End of Term activities
As we reach the end of another academic year, I wanted to write to you all to thank you for your support during the year and to wish you well for the summer.
It has been an excellent year. We are expecting our best ever exam results in the summer, and the students in all year groups have been working really hard to achieve their best. As always at Homewood, it has been a very busy year with a whole range of events and activities taking place.
Our Young Farmers had an excellent Kent Show this year, winning three Champion Awards and two Supreme Champion Awards, alongside any number of 1st, 2nd and 3rd places. Our Cheerleaders finished the year with a flourish, bringing home five trophies from the Future Cheer national cheerleading competition last weekend. The World Challenge expedition is currently taking place, with 12 students trekking in Ecuador – follow them on twitter at @HomewoodWorld to keep up with their adventures over the next fortnight.
We have finished the year with two excellent sports days – one for Discovery College and one for the KS4 Colleges. Great competition on both days, with some superb individual and team performances, ensured that the days were greatly enjoyed by all – both competitors and those cheering them on from the sidelines.
Then we had our Prizegiving Events where once again students were honoured for their achievements and contribution to the school throughout the year. It was a time of celebration and I am really grateful to all the parents who came along to support their sons and daughters and make the day a truly Team Homewood event.
The last day of term will finish with the now traditional Party in the Park, on the Redgra, with live band performances and a carnival atmosphere to finish our year in style.
Start of the new academic year
Looking ahead, term starts again for students on 2 September. The dates of the October break are slightly later this year, so please make a note of them – Term 1 finishes on 23 October and Term 2 starts on 9 November. These are the dates which have been published on the web-site for some time and also mentioned in my previous letters, but I just want to make sure everyone is fully aware, as we are not able to authorise holidays taken during the term.
We have become concerned this year with the poor attendance of some of our students, so we will be making a real focus on attendance next year. The importance of good attendance cannot be over-emphasised – it makes the difference between a student achieving their potential or not. We want all our students to reach 95% attendance and will be in contact with you if attendance dips below this level. Partnership with parents is so important on this issue as we rely on you to ensure that your son/daughter comes to school unless they are really too ill to attend. I will return to this theme at the start of term.
Please make sure that your son/daughter has the correct uniform for returning to school on 2 September. All students will be in full uniform from the first day back, including the blazer, and I would ask you to check the web-site to make sure that any items of uniform you purchase over the holiday are consistent with the uniform requirements. Opening times of the School Shop can also be found on the web-site.
We have a number of staff leaving this term, some of whom have worked at Homewood for a long time. Indeed, some of you may have been taught by Mrs Challis, who leaves after 37 years at the school, or Mrs Salter who leaves after 35 years, originally working as a teacher and more recently as one of our pastoral support managers. Mrs Williams will also be leaving to take up a position in another school, after 16 years at Homewood. We are really grateful to all three of these long-serving members of the Homewood team and we wish them all the best for the future.
Other leavers include Mrs Hatch, who takes up a Head of Science position in another school and Mrs Gorham who is leaving after 11 years teaching Child Development. We wish all our staff leavers every happiness as they move on to new ventures.
Our Summer School for Years 4 – 7 starts on Thursday and there are still some places left if you would like to book. Please follow the link on our web-site to make your bookings. There are some fascinating activities taking place and I am sure everyone will have great fun.
We are looking forward to celebrating with all the students who took public exams this year, when we see them on results days in August. We will publicise the results in the local press and on our web-site so do look out for those. In the meantime, have a restful and enjoyable summer break, and thank you again for your contribution this year to making Homewood a school we can all take pride in.
S J Lees