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20th October 2017
 
Our highly successful sixth form open evening took place on Wednesday and was very well attended. It was wonderful to see so many of our year 11 students and their parents attending as well as many students from other schools who told me how impressed they were with the school and the information available to them.  Thank you to all the staff and students who helped make the evening such a success, and to Mrs Ozer, Mr Russell and the sixth form team for organising the event. Please note the deadline for sixth form applications is Wednesday 20 December 2017.
 
Next term students in year 9 will begin the options process by selecting the subjects they wish to study at GCSE. Our year 9 options evening takes place on Wednesday 01 November. A letter has been sent out to all parents and students will receive options booklets when they return after half term. 
 
I would like to wish you all a relaxing and enjoyable half term break and I look forward to welcoming students back to school on Monday 30 October at 8.40am when it will be week B.

13th October 2017

Students in year 7 have today taken part in an exciting problem solving day. The outdoor practical activities have been designed to encourage team building within tutor groups and incorporate skills such as planning, communication and perseverance. The students were totally engaged throughout and it gave opportunities for the quieter but more strategically minded students to shine. 

6th October 2017

Last weekend the PE department took a group of students on a superb sports tour to Bath to play netball and rugby. The group also had the opportunity to visit Bath University and experience the facilities available. The PE department have told me that the students were all polite, positive, hardworking and fantastic company. Thank you to Mrs Englebrecht, Miss Edwards, Mr Johns and Mr Ottley for organising this sports tour and very well done to all the students involved.
 
The royal Navy youth engagement team delivered engaging presentations to students in years 8 and 9 on Tuesday to give them an overview of what the navy do. The students confidently asked many intelligent and pertinent questions at the end of the session. In the afternoon, our year 10 engineering students enjoyed a masterclass with a focus on team building and communication, requiring them to create a model using information from staged reconnaissance photographs. Zaine Cooke from year 10 said ‘we were given clues on certain parts of construction then we had to build it from an information sheet in a tight time limit of thirty five minutes. I found it was a very rewarding experience and I enjoyed working with people in my team alongside the Royal Navy Youth Engagement Team’. Thank you to Mr Dimopoulos and the design and technology faculty for organising this informative and worthwhile event for our students.
 
Excited year 6 students from four local primary schools joined us on Thursday afternoon to see a practical science show on the theme of ‘air’. The show was filled with experiments and fun facts, which quickly got the children learning, understanding and using scientific technology without even realising! It was great to see the pupils knowing our science staff from previous events and lovely to hear them still talking about the experiments and dissections that they had seen at our recent open evening. I hope they continue sharing these memories when talking about science at William de Ferrers School. Thank you to Mr Mason for putting on this wonderful show, and to the science department for their help in organising the event.
 
Our year 12 students and parents enjoyed an informative evening on Thursday where they were given valuable advice and guidance on making a success of the sixth form. The evening included presentations from our head students, Mrs Ozer, Mrs Macdonald and Mr Russell on making the most of the time in the sixth form, work shadowing and alternatives to university, pastoral support and interventions and opportunities in the sixth form. Thank you to Mr Russell and Mrs Ozer and the sixth form team for organising this successful event. 

29th September 2017

William de Ferrers School came alive on Wednesday evening as our highly successful open evening took place - please see the separate news item for the full story.

I was delighted to attend a presentation for a group of year 10 students who either sat MENSA examinations or who took part in an archaeological dig last summer. Following their fantastic results, all the students who took MENSA examinations were judged to be well above average and eleven students who were in the top 1 or 2% have received an invitation to join MENSA.

Our young archaeologists all received certificates from the University of Cambridge for their work in Southminster last summer and for their 3000 word dissertation. Thank you to Mr Stamp for assisting the students and congratulations to all the students involved for their hard work and amazing results.

Parents of year 7 students will have the opportunity to meet their child’s tutor on Tuesday 03 and Monday 09 October. These meet the tutor evenings will run between 5.00-8.00pm and appointments are being arranged with form tutors. If you haven’t yet received your appointment time, please contact the lower school team.

Our ‘welcome to year 12’ evening is taking place on Thursday next week at 6.30pm in the Dame Elizabeth Hall for parents and carers of students who joined year 12 in September. 

22nd September 2017

A reminder that we are holding our annual school opening evening on Wednesday 27 September. This is always a fantastic event where visitors enjoy the buzz and excitement created by our departments. Thank you to the many students who have already volunteered to take part by demonstrating learning activities in departments and to the year 8 students who will be our tour guides for the evening. I would be grateful if you could share the news of our open event with friends, family and contacts who may have children currently in years 5 or 6.

Many of our students took part in National Citizen Service (NCS) activities over the summer. We are very proud that Sophie Warman, Carla Jenkins and Abbie Milsom won the outstanding social project award. The team they were in produced an impressive video that promoted cancer charities and encouraged the audience to donate to good causes. Well done to everyone that took part in the NCS projects this summer.

Well done to Casey Pearson from year 8 who recently received an outstanding Jack Petchey achievement award for his services to badminton. Casey was nominated for the help and mentoring he has been providing to the younger players in the Essex Badminton England performance centre.

Congratulations to Jack Fisk from year 10 who has been selected to play in the inter-counties golf league final Essex vs Surrey. To be chosen from all the players in Essex is an achievement Jack should be very proud of. The event takes place on the 07 and 08 October 2017, and we very much look forward to hearing how Jack gets on.

We always love to hear and celebrate the successes and achievements of our students outside of school. If you would like to share details with us please email headspa@wdf.school. 

15th September 2017

The pupils have started the new year looking extremely smart and wearing their uniform with pride. I have noticed however that a tiny minority of students are wearing training shoes in school. These are not part of the uniform and are not accepted around the school. Parents and carers are expected to support their child by ensuring they are wearing the correct school uniform. This will avoid our pupils having to have difficult conversations when challenged about their uniform.
 
8th September 2017

I hope you have all had a lovely summer. It has been great to welcome all our students back this week and in particular to welcome our new year 7 and year 12 students to the school. I am pleased to say the term has begun with a really smooth and positive start, and all the students have settled in brilliantly to the new academic year.

I would like to congratulate all the key stage 4 and 5 students who celebrated their exam results in August. It is always a great pleasure to share in the student’s excitement on results day as they reap the rewards of their hard work. We are extremely pleased with our summer examination success this year. 51% of A levels were awarded A* or A; 98% of level 3 diplomas were awarded either Distinction* or Distinction, and 70% of our year eleven students achieved a level four or higher in both English and maths. Well done to all those students and thank you to the staff that have supported their success.

Our new year 7 students have settled in superbly this week and have told me when I have seen them around the building that they are loving being at William de Ferrers School. I am particularly impressed with how quickly they have adapted to their new classes and have got to know their fellow students. It has been lovely at break and lunchtimes to see many new friendship groups forming.

A reminder to all parents that you may report your child’s absence from school in one of the following ways: by telephone: 01245 326359 for years 7-11 and 01245 326350 for years 12-13, text: 07860002615 or by email: attendance@wdf.school

 Best wishes

 Mr M Applewhite MA NPQH                                                                                                                                                  Acting Headteacher