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Welcome back!

I am particularly impressed with the way in which year 7 have settled in. They are already demonstrating that they know their way around and are keen to participate in their lessons.

They benefitted from the day they had in school on Tuesday and from all the expert advice, support and care their peer mentors and our anti- bullying champions gave them during the day.

 My thanks to all those students in years 8 – 11 who came in on Tuesday. They did an excellent job and were a real credit to themselves.

We extend a very warm welcome, not only to our new students, but also to some new members of staff as well: Miss Behreen in the English Faculty, Mrs Meyer and Mrs Lury in   Mathematics, Mr Wiggett in science, Mr Bate and Miss Farooq are joining the Humanities team, Mr Carter and Mr Marsh are joining Technology and Art respectively and Mr Churchill and Miss Brown are joining us as Subject leader for PE and Drama respectively. Just like our year 7 students, they have settled in very quickly to our Light Hall community.

I cannot begin the year without reflecting on the success of last year’s year 11 students. All their hard work certainly came to fruition in some excellent GCSE results. 72% of students gained a standard pass or above in English and maths. Nearly a quarter of all grades in English  and Maths were graded 7-9, this was also the case in Biology, a third of all grades in  music, drama and physics were the top grade and just under 40% of all grades in RE were also in this category. There were some outstanding individual performances too: Aatish G gained 8 grades at grade 9 and one at grade 8. Eleanor P gained 5 grade 9s and Isabelle F gained 4 grade 9s.  We were very proud of all our students who performed well, despite major changes to the examination system and structure. We wish all our leavers a very happy and successful future.

As the new term gets underway, I just wanted to remind you of some important safety messages:

In school, we constantly reinforce the messages about how to keep ourselves safe, when out and about in the community, including when riding our bikes on the roads.

You are already aware of the work that our Police Force is doing with regard to raising  awareness of knife crime across Solihull. We will continue the work that we do in school, and with the police, in ensuring that our students are fully aware of the dangers of knife crime and the types of behaviour, around which knife crime appears to exist. Sadly, such dangers exist do exist in our local community.

We will be reminding our students of the fact that expensive pedal cycles and mobile phones are all desirable items, which can sometimes attract the unwanted attention of criminals, particularly in our most open public spaces. Please be assured that in dealing with this we are very conscious of the fact that we wish our students to be aware, but also to understand not to be afraid. We will deal with all of these matters sensitively.

We have also been made aware of the danger posed to young people in communities such as ours of the criminal exploitation known as “county lines”. This is where organised gangs are exploiting young people, to carry and sell drugs as they are believed to be less likely to be identified by the police. We will be continuing our proactive work on drug education and including information and work on the risk of exploitation by criminal gangs and organisations. Our students are very aware that serious breaches of our code of conduct will lead to permanent exclusion.

I would like to stress how proud we are of the excellent behaviour of students in school and how much we value your support, not only in reinforcing our safety messages at home, but also in reinforcing our high expectations with regards to conduct in school and in the community, uniform and the completion of homework, and of course, in supporting any decisions we take in sanctioning students when conduct, uniform or work standards fall below our high expectations.

It is going to be a very busy and productive term. All key dates are available on the website and school calendar. Please do not hesitate to contact school, if you have any questions.

My best wishes for a relaxing weekend.