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  Term 2 Newsletter - December 2018  
  Message from Mr Humphreys, Headteacher  

Another busy Term 2 draws to a close with our school show, winter sports week and generous fundraising to help those in need.

Year 11 students have just finished a busy two weeks of mock exams which have given them and their teachers useful insights on current strengths and areas to improve. We look forward to sharing their results in January during our mock results assembly before the subject evening on the 17 January 2019.  It was great to see so many Year 11 students at our new format Sixth Form Open Evening considering post-16 options and how they can take the next steps to their future with us.

Our schools shows continue to deliver the highest quality performances and this year ‘Sister Act’ was simply incredible - no wonder they sell out each year. A very comical performance with so many great lines, executed to perfection. You don’t mess with Curtis but he definitely met his match in the sisters! The performance is as a result of many months of practice and commitment by the staff and the students and the camaraderie between the cast was evident. From the support crew, site team, staff support and the whole cast, everyone played their part to pull off another great three nights of entertainment. Plus it was great to see past students now pursuing careers and studies in the performing arts returning to St Katherine’s to help with the show. Huge congratulations to the performing arts team.

The show was also a chance for students to pay tribute to Mr Hutchens who is moving on after 14 years of dedication to students and the performing arts faculty. We wish him well on his new adventure.

Our Christmas lunch reached new heights this year with a record number of lunches being served throughout the day. It is a wonderful occasion and always a pleasure to see students creating great memories and exchanging gifts with each other. A great team effort by our wonderful canteen staff ably assisted by the Sixth Form gave each tutor group a truly memorable occasion. Thanks to Mr Francis-Black for his fantastic entertainment on the microphone too! Check out this video that shows the mammoth undertaking of serving dinner to the whole school. 

The new year brings new opportunities for St Katherine’s as we officially join Cathedral Schools Trust in early January. This is a very exciting time for St Katherine’s and the governors and staff are looking forward to the many benefits this will bring.

Finally I’d like to wish you all a wonderful festive break and a very happy new year. I look forward to welcoming students back to school on Tuesday 8 January.

Mr Humphreys, Headteacher


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  Fergus's fantastic training experience with the RAF  

Yr 10 student Fergus Creton (on the right in the picture above) really enjoys science and after impressing the RAF during a taster session at school last year they encouraged him to join their hugely popular engineering course at RAF Cranwell in Lincoln.


The RAF stressed how oversubscribed the course is - nearly 500 students applied for the 100 places - but with the school’s encouragement Fergus secured a place and spent a week at RAF Cranwell learning about different aspects of engineering.

Fergus and the other students learnt a great deal and worked extremely hard completing a packed daily itinerary.

His family joined him for the end of course presentation at Cranwell where he proudly wore his St Katherine’s uniform as he was presented with a silver level industrial cadet certificate.

It was an exhausting week but Fergus came away with a clear idea that he'd like to follow a career path in STEM and possibly train with the RAF. He’s already looking out for an engineering placement for his work experience this summer.

Well done Fergus!


Attendance update

This term the Heads of House have focused this term on establishing effective attendance habits amongst their Houses as we launched our SOL Diamond' attendance tracking categories 

We finished Term 2 with a total of 199 pupils on 100% with 246 pupils achieving 97-99% attendance. Seeing the dedication of pupils to improve their attendance is amazing,  keep up the good effort!

Our target attendance is at least 97% so please take time to read our Attendance Guide to see how you can support your child's attendance.  

Attendance top tips:

  • Please communicate your child’s absence by 7.30am on each day of absence by using the designated absence line 01275 376882. (Alternatively you can call the school on 01275 373737 and select the 'attendance' option)
  • Try to avoid routine medical/dental appointments in school hours - your child MUST return to school after appointments
  • If you are unsure whether to send your child into school if they are ill please speak to one of us for advice
  • If your child is upset about an incident please bring them to school the next morning to meet with a member of staff
  • We can only agree absence for holidays in term time for ‘Exceptional Circumstances’
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George crowned a reading millionaire

At St Katherine’s we encourage students to read for pleasure (as much as for schoolwork!)

Year 7 and 8 students follow the Accelerated Reader programme which means we can work with students on an individual basis to improve this essential skill. Students read books at the right level for them and take a quick computer quiz when they finish each book to check their understanding.

Every time a student passes a quiz they earn house points, as well as the word count - and George is the first Year 7 student to reach the impressive milestone of reading one million words.

George has received a prize book token plus an extra something special for his achievement.We look forward to more students joining George in the reading millionaire ‘club’ early next term!

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  Spanish exchange - return trip to Ciudad Real  

We have built an enduring Spanish exchange relationship with Colegio San Francisco Javier our partner school in Ciudad Real, a town in the La Mancha region of Spain.  The Spanish students and their teachers visited in September, for some of them it was their third time at St Katherine’s!  As November came around it was time for our return visit.  

As well as experiencing life in a Spanish school the students enjoyed a number of trips during the week boosted by a welcome dose of Spanish winter sun. They explored the town hall and museums of Ciudad Real and particularly enjoyed a day in Toledo where Hispanic, Jewish and Moorish influences intertwine in the culture and architecture of the town.

The week ended with a goodbye party where Mrs Maringo and Mrs Aubret thanked the host families for taking such good care of our students. The goodbyes were heartfelt and we are sure most of our students will keep in touch with their Spanish exchange partner.

We would like to sincerely thank the families of Jimmy Church, Fergus Creton, Tyrese Bracey, Jolie Breakwell, Jamie-Leigh Bell, Tilly Hardwell and Ruby Argo for entrusting us to take their child to Spain for a week and for valuing such a fantastic experience.

Mrs Aubret & Mrs Maringo


Improvement programme update

A part of our wide-reaching programme to drive improvement we are continually trialling and evaluating new approaches to raise standards for both students and staff. This term we have been:

  • working with the Cathedral Schools Trust and Driver Youth Trust to tackle literacy standards across the school. This will help us meet the needs of all students and ensure they can access the access the curriculum effectively.
  • focused on staff professional development so they can improve their practice and deliver great teaching. This is already having a tangible impact across the faculties and an external review in the spring will evaluate how this is having an impact on student learning.

Another element of our improvement programme is engaging the wider school community in how we help students succeed. The new Parent/Carer Association in an open forum for parents/carers and school leaders to exchange and share ideas and views. The next meeting is on Monday 28 January, 7-8pm so please come along if you can.



Sixth Form update

It was fantastic to welcome a large number of Year 11 students at our Sixth Form Open Evening in November and I'm delighted to have received so many Sixth Form applications. 

Now Year 11 mocks are finished I am doing Course Consultation Meetings with students as they consider subjects they'd like to study in Sixth Form.  

If you want to join the Sixth Form in September 2019 but haven't submitted your application yet an electronic application form is on the website or paper copies are available from Student Support.  If you're still debating which subjects to study in Sixth Form take a look at the course details on the website. 

Look out for arrangements for subject taster sessions in January - these are really helpful for getting a sense of what each subject is really like post-16.

If you have any questions about any aspects of sixth form life at St Katherine's please don't hesitate to contact me on 

Steve Colebourne, Head of Sixth Form

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  Term 2 news round-up  
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Brandon wins Rotary photo competition

Congratulations to Brandon Chadwick in Year 11 whose portfolio of photos won the Senior category in the local heats of the Rotary Young Photographer of the Year. His winning entry now goes forward to the District stage of this national competition.

Read more

Art students inspired by visit to Tate London

Year 10 and Sixth Form art students spent an eye-opening day at Tate London in November.  While the sixth formers sought out new artists to inspire them and their work, the Year 10s  explored artworks that informed their Natural Forms curriculum topic.  They all worked in the galleries, either sitting and sketching in front of art works or taking photographs.

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Students get a taste of working with the police.

Avon and Somerset Police brought their pop up shop to the canteen so students could come along to find out what it’s like to work for the police. Year 7, 8 and 9 students showed a real interest and enjoyed learning how handcuffs work!

It was a really good opportunity to find out how you get a job with the police and how to get involved.

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SKAMPS carol singers raise money for music at St Kaths

SKAMPS (St Katherine's Music Parent Supporters) were out carol singing around the pubs of Clifton earlier this month to raise funds to support music at St Katherine’s.

The cheerful group of singers, led by by Santa Claus herself, delighted pub goers with their excellent, festive singing. After an hour and a half they had raised £182.48.



St Katherine's charity fundraising

Community is one of our core school values and we encourage students to become citizens who contribute to the world around them. As part of our end of term community work, the non-uniform day raised over £400 for Borderlands who support asylum seekers and migrants plus a group of sudents delivered food and clothing we'd collected to the Julian Trust homeless night shelter in Bristol.  Staff also donated items to the Pill Food Bank.

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  House competition  

Our House system has bedded in well and the bonds and community spirit forming in each House is evident, especially in the weekly House Assemblies when students gather to celebrate eachothers’ successes.

Attendance has been a big focus for each House and it has been encouraging to see that many students have improved their attendance this term. Every student with 100% attendance was rewarded with Amazon Vouchers (very handy just before Christmas!)

Beyond recognition in lessons students have been gaining points for their House in a range of sport and inter-house competitions including sixth form quizzes, the Year 7 House Times Table Rock Star competition (won by Turing), girls and boys sport plus the popular, and frankly silly, ‘Fun Fix Fridays’. These have included Bottle Flipping (pictured above), Cup Stacking, Chubby Bunnies, Paper Aircraft making (which included the spectacle of Will Conroy from 11S1 flying his paper plane the whole length of the sportshall!) and the Staff Beach Ball Belly relay (sadly, we don’t have any photos of that)

As term 2 finishes Yousafzai still lead the House competition with 150 points, Stephenson are gaining ground with 132 points while Turing (119 points) and Pankhurst (117 points) are in a close battle for third. So, two terms down, four to go – it’s all to play for.

  Term 2 PE and Sports round-up  

It's been another packed term of sport at St Katherine's. Here are a few highlights, look out for a full round-up in the Term 2 PE and sports newsletter coming out soon.

  • FOUR of our sportshall athletics teams have qualified for the North Somerset Finals which take place in January - this is a first for St Katherine's, well done everyone! 
  • Students in Years 7-11 have been busy competing for house points this term in Autumn and Winter House Sport Competitions
  • Cosmo Browne in 7S2 has been selected to represent Great Britain in futsal, a fantastic achievement!
  • 24 brave runners completed the North Somerset Cross Country course with Mursal from Year 10 qualifying for Avon Schools in the New Year
  • Girls and boys across the school have been busy in netball, hockey, football, rugby and basketball action this term
  • Girls and boys have enjoyed Christmas netball and wacky events as an end of term treat.

Mr Cook, Head of PE 


  Ready to Learn update  

Term 2 has been a term of consolidation for Ready to Learn (RTL) at St Katherine’s. The fact that over 60,000 praises have been awarded this term highlights the positive impact RTL is having across the school. A number of parents/carers have voiced concerns about pupils’ wellbeing and how pupils are supported in RTL. Hopefully the following information clarifies how we approach these important areas:

  • RTL is supervised by Ms Richards, a qualified teacher, who ensures the needs of each student  are met.
  • Supporting the mental health needs of all pupils in RTL is paramount. Restorative meetings are held between the pupil and the teacher who sent them to RTL so they can repair and rebuild the relationship before the next lesson.
  • The Heads of House regularly visit the room to meet pupils from their House to ensure they are reflecting on their behaviour and their pastoral needs are being met. Pupils can also access support from the School Counsellor on request.
  • All pupils in RTL leave the room for a morning and lunchtime break separate from other pupils.
  • Differentiated learning resources are available to suppport pupils who need specific support in their studies.

Full details about RTL at St Katherine's are on the school website. Or contact Mr Southon (Deputy Headteacher) or Mrs Maringo (Associate Headteacher in charge of Climate for Learning)


  Parent/carer noticeboard  

Class Charts

Day to day parents and carers can access real-time pupil behaviour logs on Class Charts so you can see every behaviour point, both positive and negative, that is logged for your child. Homework is also recorded on Class Charts so please check the site regularly and help your child stay up to date with important home learning. In January notification of detentions and details of any additional support we provide for some students will also be on Class Charts.

So far 69% of parent/carer Class Charts accounts have been activated. If you haven't done so already we'd encourage you to activate your account so you can keep up to date with your child's progress and behaviour. If you have lost your login or have any questions about Class Charts please email Mr Francis-Black.

Keeping safe online

We regularly talk to students about keeping safe online and encourage parents and carers to do the same. It can be challenging to keep up with the digital world and how your child uses and interacts with it so we always share any information that can help.

Read this useful article on Digital Wellbeing from the Childnet charity

Avon and Somerset Police have also shared useful insights on popular social media apps, how they can be vulnerable to misuse and how to put parental controls in place. 

Read more

Exams 2018 - certificate collection

All GCSE and A2 certificates will be available for collection from Wednesday 9 January 2019 onwards.  You can nominate someone else to pick up your certficates but they will need to bring a consent form and ID with them.

Read more
  Term 3 - dates for your diary  
  • 7 January  2019:  INSET DAY
  • 8 January:  Students in school for term 3
  • 9 January: Yr 11 Future Quest trip to Sky Studios
  • 14 January: Yr 10 Future Quest trip - Future Skills
  • 17 January: Yr 11 parent/carer evening, 4-7pm
  • 24 January: Yr 12 Future Quest trip - Study Skills day
  • 28 January: Parent/carer association meeting, 7-8pm
  • 29 January: Yr 9 Future Quest trip to Bristol Old Vic
  • 30 January: Hospitality trip to Berwick Lodge
  • 4 February: Yr 10 Gifted and Talented trip to Wellington School
  • 6 February: Yr 10 Future Quest trip to Gloucester University
  • 7 February: Yr 7 parent/carer evening, 4-7pm
  • 13 February: 'Top of the Bench' chemistry competition at Bristol Univ
  • 14 February: Yr 9 Options evening 7-9pm
  • 15 February: END OF TERM
  Keep in touch  

There isn’t enough space here to showcase the huge variety of student experiences and achievements this term. Keep up to date by visiting the ‘News and Events’ section on the school website, check the school Facebook page or follow us on Twitter