Year 13 Leavers’ Ball and Final Assembly

Last night we had a great night at the Year 13 Leavers’ Ball held this year at The Berystede Hotel as the students, along with their tutors and subject teachers, celebrated the start of Study Leave and the end of their formal teaching at the school.

After the glitz and glamour of their arrival to the event, students sat down to a formal meal before dancing the night away to tunes provided by DJ Hartwell.  It was lovely to see the young people in all their finery celebrating and reminiscing about their time at the school. 

This followed a hugely enjoyable final assembly put together by Mr Linton earlier in the day so thanks to him for this and, Miss Boxall and the Sixth Form team in particular, for organising the May Ball.

Year 11 Leaving Assembly

This afternoon the Year 11 students celebrated their five years at Charters with a final assembly.  Mr Rodgers, Head of Year 11, said it was a beautiful day for a great send-off for these hard working students and wishes them good luck for their exams and he looks forward to seeing them on results day.   After the assembly finished all the Year 11 students released a balloon to celebrate their time at the school and symbolise their aspitations for the future.  We wish them all well!

Tirabad: New Futures Course

At the beginning of May six Year 12 students visited Tirabad to be a part of the New Futures 2017 trip.  They had to step outside of their comfort zones – small spaces, the dark, abseiling and more. As well as stepping out of their own comfort zones they helped eighteen Addington students step outside of theirs.  

The New Futures is a rewarding experience as well as a special one. Addington is a school for students between the ages of 3 - 19 who have special educational needs.  Our Sixth Form students took on the role of being a teacher for a week.  They had to become a friendly face for the students but also learn about the boundaries. That also meant being available 24 hours a day, as not only did our students help with the extreme day time actives they also had to organise evening activities, supervise meal times, do a wide range of duties, take charge of waking and dressing students and at the end of the day getting them ready for bed.

The Sixth Form students have said that “no one understands how amazing the week really is”.  Every student has come back with memories that will last a lifetime.  They came to learn a wide range of things about themselves, disabilities and more.  Everyone from the week learnt skills that can be applied in everyday life.  As well as bonding with the Addington students our Sixth Formers also made an unbreakable bond with fellow Sixth Form students from Emmbrook and Maiden Erlegh schools who accompanied them on the trip.  All the students were selfless in their support, eagerness to encourage and impressively responsible.  

Prior to this trip Addington Students had never spent a night away from home.  Now they can forever hold onto the amazing memories – crawling through caves, swimming in canals and walking up gullies.  All students came home exhausted, emotional, proud, but most importantly they came home knowing the whole Mamma Mia and Grease playlist!  They have shared their thanks for giving them the opportunity. We in turn thank Lucy Matthews, Dotty Flo, Hannah Collison, Maddy Brant, Connor Lailvaux and Myles Kearsley for all their hard work during the trip. They have turned into mature young adults and they were excellent role models for the Addington students.

Salters Chemistry Camp at Surrey University

Four of our Year 7 students: Claudia Logan, Ava Kirkham, Sital Patel and Sebastian Daniels formed a team that participated in the Salters' Chemistry Festival at Surrey University. Their first task was to use their science skills to identify the culprit of a murder. Excellent observations and detective work lead them to the correct conclusion.  After lunch, the students took part in a second competition making the colours of the rainbow using acids and alkalis.  Again the students excelled and were able to produce all but one of the colours.  The day finished with an excellent chemistry demonstration by the lecturers of Surrey University.  The students were a credit to the school and showed excellent teamwork and resilience. Well done to all involved.

The British Physics Olympiad

The British Physics Olympiad is a competition that has been run for the past 25 years by the University of Oxford and is entered annually by over 1600 talented young physicists.  The examination-based competition challenges the best physicists in British schools.  Some of our Year 13 students who are studying A level Physics have made it through the rounds of the competition and we are pleased to say that seven of our students have been awarded certificates as follows:

Silver: Richard Williams
Bronze: Matt Bradly, Luke Hand, Ethan Tattersall
Commendations: James Batchelor, Jed Shrewsbury, Harris Khan. 

Many congratulations to them all.

Charters students hone Spanish skills in Salamanca...

A group of keen linguists  relished a week honing their language skills in the historic Spanish city of Salamanca last week.   The twenty Year 10 students stayed with Spanish families and attended daily language classes at the Academia Mester, one of Salamanca's most established Spanish-language schools.  The group, which was accompanied by Mr Wightman and Mrs Rentería, also enjoyed a range of cultural experiences.  These included salsa dancing lessons, a guided tour of Salamanca Cathedral, sampling chocolate con churros, and a day trip to Segovia, whose iconic citadel was the inspiration for the famous Walt Disney castle.

The staff accompanying the trip received excellent reports from Mester’s language teachers and the host families regarding the students' positive approach and enthusiasm throughout the week.  This was the fifth year running that Year 10 students have had the opportunity to improve their Spanish on the Salamanca homestay trip.  Current Year 9 students who have opted for Spanish at GCSE should look out for their opportunity to gain from this invaluable linguistic and cultural experience next year.

…And French skills in Montpellier!

Also a group of students from Year 10 spent last week in Montpellier in the south of France, studying at the LSF language school and staying with French host families, in order to improve their language skills. The group was unfailingly enthusiastic and motivated in their approach to the week, and such was their linguistic improvement that they couldn't help speaking to officials at Gatwick airport in French on their return to the UK!

After spending the mornings studying at the school, the group enjoyed a guided tour of the city of Montpellier, two afternoons on the beach, including a closely fought football match, a visit to the zoo and opportunities for some retail therapy.  Miss Stock and Miss Kosicka, who accompanied the trip, were greatly impressed by the attitude of all the students who took part, as were the French host families and teachers.  It was the fifth year that this trip has taken place, and it is hoped that many more of our students will get to make the most of this valuable cultural and linguist experience in years to come.

National Terrorism Threat Level - Message from Thames Valley Police 

Please take some time to read about the current threat level and the police’s response to this following the Manchester attack with your children.  We have also included a couple of useful links containing advice on how to tackle any fears or anxiety your children may be experiencing following events earlier this week.   Please click here and here for those links.

National Terrorism Threat Level Raised to Critical

As you will no doubt be aware, on Tuesday night the Prime Minister confirmed that the national terrorist threat has been raised to critical. This change means that an attack could be imminent.

At this time there is no intelligence to suggest a specific threat to the Thames Valley area.

Our priority is to protect the communities of the Thames Valley and visitors to our area. We have put in place additional armed and unarmed officers at key locations. This is very much focused on crowded places, including transport hubs and shopping centres.

Don’t be alarmed if you see more armed police officers both on foot and in vehicles.  For operational reasons we are not confirming details of locations, tactics and numbers of police officers on duty, to ensure the effectiveness of our deployments.

We will continue to work with our partners and event organisers to assess the planned events where we may need to enhance our presence.

Deputy Chief Constable John Campbell said: “I would like to reassure you that the move to critical is something that we prepare for. We will continually review our deployments and take all possible steps to keep people safe within Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire.  At this time we need everyone to remain alert but not alarmed.  We need your help to help us protect our communities and disrupt those who seek to harm us. I would urge you to contact the police straight away if you believe that someone is acting suspiciously.  Our officers and staff will continue to provide a visible presence in our communities and we have the specialist resources in place to respond in an emergency.”

Parent Trustees Election Results

We would like to thank parents for voting in our recent Parent Trustee election.  Please note our Governors will now be known as Trustees.

The Board of Trustees welcome Adam Jezard and Denis Raymond as our two new Parent Trustees, and we look forward to working with them in this both exciting and challenging time.  For a reminder of their nomination statements please click here.

Mathematics Research Study

We have agreed for students in Years 7, 8, 9 and 10 to take part in a research study examining factors affecting success in Mathematics undertaken by the University of Bristol.   Please click here for a letter which details the study and also provides you with an opportunity to decline your son/daughter from taking part.  The deadline for parents/carers to object to their child taking part is Tuesday 6 June.  Otherwise we will consider that consent has been given.  Where a parent objects, their child's script will be removed from those that will be submitted.  

Exam Results and Certificates

Please click here for the link to the updated page of our school website regarding the issuing of exam results and certificates this year. 

Generous Donation - Thank you

A huge thank you to the kind parent who donated 30 tickets to the school for The Major General’s Review, the dress rehearsal for the Trooping of the Colour.  The sale of these tickets has generated £625 for school funds.  If you were lucky enough to secure tickets we hope you enjoy what promises to be a fantastic event.

Picking Up at the End of the School Day

We urgently remind all parent/carers of the need for consideration to others when picking up their children from school in a vehicle.  Please do not double-park in the Drop-Off/Pick-Up area near the Tennis Courts as the right-hand lane of the Drop-Off/Pick-Up area requires free flowing access at all times.  

It has been decided that as from the start of next term, Sixth Form students will only be permitted to use the detached field car park and therefore the car park behind the Library will now be for staff and visitors.  Hopefully this will ease the congestion around the school at 3.15 pm.  The parking arrangements for the front of the school during 2017-18 will be finalised in the next few weeks.

May we also remind you that the area in front of the gates to the Charters Estate Residential Apartments which are opposite the school on Charters Road, is private property and that area should not be parked on at any time.  It has been noted that several parents/carers are parking and waiting in this area at pick up time. 

Please be considerate to the residents of Charters Estate and to other parents/carers of the school.  Verbal abuse to others is not acceptable and does not meet our expectations of parents/carers when on or near the school premises.  You are urged to be tolerant and patient at this particularly congested time.  Thank you for your cooperation.

Sainsbury’s Vouchers

Please don’t forget to bring in any Sainsbury’s Active Kids vouchers that you may have after half-term so that they can be used by 30 June.

Charters Friends

How to keep in touch with Charters Friends:
Charters Friends Facebook page: click here

Forthcoming Events 

Friday 26 May
Term ends at 3 pm

Monday 29 May to Friday 2 June
May half-term

Monday 5 June
School starts at 8.35 am

Monday 12 June
Years 7 – 11 Parent Council
6.30 – 8 pm in the Durning Room

Tuesday 13 June
Sixth Form Parent Forum Meeting
6.30 – 9 pm in the Durning Room

Thursday 29 June
7 – 9 pm in the Main Hall
£4 entry

Monday 3 July
INSET Day - students not in school

Tuesday 4 July
New Year 7 students Transition Day (for 2017-18) 

Tuesday 4 July
Year 11 Prom

Tuesday 4 July 
Year 10 Music Concert
7 pm in the Main Hall
£3 entry

Wednesday 5 July
New Year 7 students Transition Day (for 2017-18)

Wednesday 5 July 
New Year 7 Parents Information Evening (for 2017-18)
7 – 9 pm in the Main Hall

Thursday 6 July
Sports Day

Friday 7 July
Sports Day (Reserve)

Wednesday 12 July
Celebration of Achievement Evening
7 – 10 pm in the Main Hall

Thursday 13 July
Lower School Summer Music Concert
7 – 9 pm in the Main Hall
£3 entry

Friday 21 July
Term ends at 1 pm

Monday 4 September
INSET day – students not in school

Tuesday 5 September
Term starts at 8.35 am for Year 7 and Year 11 Prefect Mentors in support of Year 7
Year 12 students by appointment
Year 13 start at 9.30 am

Wednesday 6 September
Term starts for Years 8, 9, 10 and 11 at 8.35 am
Year 7 students in school
Year 12 and 13 not in except by appointment 

Monday 18 December 2017
Annual Presentation Evening (for 2016-17 Year 13 students/parents)
Reception/ Student Registration will commence at 7 pm in the Main Hall 
Presentations will start at 7.45 pm

Martyn Parker and Richard Pilgrim