Dear Parent/Carers of Year 9

Firstly, can we say how delighted we are with the way that the Year Nine students have applied themselves in what has been an extraordinary start to the academic year. We are really pleased with the way that they have settled into the routines. Thank you again for all of your support, help and understanding in all the areas that have cropped up already. Can we use this opportunity to highlight the following areas:

Communication between school and home – can we continue to politely request that you set the parent app settings so that it notifies you of new messages and regularly check the school website. We would really appreciate it if you could check that you have the app and that it is working and that you are familiar with the website. This is because this is the method / area where key information will be posted as we strive to move fully to digital communication. If you have any issues or questions about the app, please get in touch with Mr Hope who is more than willing to help (

To keep effective communication with you in this important year and in these testing times, we have planned a window to replace our ‘normal’ Parents’ Evening beginning 9th November. This is to allow parents / carers an opportunity to liaise with their child’s subject teacher(s) or Head of Department. It is worth noting however that if you ever have a query or question, at any time, please get in touch. Mr Blackwood is  the best place to start with that query – his email is:

Curriculum planning – The Heads of Subjects and the staff in departments have worked on mapping out lost curriculum time including the 14 weeks of year 8 that were lost during the national lockdown. They have used the assessment data from July, as well as the work this half term, to map the best way ahead for the year. As a school we have also ordered some key resources for English, Maths and Science to give to all of our Year 9 students. They will be given these guides / work-packs for free in lessons and to keep / use as part of their studies.

If there are any parents who would like their child’s work from the lockdown period to be checked, then please get in touch. We have used the assessments done in July to help best plan for this term’s curriculum delivery.  Departments will also use the Key Task 3 in the coming weeks to help consolidate the learning as best we can. Like every area of life and education, we have learned a great deal since March and we are striving to respond this term as best we can and improve in areas where we feel we could have responded better.

I have included some key staff emails below also if you need to contact them. It is really important that every student can access their school account at home (Office 365 such  as TEAMS and outlook for emails). Please let us know if you have any issues with remote learning so we can see what ways we can help further. There are tutorials and guides on our website (  If you are still struggling with remote access please email Mr S Hope –

Mrs S Irvine (SENDco)    –
Mr P Dickson (Deputy Headteacher – Standards and Student Outcomes) –
Mr P McMahon (Deputy Headteacher – Behaviour, Attendance & Safety) –
Miss V Parker ( Teacher leading on assessment wellbeing and preparation) –
Mr J Axe (9JB1 Tutor) –
Mrs S Manning (9JB2 Tutor) –
Miss E Dunn (9MC1 Tutor) –
Mr C Barnes (9MC2 Tutor) –
Mrs C Edmundson (9JI1 Tutor) –
Mrs C Moss (9JI2 Tutor) –
Mr D Frettsome (9AL1 Tutor) –
Miss B Malcolmson (9AL2 Tutor) –
Miss L Jackson  (9TM1 Tutor) –
Mrs C Dolan (9TM2 Tutor) –
Mr L Murray (Head of Maths) –
Ms Lee-Bugby  (Head of KS3 English) –
Mr Baker (Head of Science) –
Mr Dunn (Head of Religious Studies) –

As a general rule, if you know the name of the staff member then their first initial and surname suffixed by will work.

Year 9 Maths Groupings – Just to let you know that the Maths Department will be planning for Years 10 & 11 by re-structuring classes after Module 1 (end of December). This is because some students will be sitting the Foundation Tier and the rest the Higher Tier. This grouping is done by looking at Key Stage 2 scaled scores for Maths but also on their performance in our modular assessments. The students will have their Key Task 3 shortly and this will also feed into that re-structure. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Mr Murray or Miss Jackson who leads on Year 9 Mathematics. The students may see a different code on their new timetables but check with us if you have any questions. The majority of students will not be affected and the bandings for Higher and Foundation are mixed and codes are not indicative of being sets.

Finally, we will be in touch early in the Spring Term linked to Pathways for Key Stage Four. If you or your child have any careers questions or concerns, please email our careers team who will happy to help.

Best wishes

Paul Dickson
Deputy Headteacher