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Head of School Letter 18th March 202418/03/2024

Dear Parents/Carers,

There were some wonderful mornings of sunshine last week when it wasn’t raining! The long-term forecast suggests that we'll be experiencing some April showers during the Easter holidays too. The variable weather didn’t put off students participating in a brilliant Science Week, devised by Mrs Moore. A huge thank you to her, and the rest of the Science team and wider school staff for making the week such a positive experience for all year groups.  Thanks are also extended to Miss Gray, Miss Lambourne, Mr Powell and Mrs Knightley, and our Year 10 Prepare, Aspire, Succeed Leadership class who raised £250 for Comic Relief through a bake sale, guess the teacher and beat the goalie competitions. The students planned and organised the event held at break time last Friday. The planning and delivery of a fundraising event is part of an assessment that contributes to the final grade of their Level 2 Prince's Trust qualification. 

Working Together for Clean Air: Reducing Idling at School

The Cottesloe School is committed to creating a healthy and sustainable environment for our students and staff. This includes promoting clean air quality, which is especially important for young developing lungs. Vehicle idling – leaving your car engine running while parked – contributes significantly to air pollution, particularly around schools during pick-up and drop-off times. 

Here's why idling matters:

  • Health: Exhaust fumes from idling vehicles contain harmful pollutants that can irritate the lungs and worsen respiratory problems like asthma.

  • Environment: Idling wastes fuel and contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, impacting the environment.

  • Savings: Turning off your engine when parked for more than 10 seconds actually saves you fuel.

What you can do to help:

  • Turn off your engine whenever you are parked and waiting for more than 10 seconds, including during pick-up and drop-off.

  • Plan ahead: If you anticipate a longer wait, consider carpooling, parking further away and walking, or using alternative transportation options when possible.

  • Spread the word: Talk to other parents and guardians about the importance of reducing idling.

Picking up and dropping off students etiquette We want everyone to arrive and get home safely, whether travelling by school bus or by car but from time to time, there are near-misses between vehicles on the coach park in the mornings and in the afternoons. In addition to considering turning your engine off if waiting for more than 10 seconds, I would like to remind and request that everyone who uses the coach park, drives responsibly and slowly (5MPH) in order to avoid the possibility of harming a child, or another car. We know that mornings and afternoons can be challenging - parents need to get to work or drop a sibling at a different place, and in the afternoon everyone wants to get home or onto an after-school activity without hitting the traffic. Please drive carefully and with consideration when on the school site. It is especially important when buses arrive at the same time as cars are dropping off each morning. 

In the morning, please drop your child off and leave as soon as you can so there is enough space for buses and coaches to pull in and use the one-way system around the small island. Please do not arrive and then park up until the bell goes for registration. I would be grateful if you could share this information with grandparents, family members or friends who may not receive this letter but use the coach park to drop off/collect students. 

Safe Drive, Stay Alive

Sixth Formers who pass their driving test can apply for a parking permit from the Sixth Form team in order to drive and park their car at school. They are regularly reminded of the expectations when driving on the school site and students who cannot follow the rules may have their permit revoked.  To support sixth formers during exciting times for them, but nerve-wracking for parents as they venture out in a car on their own or with friends, we engage with the Safe Drive, Stay Alive programme which explores how to stay safe on the roads. Year 12 will attend a presentation on Tuesday this week as part of their PSHCE lessons. Hard-hitting at times, it aims to educate students about the ‘Fatal Four’ – speeding, seatbelts, drink and drug driving, and driving while distracted. The session seeks to remind young people that they are more likely to die or be seriously injured on the roads than in any other way – it is the biggest threat to their lives, and usually, it can be prevented if they just make sure they make the right choices.

Gold Thumbs Up Awards

Whether you are a Year 7, Year 13 or somewhere in between, the Headteacher or Gold Thumbs Up Award recognises students who have made considerable contributions either in or outside of school. It’s a really lovely part of my role to be able to present some very well-deserved and received awards to students for a variety of reasons. They all epitomise Prepare, Aspire, Succeed.

  • Lydia in Year 7: For her incredible performance at Crufts with her dog, Kimber.

  • Pippa and Livy in Year 10: For their performance and third place in the Instrumental trios and quartets at the Milton Keynes Festival of the Arts

  • Nathan in Year 12: For creating a bespoke website for the school’s Science Week

  • Harvey in Year 13: For designing a Teaching and Learning data collection spreadsheet for teachers at school to use and for being one of only seven people from 900 applicants to be offered a degree apprenticeship by Amazon!

Poland Holocaust Reflections Evening

On Thursday, students and staff who visited Treblinka in January will come together for a thought-provoking evening of reflection, sharing their experiences with family and friends. Students will read their own poetry and stories and display pieces of artwork, created in response to their experiences in Poland. It is always a very moving and sombre event. 

Sports Results

Because of the rain, some events were cancelled again last week. Coming up this week are some badminton matches, netball and rugby fixtures for our teams to play. Despite the weather, there are some results to report: we had wins against Princes Risborough and St Michaels in netball and our incredible U15 girls' football team played SHFGS in the Buckinghamshire County Cup Final at Arbour Park, home of Slough Town. Unfortunately, despite positive attitudes and determination, the final score was 10-2, in favour of our opponents. We are very proud of the girls for reaching the final and for their perseverance. Well done girls!! Thanks go to Miss Keveren for coaching the team to the final.  It was also the English Schools Cross Country Championships in Pontefract this weekend where Year 9 student, Olive took part, having been selected to represent Buckinghamshire. Olive placed an incredible 36th out of 339 in the Junior Girls’ Race, in a time of 11:53. Her excellent time helped the Buckinghamshire Junior Girls’ Team achieve a team place of 7th out of 46 participating counties. Congratulations Olive! 


This week is a busy one for Mr Pye and his team of Geography teachers: Mr Youngs, Mrs Knightley, Mr Brokenbrow and Mrs Chapman, as they head out on two different field trips. On Tuesday, all Year 11 Geography students will visit Milton Keynes to collect data that will contribute to the case study questions on Paper 3 of their GCSE Geography exams this summer. On Friday, Year 12 Geographers will visit Dorset for three days of fieldwork on the coast, developing their understanding of different aspects of their A-Level course. Thanks as always goes to the teachers who give up their weekends and time with their own families to support our students by extending their experiences and opportunities  - this time it’s Mr Pye, Mr Youngs and Mrs Chapman taking on the responsibility. 

Year 11

On Thursday Year 11 will have their leavers’ photos. 

Wishing you all well for a great week, and thank you, as ever, for your support.

Best wishes, 

Louise Baldwin

Head of School

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