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Head of School Letter 5th Feb 202405/02/2024

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. 


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: 

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. 

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 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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