Quick Links

Quick Links

Orchard School Bristol

  • FOR TRANSLATION - 03 November 2023 - Letter to Parents


    3 November 2023


    Dear Parents and Carers, 

    I hope that you and your families enjoyed the half term break.

    Key Dates for this term

    There are still some important dates to be aware of. Please make sure you put these remaining dates in your diary.

    Parent Subject Consultation Evenings

    • Year 8 Parent Subject Consultation Evening – Thursday 30 November 3.30 – 7pm

    • Year 10 Parent Subject Consultation Evening – Thursday 7 December 3.30 – 7pm


    Thank you for supporting us in ensuring that all children are in school every day. It really does make a difference. 11A2 deserve a special shout out as they had the highest attendance in the school last half term! 7A1, 7D1 and 7W2 followed closely behind. Year groups enjoyed celebration assemblies at the end of term, recognising these great achievements. Which tutor group will it be this term? Every day counts; thank you for your ongoing support.

    Post-16 Open Events

    There are many Post-16 open events taking place over the next few weeks: these are a fantastic opportunity for students to speak to subject tutors, look around the facilities and get a feel for what it would be like to study there. Attendance at these events can help students to make informed choices about their Post-16 destinations.

    Key Dates:

    Access Creative College: Saturday 4 November

    Trinity Academy Sixth Form: Tuesday 7th November

    St Mary Redcliffe Sixth Form: Wednesday 8 November

    Bristol City Community Trust: Monday 13 November


    Hot chocolate with the Headteacher

    It was a privilege to meet students across all year groups at the end of half term who had been nominated by staff for going above and beyond in their community, completing exceptional home learning or demonstrating exceptional leadership. It was truly humbling to hear examples of how our students give back to their communities, volunteering multiple times throughout the week to help the elderly or supporting local businesses. I also heard examples of incredible successes in dance and climbing, and had the opportunity to read some fantastic creative writing. I’m looking forward to hearing about the achievements of our students this term – if your child is participating in leadership or community commitment outside of school that we might not be aware of, but they’re happy for you to share that with us, please do let their Head of Year or Pastoral Manager know. We’d love to celebrate them loudly or quietly - whichever they prefer!


    Orchestra for All

    Orchard School’s Orchestra has been selected for Orchestra for All's Modulo programme. This is a hugely exciting opportunity for our students to travel to world-class venues around the UK and play amazing music with students from other schools. They will also work with professional conductors and specialists, gaining insight into what it is like to be in a symphony orchestra. We will also receive a morning workshop at school from one of their team. If you'd like to find out more about it, please click on the link below: https://www.orchestrasforall.org/modulo-programme 

    KS3 and KS4 assessments and reporting this term

    During Term 2, Year 8 will be undertaking assessments that lead to their progress reports which will be shared during the Parent Consultation evening at the end of November. Year 7, 8 and 9 will continue to complete subject based assessments this term when appropriate.

    Year 10 students will be undertaking initial assessments within lessons throughout November, culminating in a report being issued at the Parent Consultation Evening on December 7. This report will provide an update on students’ Current Working Grade, Attitude to Learning, and their progress in lessons to date.

    Year 11 students will undertake their mock examinations, beginning on Monday 4 December and running until Thursday 11 January. This will be an opportunity to sit exams in every subject, and an updated report on results will be issued at the Parent Consultation Evening on February 1. The mock examination timetable will be issued to both students and parents in the week commencing November 13.

    Year 11 Parent/Carer Revision Sessions

    To help you support your children throughout this crucial year, Ms Wickson and Mr Davis will be hosting a session for Year 11 parents and carers on how to help them during the upcoming mock examinations. This will take place on 16 November from 6pm-7pm in the library. The session will cover:

    Revision and learning strategies: discover research-informed strategies that will empower students with effective revision techniques.

    Practical guidance: learn practical ways to encourage students’ independent learning and self-care, ensuring they are well prepared for their examinations.

    Interactive discussion: engage in discussion with members of the school community and other parents and ask questions to gain a sound understanding of how best to support students during this important time.

    There will be an accompanying booklet to take away, which parents and carers can use with children to provide ongoing support.

    Ms Wickson will be in touch separately next week with further details regarding how to book via Microsoft forms.

    Community Information

    We will be marking Remembrance Day in school on Friday 10 November. Mr Hurran, Head of Year 9, will be leading a live reflection over the Tanoy system at the start of Period 3, followed by a minute’s silence. We are also keen for any students who are in the Cadets, Guides or Scouts to join in a parade of respect in the corridor on this day at the end of break time, in their uniform. If your child is involved in any of these groups and would like to take part, please encourage them to speak to Ms. Alderson.

    Poppies are also on sale in Student Reception. We are accepting cash donations.

    Charity Santa Run

    This takes place for Children’s Hospice South West and you can walk, jog or run 2k on Sunday 3 December at Charlton Farm. www.chsw.org.uk/santas

    BAM School Catering Prices 

    The Local Authority has advised that the cost of a main school meal will be increasing from £2.50 to £2.60.  This increase comes into effect from 6 November 2023.  This is based on an annual review conducted by the authority and reflects the cost of living and inflationary increases experienced within the economy.  A main school meal consists of a meal, pudding and a bottle of water.  Students can still purchase ad hoc items from the canteen but these are priced individually. 

    Planned lockdown practice

    A reminder that we will be holding our annual “lockdown” practice on Tuesday 7 November at 10am. Staff and students will be informed so they can prepare for this and make sure they are aware of what they need to do. It is important that we carry out these types of practices to ensure we are prepared and know what to do in the event of an emergency in the same way as we practise evacuating the building in the event of a fire. You will also receive a text from the school on the day as a gentle reminder that this practice will take place.

    Wishing you a lovely weekend.


    Kind regards,

     Melanie Sweet, Headteacher