Although some events for science week were cancelled by the organisers, Year 10 and Sixth Form students were still able to take part in an amazing technology tournament on Tuesday.   We are grateful for the support of the rotary club in putting this event on. The students were brilliant and had a fantastic time.

Also on Tuesday some Sixth Form students went to an apprenticeship fair in Milton Keynes. A good number of our students go on to some great apprenticeship schemes every year after Sixth Form and this is a useful first step in thinking about these potential opportunities.

It has certainly been a busy week and students are continuing to benefit from a wide variety of trips in the school calendar including a sociology trip on Thursday to support students with their exam preparation and trips organised by the Creative Arts faculty this week. Our A Level Music recital went well with the students putting in excellent performances.  The dedication and hours of practice was evident and we wish them luck.

Stratton Choir performed for the Women’s Institute Annual General Meeting on Thursday.  The ladies said they were “a truly talented and inspirational bunch”.  Choir have been invited back to sing for them next year and they have given a donation of £30 to choir’s chosen charity the Evelina Children’s Heart Organisation (ECHO).

In amongst all the extra-curricular fun students in Year 12 and 13 have been sitting their Finance exams and there have been GCSE music performance exams too.

Congratulations to all our students who are participating so positively in these events while continuing to focus and work hard for their exams.

 

 

Ms Roz Hodges
Principal

 

Next week is British Science Week and, as a scientist myself, I am keen to highlight the diversity of the STEM workforce, the broad range of jobs and careers available, and that scientists are just like other people. I worked as a research scientist in industry for 15 years before joining the teaching profession and the opportunities and experiences it gave me were amazing.

When asked what a scientist looks like most people envisage an Albert Einstein figure in a lab coat but the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) sectors are so much more diverse than this stereotype suggests. There are people working in a huge variety of environments and from many different backgrounds, who have taken various pathways into their career. Not only that, but the jobs people do and the ways that they work as a scientist are incredibly broad and diverse.

I would encourage you to have a look at the stories from some amazing science superstars at the Smashing Stereotypes campaign: https://www.britishscienceweek.org/plan-your-activities/smashing-stereotypes/ There are a  number of activities taking place next week to celebrate British Science Week at Stratton which we hope will motivate and inspire our students to consider careers in the STEM industries.

I would like to remind parents of Year 9 that next Thursday 12th March is the Subject Parents’ Evening which is the crucial final step in the information, advice and guidance we give to support students making their GCSE option choices. We look forward to welcoming you on the evening and a reminder that signed option choice forms are due back with tutors by Wednesday 18th March.

 

 

 

Ms Roz Hodges

Principal

 

 

Ms McKendrick was delighted to award ten Year 11 students purple ties in assembly this week. These students are the first to achieve the ties in recognition of their hard work, achievement, good attendance and commitment to their education. They are wearing their new ties with pride and have access to a number of privileges as a result. There are many students who are close to gaining the 12 purples required to be awarded a tie and we are expecting to be able to present a number of other students with ties very soon. Well done to those that have achieved so far.

Please find here a link to Government information and guidance regarding the coronavirus. The page is updated daily and is the definitive source of information.  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public 

School staff have been made aware of this advice and we have no reason to consider that there is any additional risk to the Stratton community. We will of course continue to monitor the situation and follow Government advice. If parents or families have any particular circumstances that they need to make us aware of, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

On Monday 9th March we are hosting a Teacher Training Information Evening from 6pm to 7.30pm in Room 1. To find out more and register your interest please see here http://www.stratton.beds.sch.uk/index.php/61-news/general-news/365-teacher-training-information-evening 

 

Ms Roz Hodges

Principal

This half term has flown by and it has been a busy one. Year 9 were buzzing with enthusiasm after their option subject taster day on Wednesday and it was a real pleasure to see so many students excited and engaged in subjects they have never studied before as well as some more familiar ones. Our hope is that this experience will be useful in ensuring every student makes the right choices for them.  Thank you to both Mrs Walton and Miss Hunstone for organising this.

Year 13 exhibited their EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) research in the Hall on Wednesday afternoon. The range and quality of the projects is amazing and they should all feel very proud of their achievements. These projects help students to develop and demonstrate a wide range of skills and competencies beyond their individual subjects, which will help them immensely to be successful in the workplace and higher education.

Our Year 10 and 11 girls deserve huge congratulations after taking part in the County Schools Badminton tournament on Tuesday. They came second to win a silver medal against schools from across Bedfordshire and we are incredibly proud of them. GCSE and A level students are very excited that they will receive some training from England netballer, Georgia Lee so we expect them to build on this success in future competitions. A number of students also competed in the Bedfordshire County Cross Country championships on Wednesday. They demonstrated resilience and determination in some harsh conditions and tough races with all finishing strongly. Thank you to the PE department for supporting our students in these events.

I will shortly be writing to parents about plans to launch a new Parent Forum during the second half of the Spring term. The Parent Forum will be a group of parent/carer representatives who will meet once a term to discuss school related issues. Regular, open communication and consultation with parents is really important to us as a school and the Parent Forum will provide a valuable way to listen to your ideas and concerns and seek your views. I have spoken to a number of parents recently who agree that they would appreciate a Forum to represent their views and contribute to improving communication and partnership between the school and parents. Ms Emma Thomas and Mrs Alison Bayman have volunteered to be a point of contact for parents while we set up and agree the terms of reference for the Forum. I am very grateful for their commitment to this initiative and their ideas about how it can develop in the future. If you are interested in becoming a representative on the Forum, please respond to the letter that you will soon receive.

I wish everyone a wonderful half term break and we look forward to welcoming the students back to school on Monday 24th February.

 

 

Ms Roz Hodges
Principal

This week Ms McKendrick launched ‘Aiming for Purple’ an exciting new reward scheme for Year 11. It is an opportunity for all year 11 students to shine and to earn privileges, which they have negotiated themselves. Students can earn Purples for their achievement, improving grades, extracurricular involvement, attendance and a range of other positive behaviours. Students will be given a new (purple) tie when they gain 12 Purples and the tie earns them privileges across the school that they can negotiate such as, a discount on their prom ticket or jumping the lunch queue. What I like about this initiative is that every single student in year 11 has the chance to earn Purples and reap the rewards that come as a result. We are hoping this will motivate everyone to aim high in everything that they do and, if successful, it will be rolled out to Year 10 later in the academic year.

On Thursday, Year 11 students were treated to a live performance of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet followed by a workshop delivered by Box Clever. Students really enjoyed the production and seeing the text brought to life.  

Students commented:

“It was a different interpretation of the text which made it more entertaining”

“I loved how they broke the fourth wall a lot”

“The use of props was really unique”

“I enjoyed how energetic and loud it was, it kept me engaged”

“The modern aspects made it relatable and easier to understand in the context we are familiar with”

“The Hawaiian shirt was banging” “also the pineapple glasses”

“The workshop was really engaging and I’m likely to remember it when it comes to my exam”.

 

Thank you to the English Department for organising this event.

Thanks also to the maths department who organised an exciting Maths Challenge this week. Over 150 students participated across Years 9-11 and it was great to see so many students pushing themselves and demonstrating real grit and determination.

I would like to remind all year 10 parents that they are invited to attend a subject parents’ evening on Thursday 13th February. Please sign up for appointments with your child’s teachers on the parents’ evening system via the link on our website.

Huge congratulations to the Year 12/13 basketball team who won at home against Mark Rutherford on Tuesday. The game was well contested, with Stratton winning by 2 points (39-37), despite being down in the 3rd quarter. The game was very competitive with the opposition being one of the toughest in the league. Our students conducted themselves brilliantly and we are really proud of them all.

 

 

 

Ms Roz Hodges
Principal

 

Year 9 have been thinking about their future and careers all week, having visited the University of Bedfordshire, there was a real buzz when they came back to school for their Options Information Evening on Thursday. Students and their parents had guidance meetings with their tutors and were able to gather a range of information on our Key Stage 4 Curriculum and the subjects on offer by visiting departments and attending a talk in the Hall.

It’s coursework completion time for some Year 11 courses and in Design Technology students have moved into the workshop to start manufacturing their final GCSE pieces. Always an exciting time, there is a real sense of focus and buzz of practical activity, which is lovely to observe.

Miss Pindred has been working with Year 12 and 13 students getting ready to enter the British Biology Olympiad. These nine students, Georgina Boston, Andrew Barnes, Isobella Varga, Allana Lewis, Thomas Sennett, Keely Burgess, Emma Metcalfe, Polly Swinburne and Chloe Dessent will sit the tests between now and 7th February and are hoping to earn an entry into the International Biology Olympiad, with over 60 countries taking part. Miss Pindred, and the school, are very proud of them!

It is always a delight to see older students supporting younger ones and the work some Year 12 and 13 students are doing with Year 9 on a Monday during registration is making a real difference. The Sixth Formers have had training on how to ask questions to support the comprehension levels of the Year 9s and are doing such a super job reading with them. They are also helping the Year 9 students to select books which is encouraging them to read for pleasure and positively impacting on their engagement with reading.

There is so much to be proud of in the student body at Stratton.

 

Ms Roz Hodges
Principal

 

 

 

This term is shaping up to be a very busy one with a number of trips and activities going on across the year groups. There are Sixth Form Creative Art, Music and Business trips going out next week and a Science trip the week after. It’s great to see the calendar so full of enrichment opportunities for our post-16 students.

Year 9 have started the preparation for their GCSE option choices and the whole year group will visit the University of Bedfordshire next week. Parents and students will gather more information on option subjects at our Information evening next Thursday 30th January. The evening will run from 5pm until 7.30pm with a talk in the Hall at 6pm.

It was such a pleasure to see parents and their children looking at English, Maths and Science GCSE exam questions together at our Core Information Evening this Thursday. We very much hope that the insight parents have gained will help support our students with their revision from now until the end of the summer exams. I would like to thank the staff in these core subjects for their work in planning the evening, putting together the resources and giving up their time for this initiative. I am very pleased with the commitment and dedication that Year 11 students have been demonstrating this term and I am sure their hard work will reap rewards.

We are pleased that the Department for Education has launched a scheme to provide access to free period products in all schools and colleges in England. However, I am delighted that Stratton has been ahead of the game and for the last four years our Student Support Officer, Mrs Hayley Grist, has ensured the school has supplies of sanitary products for any students that need them and that all our students have access to the products in every student toilet. The DfE scheme will ensure that period products are available to all young people if they need them, when they need them. We are pleased that this will allow us to continue to provide this service to our students without cost.

Ms Roz Hodges
Principal

 

The Year 11 subject parents’ meeting was very well attended on Thursday evening. It is a pleasure to see our students stepping up their focus and commitment, after the mocks and taking on the advice of their teachers. Please don’t forget to come along to the Year 11 Core Information evening next Thursday 23rd January. This is a valuable opportunity to understand more about the questions in English, maths and science exams and what parents can do to support their children with developing the techniques and knowledge required for successful answers.

The Key Stage 4 Options Evening is coming up on Thursday 30th January. This is an important time for Year 9 as they decide on their GCSE choices. Students have been receiving independent careers advice and there is a whole programme of information and guidance over the coming weeks to help support students with their choices, including a trip to the University of Bedfordshire. Please do come along on the 30th where you will hear more about our Key Stage 4 curriculum and be able to speak to subject teachers about all the qualifications we have on offer.

The Sixth Form will be hosting a Careers Week later this term and on 26th March there will be an Industry Day where students will have the opportunity to meet a range of companies and employers. If you feel you would like to contribute to this day please contact Ms Amies to register your interest. We would be glad to hear from businesses and companies who could give students an insight into their industry as well as discuss employment and apprenticeship opportunities, but also individuals who can share their personal career stories and pathways. If you think you might have something you could offer, please do get in touch.

 

 

Ms Roz Hodges
Principal

 

Welcome back to the new school term. This week has been an important one for Year 11 who received their mock results on Tuesday afternoon and participated in a ‘Futures Day’ on Wednesday. The students were really focused and engaged throughout the day and have been able to reflect on what they need to do to ensure they are successful in the summer exams. We have also had a flurry of Sixth Form applications this week and I would like to remind parents that the deadline for applications is on Monday 13th January.

Next Thursday 16th January is the subject evening for Year 11 parents and this will be a good opportunity to discuss your child’s progress and how you can support them in the run up to their GCSEs. There will also be a Core Information Evening for parents and students in Year 11 on Thursday 23rd January between 6pm -7.30pm. Parents and students will be taken through the most common mistakes made in the mocks for English, maths and science and working through some examples.

Year 13 also went straight into their mock exams on Tuesday and have demonstrated real determination and commitment this week. Well done Year 13.

I would like to congratulate three of our media and film interns who completed a work experience placement with ITV studios at their London HQ over the Christmas holidays. This was a valuable experience for all involved and the students gained insightful knowledge of the media production industry. I would like to say a massive thank you to ITV for working with Ms Cash and allowing our students this unique opportunity.  

It has been a fabulous start to the new term and we wish all our families a Happy New Year.

 

Ms Roz Hodges
Principal

 

 

On Monday evening, we welcomed back to school our year 11, 12 and 13 prize winners following last Summer’s exams. It was a lovely evening celebrating the achievements, both academic and personal, of our young people. I was especially delighted to welcome back Andrew Catherall as our guest of honour. Andrew left us in 2015 to read Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge and having achieved a First Class degree is now studying for a PhD. It was great to hear Andrew express how important his teachers were to him and what a difference they made to the person he has become. 

Today we marked the final day of the term with Christmas carols and hot chocolate. I would like to wish all our families an enjoyable break and we look forward to welcoming the students back on Tuesday 7th January 2020, which will be a Week A timetable. 

 

 

Ms Roz Hodges
Principal