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FROM THE HEADTEACHER’S DESK Another term draws to a close and it is a pleasure to look back with pride on the events of the past few months in this edition of the school newsletter. The weather this half-term has certainly posed its challenges and I am looking forward to the hot, balmy days of summer when an early morning site inspection is not needed to determine whether we can safely open the school! Thank you for your understanding and support with the recent snow closures. Please rest assured that the decision to close is not taken lightly and only considered when all other alternatives have been explored. Ultimately, I have a duty of care to all members of the school community and must be confident that the staff, students and parents can all travel safely to and from school, as well as the site being in a safe condition when they get here. I hope you feel that our communication protocols kept you fully informed of developments, but please feel free to contact the school with any feedback or concerns on this matter. We were delighted to send out 185 offer letters at the beginning of March to the new cohort of Year 7 students who will be joining us in September. As you are aware, we were asked by the local authority to take in an additional form of entry this year and, even by doing so, we are still over-subscribed and have a lengthy waiting list. This is a reflection of the high regard in which the school is held by the local community and we look forward to benefitting from significant investment in a capital works project over the coming months to ensure we can cater for the increase in numbers. Contractors will be on-site over Easter to set-up their compound but the majority of the work will be undertaken during the school holidays and weekends to minimise disruption to the life of the school. Further updates and photos will be provided in due course. Thank you to those of you who have engaged in our land sale consultation. The window closes on April 20 th, but it has been encouraging to note the support so far, in principle, to sell off a small piece of disused land adjacent to the vacant caretaker’s bungalow and reinvest the proceeds from the sale in an all-weather, floodlit sports pitch. We are excited by the opportunity such a project will have on greatly enhancing the quality of sports facilities for students here at de Stafford as well as members of the wider community. It is that time of year already when we are in countdown mode to the start of the Y11 GCSE exams. I am sure you would like to join me in wishing the students all the very best as they enter this intensive period during May and June. Easter revision classes take place during the first week of the holiday and I am grateful to staff for willingly giving up their time to support the students. Finally, we say goodbye at the end of this term to Miss Lees-Radford who has secured a post closer to home following seven years of distinguished service here at de Stafford. I would like to thank her for the significant contribution she has made to the school and wish her all the very best for the future. Her replacement, Mr Nelson, is an experienced teacher and will pick up her teaching classes and SAM group next term. Likewise, I would like to place on record my thanks to Miss Crabtree who has worked in Student Services and as a Learning Support Assistant since joining the school in January, 2015 and leaves us at Easter to pursue a new career path. Best wishes for an enjoyable Easter break.

Jeremy Garner

SSB news LAND SALE CONSULTATION Those of you who have had links with the school for the last couple of years may remember the governing body previously consulted with the school community about selling the vacant caretaker’s bungalow and a small piece of scrubland at the edge of the school’s athletics field. The bungalow has now been vacant for over two years and neither it, nor the piece of land, has been used for educational purposes. The money we hope to raise from the sale of the property and land will be used for the benefit of the students at de Stafford as well as the wider community. The plan is to develop an all-weather, flood-lit pitch, with additional parking and changing facilities. Since the last consultation our efforts have concentrated on managing the tender process for operating the Sports Centre and the process of conversion to an academy. The land sale project was, therefore, temporarily put on hold. With Freedom Leisure now running the Sports Centre and having established ourselves as an academy within GLF Schools Multi-Acadamy Trust, we are keen to revisit this project. As more than 12 months have lapsed since the previous consultation, we are consulting again with the school community. We wrote to parents/carers and local councillors earlier this month to let them know about our intentions and to extend an invitation to attend two information days held at the school. We had a number of visitors at the events, with the feedback on the sale and proposed new sports facility overwhelmingly positive. Thank you to those of you who came to the consultation meetings and those who have emailed with queries and comments. There is still time to let us have your views and to put forward any questions; the consultation period is open until 5pm on Friday 20th April 2018. If you would like further information, please visit the ‘News and Events’ tab on our school website or get in touch at We appreciate that this will not be a quick process, with the necessary permissions and legal processes, but we will keep you informed of developments in relation to the proposed sale and, if approved, the additional sports facilities. We look forward to hearing your views on what is a very exciting proposal which has the potential to greatly enhance the sports facilities for the school and the wider community. Alison Etheridge Chair of the School Strategy Board

We’d like to extend a warm welcome to the new cohort of Year 7s and their parents/carers who will be joining us in September 2018. We look forward to seeing you at our first transition event on Wednesday 25th April where you will experience a fun insight into lessons at de Stafford School. Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Zoe Defalco in Admissions by Please also visit our website where you will find a dedicated page entitled Year 6 Transition. If you’re social media savvy, you can also give us a follow on Twitter @deStafford where we post regular news and events.









24TH - 27TH JULY


Staff and students took part in Number Day for a third year running on 2nd February. Number Day is a nationwide maths event which helps raise valuable funds to support the NSPCC. Students enjoyed a variety of numeracy based games and activities throughout the day including a cake sale, number fair and numeracy themed lessons.

United Kingdom Mathematics Trust (UKMT) Maths Challenge 2018 The UKMT intermediate maths challenge took place this term, which involved students from Years 9 and 10 sitting a one hour paper. The paper consists of questions to test their problem solving skills and is designed to stretch those who enjoy lateral thinking. Congratulations to the following students who received a certificate: Bronze: Jon Axford, Toby Cousins, Amber Dabin, Kiara Kielkiewicz, Katie Spurgin

Silver: Paige Cash, Chloe Froud, Jack Gambier, Luke Moore, Leila Treacher

Best in Year 9: Best in Year 10: Best in School:

Kiara Kielkiewicz Luke Moore Luke Moore

Year 8 - glf DEBATE!

Our Year 8 Debating Team put in an outstanding effort at the GLF Formal Debating Competition in February, hosted by the Beacon School, Banstead. The team were highly commended by the GLF Judges who were particularly impressed by the way our team conducted themselves and the enthusiasm shown throughout the competition. Although they didn’t reach the final, the Judges remarked it was an incredibly well-fought and close debate. Our team is raring to have another go and keen to keep formal debating a regular event between the GLF schools.

Glf SCIENCE FAIR 2018 Children from more than 25 schools donned their lab coats ready to do battle for this year’s honours at the GLF Schools Science Fair competition finals. Hosted at the University of Surrey on the 7th February, our team consisted of Year 7s Tanner Bonds, Renee Lynch and Imogen Faulkner who placed 3rd (just one point away from 2nd place ). Congratulations to you all. You did us proud!

ACHIEVEMENT Many students have ‘jumped the canteen queue’ this year as they have received passes from subject teachers for their excellence in attitude to learning or via their SAMs for improved attendance. Many students voiced that they wish to use the canteen with their friends and so the voucher has been updated to a ‘plus one’ entitlement.

Congratulations to all students in Years 7 and 8 who have achieved certificates and metal or gem awards this term. Mr Couch and Mrs Small regularly publish these names in the Parent Bulletin and students in the top 50% of the Achievement Point table for each year group are also entered into the prize draw at the end of each term. Year 8s, Ethan Jessamy, Jessica Ankers and Katie Conway, are the first to each reach a staggering 80 points within the past two terms and so have received their award from Deputy Head, Mr Davies.

Key Stage 4 students receive individual praise from their subject teachers as ‘Golden Tickets’ in Year 9, and ‘Terrific Tens’ for Year 10. Two winning tickets are drawn at the end of each term and prizes are given in recognition of their hard work and achievement. Students in Year 11 have been collecting their loyalty points to receive their own ‘raffle draw tickets’ to receive money off their prom ticket or alternatively a £10 voucher.


Last term we collected over 100 teddy bears which were sent to the British Heart Foundation and the Reigate and Banstead Women’s Refuge in time for Christmas. Thank you to everyone that made a donation.



From 26th February to 2nd March, de Stafford and the team at Cucina had staff and students participating in Real Bread Week, part of a national roll-out across many schools to get more people interested in baking their own fresh bread.

With Easter and Summer time upon us we like to change our usual three weekly menu cycle to include seasonal produce as well as typical Easter favourites. We held a special Easter Day menu on Thursday 29th March just before the school broke up for the Easter holidays.

Ricardo, our onsite Chef, made different bread each day for the students and staff to try. From different flavoured Naan breads to accompany our Curry Day to New York Bagels and even a bread sauce, all were delicious and who doesn’t love bread? Numerous students and staff participated in bread making classes and learnt how to make their bread from scratch using different techniques and toppings.

Ricardo also ran a “Guess the number of mini eggs in the jar” competition. Well done to Matt Evans who guessed correctly and wins a free meal courtesy of Cucina.

Despite the snowy weather, Real Bread Week was a great success and we will continue to run it each year across all the sites we cater for.

LIFE WATER PURCHASES ENABLE BUILD OF THIRD WATER WELL Cucina have now funded our third clean water project through their Life Water purchases. The Chinnivangali community currently rely on a communal water tap, which due to poor government infrastructure provides water once every three days. As a result, women and children must travel lengthy distances to gain water from alternative sources outside of the village, taking time out of employment and education. By installing this clean water source in the community, 1,010 people will have reliable and consistent access to clean water. The greater access to water, the greater the economic and development benefits are for the entire community. Thank you to all parents and students for the part you play in us achieving this build.


LtoR: Archie Gibbs, Dylan Swann, Louie Payen, Olivia Ball, Zachary Vellacott


LtoR: James Guntrip, Kiera German, Ruhul Hamidi, Maddison Craig, Kim Gibbons

Follow us @destaffordart


LtoR: Amber Rumble-Howard, Lillianna Roffey, Thea Alsleben, Toby Cousins, Zoe Cork


LtoR: Ailis Orange-Belcher, Amelia Pepper, Josh Waters, Katie Spurgin, Lucia Giaconi, Scott Carnell, Zoe Newman


The week commencing 26th February saw a host of activities taking place in and around the school to mark the occasion of World Book Day which has become one of de Stafford’s most well supported literacy celebrations in recent years. Each student was presented with a book token during SAM time and in English lessons they took part in book swaps and were encouraged to post a book review about their favourite book on Facebook or Twitter. During break and lunch time, the library was a hive of activity with students guessing the name of the teddy bears as well as how many sweets were in the jar (see winner’s pictures below). Students were also able to enter the design competition launched by the Literacy Trust, the results of which will be announced soon.

Matt Ellis winner of ‘Guess the number of sweets in the jar’

Rebecca Israel winner of ‘Guess the name of the Teddy’

Joe Leeming, winner of ‘Guess the name of the Teddy’

YEAR 7 STUDENT COMPLETES ‘16 BEFORE 16’ CHALLENGE The '16 before 16' reading challenge encourages young readers to discover the books that have shaped our ideas about the world, by aiming to read at least 16 classic novels by the time they reach their 16th birthday. Angelica Peinke joined Jeremy Garner for a special lunch on the 22nd March and receive a certificate and prizes for completing the challenge. This is a fantastic achievement in itself, but even more incredible is that she has achieved this by age 12! Congratulations Angelica, we hope your love of reading continues!

Angelica Peinke receiving her certificate from Headteacher Jeremy Garner

ACCELERATED READER Number of books read 2017/18 to date: 3,560 Number of words read 2017/18 to date: 73,695,659

YEAR 7 BOOK BUDDIES The Year 7 boys have again enjoyed reading with their Year 10 Mentors for the Book Buddies scheme this half term. All Book Buddies were treated to a celebratory pizza lunch on the last Tuesday of term.

CARNEGIE SHADOWING AWARD Following the success of last year’s Carnegie Shadowing Award, the Literacy Team are delighted to announce that we will be running the project for a fourth year. Selected Year 9 students will meet each week with Year 10 Mentors to discuss their favourite reads from the shortlist before voting on a final winner. The winner will be announced at the end of the Summer Term. This year, students in Year 10 will be mentoring the Year 9 group, assisting with web design and weekly tasks.

@destaffordreads This term, we have been using Twitter as a platform to update the school community with the latest news and events taking place at the school. Parents, carers and students have been able to look at pictures taken during World Book Day and Harry Potter Night as well as following photo links to keep up-to-date with the latest book totals and word counts. If you don’t already, give us a follow!


Huge congratulations go to our Year 7s Jessica Gregory and Sasha-Marnie Lightbody who have both recently achieved WORD MILLIONAIRE status and a special mention goes to Zach Vellacott, who is now officially a Word MULTI-MILLIONAIRE!

The Autumn and Spring terms have been really busy for the de Stafford PE department. Students have participated in a large number of fixtures, across a wide range of sports. There have been varying levels of success, but most importantly, our students have been active and enjoyed themselves! The year started off with a number of rugby fixtures against local schools including a Year 7 match against Wallington County Grammar School, a far more experienced team! There have been some outstanding performances along the way, including the Year 10 team’s excellent showing against Reigate School.

Netball has perhaps seen the most success so far this year, with the girls turning in some fantastic performances. There has been great enthusiasm from Year 7 and 8s, who are making great progress and developing their skills. It has been fantastic to see some older students helping out with coaching as well. The school football teams have scored some stunning goals so far this year, including an outstanding performance by the Year 9 team who beat local rivals Caterham 16-1! Special mention must go to JoeVincent Ryan who scored 5 goals in the game – an exceptional achievement! Don’t forget to attend extra-curricular clubs so that the school can continue to grow and develop in sport. The timetable can be found on posters around the school, and several are displayed in the Sports Hall.

BASKETBALL AT DE STAFFORD SPORTS CENTRE We are looking for new players to join our Saturday morning sessions. No need to book, just turn up, pay and play! Sessions run by ex Div.1 player and five time All Star, Roger Lloyd. Saturdays 9am - 10am (10 - 15 years) Ideal to develop court awareness and team play. Members £4/ Non Members £4.50 Saturdays 10am - 11.30am (16 years +) Ideal for those aspiring to join the National and Metropolitan Leagues.

Members £4.50 / Non Members £5.50

DE STAFFORD STUDENTS ELIGIBLE FOR FREE COACHING Surrey Youth Games are the largest annual youth sports competition in the County. More than 2,000 competitors take part, representing 11 boroughs and districts in Surrey in an Olympic style event. The Games are a great way for young people to get involved in a new sport and benefit from free coaching! This year the 6 week training runs mainly in May and June with the competition taking place on the 23rd and 24th June in Guildford and Woking. To view the training timetable and to register:

Can Anyone See Me? Another day. Noises sound loud – clanging around my head, Pungent smells wrap around me like a cobra Tightening around my body. I am exhausted already. Giggles echo around the corridor. Jokes about being weir Are they about me? What have I done? Expectations as high as skyscrapers I struggle to keep them. A smile plastered on my face – I try my best. Energy is pouring out of me. Anxiety encircles me like fog on a misty day. Fills me to the brim with nerves and fear all the time. Unpredictability is the worst, Gets me every time. Yes. Autism is something with challenges But people who have it should be respected

This poem was beautifully written by a de Stafford student during World Autism Awareness Week, a fundraising and awareness event run by The National Autistic Society.

Come and join your local library FREE to join! Caterham Valley, Stafford Road, CR3 6JG or Caterham Hill, Westway, CR3 5TP You can also join online at:-

When you join your local library you can: 

Borrow books for free

Borrow from the huge catalogue of audio and e-books which you can download directly onto your smartphone or e-reader

Use any library in the Surrey Libraries network – that’s over 50 libraries!

Use the free Wi-Fi

Access the free online reference shelf (including Encyclopaedia Britannica, Oxford Dictionaries, Theory Test Pro and lots more)

View digital copies of your favourite magazines for free

Find out more at: and download our free app

Headteacher: Jeremy Garner Burntwood Lane, Caterham, Surrey CR3 5YX 01883 347818

de Stafford School Newsletter Spring 2 edition  
de Stafford School Newsletter Spring 2 edition