – students can come to the Library and pick up a bookmark and/or book cover template and join in! There are prizes for the winning entry and treats for everyone who takes part.  Parents are welcome to visit the book fair after school any day between 20th and 25th March when it will be open until 4pm and until 6pm on Thursday 21st March only.
 
FREE workshops for parents on mental wellbeing
Please see the flyer providing details of a programme of free parent workshops on mental health and wellbeing together with a flyer for the first workshop on 'anxiety and panic', provided by Bedfordshire CAMHS.  These workshops are open to any parent who is registered with a Bedfordshire GP.  Parents do not need to have a child open to CAMHS. Please contact: Sarah James - Public Health Senior Practitioner, Children and Young People, Telephone - 0300 3004109.

Ms Roz Hodges
Interim Headteacher
The school commissioned an external review to provide feedback on our progress since the Ofsted Inspection in April last year. The review took place on Thursday and we welcomed Stephanie Benbow, the Consultant Headteacher who worked with us last term, back to the school with her Deputy Alyson Grindley. They visited 17 lessons, spoke with students, both informally as well as part of a focus group and met with members of the senior and middle leadership of the school. We will receive their feedback in due course and I look forward to sharing the headlines with parents at the next Parents’ Forum meeting, which will take place on Wednesday 27th March at 6pm.  Please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Wednesday 20th March if you would like to attend this meeting so that we can make sure we can accommodate everyone who wishes to attend.

Year 11 parents should be aware of the Revision Information evening on Wednesday 27th February at 6pm. We are very much looking forward to sharing some strategies and revision techniques as well as ideas on how you as parents can support your children. I hope to see as many of you as possible on Thursday evening next week.
 
Ms Roz Hodges
Interim Headteacher
Although this half term has only been just over 5 weeks long we certainly have packed a lot into the time. All year groups have been actively taking part in trips and visits, clubs and performances. Year 12 and Year 13 have also been busy with their mock exams this half term.
 
Year 9 have been considering their future options with a range of informative and supportive events and activities in the lead up to choosing their final GCSE subjects. Please remember that all Year 9 GCSE Option Forms are due in by Wednesday 20th February and must be signed by a parent/carer.
 
There was an impressive turn out at the Year 10 subject parents’ evening last night.  We are pleased with the engagement of Year 10 students and I was delighted to hear so many positive conversations about the progress students are making with their studies.
 
Year 11 parents/carers will have received a letter inviting them and their children to a Revision Information Evening on Wednesday 27th February 2019 at 6.00pm. We would like to share with you the current thinking about what it means to revise effectively as well as give hints and tips for revision and what parents/carers can do to support at home. Families can have a huge impact on the success of young people’s performance in exams and we therefore hope to see as many of you as possible on the evening.
 
Please look out for the date of the next Parents’ Forum evening which will be publicised after half-term. It’s always a pleasure to meet with parents to hear views and opinions on how we can support our students better.
 
I would like to wish all our families a wonderful half-term break and look forward to welcoming students back at school on Monday 18th February.

Ms Roz Hodges
Interim Headteacher

We were delighted to welcome Year 9 to the GCSE options information evening last night and pleased that so many turned out with their parents, on a very cold evening to visit subject areas and receive advice and guidance from their tutors. A reminder that Options Forms, signed by parents, need to be back in school on 20th February 2019. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact subject teachers or your child’s Form Tutor if you have any questions at all.

Parents may find it useful to be aware of all the support that is available for Year 11 students between now and the summer exams. Explore the document below to find out what is on offer and please encourage your children to make the most of these opportunities.

Teachers are always available to help and students need to practice and take responsibility for their own learning as they develop as independent learners.

 

We are delighted to announce that Sally Litchfield and Mike Jeffries have been appointed on a short-term basis to deliver targeted interventions in the maths and English departments for Year 11 students. Both Sally and Mike are very experienced tutors who specialise in working with small groups of students and preparing them for GCSE exams. We are very pleased to have them on board and feel that they will make a valuable contribution to both departments.

 

Parents are warmly invited to our Year 10 parents’ subject evening on Thursday 7th February where you will have the opportunity to discuss your child’s progress with their subject teachers. Please make your appointments online, if you have not already done so please visit https://strattonupper.parentseveningsystem.co.uk/ to book your appointments. Should you wish to make an appointment with a member of the Senior Leadership Team please contact the school by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please only request these once you have booked your other appointments online, and specify your availability start and end times. Please include in your email a brief outline of your concerns when requesting to see one of our senior team as this will assist us in booking the right person and time slot.

 

I am grateful to the site team who were out very early this morning to ensure the paths around school were cleared and gritted following last night’s snowfall. The school site looks beautiful in the snow and I am pleased that we are able to remain open and operate safely due to the commitment of our staff.

 

Ms Roz Hodges Interim Headteacher

Science, Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM)
We are in a really exciting time at Stratton as we get involved with STEM initiatives to give our students the best experiences possible. Every week, students are involved in a wide variety of clubs, from coding and robotics to our dissection club. It is a pleasure to see students exploring the latest technology and spending time out of the classroom learning STEM subjects. Our latest STEM project involves a team of Year 9 students who are working on a competition against other schools organised by Go4Set to design and innovate a solution to a real-life problem. We are looking forward to hearing how they get on in due course.
 
Young Enterprise Success
We were delighted to hear about the success of our Young Enterprise team ‘elevate¬_YE’ last weekend at the Young Enterprise Trade Fair in Milton Keynes. The team of six Sixth Form students Tommy Hastilow, Jack Wright, Jenson Twiss, Tom Turner, Sam Lingwood and Billy Humphries achieved three first place awards for best overall company, best sustainability and best customer focus. They even managed to get their picture taken with Joe Wicks, The Body Coach, who liked their products so much he bought one of their lion clocks!  Congratulations and well done to the whole team.
 
Year 9 GCSE Options
Mrs Vincent and I were pleased to be able to address a packed Hall on Tuesday evening to explain the GCSE options process to parents of Year 9. Students are today taking part in a number of 25-minute taster lessons so they can have a good insight into what GCSE subjects are really like and make informed decisions on their options. We look forward to welcoming all Year 9 students and their parents to our full subject Options Evening next Thursday 31st January. The event runs from 5pm – 7:30pm and Form Tutors are also available for appointments during the evening. If you and your child would like further advice and guidance, please make an appointment.
 
Ms Roz Hodges
Interim Headteacher
The GCSE options process has started in earnest with a number of events taking place over the next couple of weeks.
On Wednesday all Year 9 took part in a ‘Futures Day’ with students visiting one of eight venues to get an insight into further education opportunities and careers ranging from the armed forces and genetics/science to hospitality and catering. Staff accompanying the trips were delighted with the enthusiasm and participation displayed by the students and many have come back full of ideas and possibilities for the future. A huge amount of planning and organisation was required and I am particularly grateful for the work that Mrs Walton to make this such a success.
 
On Tuesday 22nd January there will be a short information evening for parents followed by a full subject options evening on Thursday 21st January.
 
Parents might want to know that we will shortly be publishing information on our website on how to manage the notifications from GO4Schools.

Ms Roz Hodges
Interim Headteacher
 

 

 

I am delighted that Year 9 parents’ evening was so well attended last night. The number of appointments made was significantly greater than recent years and we are fortunate to have so many parents actively involved in their children’s education and keen to discuss progress with their teachers. We acknowledge that not enough appointments were available on the night for all subject teachers and we will endeavour to improve the system in the future.


As Year 9 approach their option choices, there are a number of other opportunities for students and their parents to get further information and speak to subject teachers. I would encourage parents to speak to departments at the GCSE Options Evening on Thursday 31st January, particularly if you have not been able to speak to your child’s subject teacher beforehand. You will shortly receive a letter from Mrs Vincent explaining the options process and highlighting all the upcoming key dates.


The History department has recently launched a valentine’s themed competition called ‘Find Someone Who Treats You Right!’ based on their GCSE topic ‘Medicine Through Time’.  Students are being challenged on their knowledge of 26 key individuals from the ‘Medicine’ course with two prizes of a £20 gift voucher to be won and spent on a range of big brands including Amazon, Cineworld and Nando’s. To be in with a chance of winning the first £20 voucher, they should follow the History department’s Instagram page ‘We Are Stratton History’, find the ‘Find Someone Who Treats You Right!’ post and comment which ‘Medicine Through Time’ individual they believe should be considered the greatest. A second £20 voucher will be decided by a random draw for all students who successfully complete the ‘Medicine’ challenge on the display board outside the Humanities Office in upper H Block. To enter, a ‘game-card’ can be collected from Mr. Macwhinnie. Both competitions are open to history students from years 10-13 and close on Thursday 7th February. Winners will be notified on Friday 8th February.


Following the homework update email that was sent out in error, GO4Schools have issued a letter of apology to all parents which can be viewed using this link: https://www.stratton.beds.sch.uk/index.php/parents/letters-home/159-go4schools-letter-of-apology


It already seems a long time since Christmas but I feel we should share some comments from our customers who bought their Christmas turkeys from the Stratton school farm. One customer said, “We have had turkeys from the farm for the last 7 years and this was the best one to date, also the biggest at over 14kg. Delicious.” Another said, “We are very impressed with our turkey. It was excellent value and amazing flavour”.

 

Ms Roz Hodges

Interim Headteacher

Happy New Year to all our families and a warm welcome back to the new term.

This is a crucial term for Year 11 and 13 in the lead up to the summer exams. Traditionally, students who start to build a routine of revision in addition to the extended learning tasks set by their teachers, make a significant amount of progress in the 12 weeks we have before the Easter holidays. The mock exams provide a useful source of feedback for students to focus their efforts and this is a time when young people require resilience to continue to strive for their best. Supportive and encouraging discussion at home can make a tremendous difference to easing some of the pressure and concern felt by students. Please do not hesitate to contact your child’s Form Tutor or Head of Year if you feel they require additional support.

I am delighted to let you now that the GO 4 Schools App is now available for parents and students. You will shortly be receiving a letter which explains the information that is available through the app as well as how to access it. I know that many parents have said that they would like this facility and I hope you will find it convenient and helpful.

Ms Roz Hodges
Interim Headteacher
A very busy end to the term has meant that there are so many students and staff to thank for their contributions to a number of events.
 
Firstly, I would like to thank all the staff involved in our production of ‘School of Rock’ last week. They have worked tirelessly all term and put in many extra hours over recent weeks to ensure that all who came along were thoroughly entertained. Some parents also gave their time and expertise to help and I was delighted to see some ex-students as well as former Stratton staff coming back to help with the set and technical aspects of the show. Of course, the cast and crew were fabulous showcasing the amazing talent we have among our student body. There was a real sense of community coming together to produce something quite spectacular. Many thanks to everyone who came along to watch and support.
 
On Thursday, Year 12 students hosted an afternoon tea for local senior citizens. This was a lovely event very much enjoyed by the guests as well as the students. I would like to thank the following Year 12s for giving up their time to fund raise for this event and for putting on a wonderful spread and entertainment. I am delighted that they chose to give back to the community in this way.  Dan Humberstone, Zak Stevens, Ellis Jackson, Connie Ryan, Lauren Scott, Olivia Whitby, Maisie Condron, Edward Dellar, Josh Staynor, Tyler Turner, Jack Welsted, Bailey Doggett.
The following students also represented the school admirably on Tuesday night, singing for the Rotary Club at John O’Gaunt Golf Club. Alex Robinson, Jake Caldera, Cali Henebery, April Dyer, Daniel Magee, Kayleigh Henegan, Elizabeth Turnock. In spite of the keyboard cutting out on them repeatedly they carried on beautifully.  The Rotarians have given us a donation of £100, which we will put toward a new portable stage piano that works!
 
Year 10 dance students impressed us this week with their extended learning project based on the professional work of A Linha Curva.  Well done to (first names only as there are so many!):
Millie, Chloe, Emma, Aoife, Darren, Grace, Morgan, Elise, Daisy, Flo, Bel, Ellie-Mai, Katie, Bronwyn, Alexandra, Sadie, Emily, Ella, Freya.    These students have demonstrated exceptional engagement in their learning and developed useful revision resources in the process.
 
The minutes of this term’s Parents’ Forum meeting are now available to view below. You will see the actions that the school are taking in the bullet points in bold. Thank you to all who came along as well as the parents who submitted some comments by email that we are also taking into account.
 
As this will be my last blog before Christmas, I would like to wish all our families a wonderful Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

Ms Roz Hodges
Interim Headteacher