Headteacher’s Blog

Happy New Year to you all! I do hope that you managed to have a restful and relaxing Christmas break and that 2019 has begun well for you.

The final preparations for this year’s school production ‘We Will Rock You’ are almost complete. Our staff and students have worked tirelessly over the past few months and following two days of dress rehearsals last week and earlier this week, our cast and wider production crew are all ready for what promises to be three spectacular evening performances on Thursday, Friday and Saturday of this week. If you would like to come along and watch but haven’t yet purchased tickets, please contact Admin Services by telephone (01242) 235555, by email (adminservices@bournside.gloucs.sch.uk) or in person.

This term also sees the selection of our six new school houses. As you will be aware, from September 2019 our school will operate slightly differently in that it will have a new house system, which allows for vertical tutor groups. Comprehensive information regarding this change and why it is being introduced can be found on our website (www.bournside.gloucs.sch.uk/new-house-system). One of the most exciting parts of the preparations include selecting the six new houses. Prior to Christmas we consulted with students, staff and parents/carers regarding how we might choose the names. After much deliberation by my Senior Leadership Team and I, it was agreed that the six new houses should be named after people who were alive at some point during the 20th century and made a significant positive contribution to shaping our world. (I hasten to add that this was agreed well before the recent BBC2 documentary series titled ‘Icons’!) Six categories have now been selected, which represent the diverse disciplines of our society and in each category, three people have been shortlisted. The shortlisted nominees are outlined below:


Sir Winston Churchill
(1874 – 1965)
Rosa Parks
(1913 – 2005)
Malala Yousafzai
(1997 – present)


Albert Einstein
(1879 – 1955)
Rosalind Franklin
(1920 – 1958)
Steven Hawking
(1942 – 2018)


Dame Kelly Holmes
(1970 – present)
Jesse Owens
(1913 – 1980)
Sir Steven Redgrave
(1962 – present)


Maya Angelou
(1928 – 2014)
Anne Frank
(1929 – 1945)
J K Rowling
(1965 – present)


Sir David Attenborough
(1926 – present)
Claude Monet
(1840 – 1926)
John Williams
(1932 – present)


Tim Berners-Lee
(1955 – present)
Katherine Johnson
(1918 – present)
Alan Turing
(1912 – 1954)

The challenge for our school community is to select one person from each of the six categories to comprise our six new houses. This method will ensure that we have a house system that promotes and reflects positive contributions from a wide range of influential people from 1900 onwards.

Between 9:00am on Monday 28th January and 4:00pm on Tuesday 29th January, there will be an opportunity for all students, staff, parents/carers and governors to place a vote, selecting their choice for one person from each category (6 in total). The nominee with the highest number of votes in each category will then form the six new houses. I anticipate being able to share the results with our school community during w/c 5th February. Further details regarding the mechanism to place your vote will follow in our parent bulletin and all students in the school will hear more about all 18 nominees in assemblies next week, prior to them placing their vote.

This is a wonderful opportunity for you to engage in the future of our school and I strongly encourage you over the next week or so to take the opportunity to consider each of the 18 nominees and to place your vote on the 28th/29th January.

Whilst our entire school calendar, along with lots of other relevant information for parents/carers, is available on the school website underneath the ‘parents’ tab, in support of you, below are a selection of the key events taking place at the school between now and the end of term 3:

School production (Thursday 17th, Friday 18th and Saturday 19th January)
Come and see our spectacular school production ‘We Will Rock You’. Tickets available from Admin Services.

Reading competition (Throughout term 3)
We are currently running a reading competition across years 7-11 to encourage your child to read more and to access the library. Recent studies have shown that children who use the library are more likely to enjoy reading and writing, read and write daily, see themselves as better readers and writers and have higher levels of mental well-being. Please encourage your child to borrow books from our library. We have a large number of new books in stock and each time they borrow a book, they get a point towards their tutor group total. There is a prize for the winning tutor group in each year at the end of term.

Sixth Form Open Evening (Thursday 24th January, between 5:30pm and 8:00pm)
Primarily an event for year 11 students and their parents/carers, however, also applicable to parents/carers of year 9 and 10 students, who will already be giving thought to their future beyond year 11. This event is designed to enable you to explore the school’s fantastic sixth form provision, find out more about the application process and hear from a range of people connected with our sixth form.

Second academic report for year 13 students (Friday 25th January)
The second academic report for parents/carers of year 13 students will be sent via email. A copy will also be available on the School Gateway Parent App.

Year 13 Parent Teacher Consultation Evening (Thursday 31st January)
Appointments can be made using the school’s online booking system. A letter giving details of how to make bookings will be sent in due course.

Year 11 mock examinations (Tuesday 5th February until Friday 15th February)
Year 11 students have been briefed on these very important examinations and further information was posted on last week’s parent bulletin. Any general queries that they or you have should be directed to their tutor in the first instance or their subject teacher, if the query is related to a specific subject.

Year 9 Parent Teacher Consultation Evening (Thursday 7th February)
Appointments can be made using the school’s online booking system. A letter giving details of how to make bookings will be sent in due course.

Sixth Form Music Evening (Wednesday 13th February)
This event will be held at Chapel Arts, Cheltenham at 7:00pm. Further details will follow in due course from Mr Clift (Head of Music).

Year 9 Options form is available (Friday 15th February)
As outlined by Karen Hanley (Deputy Headteacher) at the year 9 Option Information Evening, on this date the option form becomes available for parents/carers of year 9 students to view and submit, with the deadline for submission being Monday 25th February.

I look forward to seeing you over the coming term and thank you so much for your continued support of our school.

Gareth Burton

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