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Public exams are underway

We have had a full week of GCSE exams, as well as some A Level papers.

At last the sun has been out this week, so that must mean only one thing – that the public exams have started in earnest. Although there have been events already (languages speaking, art exams) we have had a very full on week of GCSEs (including papers for English Literature, Maths, History) with several
A Level papers (Economics, Psychology, Classics).

Making sure our exam students are okay

Families will know my view on exams. Exams do matter, and they are something we want all of our students to be successful in, opening the next chapters of their lives – whether at the age of sixteen or eighteen. However I feel very strongly it is our responsibility to help students prepare over time, and put support in place for them in the exam season, seeking to avoid unnecessary feelings of anxiety or panic.

Attendance has been impeccable at these exams and I hope that suggests our students feel confident and well prepared. Students in Year 11 are welcome to come in from 7:45am, greeted with a hot chocolate and a croissant, into a dining space dedicated to just Year 11, so they can study. Students bring in their own notes or revision guides, as well as a fleet of Chrome books being available. At 8:25am if students have an exam that morning they then spend 20 minutes with their teacher of that exam subject, before heading into the sports hall. Year 13 students can use the dedicated Sixth Form Resource Centre before school, again a dedicated space for their studies with PCs and study areas, and they also have warm ups before their papers.

The purpose of the ‘warm up’ is not to cover all of the content – after all students have a long exam in front of them, so they need to be fresh and alert when they start. These ‘warm ups’ are more to give reassurance, ensure that the students are in a calm and confident place with some of the key themes clear before they start their papers.

This morning I watched the preparations for GCSE Maths and A Level Psychology, before students headed into these exams for a prompt 9:00am start. In the Cool Zone about 70 mathematicians were working intently with Miss Oliver and all of the other GCSE maths classes up and down the corridor were similarly engaged. Meanwhile, our 40 A Level Psychologists were gathered with Miss Jothirajan in one of our larger classrooms at 8:30am. Surrounded by piles of flashcards, these Year 13 students were receiving final words of assurance. All was supportive and aimed not to add to cognitive load, but reassure students in preparation for this morning’s papers.

Students of the week – well done!

I am meeting with all students when they achieve their 50th recognition point, and by this time of the year this is getting very busy! It is an absolute joy to hear students talk about their subjects and clubs and all that they are currently enjoying about school. 

In addition I would like to extend my congratulations to the students below for their hard work, care for others and being exemplary members of the school community. Well done to all of you.

Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Year 10

Year 11

Sixth Form












Mr N House, Headteacher