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Letter from the Principal at the start of the autumn term 2018

10th September 2018

Dear Parents and Carers,

Welcome to the new academic year 2018-19.  We do hope you have had a restful and relaxing summer break.

The Class of 2018 achieved exceptional results in August 2018.  The government has not yet released their new measure for Progress 8 so in calculating this we only have 2017-18 formula; using this our Progress 8 score is 0.17 higher than last year and is a significant improvement.  Across the board we saw some excellent results namely:

GCSE Grade 9-4:

English 80%                                   Physics: 100%                                    Chemistry: 100%

Maths: 79%                                    Biology: 100%                                     German: 100%

Performing Arts: 100%                  Music: 100%                                       Spanish: 96%

Physical Education: 93%               French: 83%                                       Geography: 83%

History: 74%

There was an increase in the percentage of pupils gaining the upper grades with 29% achieving a grade 9.  Both English and maths achieved 32.9% in Grades 7-9.  Across the board our pupils achieved exceptional results, which importantly means they were able to progress onto their chosen place of study.  Congratulations to the Class 2018!  Thank you to you, our parents, for your support and to the staff for all their hard work.

The new academic year has started well, and our pupils look impressive in their new uniform.  They most certainly are wearing it with pride and they look incredibly smart.  Thank you for all your support in ensuring your son/daughter has the correct new school uniform and for upholding our high standards.  We are in the process of creating an international link with a school in Africa, so we can donate last year’s school uniform to them.  Information about when to send the clothing to us etc will be with you in due course, but in the meantime please keep hold of old uniform items.

Over the summer period we had several development projects within the College.  The main one was to open the dining area so there is more space for serving and for pupils to access the food counters and tills more easily.  Aspens, our new catering company, are working with us and are providing 3 different areas of service: cold food kiosk, main meal and also a pasta and noodle bar (due to open after October half-term).  The range of menus available can be found on our website and as we move into the academic year they are keen to work with our school council to provide an excellent food service to our pupils and staff.

During the summer holidays the migration from Google to Microsoft Office 365 took place.  All emails now use the address @astreacottenham.org.  New emails addresses can be found on our website in the contact section.  For the next half term any emails sent to the old email address will automatically be diverted to the relevant new inbox.  As a part of Office 365 pupils can access their work areas from home and they can download, for free, the most recent version of Microsoft Office.  They will be able to use this via their Office 365 account for the period of their education at CVC.   How to access Microsoft Office can be found in the Student login area.  Pupils will need to log-in and then click the icon to download Office 2016.

There are several important dates for your diary.  Parents’ evenings are calendared, and the dates can be found on our website in the parent section.

Following the two Parent Forums that took place last year there are three scheduled for this year.  The Parent Forums will commence at 6.30pm and the dates are:

  • Thursday 15th November 2018
  • Thursday 14th March 2019
  • Thursday 13th June 2019

In the Summer Term we piloted Show My Homework with Year 8.  This new homework provision will be in operation w/c 17th September 2018.   Mrs Goudie, Assistant Principal, will be shortly sending you a letter with all the information that you need so please look out for this important correspondence.

This academic year we have created The Pastoral Hub for Years 7-11 so pupils have one clear designated place to go if any matters arise.   The following staff based in The Pastoral Hub, will be overseeing the support of the following year groups:

Progress Leader K3:          Mrs Cooper

Head of Year 7:                 Mrs Stearn

Head of Years 8 &9:          Mr Wilbraham

Progress Leader KS4:       Mr Abbott

Pastoral Worker:                Mrs Scurl

We look forward to working with you this academic year.

Best wishes,

Helen Cassady

Principal