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Orchard School Bristol

  • 15 March 2024 - Letter to parents


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


    15 March 2024


    Dear Parents and Carers,

    I hope that you and your families have had a lovely week. We enjoyed supporting Comic Relief in school today – it was lots of fun, although I am not sure the teachers who were sponged by students would agree!

    Key Dates for Term 4
    • Year 11 Examination Evening – Tuesday 26 March at 6:15pm
    • End of term – Thursday 28 March (usual time)



    Tutor groups with the highest attendance last week were 11D1, 11D2 and 10D1. Well done to all! Our assembly theme next week is focussed on attendance and belonging and we will be sharing with students some key messages, including the importance of attending school every day. We will also be asking for some student views during the assembly, so it will be great to have as many students in school and therefore able to share their ideas.


    Key Stage 3 Updates

    Thanks for the excellent attendance at the Year 7 Parents Evening last night – it really was good to see you all. Parents frequently ask for things they can do to help their students at home. Evidence suggests that parents/carers asking and showing an interest in homework and encouraging reading at home have a big impact on progress.


    Key Stage 4 Updates

    We are looking forward to seeing Year 11 parents/carers on Tuesday 26 March, for our Year 11 Parent Exam Information Evening. This will include an updated report on progress from staff.

    The next Year 10 Data Capture will take place on Wednesday March 20, with reports being sent home throughout the Easter break.

    Detentions Reminder

    Here at Orchard School Bristol, we have a graduated (stepped) response to sanctions including detentions. If a student receives a ‘4’ during the day, this means that they are sent to ISR (Independent Study Room) and will be issued a 60-minute detention after school on that same day. For other sanctions, such as arriving late to school, detentions begin at 30 minutes. If the student does not attend this detention, this will escalate to the following day with a 60-minute detention being issued. If the student does not attend this detention, this will escalate to the following day with a 90-minute detention. Failure to attend a 90-minute detention will result in a further escalation. Please do encourage your children to attend all detentions. Whilst students are in detention, they will be supported by teachers with completing homework or boosting their progress in subject areas and literacy skills.

    Parents’ Survey - Reminder

    We invite you to share your views on your child’s experience at Orchard, through the Keele Survey, here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/OSB-ParentSurvey2024. This is a short survey of 30 multiple-choice questions, with an opportunity to add further comments at the end, should you wish.

    The purpose of this survey is for us to listen to parents’ views in order to further improve students’ wellbeing and achievement at Orchard. The results will allow us to focus on areas of strengths and development, through providing comparisons of our parents’ responses to those whose children attend other schools. Your child will also be offered a similar survey through which to offer their opinions.

    When responding to each question, please ensure that you consider your child’s overall experience at Orchard, rather than only the recent past. If you are not able to answer a question, for example, because you can’t respond with enough confidence, or your child is new to the school, then please leave it blank. For cases where you have more than one child at Orchard, you are very welcome to submit a survey per child.

    This survey will close at the end of the day on Wednesday 20 March 2024.

    Healthy Schools Survey

    We have agreed to participate in a student Health Behaviour Survey, from next week. This is a survey which is carried out across many schools in the country each year. We have been asked to support the work of the Local Authority Children’s Services and Public Health. Responses are anonymous and confidential, and no student will be identified when the data is returned to our school. The Local Authority will receive only the summary of all schools; individual schools are not identified. I hope you will agree with us that this is an exercise in which we wish to cooperate fully. We will assume you do approve unless we hear otherwise (please let your child’s Pastoral Manager know if so) and I look forward to working with you in planning improved health promotion for our students.

    Community Information

    Community Iftar
    In celebration of the holy month of Ramadan for our Muslim families and Lent in the Christian calendar, Orchard School is hosting a Community Iftar on Thursday 21 March, in school.

    All our school community is invited; the doors will open at 5.30pm with readings and speakers at 6pm. There will be spaces available for prayers for those who wish to pray and we will then look forward to an Iftar meal together in the Dining Hall downstairs. The event will finish at 7.30pm. If you would like to attend, please complete this form: https://forms.office.com/e/B9WYdiFfz9

    Ebenezer Church on Filton Avenue has two upcoming events:
    • Peace Feast with a delicious Afghan feast from Afghan Bristol Cuisine and Moroccan music by Soufian Saih - Friday 19 April at 7pm. Details and tickets to be booked in advance here. A Peace Feast brings people together from different cultures and faiths for food, stories and the opportunity to build understanding and friendship with others in the community. This event is organised by Bridges for Communities.

    • Easter Gatherings at Ebenezer Church - Thursday 28 March at 7pm - Maundy Thursday Reflective Communion Service. Easter Sunday (31st March) - Free Breakfast at 9.30am. Age Easter Celebration Service at 10.30am. Details - www.ebe.org.uk/easter

    Change Bristol is offering a free, Telephone Befriending support service, with up to six months of weekly, one hour phone calls from trained staff, for those in need of help with wellbeing, mental health or loneliness. Call 0117 9411123 or visit Telephone befriending - Changes Bristol.

    Bristol Tea and Tech are running free drop-ins where friendly volunteers can help you get online safely and easily to develop your digital skills and confidence. Whether you have no experience of computers, or just want to update your skills, they can help. Bring your own smartphone, tablet or laptop, or use one of theirs.

    Trinity-Henleaze United Reformed Church Waterford Road, Henleaze, Bristol BS9 4BT Fridays 10-12 March 15, April 12 & 26, May 10 & 24, then fortnightly from June. Visit their website for more information.

    Wishing you a restful weekend.

    Melanie Sweet, Headteacher