13th February 2023

Dear Parent/Carer,

As we move into the last week of this half-term it is incredible how quickly time is passing. I expect that for students taking Summer exams this passing of time may be felt even more acutely! I would say though, having looked at both Year 11 and Year 13 reports recently, that most students are applying themselves well and for those that still have ground to make up, there is time if they take on board the advice and support being offered.

I was pleased, as I'm sure you were, to find out about the positive talks between DESC and the NASUWT which has allowed for the suspension of strike action this week. As I have said several times, I am truly sorry for the disruption that has been caused however hopefully we can look forward to a positive resolution soon. Having said that however, I am afraid that the action short of strike action (ASOSA) does continue and for that reason we will unfortunately be unable to run Year 11 Academic Review Day on the 2nd March as scheduled. If you wish to follow up on any comments or targets from the reports, please contact school directly via bhsenquiries@sch.im.

Keeping with the theme of outstanding exam performance I am delighted that our Sixth Form will this week be launching the Year 11 mentoring scheme. Several of our Sixth Form have volunteered to give their time to offer subject expertise and experience to Year 11 students. This is a brilliant and proactive way in which students can help their peers and I thank all those involved. More formally, Mrs Babb, Head of Year 11 and Mr Karran, Head of Sixth Form, are working together to coordinate a program of Year 11 transition activities. Additionally, Year 11 should soon all have had a careers interview in order to support them with their choices post-16, be that at Sixth Form, UCM or taking the leap into the world of work.

You may have seen in the local press that the search is on for a new Manx Youth Bard to take over from our very own Iva Petrova. All students in years 7 to 11 have been invited to enter up to 3 poems so they may be considered as Iva’s successor. Good luck to any who choose to take part.

It hit home to me last week just how many wonderful students we have doing such wonderful things outside of school. I was delighted to have an amazing conversation with Anna, one of our Year 7 students, who is excelling in the world of the Arts. She is just one of many and I would love to hear from any students who have been doing wonderful things. I am aware that because of the character that they have they may not like to shout about their achievements however it would be wonderful if they felt able to share!

Please note that our Houses will be running a non-uniform day on Friday for their nominated charities. It’s fitting with our values, particularly kindness, that our students are thinking of others and want to do their bit to help. We would ask that students bring at least £1 per family as contribution and choose non-uniform that is appropriate for a normal day at school.

Finally, last week I invited interest in a Parent Café initiative. I was delighted that so many parents and carers expressed an interest I will be contacting you this week with details of how I see this new initiative looking. I look forward to working with you when developing this relationship in order that we can continue to develop our school.

I would like to wish you a very restful half term, and as ever I hope you can find time to enjoy activities with your family. Returning to students preparing for summer exams, I would urge them to have a healthy balance between their studies and activities help them to relax at what we all know is an important period for them.

All the very best,

Graeme Corrin, Head teacher.