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

Sixth form students have been very busy over recent weeks. They hosted a very successful senior citizens’ Christmas party on Wednesday and a record number attended. It was a very jolly affair with festive food and lots of entertainment provided by the students. It was a real pleasure to hear just how much our guests enjoyed the afternoon, which has become a regular feature in our calendar, with many local residents returning year after year. The students were brilliant and I would like to thank them as well as Mrs Layton and Mr Clarke for organising and delivering a wonderful occasion.

Year 9 also managed to get in on the act following a successful ‘Great Stratton Bake-off’. The judges were so impressed with what Year 9 produced they were asked to present their cakes at the Christmas party, which of course went down very well. The Sixth Form are also very active in fundraising for a number of other community projects at this time of year and the choir sang for the rotary club dinner last night.

University offers for Year 13 are coming in thick and fast while they are preparing for their mocks at the beginning of January and attending university interviews. They have a lot to juggle and are managing their time and priorities impressively well.

Following on from successful hustings, sixth form students have been presenting summaries of political party manifestoes to years 9 - 11 ahead of yesterday’s voting. Students in all year groups cast their votes yesterday and the results are below:

 

It was good to see so many parents at our meet the tutor evening for Year 9 on Thursday. Year 9 have settled very well at Stratton and are now looking forward to next term when they will be choosing their GCSE options. Please do look out for further information on the support, information and guidance on careers and options that is available to Year 9 students and their parents next term.

As our staff and students look forward to a good break at the end of a very long term, I would like to remind parents that the school will close at 1pm on Friday 20th December for the Christmas holidays. Students who have a free school meal are welcome to collect their lunch at break time on that day. We would like students to come in a Christmas jumper in support of Save the Children’s Christmas Jumper Appeal. Students are asked to pay £1 for the privilege of wearing a Christmas jumper and non-uniform on the final day of term. Money will be collected at the school gates by Year 10 and Year 12 student volunteers.

 

 

Ms Roz Hodges
Principal

 

 

Schools are required to consult on their admissions policy every five years and I would like to draw your attention to our policy for admissions from September 2021, which is available on the website, here. If you wish to make any comments on the admissions criteria, please contact Karen Walsh, PA to the Principal at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

As we approach the last two weeks of term there are a number of festivities to look forward to. Christmas lunch will be served on Thursday 19th December when we will have a slightly extended lunchtime. Tickets will be on sale from Monday 9th December, will need to be purchased in advance from the dining room, and will cost £3.30.

Sixth Form students will be hosting a Christmas party for senior citizens on Wednesday 11th December. This is an annual event, which is very much appreciated by our guests, and students enjoy interacting with an older generation and hearing about their lives and experiences.

On the last day of term, we will be supporting Save The Children’s Christmas Jumper Day campaign. Students are asked to come in a Christmas Jumper and donate £1 to the charity. There will be special assemblies and school will finish at 1pm on Friday 20th December. Buses have been booked to arrive for the early departure

Ms Roz Hodges
Principal

 

It’s been a very busy week, especially for our older students. As Year 11 have come to the end of their mocks, they are starting to look forward to post-16 options and it was great to see so many students at our Sixth Form Open Evening on Thursday. Students will receive their mock grades at the beginning of January and there will be a weeklong Futures programme to support students looking at a range of post-16 options.

The Sixth Form hosted five parliamentary candidates at a hustings event all morning on Thursday. Students really put the candidates through their paces asking very challenging and articulate questions following presentations from each of the parties. It was such a pleasure to see our young people so interested and engaged in the political debate and really thinking about the issues that matter to them. We were so pleased to have had this opportunity to help students develop their awareness of our political system as part of their wider personal development.

 

Ms Roz Hodges
Principal

 

 

Thank you for all the wonderful comments we have received about the success of ‘Sister Act’. It really was a great production with so much student talent on display. The singing was exceptional and the casting was spot on with the performers really getting into their characters. The band were brilliant and did a great job of keeping pace with the performers. The stage crew ensured the transitions were slick and the set was amazing. Our tech team (professionals and students) created just the right atmosphere with sound and lighting and it all came together in an excellent show. Even more importantly, everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves and didn’t want it to come to an end. These opportunities are so important for the wider personal development of our students. They have learnt so much about teamwork and more and have pushed themselves outside of their comfort zone, demonstrating a huge amount of resilience. We are very proud of all the students and grateful to all the staff who supported.

We are very excited that the Sixth Form will be hosting election hustings on Thursday 28th November. We will have all five of the candidates for the NE Beds Constituency here at Stratton and our students will listen to a presentation from each of them, before planning their questions, which will feed into a full debate. Many of our students have been discussing the upcoming election and some are eligible to vote so this is a chance for them to hear from and pose questions to the candidates first hand. We are very grateful to Dr. Factor, who is a parent of one of our students, for offering us this opportunity and helping to make it happen.

We look forward to welcoming Year 11 students to our Sixth Form options and information evening on Thursday 28th November. There will be a talk in the Hall at 6:30pm and subject stands will be open from 6pm to 8pm for further information on specific courses. Stratton students will receive the prospectus and further information in due course and we warmly welcome students who are not currently at Stratton to come along and find out more on the evening.

 

Ms Roz Hodges
Principal

 

We were so proud of all our students on Monday when the whole school gathered in the ‘quad’ for a two-minute silence of remembrance. As the school gathered, poems were read by Aliyah Lewis  and James Buckley followed by Alex Robinson playing the last post on his trumpet to begin the silence. Our media department have produced a short video, which you can watch here https://youtu.be/6eE4QDwCGvU 

The first performance of Sister Act on Thursday was a huge success and it will only get better. There is still time to buy tickets for the Friday and Saturday performances. Don’t miss out, it’s a great production and the students are just brilliant.

Staff and students are raising money all day on Friday for Children in Need. There are a number of events taking place around school and we hope that everyone will dig deep to support this campaign that delivers life changing projects for young people all over the UK.

The Year 11 mocks will be in full swing next week and we wish them the best of luck. This opportunity to revise and practice for the real exams is a very important part of preparing students to achieve their best and we know parents are reinforcing this message at home.

On Thursday next week, we are hosting our Year 10 subject parents’ evening. Parents of Year 10 students will have received an invitation to book their appointments on our electronic booking system and we look forward to seeing you all then.

 

Ms Roz Hodges
Principal

 

Sister Act Production

 

 Children in Need rowing challenge

Thank you to all parents who attended the core information events for Year 11 hosted by the Heads of English, maths and science last Thursday. If you were not able to attend, you will find the presentation on the website. We have received some very positive feedback and intend to run another event next year. The mocks are fast approaching and it is important that students prepare well for these exams so they are practising their revision techniques and gaining confidence in answering questions. Please support your child by encouraging them to set time aside for revision, providing a quiet place for them to work and even testing them on key facts and vocabulary.

On Monday morning 11/11, the whole school will gather outside for an act of remembrance. Alex Robinson will be playing The Last Post and we will observe a two minute silence. This is the first time the whole school will gather in this way and I am sure it will be a fitting tribute to those who sacrificed so much for us. Many of you will notice that we have again placed images and information of local soldiers around the town and I would like to thank the History department, especially Mr Macwhinnie, for all the work and planning that has gone into this. Mr Macwhinnie had this idea for the centenary of the 1918 Armistice last year and I am pleased that we are able to continue this.

Sister Act – we’re nearly there! Don’t miss the opportunity to support our amazing student performers and be entertained by a fabulous show. Performances are on Thursday 14th November 7pm, Friday 15th November 7pm and Saturday 16th November 3pm.

Tickets are on sale at: http://www.ticketsource.co.uk/strattonupperschool

 

Ms Roz Hodges
Principal