Friday 26 January 2018

Dear Parents and Carers                    

Our Junior Leadership Team candidates have been presenting to their peers in assembly this week and have done so brilliantly.  They all have excellent ideas about reforming homework, looking at our behaviour management systems, helping us to become a more sustainable school and to improve student well-being and I am excited at the prospect of working with the new team.  I am very grateful to the new Sixth Form Head and Deputy Head Girls who have worked hard to support the candidates with their excellent speeches.

Our Year 13 students have received their Mock results this week and it was a pleasure to see so many parents at the follow up evening last night.  As in Year 11, there are many students working incredibly hard and staff want to ensure that there is the right balance of support and challenge for them all at this critical time.  A good number of Year 11 students have attended our Maths, English and Science revision sessions after school this week and we would encourage as many Year 11 students as possible to attend these very carefully planned and differentiated sessions on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 3.10pm.

Internet Safety Webinar

I have written frequently in this newsletter about the national increase in cases where on-line access has placed children in danger and we have placed a number of sessions in our PSHE curriculum to provide advice and guidance to our students.  Grooming, radicalisation and child sexual exploitation are often perpetrated via the internet and pose a real threat to children of all ages.  Given this increased concern, Ofsted have worked with the Breck Foundation  to offer schools and parents a webinar to identify and consider dangers presented by the internet.

The webinar offers guidance to parents about how to help their children stay safe.  This webinar will be presented by Hilary Macdonald, Senior HMI, Daniel Lambert, HMI, and Lorin LeFave, founder of the Breck Foundation, whose son, Breck, was groomed and murdered in 2014.

The webinar will be hosted on 31 January at 19:00.  You can register for the webinar via:

Governance at Rosebery

Since January 2018, as a result of joining GLF, we have adopted a new governance structure.  The governing body will be called a School Strategy Board from this point forward.  This board will continue to have parent representatives, elected in the same way as parent governors were previously, and representatives from the local community. They are joined by me, our School Business Leader, Louise Buckley, and representatives from the Trust’s Central Team.

The SSB is a much smaller group than our old governing body.  Its members are:

Co-Chairs:  Sarah Ayers and Rob Mayo

Parent and Community Members:  Peter Dunbar, Silke Elvery, Malcolm Hall and Richard Skinner

GLF Central Team:  Russell Bennett, Wendy Lincoln and Luke Nicolaou

Rosebery Members: Ros Allen and Louise Buckley

Clerk:  Karen Frend

Further details about the SSB can be found on our website


Have a lovely weekend.

Ros Allen @RoseberyHT

Happy New Year!

Dear Parents and Carers
A very Happy New Year! It has been lovely to welcome everyone back after the Christmas break and as usual our students have settled back into the school routine very well. Assemblies this week have been promoting two projects very close to my heart. Mrs Abbes-Muslia’s tutor group have been promoting their Lunchbowl Charity Week which takes place from Monday. For the last four years we have raised nearly £4,000 for this small but vital charity who support children in the slum of Kibera in Nairobi. Just 33p buys a child a hot meal and this year we are also collecting toiletry and sanitary products as well as financial donations next week, as most of the teenage girls there have no
access to pads or tampons each month, leading to shame and embarrassment for many. I am also delighted that assemblies have also been launching the elections for our Junior Leadership Team for 2018. All students are being encouraged to stand to represent their peers on this important body and work with the Leadership Team to continue to improve our school.

Year 13 have almost completed their mock examinations, and as ever they have worked incredibly hard in preparation for these. We have also had feedback on our students’ usage of GCSE Pod which tells us that a staggering 26,283 podcasts have been downloaded this school year, which compares to the average for a school of our size of 4,365. The motivation and drive of our students is extremely impressive indeed and provides a superb foundation for future success.
As this is the first newsletter of the year, it is an opportune moment to highlight a few key issues:

Sarahah App
We have become aware of the existence of Sarahah, an app linked to Snapchat
which allows messages to be sent anonymously. This has already caused
considerable distress, with unacceptable messages sent because their source
cannot be easily identified. Please check whether your child is using this app;
our view is it should be deleted from all phones.

Whitehorse Drive Traffic
I am now receiving daily complaints from residents about the inconsiderate way in which parents are parking and
driving down the very congested road outside of school. I am also sad to report that complaints have been made
about rudeness from a small number of parents when they are approached for parking across driveways. If your child
has to be driven to school, please drop your child away from Whitehorse Drive – it really is causing huge disruption to
the local community.

Communication with Staff
The Rosebery Way underpins everything we do and it emphasises the need for all members of the Rosebery community to treat each other with respect and kindness. We live in a culture in which, thanks to electronic messaging, we are increasingly expected to be available to communicate at all times of the day or night. There can also be a tendency to communicate in an email in a language which would never be used in person. At Rosebery, we are all committed to responding to concerns in a timely and appropriate manner, however should you send an email after 6pm, please remember that it will not necessarily be responded to until the teacher has a break in their next
working day – and for some teachers this might not be until 4.30pm, or later if there is a parents’ evening or other extracurricular event. Can I also ask that the tone adopted in emails is as measured as possible? Issuing ultimatums, threats or adopting a confrontational tone will not lead to a speedier resolution to any issue. In almost all cases we believe that a phone conversation is usually much more helpful in resolving any situation and whilst this might take longer to arrange, is much more valuable in the long run. Thank you for your support.

Staffing Changes
Mrs Kay in the English Department has gone on maternity leave this week, we wish her well for the next few months; she will be replaced by Miss Cartledge. This term we also welcome Miss Hatfield to Rosebery, who has replaced Mrs Biggs in the Sociology Department, she joins Mrs Fassam who has returned from maternity leave and Mr Burch to the Maths Department who will be taking Mr Croudace’s classes until further notice.

Dear Parents and Carers,

Our Head Girls, Freya Selman and Kelly Owusu, have been marvellous ambassadors for the school all year, but in this, the last month of their tenure, they have demonstrated outstanding leadership by taking all the assemblies this week to promote the Well-Being Week that they have organised for next week. Both girls are passionate about ensuring all our students know how to access support if they are feeling anxious, to educate staff about the issues that teenagers face and they wish to share strategies which students can deploy to help them manage difficult situations. Equally impressive were the staff who contributed to these assemblies, sharing their personal experiences of how they have overcome traumatic times in their lives in a way which was very meaningful and inspiring.  Next week the Head Girls will be running a series of activities to promote positive mental health and to raise money for the NSPCC.  This promises to be a fantastic end to their time in office.

At the start of assemblies and tutor times today, we all paused to remember Natalie Scott who was so suddenly taken from us only a year ago this week. We remembered her warmth, courage and emotional intelligence – indeed she supported so many to talk about their problems and we believe would have supported our well-being week initiative wholeheartedly.  We have created a prize in her name which will be awarded at Senior Prize Giving in the last week of term to a Year 13 student who has demonstrated kindness, resilience and endeavour.  This will be awarded annually so that Natalie will always be remembered, particularly at this point of the year.  Most importantly, our thoughts are with Sophie, Alex and Mr and Mrs Scott and their extended family at this very difficult time.

Christmas arrived at Rosebery last Friday and I am extremely grateful to the PSA and to all members of our community who supported another very successful fair which raised such a lot of money for our school. This has been followed by a super Christmas Concert on Thursday evening at the Playhouse which was a lovely reminder of the talent and commitment of so many of our students, which once again demonstrated how significant our Sixth Form prefect leaders are who contributed so much to the organisation of this event.

We were visited by the National Citizen Service this week who have selected Rosebery as their flagship school. This is a result of the huge numbers of our students who have participated in this fantastic enrichment opportunity over the last two years and as such Rosebery will be at the heart of their new national campaign to encourage young people to join the scheme.  Mrs Keaveney champions NCS in our school and deserves huge credit for making the scheme so successful at Rosebery.

I am delighted to report that all nine of our Oxbridge applicants have been called to interview, reflecting not only their exceptional abilities but the wonderful support that these students have received from subject staff and from Mrs Boddy, who masterminds our work with these students superbly. The girls head to Oxford and Cambridge next week and we all wish them the very best for the challenges ahead.

Finally, we say farewell to Ms Cooke, our Media Coordinator this week, as she goes on maternity leave. She will be much missed and we wish her all the very best for the weeks and months ahead.

Ros Allen @RoseberyHT

Dear Parents and Carers

This week we have been celebrating the power of teamwork. Record numbers of students have participated in House Sports, which have followed the amazing House Bake Off last Friday which was simply delicious! Students in all year groups have participated in basketball, netball, hockey and football, competitions which have been organised and refereed by our team of Year 11 Junior Sports Leaders. Mrs Abbes’ tutor group have collectively organised a brilliant Lunchbowl Week. 33p buys a child living in the Kibera slums in Kenya a hot meal, and this group has really taken this charity to its heart, working incredibly hard to beat the total they raised last year. Our team of Sixth Form prefects have been speaking to each Year 11 tutor group about life in the Sixth Form at Rosebery and are ready to support the Christmas Fair this evening. Finally our team of musicians will join many other groups at The Royal Albert Hall on Sunday to perform a Scratch Messiah. It has been my pleasure to visit many lessons over the last few weeks and to see how hard the vast majority of our students are working and to see the pride they take in their work. This week excellent collaborative learning was in evidence in Mrs Carnegie’s fantastic Year 9 lesson on the validity of the teleological argument with groups of students challenging each other intelligently and sensitively on this complex topic, whilst Year 13 PE students worked together to identify factors which support team cohesion and were then taken to a lower school lesson by Mrs Garrod to analyse these dynamics in real time.

Year 11 have begun their mocks in earnest this week, with Drama, PE and MFL practical and oral exams already completed. We are keeping a close eye on the well-being of these students as they enter this pressured time, but please do not hesitate to get in touch if you feel we can provide additional support to your daughter.

Christmas always comes to Rosebery early, with our very successful Christmas Fair on the last Friday of November. As I write, the tree is going up, and the PSA have once again planned a great event. Many thanks to everyone who can support this, and I look forward to seeing many of you there later on.

Ros Allen@RoseberyHT

Dear Parents and Carers,

It has been lovely to speak with many of the Sixth Formers who enjoyed a wonderful week in New York and Washington over half term. I am very grateful to Mr Waight, Mr Harvey, Miss Nejad, Miss Lowe and Mr Styles for giving up their holiday to run such a fantastic trip. This is just one of the myriad of opportunities available in Year 12 and 13 that we highlighted at our very well attended Sixth Form Open Evening this week. This area is blessed with many excellent post-16 providers, but naturally we believe that the academic and enrichment experience on offer at Rosebery is second to none. As a result of their dedication and the personalised and relentless support from their teachers, our Sixth Form students thrive in a challenging but secure environment, they are terrific role models for our younger students, and become articulate, compassionate and empathetic young women capable of leading their local and wider community. Next week, the shortlisted Head Girl candidates pitch to their peers, and I am very excited about hearing their thoughts on how they will contribute to the Sixth Form and the school as a whole.

In the light of my comments in last week’s newsletter relating to the school’s finances, I am even more grateful to the volunteers of the PSA who ran the very successful film night last Friday evening and to those parents who came in this week to begin preparations for the Christmas Fair which is now less than a month away. You will receive raffle tickets via your daughter and we very much hope that you will feel able to purchase these to support this, our biggest fundraiser of the year. Next Friday sees our annual Mufti Day and further details of items which we would like everyone to bring in to support the Fair can be found later in this newsletter. Thank you for all your support.

Finally, can I draw your attention to the new Student Blog which is a fantastic addition to our Hub. It is written by the students, for the students, and we hope it will become an important means of communication and a celebration of all the ways our students make this such a vibrant and inspiring school to belong to.

Ros Allen@RoseberyHT
Blog: headteacherroseberyschool

Dear Parents and Carers,

This week we have been marking Black History Month as part of our celebration of diversity. Mrs Garrod has been sharing the fascinating story of Frank Bailey in assemblies this week, who was one of the first black firefighters in Britain and became a much admired trade union representative both in the fire service and, later, as a social worker. He was one of the first black mental welfare officers and psychiatric social workers, and ended his working life as a guardian ad litem, representing children in adoption, custody and divorce proceedings. She emphasised the way in which our multicultural community enhances our school and how much we value the different backgrounds that our students and staff come from. This was also emphasised this week from our celebration of the different languages spoken in our community as European Day of Languages was extended to include taster sessions in Turkish, Mandarin and Arabic as well as Italian, Norwegian and Greek.

We were also very proud this week to receive a very positive note of visit from the County who came to look at our inclusive provision, with a particular focus on our work on LGBTQ+ issues. Sarah Lyons met with many students including several members of our LGBTQ+ group to discuss their experiences at Rosebery. She notes that students feel that there is an inclusive, safe and accepting culture where difference is celebrated and where students are allowed to be themselves without fear. The students particularly highlighted the support that they had received when they were finding things difficult and how, as a result, they trusted the work of the staff. We have been recommended as a case study school for others to learn from which is a fantastic testament to our students and staff who work very hard to generate understanding of these complex issues within our community.

Finally, we have begun our Year 11 interviews this week, during which students are revising their target grades and expressing their choices for the Sixth Form. It has been a pleasure to meet with such an articulate, focused and dedicated group of students and I am very much looking forward to continuing these over the next few weeks. Mr Waight was also very pleased to report how well his Year 11 Drama students did in their exams, which are worth 30% of the final grade this week. Congratulations to them all!

Ros Allen @RoseberyHT