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Latest edition of Bucks Skills Hub Classroom to Careers newsletter

28th February 2024

 

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Head of School Letter 26th Feb 2024

26th February 2024

Dear Parents/Carers,

We’re back into the swing of school life, after the half-term holiday - so much happens during the school week! This half-term is a really important one for our Year 11 and 13 students (and those in Year 10 and 12 taking public exams this year) as they begin the final preparations before the summer exams. Assemblies last week focused on the reasons why students come to school, and the importance of following rules to ensure all students are well prepared to succeed in their aspirations, whatever they may be. The expansion plans are continuing, with weekly meetings being held between the school, Local Authority and the construction company to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum - including and especially during our summer exam season. When we have a confirmed start date for the work, I’ll let you know. 

Vaping and contaminated vapes

All Headteachers in Bucks have been contacted this week by the Local Authority to highlight the Public Health team’s concerns around contaminated vapes.  A separate letter has been sent to all families today regarding this very concerning matter; below is a summary. 

There have been a number of reports of vape liquids & pens containing very strong synthetic cannabinoids ‘spice’ which are likely being sold as THC vapes. These are causing unintended effects on those who use them. THC vapes are illegal in the UK. 

Here4YOUth, Buckinghamshire - Cranstoun a Buckinghamshire commissioned young people drug/alcohol harm reduction service has prepared a harm reduction information Drug Alert - Contaminated Vapes - Cranstoun about contaminated vapes that I would encourage every family to read and discuss as you feel age-appropriately with your child. 

 

As part of our assemblies last week, all year groups have been reminded that a student could face being permanently excluded for possessing, supplying or being under the influence of an illegal drug whilst on the school site. If you have any concerns about your own child or their peers, please contact our Designated Safeguarding Lead, Mrs Hankin. 

 

Happy Birthday Mr Bonser!

You may have seen a post on Social Media, celebrating Mr Bonser’s 65th birthday. Mr Bonser has taught Design Technology at The Cottesloe School for 41 years! He had a wonderful time on his birthday; the celebrations continued on Friday with cake and birthday wishes from colleagues and students.  

 

Headteacher’s Awards

One of the lovely bits of my role as Head of School means I get to recognise and celebrate student success via the Gold Thumbs Up badges, or Headteacher’s Awards. Although there are no specific criteria for a student to achieve a Gold Thumbs Up badge, it is always because they have gone over and above expectations, demonstrating either the 6Cs or an aspect of Healthy Relationships. The recipients of the Award this month include Kurtis in Year 7 for the confident way he spoke to all of Year 7 about his experiences with a hearing impairment during the Sign to Sing performance; Olive in Year 9 for her outstanding running in the county Cross Country Championships, and Sebastian in Year 8 for his fantastic description of what it means to be resilient during the year group assembly last week. 

Sports Fixtures The weather affected more fixtures this week but it was a great week for sport. U13 and U15 boys’ and girls’ badminton teams took on Buckingham School in a league match. The boys won 7-0 and the girls won 4-3; a brilliant result, well done to all the players. Four boys’ football matches were played against Waddesdon, with Team Cottesloe winning them all! Year 7 won 3-1, Year 11 won 6-1, Year 9 won 7-1. Year 8 played away, on Waddesdon’s astro pitch. Despite the home team having the advantage of being more familiar with the faster pace of the artificial grass, the Cottesloe Year 8 team won convincingly, with 10 goals getting past the Waddesdon keeper. In reply, Waddesdon scored just one goal. Super results, boys!  Year 7 girls won their netball match against Kingsbrook 9-4, well done to the team! Unfortunately, the U18s boys football team will go no further in the County Cup, having lost in the Quarter Final 6-1 to John Hampden, away. This week, we’re hopeful more outdoor fixtures will be able to go ahead, including football games, netball matches and two indoor cricket tournaments. 

Years 12 and 13

Mock Exams continue this week; keep going, everyone! 

Year 11

Mock 2 Results will be shared with students on Tuesday morning during their PSHCE lesson. As with Mock 1 results, the format will be the same as the actual Results Day on Thursday 22nd August 2024, to give students another opportunity to experience what it feels like to receive the piece of paper with their grades on it. We know that rehearsing every aspect of the exams process can help students feel more prepared for the most successful outcome. 

Year 8 

The Choices Process launched last week with further information available on our website: KS3 Choices within The Cottesloe School Curriculum. Tomorrow, Year 8 Parents Evening provide additional information to help inform decisions. 

Wishing you another good week, thank you for your continued support.  

Best wishes, 

Louise Baldwin

Head of School

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Head of School Letter 19th Feb 2024

19th February 2024

Dear Parents/Carers,

I hope this letter finds you well after the half-term break and that you as a family were able to enjoy some time together doing the things that make you happy.  The weather is looking variable for the coming week, when we had some torrential rain just before half-term, we trialled a new wet weather plan - the nature of the school site means it’s nearly impossible to move between lessons without going outside; students were excellent at following staff instructions to ensure they kept as dry as possible.  Assemblies this first week back will be delivered by Mr Jones, Mr Fox and me. The focus will be on the Cottesloe Character - what it means to be part of our community, the behaviours we expect to see from students and adults, and why they are so important.

Buckinghamshire SEND Survey 2024

The local authority is seeking the views and opinions of parents and carers of children with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities. The questions are about your experience of the SEND system within Buckinghamshire in 2023. This questionnaire is for families of all children with special educational needs and/or a disability (SEND), not just those with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) or on formal SEN support at school. If this applies to you, please complete the survey, accessed via the link below, to share your thoughts with the Local Authority. The survey is anonymous.: FACT Bucks SEND Survey 2024 

Careers Fair

On Thursday 8th February, we held a really successful careers fair, with nearly forty different companies and Further Education providers helping students explore  future career opportunities. All year groups visited the Careers Fair over the course of the day; we received some wonderful feedback from the exhibitors about our students: ‘they were so well mannered and really represented the school well’.  

D&T Rotary Tournament

I’m really pleased to let you know that Mrs Hankin, Mr Poote and the teams of DT students had an extremely successful day at the annual Rotary Club’s DT Tournament at Aylesbury Vale Academy. Five schools were represented, with each school fielding a number of teams; we took three Year 10 teams and three Sixth Form teams. Two of our Year 10 teams came second and third in the intermediate competition. Year 13 came first in the senior competition, winning a superb trophy for the cabinet in our school reception!  One of the two Year 12 teams came third. The second Year 12 team won the overall portfolio category, beating 22 other teams to win another trophy! Congratulations to all our students, and thank you to the DT team for organising the equipment and resources needed for the students to participate. 

Sports Fixtures

The weather caused some fixtures to be cancelled before half-term, but we had another successful week in a number of sports. The U15 girls football team are now through to the Buckinghamshire County Cup Final following a 5-6 win away against Chesham Grammar School. The Year 9 boys are through to the next round of the County Cup following a 4-1 win against Mandeville at home.  Our Year 7 boys played in the local Aylesbury Vale District football league, winning 7-2 against Princes Risborough School. The girls were also winning netball matches, with the Year 8 and Year 10 teams playing two matches across the week. There were wins for both year groups against Mandeville, meanwhile, against the Royal Latin, Year 10B lost a tough match but 10A dominated, winning 21-2. Year 8 won their second game of the week against The Grange. The Bucks Cross-Country County Championship took place on 7th February at Stowe School, well done to all our runners on what was a tough, muddy course. Huge congratulations go to Olive in Year 9 who came third in the 3km Junior Girls race in a time of 13:37. This success means Olive has been selected to represent Buckinghamshire at the English Schools Athletic Association’s National Cross-Country Championship, to be held in Pontefract on 16th March. Good luck Olive! This week, we have Basketball, U18B County Cup football and netball matches to look forward to. 

Art

The Art department has a busy week ahead with the Year 11 Art Mock Exam taking place today and a trip to the Tate Britain art museum tomorrow for students in Years 11, 12 and 13.  The visit is a fabulous way to give students first-hand experience in visiting galleries and seeing art up close, to add a richness and personal response to their artist studies and development of ideas, in preparation for their upcoming exams. Thank you to Mrs Bye and Mrs Nicholls for supporting students through this opportunity.

Year 12 and 13

Mock Exams begin for both Year 12 and 13 on Wednesday 21st February and continue into March. Wishing all students the very best.  

Year 10

Details of the two-week work experience opportunity in July 2024 have been shared with families. The deadline for submitting forms is in April, but it can be a time consuming process to ensure everything is in place and approved. As students are responsible for organising their own placement, we encourage them to not delay in getting the planning underway. The website contains more information if parents/carers or students have any questions:: Career Pathways 

Year 9

A reminder that the deadline for submitting a completed Options form was today. During this week, we will follow up with students who have not yet submitted forms in order that the allocation process can begin. Students will find out their confirmed allocations in June. 

Year 8

Following the completion of the Options process with Year 9, it’s now the turn of Year 8 students to make some decisions about their future studies with the launch for the KS3 Choices Process. Tomorrow, Year 8 will attend a PSHCE Assembly explaining the process and the subjects available for them to choose. Families will receive an email tomorrow with a link to the Choices booklet, Google Form and presentations about each of the subjects. Further information will be available on our website from tomorrow: KS3 Choices within The Cottesloe School Curriculum. Year 8 Parents Evening on Tuesday 27th February will help parents understand how children are progressing across a number of subjects. 

Wishing you a good week ahead, thank you for your ongoing support.  

Best wishes, 

Louise Baldwin

Head of School

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Head of School Letter 5th Feb 2024

05th February 2024

Dear Parents/Carers,

I hope this letter finds you well and looking forward to the half-term break at the end of this week. Spring definitely seems to be on its way, with daffodils starting to open around the school site. Although there are five days left until the holiday, there are still lots of things happening across the week at The Cottesloe School. 

Vaping

You will have read in the news last week about the Government’s plans to ban disposable vapes. As a school, we welcome these plans. The Government published a blog to explain the rationale behind the decision: The number of children using vapes has tripled in the last three years and there is strong evidence to suggest that cheap and easy-to-use disposable vapes are partly to blame. Our research shows that in 2023, around 69 per cent of vapers aged 11 to 17 in Great Britain were using disposable vapes, up from 7.7 percent in 2021. This is extremely worrying given the unknown long-term health impacts and the addictive nature of the nicotine in vapes. While vaping can play a role in helping adult smokers to quit, the NHS advises that you shouldn’t take it up if you don’t already smoke– and children should never vape. Disposable vape ban and what it means for young people - The Education Hub

The school’s Behaviour for Learning policy states that vapes or e-cigarettes are banned items and should not be brought onto the school site. Where a student is found in possession of a vape, the matter is treated very seriously,  and sanctioned accordingly. 

LGBT+ History Month

In assemblies this week, Mrs West will be exploring how LGBT+ peoples have contributed to the field of Medicine and Healthcare, both historically and today. The theme of the 2024 of LGBT+ History Month will showcase the amazing work of LGBT+ staff across the NHS and in other healthcare settings, in providing healthcare, especially during the pandemic, as well the immense challenges that members of the LGBT+ community still encounter today, when accessing support for themselves.

Careers Fair On Thursday 8th February

The Cottesloe School will open its doors to over forty different companies and Further Education providers to help students explore future career opportunities. All year groups will visit the Careers Fair over the course of the day, with students having the chance to talk to the exhibitors and ask lots of questions. Thanks to Mr Matcham and Mrs Gunn who have been instrumental in organising the Careers Fair. Mr Matcham has explained to students that a careers fair is perfect when you don’t know what you want to do in the future - you don’t need to have an action plan for a dream career; you can explore possibilities and open your eyes to new things at the fair. The school website has much more information about Careers:  https://www.cottesloe.bucks.sch.uk/students/student-career-pathways 

DT Rotary Tournament

Today Mrs Hankin and Mr Poote have taken a number of teams of DT students to Aylesbury Vale Academy to participate in the annual Rotary Club’s DT Tournament. We usually do very well in the competition, across all year groups, so I’m looking forward to celebrating some excellent achievements when students return.  https://www.rotarygbi.org/projects/young-people/technology-tournament/ 

Ski Trip 2024

An online parents meeting will take place on Tuesday 6th February at 6pm to support the preparation for the trip at the end of next half-term. Mr Curtis, Trip Leader, will share the link to the meeting with parents later this week.  

Sports Fixtures

Last week saw some results that required our teams to dig deep, work together and demonstrate true Cottesloe Character by continuing to aim high, even when results didn’t go their way; Year 11 netball lost 12-6 against Waddesdon, Year 10 drew 10-10 against Waddesdon and our Year 7 footballers lost 5-1 against Mandeville. This coming week we have another really busy schedule with a total of 15 games on the timetable. Amongst the football and netball matches scheduled against Princes Risborough and the Royal Latin, we’re looking forward to cheering on our U15 Girls footballers in the County Cup Football Semi Final against Chesham Grammar on Tuesday. Another exciting event this week, the Buckinghamshire Schools Cross Country Championships, takes place on Wednesday, at Stowe School. Wishing everyone successful results whether on the court, pitch or running up the hills and mud! 

Year 11

Congratulations to all our Year 11 students for their resilience and hard work during the last couple of weeks during their second round of mock exams. By the time you read this, they will have taken Maths Paper 3 this morning and be back into normal Year 11 lessons. As with the first set of mocks, students will receive their results via a Mock Results morning during PSHCE on 27th February.  

Year 10

A Drama showcase will take place between 4pm and 6pm on Wednesday 7th,  to give GCSE Drama students the opportunity to perform in front of peers and families, to increase their confidence in the performance aspect of their GCSE. 

Year 9

A reminder that the deadline for submitting a completed Options form is the first Monday back after half-term, Monday 19th February. Parents are reminded to get in touch via options@cottesloe.bucks.sch.uk if they have any queries.

Year 8

After half-term, it will be the turn of Year 8 students to think about their futures with the launch for the KS3 Choices Process. Year 8 families will receive further information later this week about the key dates of the process. 

Year 7

On Tuesday 6th, Year 7 will perform as part of the Sign to Sing Module they’ve been working on this half-term. We have a ‘Hearing Dog for Deaf People’ and its trainer coming to the performance. Year 7 students have been asked to raise money for this charity as part of their learning. If Year 7 families have not yet contributed, and are able to, there is a link on ParentPay. More details of the work the charity undertakes can be found here: Hearing Dogs for Deaf People 

Thank you for your ongoing support throughout this half-term. I hope you all have a good week this week and a wonderful half-term break. We look forward to seeing students back in school on Monday 19th February 2024. 

Best wishes, 

Louise Baldwin

Head of School

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Head of School Letter 29th Jan 2024

29th January 2024

Dear Parents/Carers,

I hope you had a great weekend. January can feel like a very long month but we only have two weeks left until February half-term. Although this term is only five weeks long,  it continues to be a very busy one, with a great deal going on across the school. 

Deputy Head of School

I am delighted to let you know that following a day of interviews and presentations last Friday, Mr Dan Fox, our current Assistant Headteacher for Teaching and Learning has successfully been appointed as Deputy Head of School. He will take on additional responsibilities relating to the implementation of the whole school curriculum, as well as support my role as Head of School, This change in the senior leadership structure will allow Mr Jones to continue to focus on the development of a Multi Academy Trust. 

Sniffer Dogs

At The Cottesloe School, we take the safety and welfare of our students extremely seriously.  Many schools, both locally and nationally, have used sniffer dogs on their premises, with the aim of highlighting the dangers of drugs in the community and reinforcing a zero-tolerance approach towards the issue. In previous academic years, we welcomed Thames Valley Police sniffer dogs into school to increase students’ knowledge and understanding of drug education within our school community. The dogs will be in school again as part of an unannounced visit; the exercise could happen at any time during the academic year and is designed to ensure that the school remains a safe environment for all members of our community.

If you have any concerns relating to a child at The Cottesloe School being involved with substance misuse, or any other matter relating to Child Protection, please contact main reception and ask to speak to a member of the Safeguarding Team. Mrs Hankin is our Designated Safeguarding Lead.

Sports Fixtures

Following on from the success of the U15 girls football team’, we had two more excellent results from the boys’ teams last week. The U15 and U16 boys have both played County Cup fixtures, away from home. The U16s played St. Michael's Catholic School, winning the match 1-4, coming back from 1-0 down. The U15s played Akeley Wood and showed real Cottesloe resilience to achieve a draw, having started the game with only 10 players due to injuries. Well done, boys!  We had further success with the Year 10 girls’ A netball team beating Waddesdon 22-3. Mrs Lambourne commented on the girls’ exceptional netball performance; they are a talented team who played high-quality netball both in attack and defence, showing great team spirit, commitment and support to one another throughout the game.

This week we have netball fixtures for Year 11 and the Year 10 B team against Waddesdon, and football and netball matches against Mandeville for Years  7 and 9. Year 11 GCSE PE cricketers will be completing their moderation session this week too. Wishing everyone good luck for positive results!

Year 11

The second week of Mock exams is now underway for students. We have been very impressed with their focus and the way they have conducted themselves in the exams when responding to invigilators’ instructions. The last day of mocks is  Monday 5th February. Keep going, Year 11! 

Year 10 This week Year 10 students will find out about Work Experience,  planned this academic year for two weeks from Wednesday 10th July to Tuesday 23rd July 2024. Mr Matcham, our Careers Advisor, will explain the steps they need to take to organise their placements. This is an incredible opportunity for students to experience the world of work; not all schools offer this.  This year, the process will be managed via the Unifrog platform, for more information about organising a placement, please see https://www.cottesloe.bucks.sch.uk/students/student-career-pathways 

Year 9

Following last week’s Option Process launch, students and parents will be attending the online Parents Evening on Thursday 1st February to find out about current progress and seek advice about possible options decisions. Parents are reminded to get in touch via options@cottesloe.bucks.sch.uk if they have queries relating to the process.  

Thank you for your ongoing support. I hope you all have a good week. 

Best wishes, 

Louise Baldwin

Head of School

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Head of School Letter 22nd Jan 2024

23rd January 2024

I hope you had a great weekend. This week I am able to share some brilliant news, planning permission for the school expansion has been granted and the green light is on for building work to commence in the near future! The North Buckinghamshire Area planning committee met last Wednesday and approved the application for four new classrooms, a new science lab, new workshop/garage space for our Site Team and new toilets. Mr Jones will update families with more details soon, including the schedule for works to take place. I am delighted we can proceed with the expansion, it will have such a positive impact on the learning experiences of all students in the future.

Holocaust Memorial Day

Holocaust Memorial Day, an international day of remembrance, is held on 27th January every year, the day that marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp. The day remembers the 6 million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, alongside the millions of people murdered under Nazi persecution of other groups and during more recent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. Assemblies this week will focus on this theme, led by Mrs Redman and the Philosophy and Ethics team.

Sports Fixtures

I am thrilled that our U15 girls’ football team beat Princes Risborough in the County Cup last week. This means we now go through to the semi-finals. Congratulations girls!! This week, it’s the turn of the Year 11 boys’ football team to play Oakgrove in the County Cup on Tuesday; we’re hoping for another great result! Other sports fixtures on the calendar this week will see all year groups from Year 7 to 11 participating in Football and Netball matches, both home and away against Waddesdon, Akeley Wood and Sir Thomas Fremantle. Wishing all the teams good luck for positive results!

Elevate Education Online Webinars

Parents may be interested in signing up to attend Elevate Education Online webinars, designed to support their child over the coming months - these are open to all families but will be particularly relevant to families of students in Year 11, 12 and 13. The first webinar in the series takes place tomorrow, with future sessions scheduled throughout the spring term. For more information, please click on this link: https://go.elevateeducation.com/ukschoolwebinar

Bucks Skills Show

The Bucks Skills Show, the county’s biggest and most interactive careers event, will be held at Stoke Mandeville Stadium on 6th and 7th March 2024. As a school, we take groups of students every year and excitingly this year, the event is open to parents and families between 4pm - 8pm on 6th March. Further information and how to book a free ticket is here: https://bucksskillshub.org/news/bucks-skills-show-2024

Year 11

 Following the very well-attended Progress Evening last Thursday, Year 11 students began their second round of mock exams today. Mocks continue until Monday 5th February. Everyone at school wishes you all the best of luck; remember these exams are a practice to learn from to ensure success in the summer.

Year 9

The KS4 Options Process begins this week, with students attending a PSHCE assembly tomorrow, to learn about the subjects on offer at KS4, and how the process works. Students will receive paper and electronic copies of the Options Booklet and families will have further information and a link to the options form sent home via email before Thursday’s online Options Evening presentations. If you have queries relating to the process, please get in touch via options@cottesloe.bucks.sch.uk

Thank you for your ongoing support. I hope you all have a good week.

Yours sincerely
Mrs L Baldwin
Head of School

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Head of School Letter 15th Jan 2024

22nd January 2024

Dear Parents/Carers,

I am writing to you this week after returning from the GCSE History and Philosophy and Ethics trip to Warsaw and Treblinka in Poland, held last Friday to Sunday. 

Visiting Treblinka is a sobering experience for anyone, and for young people, it can be particularly challenging. The camp's history is one of unimaginable suffering and loss, an estimated 900,00 people were killed there; confronting these realities firsthand is not easy. However, I was so incredibly proud of how our students approached every aspect of the trip, from listening with respect to our tour guide and visiting the remains of the Jewish Ghetto and Warsaw Zoo (the zoo and its owners played a role in hiding hundreds of Jewish people during the Warsaw Uprising) as well as the Extermination Camp itself.  They showed maturity, sensitivity, and the desire to learn from the past. 

The visit provided an opportunity to engage directly with the horrors of the Holocaust. Visiting the sites of such atrocities sparked difficult questions, and prompted discussions about human nature, prejudice, and the importance of tolerance. While the trip's focus was understandably on the dark chapters of history, it also served as a reminder of the enduring strength of the human spirit. Not simply an educational excursion; it provides students with an opportunity for personal growth and reflection and will leave a lasting mark on them.

Thanks must go to the other teachers who attended the trip; Miss Lay, Trip Leader, Mr Herman, Mrs Knightley and Mrs Redman. Later in the year, we will hold a Holocaust Reflections Evening, where students who attended the trip present responses to their experiences, through art, written reflections and spoken word. 

World Challenge - Malaysia 2025

An information evening about another incredible international opportunity, open to students in current school Years 10, 11 and 12 is taking place this Wednesday at 6 pm in the main school hall. The school has worked with World Challenge for several years - last summer saw students travel to Eswatini in Africa, and next summer, students will visit Cambodia. 

Sports Fixtures

This week sees a wide range of sporting fixtures on the calendar. Students from Years 10 and 11 are attending a Badminton Tournament today along with seven different football teams playing St Michaels and Kingsbrook with games being held both at home and away. We will be hosting Princes Risborough U15s girls in the County Cup on Wednesday. Wishing all the teams good luck for great results!

Year 7 and 8

The third round of DT and Art subject rotations begins this week for both year groups. Students complete five different DT and Art projects over an academic year, with each one focussing on a different aspect of creative learning to allow students to develop a wide range of skills in food technology, art, electronics and computer-aided manufacturing. 

Year 11

The Progress Evening is scheduled for this Thursday 18th January. Families will have received an individual appointment time so every Year 11 student has the opportunity to discuss their plans for post-16 with a member of the senior leadership, pastoral or SEND team. Students have been asked to complete a Google Form in preparation for their appointment so the discussion can be focused and supportive. If you’ve not got an appointment time, please get in touch with the school office. 

Thank you for your ongoing support. I hope you all have a good week. 

Best wishes, 

Louise Baldwin

Head of School

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Head of School Letter 8th Jan 2024

11th January 2024

Dear Parents/Carers,

I hope you all had an enjoyable weekend. We are looking forward to our first full week back after the holidays, ready to tackle the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in 2024.

Winter Weather 

Although this is traditionally called the Spring Term, we know we can experience really cold temperatures at this time of year, so we ask that children have a warm coat to wear over their blazers when outside during the school day. The nature of the school site means students need to walk outside between lessons on a daily basis; it’s important that they can do so without getting cold or wet. 

Severe Weather Closures 

On rare occasions, the weather impacts on us to the extent that we need to close the school. In the event of severe weather, especially heavy snow, we will conduct a risk assessment of the safety of the school site, follow advice from Buckinghamshire Council and consider the plans of the bus companies who provide transport for our students, before making any decision to close the school. We always hope to avoid that scenario but the health and safety of our students and staff must be weighed against any inconvenience caused by the closure. Below is a link to the school website that explains the procedures that we will follow, and how families can keep up to date with any closure plans, should this situation arise. https://www.cottesloe.bucks.sch.uk/parent/school-closures 

KS4 Holocaust trip to Warsaw and Treblinka

Wishing safe travels to fifty Year 10 and 11 students studying GCSE Ethics and Philosophy and/or History, and four teachers,  departing for Poland at 4am this Friday. They are on a three-day trip to learn more about the Holocaust, the Treblinka Extermination Camp and the wider experiences of Jewish people living in Poland before and during WWII. An emotionally challenging trip, and we look forward to learning more about their experiences when they return. 

Year 9

This term sees Year 9 students reach an important milestone in making decisions about their options for GCSE subjects. We will be writing to Year 9 families shortly with more information about the process and key dates, including the Year 9 Online Options Evening on Thursday 25th January and the Year 9 Parents Evening on Thursday 1st February.  Further information about the process is on our website: https://www.cottesloe.bucks.sch.uk/curriculum/ks4-options. Updated information for 2024-2026 will be accessible in due course.

Year 11 

To support planning for students’ next steps, a face-to-face Year 11 Progress Evening is scheduled for Thursday 18th January, where every Year 11 student will have the opportunity to discuss their plans for post-16 with a member of the senior leadership, pastoral or SEND team. Each student will be given an individual appointment time - further details will be shared shortly. 

Mock exams provide a valuable opportunity to assess progress and refine study strategies before the real exams arrive. The second set of KS4 written mock exams begins on 22nd January. The mock exam timetable and further information about exams is here: https://www.cottesloe.bucks.sch.uk/curriculum/examinations 

Year 12/13

Students studying Applied Biology, Finance, Business Studies, Sports Studies and Health and Social Care will undertake exams that form part of their KS5 final grades over the next couple of weeks.  We wish all of them the very best. 

Mock exams for Year 12 and Year 13 are scheduled for later this term, in February and March. Information regarding exam timetables can be found on the school website: https://www.cottesloe.bucks.sch.uk/curriculum/examinations 

New Staff 

We're excited to announce some staffing changes that will enrich our school community further. Joining our team are:

  • Colin Wright: Head of Business and Economics. Colin has been a successful subject leader at a secondary school in Bedfordshire for a number of years. His leadership and experience will allow us to expand our KS5 curriculum offer to include the increasingly popular A-level Economics. 

  • Alison Holmes: Teacher of Drama. A highly-regarded and experienced drama teacher, Alison will bring her creative energy and expertise to the Performing Arts team and support us in being able to offer A Level Drama from September 2024, a first for the school in a number of years. 

  • Emma Makin: Teacher of Food Technology. Emma has previously taught the subject at a local grammar school and will be teaching KS3 Food Technology. 

  • Janine Carter: Head of Year 8. Although not new to the school, Janine will take over the responsibility of Head of Year 8, following Mrs Catling’s retirement in December.

In a time when schools are struggling to recruit good quality teachers, assistant teachers and other support staff, we are lucky to have such a dedicated and skilled group of adults working with our young people.

Although it’s a short one, we're looking forward to a productive and rewarding half-term. Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or concerns; thank you for your ongoing support. 

I hope you all have a good week. 

Best wishes, 

Louise Baldwin

Head of School

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GCSE and A-Level students can come and collect their work

17th October 2023

May be art of 1 person and text that says "S GCSE AND A LEVEL ART COLLECTION From November 8th Please give us 48 hours notice prior to collection Prepare |Aspire Succeed The Cottesloe School"

Last years GCSE and A-Level students can come and collect their work from the main reception from November 8th

Please give us 48 hours notice by emailing the school before coming to pick up your work!

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ᴏɴʟɪɴᴇ ꜱᴀꜰᴇᴛʏ ᴇᴠᴇɴɪɴɢ 2023

06th October 2023

📲ᴏɴʟɪɴᴇ ꜱᴀꜰᴇᴛʏ ᴇᴠᴇɴɪɴɢ 2023 📲

Invitation Open to all parents of students at the Cottesloe school

𝐖𝐞𝐝𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐝𝐚𝐲 𝟏𝟖𝐭𝐡 𝐎𝐜𝐭𝐨𝐛𝐞𝐫 𝟔𝐩𝐦 𝐭𝐨 𝟕𝐩𝐦

Covering these topics:

• How and what are children accessing online

• Practical advice and resources

• Communication with young people about healthy online usage

• Blocks and filters

• Our online safety policies and procedures

• Cyber Bullying

FREE FACE-TO-FACE TICKETED EVENT BOOK NOW

http://bit.ly/TCSOnlineSafety

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𝗗𝗢𝗪𝗡𝗟𝗢𝗔𝗗 𝗚𝗢𝟰𝗦𝗖𝗛𝗢𝗢𝗟𝗦 𝗔𝗣𝗣 𝗡𝗢𝗪!

05th September 2023

𝗗𝗢𝗪𝗡𝗟𝗢𝗔𝗗 𝗚𝗢𝟰𝗦𝗖𝗛𝗢𝗢𝗟𝗦 𝗔𝗣𝗣 𝗡𝗢𝗪!

Android https://bit.ly/g4sapple

Apple https://bit.ly/Go4SApple

The G4S app enables parents/carers to view:

  • Timetables
  • Achievement points
  • Behaviour points
  • Progress data
  • Home notes

Detentions that have been sanctioned

We have ‘How to’ guides on our website https://www.cottesloe.bucks.sch.uk/parent/go-4-schools.

At The Cottesloe School, we are continually working to further improve communication with parents/carers. We aim to work with families to support each student at The Cottesloe School, ensuring that parents/carers are kept fully informed about their child's attendance, progress, achievements and behaviour whilst at school.

To strengthen these communication pathways, the school has invested in the G4S App. You will be familiar with the Go For Schools (G4S) already as the platform is currently used to report progress at Assessment Points, accessed by parents/carers using a computer/laptop or other devices. Please see the guidance documents attached or contact your child's tutor if you require support in accessing G4S. Using the G4S app enables information to be shared and viewed easily via a mobile device.

The G4S app will notify parents/carers at the end of the week, providing a summary of achievement and behaviour points for the specific week. You will also receive an email notifying you when a new action has been logged on G4S.

During this academic year, more information and data such as live attendance marks will become available for parents to view. Having access to all of this information will facilitate informed conversations with your child, so you can celebrate successes and progress as well as discuss improvement strategies.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or need further guidance regarding any aspect of this process.

Yours sincerely

Mr R Henry

Assistant Headteacher – Student Character

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Alternatives to A Levels and University: What you need to know

28th June 2023

Alternatives to A Levels and University: What you need to know

Thinking about what’s next after you leave school? Gaining a university degree is just one option and there are many different paths you could take, from apprenticeships to higher technical qualifications.

And while it’s compulsory for young people to be in education or training until the age of 18, it doesn’t mean you have to stay in school and take A Levels if it’s not the right fit for you.

The best choice for you will depend on your situation and the career or job you have in mind. Here we look at some of the alternative options to A Levels and university routes for those who are aged 16 and older.

https://educationhub.blog.gov.uk/2023/06/27/alternatives-to-a-levels-and-university-what-you-need-to-know/

 

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Apply for a spare seat on a council-run school bus

23rd June 2023

 Spare seat scheme will open on 26th June. 

This is for any family where a child doesn't receive free transport to school but would like to use one of the school buses. This is particularly relevant for families of Year 11 students intending to come to our Sixth Form.

https://www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/schools-and-learning/schools-index/school-transport/paid-school-transport/spare-seats-on-school-transport-buses/apply-for-a-spare-seat-on-a-school-transport-bus-offstate/

You can apply for a spare seat on one of the council-run school buses we run for children who get free school transport. You will have to pay for your child's place.

Spaces are limited, so you should also research other school transport options, in case your application is not successful.

https://www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/schools-and-learning/schools-index/school-transport/school-transport-options/

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