Message from Mrs O’Neill

News from Mrs O'Neill

I hope that you have all had a productive week.  I last wrote to you all a few weeks ago, or two Prime Ministers ago, to be more precise!

We have spent time this week analysing our BfL grades.  An overwhelming majority of our students achieved all positive grades last half term.  This is a fantastic achievement. You can check these on our portal, Insight. In addition to outstanding behaviour, attendance also plays a key role in a child’s achievement at school and their commitment to their learning.  Next week we will celebrate all pupils who have achieved 100% attendance for October.  Certificates will be given out during form time.

We celebrated Black History Month in October.  All faculties spoke about the contributions and breakthroughs of Black professionals in their field.  The theme this year was Black Health and Wellness, and I chose Mary Seacole, a nurse who worked during the Crimean war, as the inspiration for my assemblies.  She was a remarkable woman and certainly worth reading about.

Thank you to all Y11 parents and carers who came along with their child to our Prepare to Perform evening before half term.  This is a series of workshops to support students with revision techniques.  With the Y11 mocks starting next week, it is really important to embed effective revision habits at this early stage.  If you feel that your child still needs some additional support, please contact Mr Williams, our Progress Lead and he will put support in place.  His email address is:

Vaping amongst school children still continues to be a concern nationally.  Vimto flavoured vapes are most definitely aimed at children, which is appalling.  Vaping is not healthy; vapes contain nicotine and are clearly addictive.  We will continue to impose sanctions when students are found with a vape or caught vaping on site.  If you suspect that your child is vaping, please speak to them about it.  If you believe that they are addicted, it would be worth visiting the pharmacy or doctor for support. We are also happy to work with you.  

This week all Y10 and Y11 students had a talk about sexual harassment.  This will be shared with each year group in an age-appropriate way.  This is in response to safeguarding concerns for young people nationally who may become exposed to extreme views.  Mrs Brookshaw has spoken at length with our staff, as part of our legal Prevent duty, about protecting pupils from extreme views with regards to misogyny and has shared a useful document for information.  This is attached below.  

I imagine many of you have plans to attend bonfire parties and firework displays this weekend.  There were lots of well decorated homes around Alsager for Halloween and I am pretty sure that I have seen some Christmas lights, too.  The shops seem to have gone very early with the Christmas stock this year, making it even more difficult to resist a mince pie until December. I have yet to see Kevin the Carrot make an appearance but the Marks and Spencer woolly side kick to Dawn French is particularly cute.  I may have to get our knitting club to make one.  It would not be Christmas without some controversy around the tubs of chocolates; this year Mars Wrigley have removed the Bounty from Celebrations.  I quite like Bounty but not sure whether that’s because I trained myself as a parent to like the ones that no one else in my family did! 

I met with our subject stars this week and am looking forward this weekend to enjoying the book recommendation ‘How to Stop Time’, by Matt Haig, made by one of our Y10 winners.  Whatever your plans, have a restful and enjoyable weekend. 

“It was a beautiful, bright autumn day, with air like cider and a sky so blue you could drown in it.” (Diana Gabaldon)

Andrea O’Neill


01270 871100


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