Newsletter from the Principal – Spring Term

27th March 2017

Dear Parent / Carer

We are about to break up for the Easter holidays and it feels like we have hardly drawn breath since returning in January. Students across all year groups have been working really hard. At KS3 in Years 7 & 8 students are focusing on developing the four strands of the Springwest Learner. You will have seen from their reports how much progress they have made in the key areas of Independence, Collaboration, Inquisitiveness and Reflection. By the time students start Year 9 we expect them to be GCSE ready, both competent and confident to deal with the more demanding and rigorous new GCSEs. Those of you with children in Years 10 and 11 will know that the exams they will take over the next 2 years require them to learn more knowledge and content, be able to retrieve more facts and use complex skills previously taught to older students. We are really proud of how hard the students are working and are constantly looking to better support them in becoming more focused learners. Looking ahead we have had a record number of applicants for Year 7 and we look forward to welcoming them to Springwest in September.

Springwest’s sporting prowess has been a real area of strength this spring; in particular our girls’ and boys’ football teams have performed superbly. Handball and rowing are the latest areas we are encouraging our students to get involved in.

Attendance is a key area for any school and if your child is not in, they are not learning! Just a day off every few weeks can quickly mount up to missing 10% or more school days a year and this means that a student is identified as having ‘persistent absence’. Our pastoral mentors work brilliantly with students and families to ensure students are in school as much as is possible. I ask that you ensure your child does not miss school for birthdays or holidays and that absence is confined to genuine illness.

We have had a fair bit of refurbishment work done at Springwest in 2017 and most recently this has included the installation of new fire doors throughout the school. You may also have noticed the completion of Logic Studio School (LSS), part of Tudor Park Education Trust (TPET). We are really enjoying working with colleagues from LSS as we prepare our exciting post-16 offer for current Year 11 students, many of whom will join the TPET Sixth Form in September. Year 10 have also begun to visit LSS and find out about studying there when they reach Year 12.

Many of you will have read or heard about the huge funding cuts that schools in both primary and secondary sectors are facing. We have looked over the last 3 years to make as many savings as we can and to run a financially efficient school here at Springwest. We will continue to do all we can to provide a strong curriculum offer for your children and to provide them with the experiences and opportunities that are so much part of life at Springwest. However the next few years will be tough and as parents you need to be aware this will have an impact on areas including class sizes, and teaching assistants.

The local MPs have advised that writing to them is very worthwhile to explain the impact cuts are having on our children’s education. They have said the more personalised the stories are, the better. Email addresses are as follows: Seema Malhotra (Feltham & Heston) and Ruth Cadbury (Brentford &Isleworth)

Making sure the school site is safe is a priority, so students have been told that once inside the school gates they need to dismount from their bikes and walk them to or from the bike sheds. No student should be on a bike on the school site. Can I also remind a small number of parents that they should not be parking opposite school on our neighbours’ drop downs – we have had a few complaints from residents.

After Easter we will be sending out a letter that explains how to log onto our new electronic payment system. Some of you may have already used ParentPay and this system makes it easier for both you and school to handle money for school lunches and trips. We will begin to move to this system in May and will keep you updated. Even if you cannot access the website there are 6 local shops that can provide the same service for you to pay into a ParentPay account and we will give you the details of these outlets.

Good Luck to our Y11 and Y13 students in the final countdown towards their examinations. We hope they make good use of the holidays to attend revision sessions in school and set aside time at home for study.

Don’t forget to visit our website and read about all our news and events.

Wishing you a Happy Easter break and we look forward to seeing the students return on Tuesday 18th April at the normal time of 8.30.

Yours faithfully

Mariella Wilson – Principal