Headmaster’s Summer Term Newsletter

Summer Term Letter

May 2018

Dear Parents,
I am writing this newsletter to provide an insight into the exciting events at the school in the first half of the Summer Term and to highlight some of the developments that you will see at the school in the coming weeks and months.
This term has already seen a number of high profile events that have provided our children with exciting educational opportunities. On the evening of half-term the events will continue with our first ever Charity Sleep Out with more than fifty children from Year 6 upwards sleeping out in their cardboard boxes raising money for homeless charities.
Our Exceptional Potential Programme will this week see several Junior School girls visiting Silverstone for the ‘Dare to be Different’ programme looking at engaging girls in motorsports. As part of the Senior School programme, we have already engaged in a number of national competitions. This term we received notice that Luke Hiorns-Boddington in Year 13 was awarded the first prize in the prestigious ISA Science Writing Competition, whilst Raphael Pendleton-Crane was highly commended in the Year 8 National Creative Writing Competition. With students already receiving national awards for Poetry there has been much to celebrate.
Last week, the atmosphere in the Junior School was electric as we presented an active story based upon a visit by the Royal Family in celebration of the wedding of Harry and Meghan. The children in Years 3 and 4 also took part in the Cognita Global Solar Buddy Challenge, making solar powered lights to send to children in Papua New Guinea. The event involved a number of activities based upon the theme of light and darkness and even included an assembly for parents wearing blindfolds and sampling the activities of the children. Next term we will launch the ‘Christmas around the World’ Project looking at the experience of Christmas in our family of Cognita schools.
Outdoor learning is a developing theme at the school as we look to develop the Forest School provision across the Junior School. The importance of character education is much to the fore in the Senior School and our Year 8 cohort greatly enjoyed their Bushcraft adventures at the start of May. After half-term, the Year 9 students will set off for their PGL water-sports adventure in France whilst the combined Year 11 and Year 12 World Challenge Group set off for their expedition in Nepal. This term we must also congratulate our large contingent of Duke of Edinburgh Award students on their successful trekking around Northamptonshire. Next year, we already have students signed up for the Cognita Global Challenge expedition to Tanzania and Year 11 students going on their annual Christmas excursion to Paris.
Our Junior and Senior School parents have already attended an Evening of Sex, Drugs and Sausage Rolls in looking at our teaching of these important subjects in PSHE. After half-term we welcome our Reception and Nursery Parents to a Den-Building Afternoon and the invitation will be extended to all Junior School parents in the Autumn Term as we provide a morning of Forest School activities. Next term we will also be introducing our Scarecrow Trail around the school site offering opportunities for all members of the school community to work together to make this a spectacular community event.
Celebrating the achievements of our children is a regular feature of the school. I am delighted to announce that we will be introducing the QHS Diploma in September for demonstrations of aspects of Quality, Harmony and Success in Years 5 to 8. This will ensure that all children become active and involved members of the school community. Our Year 9 children will be starting the GCSE courses in all of their academic subjects giving both a head-start and an experience of the specification prior to making their final option choices.
We are delighted that our Tea Time Concerts have proved to be such a popular feature on the calendar. Last week we enjoyed the practical performance of our Year 10 GCSE Drama students and there have been some wonderful class assemblies and opportunities for Junior School children to showcase their work. The school production rehearsals in both the Senior and Junior Schools are in full swing and we are very much looking to their performances after half-term. After the holiday there will also be the auditions for the production of Romeo and Juliet to be performed at the Royal & Derngate Theatre as part of the Shakespeare Schools Festival. I would especially like to congratulate all of the children performing in various music groups, choirs and individually with such success in the NMPAT Eistedfodd Festival.
All homework at Quinton House for children above Q3 is now available to be viewed on Firefly, our Virtual Learning Environment. This term we are also introducing Tootoot as a confidential voice for children to share any concerns that they may have with our pastoral teams. I am also delighted that our Year 10 and Year 11 students will now have access to GCSE Pods as an additional means of study and preparation for their exams.
Careers education is an important feature of our educative programme at QHS. Jo Stewart from NHS Northamptonshire visited the school to give a wonderful talk about some of the possibilities for students to work in more than 350 careers provided by the NHS, including the apprenticeship path as well as the degree route. In response to expressions of interest from students we were also pleased to invite Dominic Waller to come in from Rhodes Vets to describe his career progression and his daily work.
Parents have been notified of the transition events for moving into the next academic year and dates are included on the school calendar. We are very much looking forward to our new Excursion Day in the Senior School and Activities Day in the Junior School as we celebrate and recognise another year of hard work from all sections of the school community.
Parents will already be aware that we have a number of showcase events in the run-up to the end of term. I know that the Physical Education Department are excited to be providing the children with a genuine sporting experience by holding our annual Sports Day at Moulton Athletics Track. Perhaps this is also the opportune moment to congratulate Year 10 student Cleo Martin-Evans on setting a new County Record in the Hurdles event last week. We also look forward to welcoming parents to the major Prize Giving events. The Nursery Graduation will take place at 11.30am on Monday 2nd July; The Junior School Awards Afternoon at 2pm on Tuesday 3rd July; The Senior School Sports Awards Evening at 6pm on Wednesday 4th July; and the Senior School Prize Afternoon at 2pm on Thursday 5th July.
I understand that tickets for the Summer Ball have been in popular demand and we look forward to an enjoyable end of term social event in the marquee on the lawn in July.
As the holiday arrives I am conscious that the A Level and GCSE exams are approaching the half-way stage. We continue to offer our best wishes and support to all candidates studying for their public examinations.
We wish you all a very enjoyable half-term,
Tim Hoyle

01604 752050