Thought for the Week
Assemblies: w/b 16th July
Mrs Maingay will be leading assemblies on Wednesday and Thursday on the theme of ‘Change’.
On Friday we will have Year 9 and Year 10 end of year Celebration assemblies.
Thought for the Week on the theme of ‘Holidays’
Holidays have been commercialized. It has become about material things. But the holidays are about sharing stories and being in each other’s presence.
The fact is, we need markers in life, whether we subscribe to a religion or not. And the major holidays, such as Christmas, serve to remind us of the turning world.
The holidays stress people out so much. I suggest you keep it simple and try to have as much fun as you can.
The theme of this week’s blog is reflections.
On Tuesday I had the chance to address students and their families at our Year 10 and Year 9 Prize Giving Evening. As always this was a hugely enjoyable event where staff and families came together to celebrate the impressive outcomes achieved by students this year. I would like to thank Mr Godwin and his team for organising the event, Mr Johnstone for hosting it and Vince Owen, our guest speaker, for his interesting and thought provoking speech.
A traditional feature of the evening is the Headtechers’ reflection on key events and activities taking place during the year. I was able to make reference to a host of opportunities that students have been involved in this year, including sporting successes, maths enrichment and participation in World Challenge.I was promoted to share some personal reflections which I would like to share here also.
At the end of next week I will reach the end of a 28 year long teaching career. 16 of those years have involved me working as a senior leader, 13 of them as a Deputy Head at Thomas Alleyne’s. As many will know, I am a Uttoxeter person through and through and have lived in the community all of my life apart from a few brief years when I was at university.When I began working at Thomas Alleyne’s in January 2006, I was excited and motivated to be part of a group of people who were determined to ensure that the children of the town had an opportunity to enjoy the benefits of an excellent education.
As I look back over those years I feel a sense of pride and feel very privileged that I have been able to make a significant contribution to the community that I am rooted in and I would like to thank all of the staff, students and parents I have worked with during my time at the school.I am delighted that my association with the school will continue as I will be returning in a very different role in September.
Swimming Pool Crowd Funding
We need your help to save our school Swimming Pool.
Across Staffordshire we have significantly less access to swimming pools than is needed for our population. (In fact we are over 1000sqm of pool space short.) This is particularly acute in Uttoxeter where we risk only having one pool in our town.
For this very reason back in 1974, the Uttoxeter community came together to raise sufficient funds to build an indoor 17 metre x 7metre swimming pool at our school. Since then thousands of children from the age of 5 to 18, have learnt to swim in our pool. Over the years the school has supported community use of our pool ensuring it has been open in the evenings and at weekends. Every Saturday morning prior to closure, over 100 children were able to make use of the pool to learn to swim and have been doing so for over 10 years.
As a school, we share our facilities with our local community at all possible opportunities. Our swimming pool has ensured that many young people and adults have had the opportunity to learn to swim. It has also been the venue for numerous swimming galas.
At a time when Adam Peaty is representing Great Britain in swimming, it would be a loss to see the pool, which is based at the heart of his home town, close permanently. He has inspired many to swim in our area, and yet the facility has been unavailable for 7 months.
We have been working tirelessly to secure a significant proportion of the funding we need to improve the fabric of the building and to upgrade the mechanical services. For instance, we have successfully secured £124,000 from the Education Funding Agency to replace the swimming boilers. We now need to raise funds for the changing rooms, air-handling units, pool side pipework and plant upgrade. The showers are beyond repair and the changing facilities are currently not fit for use. We are also working with East Staffordshire Borough council to get the support we need to keep the pool open but we need your support.
In order to allow us to continue to offer this resource to our local community and to teach children to swim, we need to raise £100,000 to refurbish the pool.
If we are successful in this bid, our pool will become a sustainable facility utilised once again by the local community at the weekends and evenings. We would be able to recommence swimming lessons during the day for first, middle and high school students and return to our regular galas.
Here’s why so many people feel we need to save our pool:
‘As a swimmer, it’s great to have the chance to show off all of my efforts to get to where I am now. It’s also great to watch all of the non-swimmers and less confident swimmers progress and to be competitive in a sport that’s new to them.’ Jenson Hulbert, a current Year 12 student, House Swimming Captain and national swimmer.
‘Dove Valley ASC has used the Thomas Alleyne’s High School Pool for a number of years as it’s Swim School catering for young swimmers in their formative years. It is small and friendly, allowing swimmers and parents alike to have confidence at this early stage. Our Teachers find the pool excellent as a lot of time is spent in the water with swimmers giving them additional confidence. Having parents close on poolside also adds confidence to the swimmers.
‘To lose this facility would be a retrograde step for DVASC, stopping the most important roadway for new swimmers. It is imperative that swimmers are taught correctly at these early stages.’
John Plant Dove Valley Swimming Club
DVASC is Swim Mark accredited club, ensuring that all our swimmers and activities are carried out in a professional manners. Parents can be assured that their children are safe.
‘We have run an after-school swimming session for staff on a Friday for many years. This has provided an important well-being service to reduce stress and is open to all members of staff.’ Sarah Jones, staff swimming club leader.
‘I’m in a privileged position within the school where I get to see the varying abilities of our pupils in regards to swimming. Over the past 7 years, the standard of swimmers coming into our school has fallen and there is a higher percentage of non-swimmers each September. We pride ourselves on the fact that no child has left Thomas Alleyne’s without being able to swim 25m and all have a basic idea on how to help somebody if they were in trouble.
‘Swimming is a life skill that no child should go without. All children should have the opportunity to learn in a safe and supervised environment and hopefully have the ability to stay safe in and around water through the rest of their lives. Without a pool at Thomas Alleyne’s, the ability to learn and develop the essential & potentially lifesaving ability to swim is being denied to the young people of Uttoxeter.’ Helen James, Life Guard and swimming teacher
‘We’re a keen swimming family (three of us are members of our local Dove Valley Amateur Swimming Club, including myself!) My youngest was having lessons with our club’s swim school at the TAHS swimming pool when it closed and I was also learning to teach. It was a real shame, as despite trying very hard, the club’s Swim School has been unable to find an alternative suitable venue. This is a big disappointment for: the kids learning to swim, I know my little girl missed her swimming lessons; the older kids, who had been gaining valuable volunteer experiences helping to teach the young kids; the families, who now have to search for comparable teaching and the club, who’s main source of young swimmers was their swim school. I sincerely hope that this local teaching facility will re-open soon.’ Parent and member of Dove Valley Swim School Helen McPherson
‘The pool has enabled Thomas Alleyne’s to provide water polo and triathlon to pupils both of which are Olympic sports that could not be delivered without a pool. The after-school clubs we ran proved popular with pupils and attracted pupils who weren’t already swimmers to come and get involved.’ Ian Cartwright, Triathlon coach.
‘Thomas Alleyne’s swimming pool has been invaluable for enabling young competitive swimmers to train and compete. The facility is vital to provide pool time to swimmers at a competitive level. I myself used the pool each week in the build up to the national championships.’ Laura Evans, national swimming champion.
Dates for your diary
18th July Summer Concert
20th July End of Term
4th September Start of Term
Many of you may have seen in recent weeks comments from Ofsted about mobile ‘phones adding to low lesson disruption and distractions during lesson times.
In response to this, some schools have changed their policies and no longer allow students to take mobile ‘phones into school.
We currently do not want to take that step at Thomas Alleyne’s. We recognise the benefits of students being able to contact family members, particularly on their journey to and from school.
However, we would like to ensure that mobile ‘phones, their notifications and alerts are not disrupting the learning of your children.
Therefore, we wish to clarify our policy as follows,
- Mobile ‘phones should be off or on silent without any vibrating or lighting alerts.
- All devices should be placed in school bags or lockers before Form period. Students should not carry their mobile in their blazer pockets during Form period or lesson time.
Thomas Alleyne’s Summer Concert will be held on Wednesday 18th July at 7PM.
Tickets can be purchased in the on-line shop or via Julie in the Finance Office at a cost of £5 each (£3 concessions).
Come and celebrate the end of term in style!
Staff & students are invited to donate a minimum £1 donation for a non-uniform day on Tuesday 17th July.
All donations will be in support of the crowdfunding for our school swimming pool.
Please note that non-uniform must be appropriate clothes for a school day, despite the warm weather. No crop tops, super short skirts or shorts & no flip flops.
Well done to our Year 10 and 12 students for their hard work throughout the summer mock examination period. The results will be handed out on Monday 16th July. Year 12 will get their results in form time and Year 10 will get their results period 5.
Use the results to prepare yourselves as much as you can over the summer holidays for Year 11 and Year 13. Speak to your teachers if you need any additional guidance.
As I type I am awaiting confirmation of the result, but here are a few images from the day:
For a full list of winners please see this document:
Sports Day 18
On Friday last week, our Year 12 students visited Formby sand dunes and pine forest, situated on Merseyside, to carry out a required practical as part of their A Level Biology course.
The sand dunes provided the ideal opportunity to study some of the plants growing along the coastline. The students investigated the growing conditions of marram grass – which helps to stabilise the sand dunes and prevent coastal erosion. Older sand dunes were found to have a lower density of marram grass, but higher plant species diversity overall when compared to younger dunes.
The students also studied the plants growing in the adjacent forest. The light-level conditions in the pine forest were studied with respect to the location of lichen on the tree bark. The students concluded that the most favourable growing conditions were on the north facing tree trunks away from direct sunlight.
After spending a glorious summer’s day by the seaside, the students are now back in the lab analysing their data and presenting their findings!
For a selection of images please click this link:
Photos 13th July 2018
Y10 Mock NEA 2 Practical – Afternoon Tea
This week our Y10 food and nutrition students had a mock NEA 2 exam where they had to cook 2 or 3 items in 2 hours to meet the brief of ‘Afternoon Tea’. This was an excellent oppportunity to practise dovetailing in order to cook more than one item and time management to fit their dishes in the time allowed as best they could. Have a look at the photos to see their finished dishes – they definitely show promise for their real NEAs next year!
Girls Summer Coding Camp
For the 2nd year, Vodafone is running a 4-day coding workshop for girls aged 14-18, as part of a global programme spanning 26 countries. This programme will give girls the skills, confidence and encouragement to learn, develop and thrive in STEM fields and occupations. They will be taught the technical skills to build their own website including Html, CSS, GitHub and JQuery.
The Manchester course will take place at Atlas House, Monday 6th – Thursday 9th August.
Applicants must identify as a female/non-binary, be 14-18 years old, and have the necessary English language skills to complete the programme.
Art Trophy Awarded to Lizzie Steele (Year 9)
This Years Junior Prize Giving Presentation night had a very special award to give. The past students from a group who attended Thomas Alleyne’s in 1961, visited the school a couple of years ago and were so impressed by the vibrant art department they donated a trophy to be awarded each year to the Junior and Senior student who had demonstrated outstanding creativity and ‘Original Thought in Art’. This year was the first opportunity to present to the Junior winner, Lizzie Steele. Past Art teacher Mrs Mary Shemza (who taught some of the class of ’61) also returned to the school and was given a tour around the Art department with current Head of Art Mrs Derby. It was interesting to note that although Mrs Shemza was part of the design of the art block, she didn’t get to teach here. Mrs Shemza was delighted to see that the place was full of art works and the energy of the work on display palpable, as well as how the spaces have adapted for our current needs including the ICT suite dedicated for digital photography.
Year 9 student Lizzie Steele has demonstrated outstanding ability in and out of school, where she has been commission to create portraits and animal studies. She is a worthy winner indeed. Although Lizzie was unable to make the Presentation evening itself, we have presented her with the Trophy (please see picture) and she is very pleased to receive it! Further images of Lizzie’s portfolio will follow in due course.
TV and Set Designer Visits Art Department.
Past TAHS A Level Art and Photography student Ellie Koszak, came back to visit and talk to our current students after graduating from Cardiff University with a First Class degree in TV and Film Set Design.
Ellie talked through her degree course, design process and the exciting opportunities she has worked on already including Disney’s Aladdin Film, Disney’s Aretmis Fowl (released soon) , BBC’s Doctor Who, CBS crime documentary- Murder by the Sea game show Big Heads to name a few. It is an impressive CV already and one where timekeeping, work ethic and creativity are vitally important. Some of the exciting 3D models and a portfolio Ellie kindly let our students look through of past work are testament to the hard work Ellie has undertaken, but also a great insight for our students to see how careers in the creative industries are varied in a thriving economic sector.
Our students were interested to see how her creative skills have been used from initial research, concept, drawings models and presentation. Skills from A level art and Photography were useful in developing ideas, but other skills such as CAD design were taught from scratch at university. Also how contacts in industry are made and cultivated so you get more work in the future.
We look forward to hearing from Ellie and other Past Students in their Art & Design Careers.
As we fast approach the summer holidays the students ill have more time to be on social media. Please see below parental fact-sheets for the main sites to assist you with your understanding.
Facebook_Flyer(oct 17)AHV9 –
InteractiveSafer Internet Day 2018 –
Parents and Carers Pack – Factsheet
Snapchat Checklist interactive
French Exchange Students
Thomas Alleyne’s is welcoming four French students from the Limousin area. They have been to Birmingham and the Gladstone Pottery Museum. We hope they are enjoying our English weather!
Uniform at Thomas Alleyne’s
It is the time of year where school uniform begins to be replaced for the academic year ahead. Please see the details below of when the “uniform pop up shop” will be open in school over the summer holiday.
Please also see the specific details of our uniform policy. It is a clear expectation that this is followed correctly and we ask for the support of parents and carers with this. Please note skinny fit trousers are not accepted as part of our uniform policy. Any student who wears incorrect uniform will be asked to change and parents/carers will be contacted.
Your support is very much appreciated, particularly to ensure we all make the best start possible to the new school year.
Any questions, please do contact your child’s Head of House.
If you have any school uniform or PE kit that your child has grown out of we would welcome any donations in school. Students can drop this at their House offices.
Lockers for Students
Should you wish to hire a for your child over the next academic year, please see the details for this below.
If your child has rented a locker this year, please remind them to empty it before the summer break.
Don’t forget to check out the new careers page on tahsroundup.wordpress.com
Another opportunity here for an Apprentice Electrician working in Rugeley
Also how about being a Business & Admin Apprentice at the Staffordshire Clinic Dental Practice in town: