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FROM THE HEADTEACHER’S DESK Another half-term draws to a close and we have already reached the mid-point of the academic year. The weeks seems to pass by so quickly but it is important to pause and reflect at this stage of the year on what has been achieved, to date. Each year group has a great deal to be proud of; Y7 for the way in which they have so quickly adapted to life in a secondary school, Y8 for showing great maturity during the Options Process, Y9 and Y10 for meeting the challenges of new GCSE courses with determination and vigour and Y11 for displaying such resilience, hard work and commitment to their studies during their recent mock exam period. The vast majority of students have established a strong foundation upon which to have a really successful second half of the year and we move into Spring with great optimism. A particular highlight this term was the wonderful production of Alice and I hope you enjoy looking at the photos and reading about it in this edition of the newsletter. You may have heard in the news recently about the dramatic fall in the number of students studying the arts subjects. This is largely as a result of entering an era of education whereby the accountability system measures success chiefly on a narrow range of academic subjects, and a funding crisis that makes smaller subjects difficult to sustain. Exam results are, of course, extremely important but the mark of a great school is one which recognises achievement in all its different forms. Our clear philosophy at de Stafford is that children and young people deserve both a rigorous academic core plus an entitlement to the many other subjects that enrich learning and enrich our schools. To see the pride and joy with which the students performed so confidently on stage only served to reaffirm our stance regarding the importance and value of ensuring the arts remain at the core of our provision. Such a slick and professional production only happens as a result of an enormous amount of hard work and I would particularly like to thank the following people; Mrs Streeter-Staniford and Mrs Boffee for the energy, drive and enthusiasm that is a hallmark of all their shows, Mrs Small for her oversight of the set design, Mark Goodman who took a week off work to give so generously of his time and expertise in overseeing the lighting, and to Samantha and Scott Arnold, parents of children at de Stafford, who brought such professionalism to the overall staging of the show. The time investment of all these people and other willing volunteers contributed to a wonderful production that will last long in the memory. In terms of staffing changes at the end of this half-term, we sadly say goodbye to two valued members of staff. Mrs Ellis, School Link Worker, is relocating to Eastbourne having been at de Stafford since 2005 and Mrs Banwell, currently teaching Maths part-time but taught PE at the school for over 13 years, is taking up a full-time post at Oxted School to teach Science and lead on their Duke of Edinburgh programme. Both staff have contributed so much to the school in their respective roles over the years and I am sure you will join me in thanking them and wishing them the very best in their future ventures. I hope you and your family have an enjoyable half-term break, thank you for your continued support of the school.

Jeremy Garner

THE ROLE OF THE SCHOOL STRATEGY BOARD Although the role of the School Strategic Board (SSB) is significantly different to the role of the senior leaders in the school, our primary aim is the same – to improve the outcomes for students. To do this, we rely on being provided with accurate, anonymised, data to tell us how we are doing, and where we could support and challenge the school to improve. This data comes from a number of sources. We obviously use exam data from Year 11 GCSEs as well as other in-year assessment outcomes, but some of the other data we look at includes:



Research has shown that taking part in extracurricular activities can have a positive impact on academic achievement, changing attitudes and behaviours, as well as developing hobbies and life skills. Data provided by the school is scrutinised to identify which students are accessing the enrichment activities on offer, and to ensure that an appropriate range is available for all tastes.

There is clear evidence that those students who have good attendance are more successful and make greater improvements. With this information we challenge school leaders to ensure students attend regularly and on time. BEHAVIOUR Students who engage with their lessons in a calm and attentive manner are more likely to succeed than those who are distracted or disruptive. We are provided with information on behaviour incidents to identify patterns and support students and staff to improve engagement and meaningful participation in all aspects of school life. ACHIEVEMENT

As well as attainment, we collect progress data based on students’ results at Key Stage 2 (the end of Year 6 at Primary School) which give a first indication of potential. We are then provided with regular updates which enable the SSB to monitor students’ progress at each stage of their development, ensuring appropriate interventions are in place to address under-achievement. ENRICHMENT

STUDENT, PARENT/CARER AND STAFF FEEDBACK We value the feedback we get from all members of the school community, as this can identify what issues need to be addressed, as well as celebrating what we do well and how we can replicate this in other areas. The SSB has received presentations from students on the role they have played in helping to inform the school improvement plan.

Celebrating achievement is an important part of school life, and the SSB look at where students are doing well and the positive impact that this has on Much of the above information is public and can be found on the school website. the school community. If you have any questions about any of the data please email

Following last years sell-out performance of Annie, we are proud to announce that this years colourful production of Alice in Wonderland was yet again an outstanding success for de Stafford. The level of talent and commitment shown by the students involved was astounding. They were a huge credit to the school as well as all the fantastic staff and willing volunteers who gave up much of their personal time to make it happen. We’d like to thank everybody who supported us by coming to see the show on the 1 and 2 February. Furthermore, we are grateful to all the parents/ carers who encouraged their son/daughter to be involved and ensure they made rehearsals. We can’t wait to see what can be achieved next this space!

Year 10 Outing to Oxford University

I had the privilege of taking some of our ‘More Able’ Year 10 students on a visit to St Hilda's College at Oxford University on Friday 26 January. With the stunning backdrop of the Oxfordshire countryside and the River Isis just outside, our morning started with a preconceptions-busting talk from Hannah Rolley, the University's Outreach officer. This enabled the students to discuss their ideas about who a typical student at Oxford might be compared to the modern reality. They now know that 60% of Oxford's intake comes from state school students - just like them! Although standards are undoubtedly high, they are achievable, and there is also plenty of financial help available for those who need it. The students were told about the broad depth of studies available to undergraduates as well as the world-renown quality of their lecturers and individual tutor system. Next, our students were introduced to two current undergraduates based at St Hilda's who honestly, and humorously, answered all their eager questions about the reality of life at one of the world's most admired Universities. The undergraduates told them all about the social and fun side to their life at St Hilda's as well as the academic side. Their enthusiasm was catching! The advocates then lead our students on an eye-opening tour of the campus including student accommodation and the wellequipped library. We ended up surrounded by many more of the current undergraduates as we enjoyed a very generous free lunch in their very elegant canteen. Great cheesecake! The afternoon continued to inspire with a stroll through the heart of Oxford city centre incorporating all of the iconic and world famous colleges in their glorious settings, but avoiding the multiple bicycleriding academics intent on pursuing their degrees! Just being in the same environment gave our students a real taste of the fun that studying in these surroundings could bring as well as the prestige! Our walk culminated in a visit to see some of the priceless treasures housed in Oxford's Ashmolean museum to make our students realise that Oxford's scholars are encouraged to use the whole city as a resource to make learning come alive! Here our students undertook a structured creative writing session, using some of the museum's classical collections as inspiration. Our students responded with the ease of imagination that the young and gifted possess and produced some worthy writing indeed which they were happy to share. I felt very proud! Finally, a quick pit-stop at an eye-catching old-style sweet shop, with its multiple magical jars full of every delight imaginable, finished off a truly inspirational and horizon-broadening day. I hope our visit has now encouraged our students to aim high and believe that they too would be warmly welcomed at Oxford and could thrive, and succeed, at the very top! Mrs Cassie, More Able Coordinator

Caterham in WW1 Workshop A group of Year 8 students were recently given the opportunity to partake in a workshop on the impact that World War I had on Caterham and the local community. Using census records, maps and photographs, they were able to research a local soldier and nurse and gain an understanding of what Caterham looked like pre and post-war.

FIVE-O FUNDRAISING PROJECT On 19 January, two teams of de Stafford students visited the Hawth Theatre in Crawley for the launch of the Five-O project in conjunction with NatWest and St Catherine’s Hospice. The Five-O project invites local schools within St Catherine’s catchment area to participate in an enterprise competition, the goal of which is to raise vital funds for the Hospice. We are competing against other schools and are the only team to have two teams in the running. NatWest have sponsored this project for the last few years and provide financial and educational support. On the launch night we met with our mentors, each group having three mentors from within NatWest. We were very excited to discover that one of our mentors, John Blackburn, is in fact a past pupil of de Stafford School. We also had a presentation from Keely and Emily from St Catherine’s Hospice, they told us all about the hospice and the help that they provide for people in our area, this made us even more determined to get started and make some money for a great cause. At the end of the night we received lots of fundraising aids such as pens, badges, wrist bands and collection boxes. Each group was also given £50 as seed money from NatWest. We are to use this money to help us begin our business and try to turn it into £1500, by the end of March. We aim to raise £3000 for St Catherine’s but we can’t do this alone, we need everyone to get involved. With the help of our mentors and our Business Studies teacher, Miss Cronin, we have come up with lots of fundraising ideas and have many events running over the coming weeks. We urge people to come and support us on our journey and raise money for this deserving cause. Thank you for all your kind donations. Please follow us on Instagram and Facebook by looking for de Stafford Group 1 and de Stafford Group 2. Do please also follow St Catherine’s Hospice Crawley and give them a like. Our just giving pages can be found on social media. Group 1:- Lily Funnel, Evie Ford, William Mico Oberg, Morgan Joyce, Rebecca Frost, Lillie McCarthy-King Group 2:- Amber Dabin, Brooke Bowerman, Isabelle Ball, Bethan Allain, Rebecca Israel, Lucy Vella


What do the exams team do? You may have wondered what goes on in our exams office when there aren't any exams running and the answer is, plenty! We are responsible for the administration, organisation and smooth running of all public and internal examinations including exam entries, staffing, special considerations and very importantly letting the staff and students know where they need to be, for what and when!

On the day of your exam... 

Arrive 10 minutes before the exam is due to start

Pack a clear pencil case with black ballpoint pen, pencil, eraser and ruler

Maths exam? Remember a calculator (if allowed), pair of compasses and a protractor

Bring a bottle of water (in a clear unmarked bottle, labels removed)

Eat a good breakfast and have some nutritious snacks in your bag for before or after the exam

Feeling unwell? Come to school and make us aware as soon as possible before your exam starts so that we can do our very best to make you comfortable. If you fail to attend a public examination, this will likely result in you having to wait until the following year to resit the exam.

Come and find us in Room 75 (near the library) should you wish to speak to us about your exams. Remember if you have any concerns it is best to let us know a soon as possible rather than on the day of your exam. Parents/carers please contact us via email or by calling 01883 347818 ext. 193.

Miss Ireland, Examinations Officer (left) and Mrs Ainsworth, Exams and Data Assistant (right)

SAFEGUARDING AT DE STAFFORD At de Stafford School safeguarding is our highest priority and we are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and expect all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. This means that we have a Child Protection Policy and procedures in place which we refer to on our website. All staff (including supply staff, volunteers and SSB members) must ensure that they are aware of these procedures. Parents and carers are also welcome to read the policy located on our website:- Sometimes we may need to share information and work in partnership with other agencies when there are concerns about a child’s welfare. We will ensure that our concerns about our students are discussed with his/her parents/carers first unless we have reason to believe that such a move would be contrary to the child’s welfare. Our Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSLs) are: Mrs Rachel Treacher – Designated Safeguarding Lead, Assistant Headteacher Mrs Justine McGarvey – Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead, Learning Mentor Mrs Claire Wingrave - SSB Member responsible for Safeguarding If you are concerned about a child’s welfare, please report this to one of the DSLs as soon as possible on the same day. If your concerns relate to the actions or behaviour of a member of staff (which could suggest that he/she is unsuitable to work with children) then you should report this to the Headteacher – who will consider what action to take.

The local foodbank works with a range of local agencies who meet people at risk of going hungry. Citizens Advice, children’s centres, schools and health visitors are just some of those who can refer people to the foodbank by issuing them with a foodbank voucher. A typical food parcel contains a minimum of three days of nutritionally balanced, non-perishable, tinned and dried foods that have been donated by the local community. A typical food parcel includes: breakfast cereal, soup, pasta, rice, pasta sauce, baked beans, tinned meat, tinned vegetables, instant mash, UHT milk, tea, coffee, sugar, tinned dessert and biscuits. Some foodbanks also provide fresh produce if they are able to. The foodbank will adapt your food parcel according to the number of adults and children indicated on your voucher. They will also endeavour to provide foods that are age appropriate and in suitable quantities for your children. They can sometimes offer baby foods, but not baby milk. Please contact the following staff at de Stafford if you feel this service could support you or alternatively their Head of Year: Mrs Rachel Treacher, Assistant Headteacher Mrs Justine McGarvey, Learning Mentor and Young Carers Link Mrs Julia Webster, Attendance Officer


LtoR: William Finch, Kali Tabele, Archie Clark, Antoinette Valencia, Thomas Edwards


LtoR: Ethan Jessamy, Markus Nilsson, James Perry, Lucy Spurgin, Nikki Bristow, Layla Randall

Follow us @destaffordart YEAR 9 POP ART

LtoR: Amy-Lou Wilsher, Isobel Dodds, Toby Cousins, Angel Skilton


LtoR: Hamish Cowan, Eloise Hallett, Katie Tuffey, Emmie Paxton

Freedom Leisure arrive at de Stafford Sports Centre On the 4th January, we were delighted to officially welcome our partners Freedom Leisure to manage de Stafford Sports Centre. Headteacher Jeremy Garner, Business Manager Karon Smith and Freedom Leisure’s Operations Director, Matt Hunt joined staff and mascot ‘Jim Trainer’ to mark the occasion (pictured below). Freedom Leisure is a not-for-profit leisure trust which manages leisure and cultural facilities on behalf of partners across the UK. As a not-for-profit organisation with no shareholders, Freedom Leisure ensure all surpluses are reinvested in support of the objectives we share with them. Several improvements have already been made at the Sports Centre which include the introduction of new signage. Freedom Leisure have also committed to plans for an improved pool air handling system, expansion of the existing gym area and the addition of a Costa Coffee and extra studio space downstairs. Visit for the latest news timetables, special offers and contact information or email

Students are invited to join the e Stafford Professors for 2 hours of Harry Potter magic and activities on Thursday 8 February 3.30-5.30pm

HOW TO ENTER If you were a Professor at Hogwarts;

What would your name be?

What subject would you teach?

Which house would you be in?

What skills would you possess?

Collect a PROFESSORISE ME! sheet from Mrs Crawford and return it by 20 January 2018 to be in with a chance of winning an entry ticket.



This half term, the Year 7 girls have again been taking part in the Book Buddies scheme, reading to Year 10 girls three mornings a week in the school library. As with the boys last term, the girls will be rewarded for their efforts with a special pizza lunch during the last week of term.

On Thursday 8 February, forty Year 7 de Stafford students took part in a Harry Potter Book Night event.

We also celebrated with a Hogwart’s feast in the Library including: Spider Cakes, Bertie Bott Beans, Golden Snitches and Popcorn - all washed down with a generous helping of Butter Beer! The event was a huge success and part of the wider provision of Literacy across the curriculum which we provide as a school. The aim of the event was not only to have fun but also to pass on the magic of JK Rowling’s amazing books to our next generation of readers. We also used the The Literacy team would like to congratulate event to raise awareness of Rowling’s all of our KS3 pupils for the overall books and charity “Lumos” which aims to provide words read. As we go to print our current children who have been separated from their families a safe and happy family totals are: instead of life in an orphanage. For more info visit: 2,649 book quizzes passed


52,347,578 words read Huge congratulations go out to Kali Tabeli, Zach Vellacott and Melissa Leonard who have recently achieve their WORD MILLIONAIRE status through the Accelerated Reading programme.



Students engaged in a number of exciting activities beginning with the Sorting Hat Ceremony in the Library. Students created spells and potions, made cakes, created artwork and produced explosions in Science.

Drive Thru Theme Day On 22 February we will be holding a Drive Thru theme day in the restaurant with delicious specials on offer such as our popular Route 66 burgers and all things American. As always there will be both vegetarian and meat dishes available to ensure there’s something for everyone. Should you have any intolerances or food allergies please speak to Chef Riccardo who will ensure you are catered for.

Produce of the Month - Leeks February is all about Leeks and there are going to be some tasty new dishes with recipes to take home and make yourself should you wish including Curried Leek Chapatti, Leek Samosa and a Leek, Apple and Stilton Puff Pasty. Our leeks are grown at Trevor Edgley Farm in Cambridgeshire where they farm over 400 acres of vegetables.

Did you know? Leeks are rich in Vitamin C and as such, help boost the overall state of your immune system, fighting infections and diseases.

A Real ‘Knead’ for Bread Cucina will be taking part in Real Bread Week this month where all schools will be running various bread making classes. de Stafford school will be running this from 26 Feb - 2 March. Parents and staff are welcome to join the classes too. Cucina took part in Real Bread Week 2016 and it was a great success with students baking some fantastic breads and learning how to plait, season and add different flavours to the dough.

After a slow start following the Christmas period, lunchtime clubs are back up and running, with good attendance. If you are planning on coming along, don't forget to bring your trainers! We look forward to seeing you there.

We have upcoming indoor cricket tournaments for year 7, 8 and 9 at Dunottar School. If you would like to be involved in these tournaments, please come and see Mr Henderson or Mr Harris in the PE office ASAP!

Following the Christmas break, students from de Stafford have attended a number of recent fixtures, in particular football. Teams have achieved mixed success, with some excellent team as well as individual performances on display. To make sure that we continue to improve our football, please remember that football club is on a Monday after school. Everyone is welcome so please pop along.

Follow us @destaffordPE

de Stafford School Newsletter February 2018  
de Stafford School Newsletter February 2018