There are two very significant transition events in the coming days.
The first is headstart day for the new Year 7s arriving in September, such an important step in the move from primary to secondary school. In my experience parents can find this a lot more difficult than their children and our support takes this into account. I am really looking forward to welcoming them as the first Year 7 to start life in the new building.
The second is transition week for the new Year 12s. We have had an impressive number of applications from students from other schools and we are on course to have our largest ever sixth form in September, with a far higher proportion of students taking A levels. Sixth form is a great time in anyone’s education and we want our students to understand our expectations. There are only eighteen months between this event and the UCAS deadline. If the process of what happens beyond QK has not started already, and it will start with the new Year 7 on headstart day, it must start with the year 12s straight away. Be aspirational!
Preparing for the early promotion of the timetable has been a great deal of work for all those concerned, to say the very least, but it has been an absolutely brilliant week. Punctuality to school and also to lessons was already good but has been even better, and behaviour further improved. It is very clear to me that there has been a step up in aspirations. It has been wonderful to see students in the new year 10 and 11 really get stuck into their new GCSE courses and all those taking examinations do so with the utmost seriousness. Hundreds of QK students are fasting for Ramadan, and have adapted to their change of routine extremely well.
QK students, you have been seriously impressive this week. I can already see how September will be, and know that next year is going to be brilliant.
The vast majority of examinations have finished and everyone is waiting for the new academic year to start next Monday. A letter has been given today to all students in years 7 to 10 and will go to year 12 (or year 13 as they will be next week) on Monday. Please ensure you read it carefully.
I am delighted to inform you that we now have formal planning permission for the sixth form centre. By the end of this calendar year this building, along with the external grounds and the astroturf MUGA area will be completed. Along with the additional display boards it will provide a very different feel to the school, even more so than now.
Ramadan begins next week. I know this means a lot of students will be tired in class in the first few days in particular. As it is summer please ensure your child does not come to school wearing vests and jumpers that make them too hot if they cannot drink during the day.
Yesterday was one of those days where everything seemed to work. At the start of the day was another example of how seriously our year 11s have taken their exams as they all gathered in the auditorium for final revision before maths. Sixth formers were scattered all over the school fully engaged in their revision. Year 10 had a special enrichment day with Action Jackson’s Fix Up Team which inspired them and gave them much to think about. The atmosphere for the barbecue at lunch was just fantastic. I am really looking forward to this year group becoming year 11 and playing a bigger leadership role in the school.
On top of all of that was a magnificent Sports Day for years 7 to 9. I was really impressed with the engagement and enthusiasm last year, but this was a further step up. Watching hundreds of students in QK PE uniform participating and competing so well was wonderful to see. Congratulations to the winning tutor groups, and well done to all those involve. A big thank you to the PE department for such a well organised event.
I will write home via student post before the end of the week about aspirations and expectations for all students moving up a year group on June 15th. Please ensure you ask your child for the letter.
A big well done to the following 10 students for participating in the Westminster mile. We were the best representatives of all Westminster schools,
Maryum Begum 7N – Haroon Abdulahi 7T – Adam Elfakih 7Y – Mowafaq El Shash – Benjamin Mardel 8U Sufiyan Charkaoui 8U – Wali Wadi 8U – Fawzia Rasul 8N – Albin Muzaci 8U – Mohamed Fablebari 12A
A special mention to Ben Mardel (Y8) who finished 18th in his age category in a time of exactly 6 minutes. The students also enjoyed meeting British athletics legend Steve Cram.
The plan remains for students to move up a year group on Monday 15th June. For the current Year 9 their ties will be dark blue as they move into Year 10 rather than light blue and they will start GCSE courses in two of their optional subjects. For the current Year 10 they will start their new courses as Year 11 wiser from this year’s experience.
The beginning of a new school year is a time for students to consider new aspirations and raise the bar on what they might achieve. Over time I want our students to work harder and take increasing responsibility for their own learning. There are many who do that now but it is not yet ingrained in our culture. Many students will have plenty of work to do over the summer, it will be a test of their personal motivation and resilience to see how well it is done.
We are launching QK’s first Healthy Eating Week!
It falls nicely in time with Sports day and students are invited to take a conscious choice, about the food and drink they have whilst it’s hot, to stay healthy and hydrated.
The first 600 KS3 students and staff, to pay £1 on ParentPay, will be given a Sports Day Healthy Eating Kit, including 1 QK branded water bottle and 2 snacks.
Get involved today!
I made a brief visit to Stubbers this morning to see how the year 7’s were getting on. Both our staff and those from the centre were very complimentary about how well our students had behaved and coped with the conditions. The word ‘resilience’ came up a lot as staff described how our students performed with a full day of rain while doing activities like rock climbing and kayaking. Hopefully the same residential can run for the new year 7 in October.
Thank you to all parents with children in year 6 who attending the evening last Thursday. It was wonderful to see the auditorium so full with 350 seats taken. We are easily full for September with improved numbers from almost all our main feeder primary schools.
All parents/carers should be aware that the QK Bus will no longer run from September. It was introduced when the BSF programme started, and now it is due to come to a close in 2015 it is something we will no longer offer. Please ensure your child has an oyster card for the new academic year if they do not have one.
The four main weeks of external examinations are about to begin. Good luck to everyone. It is easy to see how much our students want success. Our values of Aspiration – Resilience – Community apply so much at this time. So many of our students are so close to success; it is so important to keep going and look out for each other.
There is one key thing I want to emphasise, students need to keep attending their lessons and not take themselves out of school to revise. This is an aspect of our culture at QK we need to leave behind. We will adapt the timetable so that students get additional revision classes immediately in advance of examinations and students need to be here to benefit. If we are to make a serious break through this year, attendance needs to hold up.