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Orchard School Bristol

  • 14 June 2024 - Letter to Parents


    To translate this letter, please use the translate function at the top of this page, above the Orchard School Logo 


    14 June 2024

    Dear Parents and Carers,

    I hope that you and your families have had a lovely week.

    Key Dates for Term

    Friday 21 and Tuesday 25 June – GCSE Geography Field Trip
    Wednesday 26 June – Year 7 Activity Day
    Thursday 27 June – Y11 Prom
    Friday 28 June – Inset Day (no students in school)


    Attendance for the GCSE exams continues to be excellent. Year 10 attendance this first week back has been outstanding with 10A1, 10B2, and 10D2 being especially noteworthy. If there are any issues or concerns getting students into school, you should speak to their Pastoral Manager or Head of Year as soon as possible. They are here to support you and your child.

    Lockdown Practice

    A reminder that we will be having a lockdown practice this term, as we do every year, where we don’t share the date with students in advance, so that we can make sure that all students and staff are prepared should there ever be a need to formally lock down. This follows our planned practice earlier in the year. In the case of an actual school lockdown, parents and carers would be notified, so please be assured, if they tell you about it, that it was a practice! Children will be reminded of lockdown practices through tutor notices next week and the SEND team will ensure that students who need additional support have access to that.

    Events This Term

    We are thrilled to have so many engaging trips and events coming up from now until the end of term. Please see a summary below:

    Trip/Event Who Date
    BEP innovation in STEM trip- Bristol University Selected Y10 Students 12/06/2024
    BEP Y7 Spelling Bee final- Redmaids High School Y7 Team 13/06/2024
    DofE Practice Ashton Court Year 9 14/06/2024
    DofE Practice Ashton Court Year 9 17/06/2024
    UWE Applied Science visit Year 9 18/06/2024
    Prize Giving Invited students, families and staff 19/06/2024
    KS4 Geography field trip Year 10 21/06/2024
    Refugee week bake sale Whole School 21/06/2024
    Geography field trip Year 10 25/06/2024
    We The Curious KS3 Rewards Trip 25/06/2024
    Mojo Active Year 7 26/06/2024
    Airbus workshop Year 8 26/06/2024
    Visiting speaker Year 10 26/06/2024
    Mojo Active Year 7 27/06/2024
    TiLAFest Davies Cup Year 5, OSB Staff and Sports Leaders 27/06/2024
    Prom Year 11 27/06/2024
    DofE Practice Ashton Court Year 9 01/07/2024
    Speak Up Challenge Final BGS Y7 & 8 Finalists 02/07/2024
    Birmingham orchestra trip School Orchestra 03/07/2024
    DofE weekend expedition Year 9 06/07/2024
    Sports Day Whole School 09/07/2024
    Future Quest UWE visit Year 9 12/07/2024
    Culture Day Whole School 12/07/2024

    Key Stage 3 Updates

    We are soon to welcome our new Year 7 students who will be having their transition day on 3 July. We have a great group of existing Year 7 students who will be transition leaders, supporting our Year 10 prefects. Many of our new students will have siblings already in school and we hope to provide them with an exciting first experience of secondary school. At the same time, we are preparing our existing Year 7 for the important transition up into Year 8 and the increased responsibility that brings.

    Key Stage 4 Updates

    At the time of writing, Year 11 students are on their way into the final whole-cohort exam, Physics. It has been an outstanding examination series for the year group, and we are truly grateful for all of the support you have offered at home. There are a few examinations still to come next week and we will be in contact with those families directly.

    Please look out for information from Mr Davis about the following:
    Leavers’ Assembly – Wednesday 19th June, 9:15am
    Prom – Thursday 27th June – 7pm
    Results Day – Thursday 22nd August – 9:30am

    Year 10 have made an excellent start to their own mock examination series, ensuring that we are building excellent habits and getting used to routines. We look forward to seeing them tackle the remainder of the series, and then to sharing their successes with you later on this half-term.

    Mobile Phones in Schools

    As you are aware, students are not allowed to use mobile phones or any form of ear/air pods at Orchard School. From 1 July 2024, we are implementing a system, through a company called Yondr, where pupils store their mobile phones in magnetically sealed pouches throughout the school day, which they keep on them, in their bags, so that they can release them at the end of the day ready to use on leaving our school site. Research tells us, and government guidance states, that becoming a completely phone-free space improves teaching and learning, and sees an improvement in academic performance, behaviour, engagement in lessons. Really importantly, it has a positive impact on student safety and general wellness; students talk to one another more, play, and avoid the often damaging effects of social media, preparing them to focus in school but also for life beyond school, for example in the world of work, where safe and respectful interaction with others is really important.

    Attached is an information letter about Yondr, and who to contact if you need to find out more about it, and how to contact your child in an emergency a process that remains the same. We thank you in advance for supporting us in ensuring that all students have access to the very best, interruption-free, learning opportunities. We will be issuing pouches to students, which they will keep for their time at Orchard and return on leaving, free of charge for the next academic year, funded by Trust in Learning Academies. We will also practise with them how to seal and open the pouches at the start and the end of the day on July 1st 2024.

    Refugee Week

    A reminder that Orchard will be celebrating Refugee Week from 17 - 21 June to celebrate to the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary. There will be different activities for students to get involved in across the week and on Friday we are hosting a bake sale to celebrate the event. This will take place during morning break and everything will cost 50p. Sadly, we cannot accept donations on Arbor Pay so students will need to bring in cash. If pupils would like to contribute, they may bring in shop bought cakes and give them to Ms Jones from 17June.
    Another great way to get involved is by checking out the programmes of arts, culture and educational events organised by The Bristol Refugee Festival to bring together communities from Bristol and beyond. The festival is live from 8 - 23 June and if you would like more information, please see their website: https://www.bristolrefugeefestival.org/

    Community Information

    South Gloucestershire Community Learning has some spaces left on their free ESOL courses in Patchway and Little Stoke. They are also beginning a free MS Word Skills course, for those wanting to develop their computing skills.
    Please contact Louise Gillett: Tel. 07720 143 891, Email: louise.gillett@southglos.gov.uk
    Social: www.facebook.com/sgloslearning/
    Website: www.southglos.gov.uk/communitylearning

    North Youth Voice

    North Youth Voice Forum is holding their second event next week on Wednesday 19 June, at The Greenway Centre in Southmead from 6pm until 8pm with food provided. North Youth Voice want young people aged 11-18 to get involved and make North Bristol a better place.



    Wishing you a restful weekend.

     Melanie Sweet, Headteacher