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The Fernwood School

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Head Teacher Parent/Carer Update March 2019

Published on 13th March 2019

Dear Parents / Carers

Thank you to all who were able to attend the various evening events including Year 9 options, Year 10 parents consultation and Year 11 revision. The feedback received was overwhelmingly positive.

Update on the New Build and Additional Inset Day

Good progress continues to be made. Meetings with the construction company and architects are even more frequent in nature. All thus far is on schedule. Mr Rowe meets with the site manager on a daily basis to ensure minimum impact to the smooth running of the school.

I have taken the opportunity to alter the school curriculum from a 6 period to a 5 period day commencing September 2019. I believe that this is a better model given the greater content demanded of the new GCSE. I also believe that staff welfare is better served and thus the commitment and energy levels of staff is more sustainable. In order to support a transition to a new build and to ensure effective Schemes of Learning there will be an additional Inset Day on July 5th. Please note that this will mean that the school is closed to children on that day. Year 11 will have completed their exams.

Year 10 Work Experience

I am pleased to report that feedback from employers was overwhelmingly positive in the polite and hardworking manner students conducted themselves. They are a credit to you as parents/carers.

Year 11 Students

I wish all Year 11 students the very best for their second set of mocks commencing March the 25th. Other students have or are about to take actual components of PE, Computer Science, Music or Drama GCSE exams. I hope that they go well for all our students.

On Monday students will be issued with their individual exam timetables. It is their responsibility not to lose them. If you are aware that your son or daughter is apt to lose ‘paper work’ I would suggest that you take a copy for safe keeping!

As mentioned on the revision evening, revision should be planned, chunked into small amounts and without distraction. The single biggest distraction continues to be mobile phone and internet technologies. Can I ask all parents and carers to be vigilant in ensuring students adopt good routines including sleep!

Keeping Children Safe

Random searches have commenced and will continue. We will of course be sensitive to students’ particular needs and would be careful not to cause unnecessary distress. A small number of mobile phones were found and confiscated as per school policy. There have been no further reports of ‘vaping’ but note that this is more prevalent in both the local and national news. I therefore retain the picture from my last letter as an aide-memoire.

I would like to thank the children and parents who have kept the school informed where they have concerns regarding any drug related incidents. Although only impacting on a minority of our young children, it is only by maintaining vigilance that young people can be protected. The need for vigilance from parents and carers is a vital part of that process.


Please note that school coats should be black and not navy blue. Similarly it is school policy not to allow earrings.

Staff Appointments

I am pleased to inform you that Mr Hughes has been promoted and appointed as Assistant Headteacher. His position commences at Easter.

In addition Ms Hobby has started Fernwood in the role of Pastoral Practitioner. This will support the pastoral care of your son and daughter. Mr Parrott has been similarly appointed and will commence after Easter.

The Eco Team

A committed group of Year 9 environmentalists have put forward proposals to the school leadership team and addressed concerns in assemblies. Below is their account of how they wish to improve the Fernwood Environment and impact:

” We are the Eco Ambassadors and we want to make Fernwood School more environmentally friendly. So far, we have been working on new ideas for the school so we can do our bit for the planet. These ideas will hopefully make our school better at recycling and keep our school litter free!

So, as short term solutions, we are aiming to install 5 large recycling bins in the playground to encourage students to recycle as much as possible. Additionally, we will install a recycling cardboard box in each classroom to make it easier for teachers and students to recycle. In each faculty, there will be a larger recycling bin where you can empty these recycling boxes. We have developed a traffic light system which will be put up around the school. It will tell the students how they’re doing with recycling and littering.

We have also created long term solutions. We want to eliminate the use of plastic forks for curry and pasta in the canteen and replace them with ordinary metal ones. In the future, we want to visit main feeder primary schools, such as Fernwood Junior School and Middleton Primary to inform them about Fernwood’s eco expectations. To combat the plastic bottle issue we have found a cardboard alternative which include plain and flavoured waters. Furthermore, we think that having a reusable water bottle with the school logo on available for students to buy in school will help us cut down on plastic bottle sales.”      Thank you, The Eco Team.

Sporting Prowess

With thanks to all staff who support these events and the PE department who currently operate with reduced facilities and of course the students themselves:

  • Four students from year 7 and 8 represented the county in the regional team table tennis championships at Bradford Grammar school and reached the semi-finals.
  • Seven year 7 students participated in the city individual table tennis championships. Two students returned with medals, one silver and one bronze.
  • The year 7 boys and girls badminton teams remained unbeaten through their competitions to both win gold medals at the city championships. This completes a fantastic year for students representing the school as the year 9 boys and girls teams, year 10/11 girls teams won gold medals and the year 11 boys team won silver medals.
  • Year 8 boys and girls sports hall athletics teams won gold medals at the city finals and will compete at the county tournament later in the term.
  • Year 7 boys and girls sports hall athletics team won bronze medals at the city finals.
  • Year 7 and year 8 girls football teams both won silver medals at the City indoor 5 a side championships.
  • After finishing second in the city finals the year 10 girls handball team represented the city at the county school games and finished 6th in a very difficult tournament.

Dates of Upcoming Events

  • April 2nd Bronze and Silver Fernwood Award
  • Well-Being evening on 25th April 6pm-7pm. (Information to follow.)
  • April 30th Year 8 Parents Evening
  • May 8th Gold Fernwood Awards Evening

Dates of PTA Inspired Events include (Please see the school website for details)

  • Wine tasting 22nd March
  • Swish Party 2nd May
  • Ceilidh 8th of June

‘Reading Rocks’ Please find the latest list here.

National Technology Teacher of the Year Award

I conclude this letter by celebrating Mr D Jones on achieving such an accolade who I am sure would agree is supported by a great team of Technology Staff.

Kind regards,

P Burke
Headteacher Fernwood School

Head Teacher – Mr P Burke
The Fernwood School, Goodwood Road, Wollaton, Nottingham, NG8 2FT
0115 9286 326 |
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