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Head's Summer Update

Summer update regarding exam results, staffing changes, start of the new term, uniform and parent information evenings.

Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope that you are well and enjoying the summer break. Sadly, the weather has not lived up to what we had in June and early July, but I hope that you have been able to spend some quality time as families.

I would like to take the opportunity to write to you during the holidays in order to ensure that we are all ready for the start of term next week and to share stories of exam success over the summer.

In July, we received exceptional Key Stage 2 results for our Junior School students. All the students met the national expected standard in reading, writing, maths and GPS (grammar, punctuation and spelling). I believe that testing for 11-year-olds is particularly challenging, but I was pleased to witness the maturity and resilience shown by the year 6 students throughout this period of their education. I would like to extend my thanks to Mr Dring and his team, as well as to the families of the students for the support that they provided to ensure that each individual was successful.

During the summer holidays we have welcomed year 13 and year 11 students into school to collect their A Level and GCSE results. We were blessed to have strong results in both these categories which has led to many happy students as they begin the next stages of their education, training, or employment. At A Level, 26%, over a quarter, of all grades were, the highest possible, either an A* or an A and over 75% of all grades were a grade C or better. At GCSE, 85% of students achieved a grade 4 or better in English and maths, with 25% achieving a grade 7 or better in the same measure. These results are incredibly strong, especially considering the backdrop of the grades being pegged back to pre-pandemic levels. We are immensely proud of what our students have achieved, and I express my thanks to them for their hard work and commitment, to you as parents for your guidance and support and to The Minster School staff for their expertise and tutorage in ensuring we all ‘succeed together’. Further details of this success can be seen on a website in the news stories: GCSE here and A Level here.

At the end of last term, we said farewell to some of our colleagues who were leaving us. We wished Mrs Britten our congratulations as she retired from teaching after 18 years at The Minster School in a career that saw her previously lead the junior department. We also said farewell to Mrs Stewart, Dr Davidson, Miss Woodward, Mr Govinden, Mr Barnes, Mrs Sneddon and Mr Holt. All are leaving to continue their teaching career elsewhere. We were keen to thank all of these staff for their support of students at The Minster School during their time with us and wish them all the best for the future.

In September, we welcome a number of new staff to the school. Mr Barnaby will be joining as Curriculum Team Leader for Science as Dr Theobald will become Assistant Curriculum Team Leader with responsibility for Physics. We are also delighted to have appointed Mr Heyworth and Dr Cheung to join the science department. All are experienced teachers of science, and we are sure that they will dovetail effectively with our current team of specialist scientists. Elsewhere, Mr Baig will be joining the history department to replace Mr Barnes and in English we welcome Miss Berridge and Miss Napier. Mrs Mason and Miss Kilbane will be joining the junior school to teach the year 3/4 class bringing with them a wealth of experience in junior school settings across the county. During a time when teacher recruitment is challenging, we were really impressed by the quality of candidates that we received for posts and the strength of the candidates that we have appointed.

I am also delighted to confirm that Mr Price will be continuing as SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator). I know that many of our families have appreciated the support, experience, and stability that he has been able to offer and this will continue for the foreseeable future.

As previously communicated, we are looking forward to welcoming students back to school next week. Their return times are:

Juniors, Year 7, and Year 12 students on Wednesday, 6th September. 

For all other year groups, school will resume on Thursday, 7th September.

May I remind you that lessons start at 8:50am and that students are recorded as late if they arrive after 8:47am (unless the school bus has been delayed). Please ensure that if your child is walking to school, or if they are getting a lift in a car, that there is plenty of time for them to arrive ready for learning.

Our uniform policy is clear and simple to understand, however, it is quite often the students that tell you that various things are acceptable (I know this as a parent myself!).  For example, we ask that students wear black shoes – not black trainers – if you have any doubt whether the footwear is a shoe or a trainer then it probably is a trainer! Likewise, school shirts should be of a length where they can be tucked in, and school skirts should not be adjusted (to be shorter) or rolled at the waist. Over the summer holidays, students sometimes take the opportunity to have a new piercing, colour their hair or have acrylic nails applied. Please be aware that on their return one small stud in each ear is acceptable, we ask that hair is of a natural colour and that long nails are filed down to a suitable length (short) to be safe in PE. Any false eyelashes should also be removed. We would really appreciate your support in ensuring that uniform is worn correctly and in maintaining our high standards across the school, full details of the uniform can be found on the website.

At the end of last term, I informed you of Parent Information Evenings that would be taking place next week. As a reminder the times and dates of these are below. By attending you will have an opportunity to understand how you can support your child in their studies, important dates for the year ahead, and we will hopefully be able to answer any queries that you might have.

Year 7

Wednesday 6th September


Year 8

Wednesday 6th September


Year 9

Wednesday 6th September


Year 10

Thursday 7th September


Year 11

Thursday 7th September


If you would like to get an overview of what your child is studying next year and how our school curriculum is structured, then there is a wealth of information on our school website. This includes learning journeys which map out your child’s studies over their time with us and how we incorporate spirituality into our curriculum. Mr Wall has put together a short video which will help you to navigate to the relevant pages:

Much of the school IT work has now been completed. This will mean that student and staff email addresses are now If you are emailing staff, then their old ones will still work as it will be redirected to their new address, but students will need to use their new address to login to Microsoft 365. Students will also need to log back into Satchel-One.

As I said earlier, we are all looking forward to welcoming students back to school next week and starting the new academic year.

Best wishes,

Ben Chaloner

Head Teacher