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Coombes Boys School

Headteachers Blog

March 2017

As Easter approaches it is a good time to reflect on the achievements of all the students at Coombe Boys’ School over the last few months. The Spring term is a very challenging time for teaching staff and students alike. It is a shorter term and students and staff have to squeeze in a large amount of work and activities into a short space of time. A big challenge, but one that I am confident that we have met.

At Christmas, we held our Carols by Candlelight service at St James’ church. It was really enjoyable to be back at the church and the evening itself was fantastic. It was great to see the boys and girls performing together and from a boys’ school perspective I was very proud to see our students more than hold their own. I would like to thank Miss Lucas and the music staff from the girls’ school for an amazing evening.

In January, I accompanied a group of Year 7 students to Hallsgate Woods for a range of team building activities. It was snowing and I was wearing four pairs of socks, and three coats and I was still freezing. The boys did not seem to feel the cold though and a great time was had by all. This trip could not have taken place without the help of Mrs Bull and Mr Beckett and we very grateful for their support.

The Cluster Concert also took place in January and it was again a festival of outstanding drama performances, a wide and varied range of musical contributions and for the matinee performance all the local primary schools contributed to a wonderful day. Theatre has been high on the agenda this term with trips to the West End to see the Bank Robbery and Wicked, as well as the Globe Theatre. We also had the Orange Tree company come into school to perform Twelfth Night to the whole of Year 8. In addition the Year 11 and Sixth form students have been performing their final pieces for their GCSEs and Level 3 BTECs. A special thanks must go to Miss O’Reilly and the drama team for all that they do for the school.

On the sporting front, our Year 7 and Year 8 Rugby teams have seen their first wins against local opposition as we gradually develop into a formidable sporting force. There has been notable success in table tennis; we have become county basketball champions in Year 8 and Sixth Form. Craig Clout will represent Great Britain at Irish Open Kickboxing Championships in Dublin and Year 9 footballers are through to the semi-final of the Surrey Cup.

We also held our STEM Careers evening earlier in the term with thirty employers coming to the school to talk about careers and give guidance to students as to how to embark on a career in these fields. Year 10 took part in a two week work experience just after half term and this has proved to be a very positive influence on the students. An enormous thanks to Mrs Mennis, Miss Nathan and Mr Hughes who organised these events for our students.

For many, the spring term is all about GCSE examination preparation and Year 11 are right at the centre of this. There are over thirty hours of revision sessions taking place each week many additional one to one sessions. I wish all year 11 students the very best with their preparations over the Easter holidays and to make sure that they attend the Easter sessions that staff are putting on.

I do not have the space to write in detail about the Maths Challenge, the aspirations trips and the public speaking competition successes, but thank you to all the students and staff who supported these.

I would like to thank you for your support and we look forward to working with your sons again next term.

December 2016

We have come to the end of a very exciting but also very long term. Students and staff are looking forward to a well-earned break. It has been a term packed full of academic, cultural and sporting activities and I hope that everyone has had the opportunity to try something new.

Year 7 students have just completed their first term and it seems a long time ago now from that first day in September. All year 7 students are now well established members of the Coombe community. I have the privilege of teaching some year 7s and to also meet many more during the birthday lunches. The feedback that I have received from them has been extremely positive and it has been fabulous to see so many making significant contributions to the school. The year 7 highlight for me was the “Poetry Evening” which was very well supported by parents and enjoyed by all involved.

Over the last two weeks year 11 have been completing their “mock” examinations. I am sure that they are glad that they have come to an end, however this is vital practice for the upcoming examinations season. It will also give us important guidance as to what areas students require further support in. For year 11 students there are revision sessions after school every day for the entirety of the academic year. It is important that students take full advantage of the opportunities that this provides.

On the sporting front rugby has become further embedded in the culture of Coombe and we have recorded some impressive wins. We are very grateful for the support that Old Emanuel’s have given to the school in order to help us get this off the ground. Beyond rugby; football, table tennis and basketball are our Autumn sports and we been successful in all three areas, but perhaps the most notable achievement was the Year 10 football team’s 11-0 victory over Southborough.

As always we have organised a significant number of trips this term ranging from the Aachen Christmas Market trip to the Chemistry in Action trip for KS4 organised by the Science department. We continue to believe that students learn best when they are enjoying themselves and we hope that the wide provision of trips and extra curricular activities has led to a thoroughly enjoyable time beyond the classroom. Successes in public speaking and baking against local competition are a few examples of what our students have been involved in.

Earlier in the term Mr Hughes organised for Coombe Boys’ School to become the first local school to have a visit from the Google team to experience virtual 3D tours of different parts of the world. In Year 10 our Computer Science students have been working with their IBM mentors to further develop their skills. Year 7 Robotics club has been a huge success with many thanks to Mr Corkhill who has made this possible. Also in Year 10, students have been engrossed in the Premier League Enterprise programme which Ms Richards has organised in conjunction with Fulham Football Club.

November is a month when Coombe Boys’ School traditionally works with the Royal British Legion to sell poppies to support their work and also to develop an enhanced understanding of our history amongst our students. We were very proud to receive a visit from Cllr Ken St James to deliver a whole school assembly for our students. We were also honoured that members of the Legion could attend our Drama Showcase Evening which included a piece on the First World War.

September 2016

I would like to welcome our new year 7 students and parents to Coombe Boys’ School and also say a big welcome back to our older students.

The summer was very eventful and I am pleased to report that the academic successes of many of our students rivalled that of our Olympians. At post 16 level one third of all A level grades were graded A*/A with 80% of all entries being graded A*-C.  At BTEC level 3, 92% of all entries were graded the equivalent of A*A*A*/AAA. At CGSE level, Coombe Boys School saw a 7% increase in its 5A*-C including English and Maths results. Special mention should go to Mathematics and English Literature as results exceeded 81% in both subjects. It was also wonderful as an ICT and Maths Specialist school to see Computer Science results at 95% A*-C. It was fantastic to see the students receive their results on the day and it was immensely pleasing that the vast majority were able to attend either their first choice university, sixth form or employment. We are very very proud of the progress that all our students made which was significantly above national averages.

The summer was also a time of much activity and I would like to thank the year 10 students and members of staff who gave up their time to help us paint the school at the beginning of the holidays. It was richly rewarding to work alongside our students to improve our learning environment. I would also like to thank volunteers from Sitel who also helped us with our decorating.

On the sporting front our very own Ryan Sessegnon made his debut for Fulham alongside former students Dennis Adeniran, Tayo Edun and Luca De La Torre. Dennis scored on his debut and Ryan hit the national stage when he became the youngest player to ever score in the Championship in his second game against Cardiff.

The term has started well and we have been very impressed by the focused, positive start that all the students have made. Our aim for year 11 is to significantly improve upon the results from last year and we are determined to ensure that they achieve their very best.

Our focus for the whole school for the year is literacy and reading and we ask that all students take time each day to read a book of their choosing. Reading for pleasure is a habit and a routine that can be easily lost and teenage boys can be particularly susceptible to this. There will be a range of events and initiatives throughout the year to promote reading, starting with our Poetry Night on the 6th October.

I am very excited about the coming year and I look forward to reporting back our achievements as the year progresses.

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