Thirty nine students have achieved the most amazing set of LAMDA results yet – all passed their exams with either Merit or Distinction grades! The students, from Year 7 through to Year 13, have been studying for their exams as part of their extracurricular activity programme at St Mary’s and were examined in either ‘Acting’ or ‘Speaking in Public’.

Twenty five students took the ‘Acting’ exams ranging from Grade 4 up to Grade 7. Thirteen of the students gained a pass with Merit and eleven got pass with Distinction. The six students who took Grade 6 and Grade 7 exams also achieved UCAS points that will count in any application they make for university in the future.

Fourteen students took ‘Speaking in Public’ exams ranging from Level 1 Grade 3 to Level 3 Grade 6. Four students achieved pass with Merit and ten students achieved pass with Distinction. Of the eight students who took Level 3 Grade 6 exams, four achieved pass with Merit and four achieved pass with Distinction and all got Bronze Medals.

These achievements really support personal development and students who have participated in LAMDA classes have not only really grown in their confidence to speak in public, but also in class and when making presentations related to their work. Any student interested in being part of the LAMDA classes, need to see Mrs Crawford or Miss King.

Congratulations to all students involved on these excellent achievements – we look forward to your next set of results!!

Parents/carers can find a copy of all letters that are sent out by the school during the spring term 2019 below.

PC Newsletter 5 Spring Term 2019

18Dec18 Letter B4L & Detentions

Yr 12 & 13 Revision Guide 2018/2019

Significant Change Application 2018/19

This Significant Change application relates to an increase in the capacity of the Academy. There are two proposals linked to the Significant Change application.

Proposal 1: The Academy is proposing a significant change to the number of students on roll in the Funding Agreement from 877 to 1400.

Proposal 2: The physical capacity of the school will be expanded by eight classrooms to complete the planned 8FE school building and provide capacity for 1400 students (Yrs 7 – 11 1200 plus a sixth form of 200 students). The total capacity of the school needs to be 1400 (or 8FE).

Local full, public consultation took place between Monday 5th December and Monday 3rd December 2018. All local schools, Herts Local Authority and adjoining local authorities, (Enfield, Essex, Haringey), Broxbourne Borough Council, The Diocese of St Albans, Governors, parents/carers and staff of the school were included in the consultation. All stakeholder groups were sent copies of the consultation documentation and the online consultation by email. The option of requesting a hard copy of the consultation documents was offered to all stakeholders as was the opportunity for any stakeholder to request more information or an appointment to speak to a member of the Governing Body about the proposed Significant Change application. Two Open Consultation Events were organised between 11.30am – 3pm on Wednesday 21st November 2018 and between 4.30 – 6pm on Tuesday 27th November 2018. These events were timed to provide opportunities for anyone who might be constrained by childcare, work arrangements or other reasons, to be able to attend.

This is the second full consultation undertaken, the first being in spring 2018, when a significant change application was submitted linked to a CIF bid for 2018. This original consultation was completed under guidance of DfE Officers, Will Reay and Rosemary Palmer.

Significant Change Consultation 2018/19 Feedback

There were 104 respondents to the consultation. All responses were made online.

Proposal 1: (To increase the number in the Funding Agreement to 1400): 103 responses of which 78% (80) strongly agreed or tended to agree and 9% (9) strongly disagreed with the proposal. There was at least one respondent in each of the consulted groups with the most represented group being staff of the school (59%) and parents/carers (18%).

Proposal 2: (To provide an additional eight classrooms): 104 responses of which 84% (87) strongly agreed/tended to agree with the proposal and 4% (4) strongly disagreed with the proposal.

There were 38 comments in response to proposal 1 and they mainly focused on concerns about the increasing challenges of accommodating current student numbers safely whilst preserving a high quality learning environment and performance standards as student numbers increase further.

There were 16 comments in response to proposal 2. The majority of comments raised concerns about the ability of the school to manage the 8FE roll on the current site for which 8FE accommodation had been planned. More negative comments linked overcrowding to incidents of poor behaviour.

The governors have been provided with access to, and are mindful of, all responses made to the consultation. The responses were considered by the Governing Body at their meeting in December 2018. A full methodology statement is available on request.

A copy of the governors response to comments raising concern can be seen by clicking on the document below.

Governors feedback summary to comments Jan 2019

The spring term 2019 starts on Tuesday 8th January 2019

The spring term starts with a normal week with students finishing lessons at 3.05/4.05pm. There will be some small adjustments to the timetable to accommodate some student grouping and staffing changes.

This is a busy term for public examination preparation and year groups have the following exams scheduled:

  • Year 12/13 Public Exams & practice public exams: Tuesday 8th January – Tuesday 22nd January 2019
  • Year 9 practice for public exams: Monday 14th January – Friday 18th January 2019
  • Year 8 practice for public exams: Thursday 7th February – Thursday 14th February 2019

It is important that all students revise thoroughly for practice exams and that revision continues throughout the school year. The amount of information and subject material that needs to be learnt for each course cannot be ‘crammed’ or learned in a short period. In addition, the skills required to be successful in public examinations cannot be learned quickly but need to be practised repeatedly.

There are a large number of websites and books, that can be used to support good revision and preparation for examinations. More information can be found in the examination preparation booklets that are provided to each students (and parent/carers). Parents/carers are asked to use these information booklets with their children to support learning.

New regulations known as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), that provide clear standards for the way in which personal and sensitive data is collected, stored and processed, came into force from 25th May 2018. The governors of St Mary’s have published new and reviewed policies that explain how the School complies with the new regulations. These policies can be found on the policies page.

Copies of new Privacy Notices have been emailed home for parents/carers and students. Any feedback or questions about the new policies can be sent to admin@st-maryshigh.herts.sch.uk

The PE Teaching and Learning Area has seen many successes this academic Year. Alongside the RFU the Teaching and Learning Area has introduced Rugby into the school curriculum and added a new dimension to its ever expanding extra-curricular programme.

Students of both genders have participated in local Rugby festivals at Cheshunt RFC against other local schools. Both the boys 7/8 and 9/10 teams have been unbeaten at these fixtures and many of them were invited to train with Cheshunt RFC and subsequently become members of their respective teams. As part of the RFU programme, Scottra Sciara has been invited to lead out the England Rugby team at Twickenham at their fixture against Wales this month. We will all be looking out for Scott on our TV screens and hoping for an England win.

Boys football has been particularly popular with students from all Year groups competing in District and County competitions. The Year 11 boys team have made it to the Quarter Finals of the county competition where they face Longdean School in a home fixture that is set to be a real test for a very talented side. The Teaching and Learning Area have seen large numbers at the girls extra curricular club with many of them going on to represent St Mary’s against other local schools and continuing their development in the game.

The new Year saw students take part at the Indoor Atheltics Champonship at the Lea Valley Athletics centre. Amongst many successes were a couple of stand out performances; Year 7 Samara March who won the 800m event by a considerable margin in her first competitive race for the school. Micah Greenaway blew the competition away in the 200m event competing in a category with students a Year older. The Teaching and Learning Area is looking to build on this success going into the summer at District Athletics and hoping for some dryer weather so we can get outside and practice!

Basketball continues to dominate students selection of extra curricular activities. Partnered with Russell Hoops the Teaching and Learning Area often sees a sports hall packed of budding basketballers. The senior side have kicked off the schools fixtures for the Year with a narrow loss to a very strong Queens side. Details of the match can be found here on the match report. With a roster of fixtures in the upcoming weeks the Teaching and Learning Area are hoping that the students hard work pays off.

Azra Dewan competed in the African Championships for Gymnastics. She won and is now ranked number 1 in South Africa for Gymnastics in the junior category.

As part of the ongoing rewards culture, 45 students were treated to an afternoon at the London Palladium to be involved in the filming of Britain’s Got Talent.

Students enjoyed cheering and shouting at talent – both good and terrible. The highlight of the trip for many was a Romanian dancer who simply spun around the stage until all four judges voted him off. Students represented the school brilliantly and had a great afternoon doing so.

A fabulous week skiing and snowboarding was enjoyed by all as we returned once again this Year to the Austrian resort of St Michael.

Spolit by “the best snow in 25Years” and blue sky skiing, all of the group made fantastic progress. Off piste students enjoyed the wonderful hospitality of Thomas and his family, whilst evenings were occupied by range of activities including swimming, bowling, an ice hockey match and the impressive Obertaurn Ski Show.

Check out the Ski 2018 album on flickr!

Well done to Scott Sciara who led out the England Team at Twickenham in their recent international against Wales!

Recently launched games club for Years 7 and 8 has opened at lunchtime to provide a safe space for younger students to go to play board and card games.

Supported by inclusion staff it has been very popular, especially during the colder, wetter months!

Some of the comments made by students attending:

“It’s a great way to make friends and see what games you have in common.”

“It helps you make friends and meet new people.”

“It’s fun way to spend lunchtime.”

“Enjoy coming here to play games and meet my friends.”

“You have somewhere to go when you’re bored.”

“Nice play to come if you’re upset and don’t know what to do.”

“I make friends here!”

“I love the variety of games.”

“I’m learning to play chess.”

“We all rush to get the Uno cards….”