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20 July 2023

As I write this message, we are in the final days of the Summer Term at the end of a very eventful year for the school. 

Whilst this year has not been without challenges that our staff and leaders have been working hard to plan to address from the outset of the new academic year, it has also been one in which so many students have achieved and developed so much. As I look at the content of this newsletter, it is a remarkable reflection of the incredible range of opportunities that staff at Warlingham have provided for the students and that students have seized upon as their chance to shine and develop themselves.

I have spoken to students at many points throughout this year about the importance of community, both the need to bring our community together following the period of the pandemic and the need to work hard to nurture and rebuild the shared values and sense of belonging that are so important to that community. Students this term have been sports leaders and ambassadors for local primary school sports events, undertaken volunteering for the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme and taken part in our inaugural PTA Warlstock Music festival. The benefit of these activities to both the students and others in our community are significant and important for us to build upon in the next academic year. 

Last week’s Activities Week residential trips and in-school enrichment lessons were also great opportunities for students to develop the attributes of the Warlingham Learner, taking on new challenges, making new friends and, in some cases, persevering in the face of setbacks. The lifelong memories created from these experiences will stay with students and the staff, as well as the character and confidence that they help to develop and grow. With your feedback and support, I am hopeful that we will return to a much fuller range of enrichment activities next summer to enable an even greater range of experiences for the students. Moreover, while some schools have not continued to pursue work experience for students in both Year 10 and Year 12, it was excellent to see our students really strive to get the most from this opportunity to get a taste of the work place and working life. I have had so many conversations with students who have learnt a great deal and returned from work experience with new skills, greater confidence and renewed purpose. Thank you to all parents and carers who supported this by providing placements or supporting your child in finding a suitable placement for the week. 

It has been such a pleasure this week to celebrate the effort, progress and personal development of students in all four House Prizegiving events. Recognising and celebrating the development of students both academically and as young people is such an important part of the ethos of Warlingham. We know that gaining the best qualifications from school opens doors to exciting and fulfilling futures, but that the development of character and confidence are just as important for the happiness and success we and you want for your children. We have also had some great examples of courage, commitment and kindness celebrated and demonstrated in student presentations and performances as part of these events. I would like to reiterate my congratulations to the prize winners, applaud those who presented and performed and give my thanks to the parents and carers who support their child to achieve and flourish at school. 

Finally, having been to both the Year 11 and Year 13 Proms, I would like to share our best wishes for the results days to come in the summer. Whatever the outcome, we will be there to celebrate and support students with progression to their next steps.