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  Term 4 Newsletter - April 2019  
  Message from Mr J Humphreys, Headteacher  

Another busy six weeks draws to a close some early hints of spring sunshine - pupils will be hoping this continues so we can open the fields in Term 5!  

When I take a moment to reflect on the term and consider the achievements and progress made by pupils right across the school I have to say it's been a very rewarding six weeks.

Students from Years 7 and 11 enjoyed our first ever joint concert with other schools from Cathedral Schools Trust (CST)  Within the stunning setting of Bristol Cathedral, Year 7 delivered a great performance of ‘Wonderwall’ and there was a powerful duet from Year 11s Will Want and Stephanie Tomasett.  It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening and we look forward to many more such occasions with CST.   Read Ms Adams' account of a memorable event for everyone who took part

Our values of acceptance and equality were showcased last week when we celebrated Pride Week.  A range of events throughout the week educated and reminded us all the importance of accepting and celebrating each and every one of us for who we are, where we come from, what we stand for and what we believe in.  With that understanding our school community can only become stronger.

Year 7 pupils enjoyed their Bikeability road safety course with the highest number of participants since Mrs Ball introduced the course three years ago.  All those taking part are now well versed in staying safe on their bike, one group even battled the strong winds with everyone remaining upright!

We were blessed to have another visit from the Zakhele group for two days this term.  This energetic and inspirational group performed educational dramas, music, drumming, singing and workshops to our pupils.  The focus was educating our pupils about the transmission, risk and impact of HIV/AIDS in the UK and South Africa plus challenging stigma, racism and stereotypes and promoting positive, fulfilling interactions between young people from different cultures. ‘Zakfest’ was an incredible climax to the two days with a range of performances reflecting the creativity within all cultures. A huge thank you to Jo Jefferson and Geraint Davies for their energy, passion and utter commitment to providing such rich and powerful educational experiences to our young people beyond the formal curriculum (see a full write up below) 

Year 9 girls took to the stage at Weston Playhouse and performed two dance routines choreographed by the themselves. It was great to hear the support from the St Katherine’s community in the audience - thank you for your support.

House celebration assemblies are taking place during the final week of term and celebrate the huge number of successes achieved each term by pupils throughout each house.  It's another great example of how we accentuate the positives at St Katherine’s and take time to recognise the contributions from our wonderful young people.

We have been reviewing our canteen provision this term involving staff, students and governors. The feedback was very positive and we will circulate full details with you during Term 5.  

Just a reminder about the next Parent/Carer Association meeting is on Tuesday 23 April - the first day of Term 5 - at 6.30pm, here's the agenda.  Your views and ideas are vital to help us on our journey of improvement so we hope you can join us.  

Finally I'd like to wish you and all your family a very enjoyable, relaxing, Easter break.  We look forward to welcoming pupils back to school on Tuesday 23 April.

Mr Humphreys

  Term 4 news round-up  
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Writing Wrongs workshop

Year 9 enjoyed a day of in-depth workshops with Bristol University aimed at raising their awareness of social justice issues and helping them find their own voice.

The rigorous reading and writing activities designed to teach them how to express their views using different persuasive writing forms also gave them a head-start with their GCSE English Language skills. 

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London theatre trip

In late March drama students from Year 9-13 went to see ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime’ at the Piccadilly Theatre, London.

The students were wowed by an immersive and highly physical piece of modern theatre created by frantic assembly. The students were exceptionally behaved and thoroughly engaged in the performance. It was a truly enjoyable trip and I would like to thank the students personally for their efforts on the trip.  Mrs Collins, Head of Performing Arts

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Eliza wins 'I'm a medic' competition

Congratulations to Eliza Shilton Smith from 8Y2 who scooped the student prize in the ‘I'm a Medic Get Me Out of Here' online activity where students talk with NHS workers across the country to learn about the rewards and challenges of working in the health sector and how science and healthcare are relevant to their lives and future careers.

The student prize went to the student who put the best questions to the medics. Out of all students from 12 schools taking part Eliza was chosen as the winner!

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Now or Never project

All Year 10 art students were involved in a workshop run by artists organised by the Arnolfini in Bristol and funded by Future Quest. The workshop was part of the Now or Never project and students worked with a wealth of media to create work inspired by 'future cities' and the theme of ‘personal connection to the objects around us'.

The experimental work was challenging and exciting and all the students stepped up to think 'outside of the box'.  As one student commented, 'this has really helped stretch my imagination'. Well done to all Y10 art students!

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  Zakhele visit - an unforgettable two days at St Kaths  

On a bleary, grey March Wednesday, a whirlwind of colour and music beguiled the students of St Katherine’s.  Four years on from their last visit, South African drama and music collective Zakhele returned for an unforgettable two day visit which was equal parts life-affirming and thought-provoking.

The group delivered powerful performances and workshops  highlighting the harrowing realities of the HIV epidemic in South Africa and the stigma that still surrounds it. They led singing and drumming workshops and made their presence felt in PE lessons, read stories to Key Stage 3 students and helped prepare a delicious South African meal.

The finale was 'Zakfest', our Thursday night festival arranged by students. Zakhele performed three segments sharing the programme with a stunning range of performances from St Katherine's students.  It was a proud end to two very special days for the staff and students of our school.

Mr Davies

Read Mr Davies' full account of Zakhele's visit
  Student success  
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Dylan scoops prestigious scholarship

Dylan Jones in Year 12 has won a scholarship with ISSOS, one of the UK’s most prestigious international summer schools. In June, Dylan will fly north to the historic university town of St Andrews to join a three week summer school, specialising in creative writing and drama. Currently studying English, Drama and History, Dylan is relishing the opportunity to join students from over 70 nationalities on an enriching programme of creative learning, cultural trips and activities.  He secured the scholarship after submitting an essay describing how the summer school could expand his horizons and help him achieve his ambitions.

As Dylan wrote in his submission essay: Oscar Wilde once said, “All of us are in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars.” I like to think of myself as a person who is looking at the stars but sometimes it can feel difficult to understand how I might get there! Creative writing has always been a passion of mine...ISSOS can give me a lot of new experiences and knowledge so I can take a big step into my future."


Students commended by the Headteacher this term

Patrik Miles - Reading Millionaire
Abdi Al Sakkaf - Reading Millionaire
Edie Church - Reading Millionaire

Performance at Bristol Cathedral:  

Year 11s:

William Want, Stephanie Thomasset

Year 7s:

Erin Barnett, Alice Brochot-Sharpe
Eleanor Baker, Sayen Cid-Purslow,
Joseph Crawford, Sophie de Wet
Jemima Douglas, Emily Earle
Ruby Forder, Sophia Harper
Sophie Hicks, Toula Hudson
Victoria Karczewska, Hannah Lange
Abi Lebo, Gabriella Marcovitch
Sienna Mcleary, Jessica Porter
Hope Roberts, Tannaz Saljughi
Keeley Semple, Abigail Smallwood
Leah Wardingley, Sam Wright


North Somerset Dance Festival:

All Year 9s:

Issy Prime, Molly Green
India Sydenham, Isabelle Oliver
Daisy Money, Lily Morris
Ruby Aczel, Hetty Cleaver
Isobel Taylor, Maya Matthews
Evie Dexter

  Houses update  
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Pankhurst House

We pride ourselves as a House with high standards so I was delighted to reward 8P1, 9P & 10P who had the best praise to negative ratio of all their year tutor groups. Well done to our Year 9 boys and Year 8 girls who won their Spring House competitions and congratulations to Jess Pratt 9P for being 'Good Footer' of the term!  Mr Murdoch, Head of Pankhurst House

Pankhurst House news
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Stephenson House

We finish Term 4 sharing the lead in the House competition with Yousafzai. We've focused on attendance this term and I'd like to congratulate Felix Mcgovern 11S2 and Charlie Bulmer 11S1 who have had 100% attendance since Term 1.  We also had wins in the House sports competition - well done to the Year 7-9 Boccia teams and Year 7 & Year 9 Hockey teams. Mr Thomas, Head of Stephenson House

Stephenson House news
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Turing House

As we finish Term 4, I really feel that Turing House has started to truly establish its’ identity largely due to the superb effort and commitment of all Turing students.  We reigned as champions in the “Paper, Scissors, Hoop Challenge", our Year 8 boys won the House football and our Year 7 and 10 girls triumphed in the hockey.  Ms Price, Head of Turing House

Turing House news
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Yousafzai House

Many Yousafzai students have 100% attendance since Term 1. Well done to Lewis Cole who has significantly improved his attendance since September and 9Y who were the tutor group with the best behaviour ratio this term. Yousafzai students excel at the fun stuff too, doing a fantastic job in the Human Hungry Hippos Fun Fix Friday competition!  Ms Andrews, Head of Yousafzai House

Yousafzai House news
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Pride Week 25th-29th March

Thanks to all the teachers, students and parents that supported Pride Week.

Our cake, sweets and doughnut sales plus Wear Any Shoes dayraised over £600 for AKT (formerly the Albert Kennedy Trust) who take care of LGBTQ+ young adults that are homeless or at risk in their home.

We also had an amazing guest speaker, Glyn Fussell (pictured above) He inspired all the students at the talk, especially the LGBTQ+ students, to be proud of who they are and accept support from their allies

Glyn said he was very impressed with the school and how supportive the staff are, but especially the students, he could feel the love in the lecture theatre!

St Kaths Team Pride


School improvement plan progress

As part of our wide-reaching improvement we have been reflecting on the findings from a school review commissioned last term:

Expectations - we must consider what our expectations are for the pupils, what your expectations are for your child/children and what are the pupils’ expectations for themselves? This will be a key theme in Term 5 and beyond.   We must all rise to this challenge so we can enjoy the success this will deliver. Only by working together will this work.
Challenge - the review asked us to focus on whether the level of challenge during lessons is sufficient.  It's important our pupils are regularly in a ‘stretch’ zone rather than a ‘comfort’ zone, so they can extend their knowledge and understanding in each and every lesson.  We are now building this focus into our staff training.
Homework - the review highlighted the relatively low number of hours pupils spend on homework.  We are looking at the quality and time spent on homework so pupils continue their learning outside the classroom and at home.  From Term 5 there will be a location in school for completing homework, initially at lunchtime. This will be extended to Period 0 (8:10-8:40) and Period 6 (15:30-16:30) towards the end of the term. 

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  A very special guest joins 'Mamma Mia!' night at The Leaf  

One Thursday night in March, Year 12 Hospitality students transformed The Leaf into a sparkling Greek taverna to host a 'Mamma Mia!' night. The sell-out event, conceived, planned and organised entirely by the students was part of their practical assessment for a Level 3 BTEC in Hospitality.

Guests were welcomed with a complimentary drink of 'Blue Bubbles' followed by a taste of authentic Greek cuisine, with dishes such as salt and pepper calamari, beef stifado, souvlaki pork and homemade Baklava with Greek yogurt ice cream.  All drinks and food were prepared and created by the students.

Besides the food and drink the highlight of the night was the evening's guest of honour, local playwright Catherine Johnson, who wrote the screenplay for 'Mamma Mia!'

Catherine was very impressed with the evening and efforts of the students saying it was as good as a similar event she atttended in Sweden hosted by Benny from ABBA (no less!)

It was an incredibly successful evening taking over £1,500, so congratulations to Event Manager, Leon Farr and his team; Lauren Gigg, Abbie Clarke, Elle Wescott, Fran Jefferies, Lily Mansfield, Elise Wear and Issy Johnson. Special praise must go to Annie Hitchings, head chef for the evening, who took a chance and invited Catherine along. 

Mr Mingo-West, Hospitality and Catering subject manager 

Read more
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Head student Term 5 report

It’s been a successful term for us and the sixth form leadership team as a whole. We had our second whole school council meeting where we discussed whole school issues fed down to us from SLT as well student issues brought up in house meetings. We’ve booked the Avon Gorge Hotel for the sixth form prom and also looking at improving the sixth form block by refurbishing the displays and notice boards.

Next term, we’ll be supporting next year’s Head Students and House Leaders to help them settle into their respective roles. We also want to improve communication between students, teachers and the school council so everyone’s voices are heard in our school community.

Lewis Mason and Eloise Wheeler


Sixth Form update

I have been hosting course consultation meetings with prospective sixth form students.   

These are essential meetings to discuss the students' subject choices and review them honestly to ensure students are studying the topics they want and need to follow their chosen path after sixth form.

There are a small number of course consultation courses outstanding.  I'll follow these up with the students concerned early next term.

Following on from the course consultation meetings already completed sixth form offer letters have now been have now been sent to the vast majority students.

Thank you to everyone who has confirmed their place already - don't forget the Step into Sixth Form Day on 24 June 2019.

In the meantime if any students planning to join sixth from in September have any questions or want to amend their course choices please email me as soon as possible on

Mr Colebourne, Head of Sixth Form


Attendance update

We finished Term 4 with an incredible 337 pupils achieving 100% attendance with a further 225 pupils achieving 97-99% attendance.  43% of our pupils have improved their attendance during Term 4  and their efforts have been recognised with attendance postcards and praise points. Well done to all our pupils for being so conscious of their attendance, keep up that positive attitude in Term 5!

In order to help parent/carers support their children to reach our target attendance of 97% we have produced an Attendance Guide to provide key information around our attendance expectations.

Attendance top tips:

  • Please communicate your child’s absence by 7.30am on each day of absence by calling 01275 373737 - Option 1 for Attendance.
  • 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’

Careers news

Ms Gardiner organises a regular programme of careers events designed to encourage and inspire our students to think about their own future.

This term Jim Packyn from Aardman Animations spoke to Year 8 about the variety of jobs involved in animation production. A group of students spent the day at Avon and Somerset Police headquarters in Portishead visiting the communication building where 999 and 101 calls are processed and the Blackrock Quarry firearms training centre.

Plus over 20 companies including BT, the NHS, Army, RAF, Spec Savers, Vale Vets, Bristol City Football Academy, Bristol University, Thatchers, Lush and The Style Room came along to our Careers Fair to talk to Year 9, 12 and 13 students about careers options and what their future could look like. 

Read more
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  PE and Sport round-up  

We say it in every newsletter but it really has been another great term of sporting success at St Katherine's. As ever, Mr Cook will do a full round-up in the PE newsletter that'll be out soon - in the meantime here are a few highlights.

  • Massive congratulations to Kanye, James, Ryan and Kenny from Year 8 (pictured above) who were part of a victorious Avon team who competed at the South West Indoor Athletics Championships in Torbay earlier this term.   Avon absolutely destroyed the competition and now head to the UK Finals in Manchester in mid-April. The St Katherine's quartet made up 25% of the Avon team and we are incredibly proud of them.  Best of luck for the finals boys!
  • More than 400 students from Years 7-10 represented their houses in our recent spring competitions taking our overall participation rate to 93% for this academic year. Congratulations to Stephenson and Turing who took an equal share of top points.
  • Our U13 and U15 boys both made it through to the Indoor Cricket Somerset County Finals finishing as one of the top four schools in the county.  This is a huge achievement and one all of the boys involved should be really proud of. Thanks to the Somerset Cricket Board for another excellent year of indoor competition.
  • Our girls headed to Bath University to watch a Superleague Netball match between Team Bath and Manchester Thunder - it was a lovely way to reward those who have demonstrated sustained commitment and dedication to extra curricular netball this year
  • Our U13 and U15 girls took on new opposition from further afield in two recent netball tournaments - congratulations to all of the ladies who represented the school so well on the netball court
  • Our girls and boys teams have been busy in a manic month of cricket, netball, football, basketball, hockey and rugby action with fixtures across sporting spectrum for all year groups.

Mr Cook, Head of PE and Sport

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Interested in being a St Katherine's School Governor?

This is an exciting time to join the St Katherine's School Governing Body.  The school recently joined Cathedral School Trust, our pupil numbers are growing and student outcomes are improving. We're using this positive platform to set our strategic direction strategy for the next few years.   This is a real opportunity to make a difference to young people’s lives. In return, you’ll get any training you need and the chance to develop your professional and personal skills. 

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Performing Arts Festival - 23 May

NEW for next term.  We will be hosting a St Katherine's Performing Art Festival full of singing and dancing on Thursday 23 May.  If you are interested in performing, auditions will be on Thursday 25th April, 3.30pm in the Lecture Theatre.  Please prepare a song, or dance from any genre or style of music - you've got the Easter break to rehearse and perfect it! 

Mrs Collins and Ms Adams 


SKAMPS Live event - 28 June, 7.00pm

This annual event, organised by St Katherine’s Music Parent Supporters (SKAMPS) is alwasy a popular showcase of our students musical and vocal skills. This year SKAMPS are raising £2,850 to buy a new Yamaha B1 piano school so come along for a great evening on music and help the fundraising effort.  Tickets are £5 and £3 and will be on sale from Student Support Office and Pill Post Office.


  Term 5 - dates for your diary  
  • 23 April - START OF TERM 5
  • 23 April - Parent/carer association meeting, 6.30-7.30pm
  • 23 April to 9 May - Yr 11 English Language mock exams
  • 24 April - Family STEM challenge, 6.30pm
  • 30 April - Pankhurst House celebration evening
  •   2 May - Stephenson House celebration evening
  •   8 May - Turing House celebration evening
  •   9 May - Yousafzai House celebration evening
  • 13 May - GCSE and A Level exams start
  • 23 May - Performing Arts Festival evening
  • 24 May - END OF TERM 5
  •  3 June -  Start of Term 6 
  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 or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.