The CCHS Blog:

Chris Taylor, Head of SchoolJune 29, 2020

Quite unbelievably, the end of this academic year is almost upon us and we only have three full weeks until the end of term.
I hope that everyone remains in good health and that you have all been able to retain a level of positivity despite the length of time we have been unable to meet up with our family and friends. Although, lockdown restrictions have now eased, we still all need to remain alert and adhere to the social distancing guidance to keep us all safe and well.
We have recently conducted a student survey on home learning, which we use to inform how we adjust and improve our home learning experience for the students across all year groups. The survey unanimously revealed how much the students were enjoying the live and recorded lessons and, in particular, the interactions with their teachers. Equally, staff have enjoyed chatting with their students and, whilst not the same as being in the classroom by any means, they have all felt that it has been a good way of keeping lines of communication with them open. Overall, it has been very successful, but we do take on board the students’ feedback and will continue to make improvements. Without doubt, the technology and techniques that staff have developed and learned will contribute to making future independent learning and homework a much more interactive experience for students.
Since 15th June, we have been delighted to be able to welcome some students from years 10 and 12 back to school for some face to face sessions with their teachers, whilst continuing with an onsite provision for vulnerable children and those of critical workers. Although numbers have been extremely limited and very robust safety arrangements in place, again it has been a very positive experience and a real pleasure to be physically back in the classroom and actually seeing the students.
A reminder that when school resumes following the summer holidays, students will return in full school uniform and this link CCHS Uniform ordering will take you straight to the Anglia Sports & School Wear website to enable you to make your purchases. Please ensure that you select the year group relevant to your child’s return in September. You may recall that there are some slight changes as we move forward with year 10’s wearing a blazer, white shirts and ties. When students come back in September all year 10’s will be able to swap their old tie with a free new tie, this design is different to the lower school and was chosen by the students themselves. Those moving into year 11 will be able to wear the polo shirts already purchased. By the following academic year, all CCHS students will be wearing blazers, shirts and ties. Before making any purchases of the generic school wear items such as trousers and shoes, please refer to our website, for advice.
Finally, I am very pleased to announce that in accordance with guidance and expectations from government, for years 7 – 11, free school meals will continue throughout the summer holiday period. It has been very important to us, throughout the whole of these unprecedented times, that we have been able to stay in touch and provide support and advice to some of our most vulnerable children and their families. Parents, if you are entitle to a free school meal for your child, it is important that you advise us of any changes to email addresses or contact details please email   with the information.
Please continue to stay alert and look after yourselves, families and friends.

Chris Taylor, Head of School

June 1, 2020

The strangeness of times continues as we move into the final half term of the academic year and whilst there has been some cautious easing of the previous lockdown measures, we are by no means back to ‘normal’. It is very important that we all continue to heed the current advice given to us to ensure that we continue to protect our families, our friends and ourselves. A few weeks ago, when the government released plans for the partial reopening of schools, we started to prepare for a very limited phased return of certain year groups (in addition to continuing to provide places for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers). Final decisions and information on our preparations will be communicated to parents as soon as possible. However, I want to assure you that before the school increases the current number of students on site, we will ensure that all appropriate risk assessments are carried out, hygiene resources readily available and plans in place to accommodate the new ways of working to minimise the risks for students and staff. Remote learning will continue for the rest of this year for most students. In these difficult times, it is important for students to remain engaged with their education and we are working on implementing some significant changes. By using your feedback, and to ensure that students receive a more interactive experience with their teachers, we will be putting in place a cohesive and bespoke year group timetable and each day by using Show My Homework, students will be able to log in and participate in both live and recorded lessons. We hope that with your support we can ensure that our children are fully prepared and ready for when they can return to school. Students have all been sent a link to a national survey and I would urge you to encourage them to complete this as we can continually view and review responses to then isolation with all schools nationally. I would like to draw your attention to a new well-being section of this site. In this area of the website, there is a wealth of information and resources to support the well-being and mental health of students and their parents. Thank you once again for all your support and kind words that we have received from so many parents via email. Your continued recognition and support always means a lot to all staff, but especially during this period.
Chris Taylor, Head of School

March 23rd, 2020

Every school in the country would agree that this is not how we wanted to end the term and it was especially difficult for our Year 11 and Year 13 students. The exams issue will get resolved and further information has come out over the weekend indicating that mock data and staff predictions will be used to ensure students are awarded the grade they were on course to achieve. We look forward to welcoming our Year 11 students back if they have applied to Sigma Sixth and will look to reassure these individuals in the coming weeks.
We value each and every student at CCHS and the staff have all worked incredibly hard to ensure that every child is in the best possible place they can be to maximise their time at home given the short notice period. All students who were able to attend in the last couple of days have been spoken to about the opportunity that now lies ahead of them. Whilst this will be a challenging time ahead it is also an opportunity for each student to develop lifelong independence skills and take real ownership of their new starting position when we all return to school.

This is a time of national emergency and we want to remind everyone to keep safe, keep others safe and look out for and support the vulnerable, this is best achievable by following these guidelines:
• Ensure you, and others, use social distancing
• Avoid close contact with others (it will not be forever)
• Following good hygiene and hand washing guidance
• Consider others and listen to the advice given

For students an additional special message: Keep up with your studies and complete the online work that is set.

It is very important that during this time children should be at home and not in social areas around the community. Everyone must take responsibility for following Government guidelines and ensuring that we support the NHS staff in being able to manage this pandemic. When this global crisis is over, and it will end, we will be able to reflect and learn what to do better.
A lovely quote that we would like to share is: “In a world where you can be anything, be kind.”

We would like to give huge, heartfelt thanks to all our NHS personnel, care workers, and all those people who are on the frontline keeping the rest of us safe, healthy, fed and sheltered. Thank you also for the emails of support and thanks from parents; these are very welcome at this time.
A final thanks to all the staff (teachers and support staff) who have stepped up and worked above and beyond this week trying to ensure students self-isolating have access to work whilst preparing for the weeks ahead for all students.
Chris Taylor, Head of School

January 20th, 2020

Since New Year and the start of the spring term, time has gone by very quickly and, unbelievably, we are almost half way through the first half term. It never ceases to amaze me at how quickly the academic year passes, as each term there is always something going on and the focus changes for each year group.
For our upper school students, the serious business of revision and exam preparation will be at the forefront of their thoughts. The next few months will fly by and before they know it, the GCSE and A Level examinations will be upon us; 43 school days until the first practical exam and 55 school days until the first written exam, it really is that close! Without doubt, it is a very intense period in our children’s lives, and with two teenage children of my own, I fully understand, how stressful home life can be, but be reassured, life will return to normal post examinations.
For all students involved in exams, remember that staff are on hand and fully prepared to offer all the support and study assistance they can. Staff have been through this before, both as students themselves and then as teachers, they know and understand what it is like! Please encourage your child to attend all of the revision sessions and, as an added incentive, for Year 11’s there is always the Passport to the Prom!
Lower school students are equally busy with school life. The launch of our PROUD pledges back in September is now gaining some momentum throughout the school. This initiative is aimed at building confidence and resilience within our students, encouraging participation and support of our local community, whilst creating a positive attitude to learning and developing cultural capital..
In this regard, going forwards, parents will notice some changes to students’ reports as our key focus will be ‘Attitude to Learning’. Being a successful learner and having the right mindset (relax, remember, focus and absorb information) is vitally important to academic progression and personal success. Appreciating and welcoming new experiences, recognising and taking advantage of the many different kinds of learning opportunities develops independence and a life-long curiosity and learning ethic.
Also included in the report is an area of strength to encourage students to build on their best qualities, improve resilience broaden their worldview increasing both personal expectations and aspirations. Receiving positive feedback and constructive developmental advice builds confidence, which also contributes to an improved attitude to learning.
Parents - please watch out for some very important parental engagement evenings coming up; On Thursday, 30th January for Year 10 and 11 students and their parents, there is a Family in Focus with techniques and support on Exam Management Evening; on 27th February, for exam students and their parents, a session on ‘How to help your child revise'; and for Year 8 students and their parents on Thursday, 12th March the GCSE selection process begins with our Pathways Evening.
As always, outside of the teaching and learning curriculum, the usual array of sporting fixtures are littered throughout the diary over the next few weeks as well as many other exciting events to suit the interests of everyone. A reminder of the Ski Trip taking place in 2021, those students interested in this fantastic opportunity can download the Ski Trip Information letter and return no later than 29th January.
Our weekly edition of Parent News has articles and photos of life at CCHS.
Chris Taylor, Head of School

December 20th, 2019

The first full term of academic year 2019-20 has come to an end and it was an exciting first full term which has truly sped by since the start of September.
The first part of the autumn term saw the launch of our new PROUD school ethos; Perseverance, Responsibility, Opportunity, Unity, Diversity. Students in Years 7 – 9 work towards accomplishing a range of pledges for which they earn different awards by taking on challenges all linked to PROUD.
School life is, as always, very busy and each week outside of the excellent learning that happens each and every day, there are so many other things happening beyond the curriculum, which include school teams; sporting and academic successes, personal achievements, school trips, extra-curricular clubs and fund raising projects. All of which, makes us very proud of our students and the school. Our weekly Parent News is a great source of information to keep you updated on many of the exciting events and student achievements that happen.
Each year just prior to the Christmas break, we hold our annual Christmas Shoe Box Appeal. The plea goes out to students and parents to help us fill as many boxes as possible with non-perishable items and small treats to pack and deliver to the residents of a sheltered housing complex in Clacton called Holly Court. Some of the elderly residents do not receive any other gifts and it is with great excitement that they look forward to a visit from some of our students, laden with armfuls of beautifully wrapped boxes. This year, our students’ generosity, supported by their parents, was amazing and we managed to fill almost 120 boxes to the brim. The school foyer was stacked full of wrapped shoeboxes, surrounding our beautiful Christmas tree, which were then delivered on Thursday, 12th December. The ladies and gentlemen were so grateful to receive the gifts, therefore on behalf of the residents, a massive thank you, to you and your children for such thoughtfulness, kindness and generosity; many cards and letters of thanks were received from them.
The last day of term continued with the theme of thinking of others less fortunate and the importance of giving and on Thursday, 19th December, we held a non-uniform day. For a small donation, students were encouraged to wear a Christmas jumper. The fund raising helps to support the Christmas Day lunch for local lonely and vulnerable elderly people, held at CCHS and organised by the Clacton Rotary Club. This is an extremely worthwhile cause and is something that happens each year. A dedicated team of volunteers give up their own family time on Christmas Day to provide sustenance and some comfort and joy to others less fortunate, they are an amazing group of people.
I recognise that this time of year is an extremely exciting time for families, but I would like to take this opportunity to remind you to be extremely vigilant in regards to safeguarding your child when they are online. At this time of year, many students will be delighted to receive for their Christmas presents, new electronic devices, however I encourage you to watch out for your child and be aware with whom they are interacting with via online forums and gaming platforms they are using. The termly safeguarding newsletter has recently been sent out to all parents and I urge you take a look for important information and guidance; a copy is also available HERE.
Finally, I would like to wish all of our CCHS families a very Happy Christmas, a healthy and prosperous New Year and I look forward to welcoming students back to school on Monday, 6th January 2020.
Chris Taylor, Head of School

September 30th, 2019

The new Year 7 students are settling into CCHS life extremely well, after four weeks completed, they have definitely found their feet and way around the school and have been introduced to our expectations and the opportunities that secondary school is able to provide.
Last Thursday we held our annual Open Evening. Year 6 Students from across all of our local primary schools attended CCHS, accompanied by their parents/carers, to take a look around the school and sample all of the exciting things that happen at secondary school. The evening is a very special event in the school calendar with presentations and activities. Staff and current students were available to showcase the school and provide as much information as possible to enable the Year 6 students and their parents/carers to help make the most appropriate secondary school choice for September 2020. The evening went extremely well and was very busy, it was a pleasure to welcome and meet so many prospective students and their parents/carers. I hope we have helped to enable them to make an informed choice about the next step for their child's educational future. Thanks to all the CCHS staff and the student helpers, it was long day for many, but very satisfying to proudly showcase our school and what we do.
The previous Thursday we held our annual Awards Evening, enabling us to recognise and celebrate the success of those students who have just completed their examinations and received their results in August. Whilst there were many outstanding academic achievements, it also gave the opportunity to recognise those students who have worked really hard throughout their time at CCHS and achieved way beyond expectations. The evening made me extremely proud of our young people and provided the opportunity to wish them well for the future; especially those heading off to pastures new away from CCHS, whether that be university, employment or apprenticeships. Good luck and best wishes to them all!
Last week we published our list of extra-curricular clubs. Taking part in activities outside of the classroom is very important, whether a student’s interest lies within STEM, drama, music, dance, art, sport or academia, there really is something for everyone and I would encourage all students to participate in an activity linked to an area of interest. The clubs allow students to socialise with other peers that may not be in their forms and classes and perhaps from other year groups. The school community is very important to us and creates a real sense of unity and pride.
Each week we publish our Parent News, which has many articles on the amazing things that our students do, but also has important information and dates for parents. In this week’s edition there is an introduction for parents to our new PROUD initiative which is happening throughout school and encourages students to build their experiences beyond the school gates. We are very excited about this, please take a look and see how you can support and encourage your child to complete the PROUD pledges. The weekly Parent News is available to view HERE.
Chris Taylor, Head of School

September 2nd, 2019

Welcome back to school and I hope that everyone enjoyed a very happy and healthy summer break. It was good to have a late August bank holiday weekend with exceptional weather and a good way to lead up to the end of the holidays.
I would like to extend a very warm welcome to all of our new Year 7 students and their parents/carers, and to our new members of staff. I look forward to working with everyone.
During the holidays we received our Key Stage 5 (Level 3) A Level & BTEC results as well as our Key Stage 4 (Level 2) GCSE & BTEC results. There were some stunning individual outcomes at GCSE and many students received a raft of amazing grades. I would like to give a special mention to our top Year 11 performers that include Thea Longden (10 subjects at grade 8/9); Laurelin Chase (7 subjects at grade 8/9 and 3 subjects at grade 7); Shadman Rahman (7 subjects at grade 7+); Katie Doidge and Hannah Thomas who both achieved 9 subjects at grade 7+; Libbi Benbow (8 subjects at grade 7+); Daniel Keil and Cole Matthews who both achieved 6 subjects at grade 7 or above.
We saw many outstanding individual Year 13 results with the vast majority of students having achieved their first choice place at university. Amongst the highest achievers were Adam Swaine (A* grades in Further Maths, Maths, Extended Project and an A in Physics) who has gained a place at the University of Warwick to read Maths; Shannon Fisher (A* Extended Project, A grades in Biology, Chemistry and a B grade in Maths) who will be reading Medicine at the University of Hull; William Lawrence (A grades in Criminology, Art, Extended Project and a B grade in English Language) who will be studying Animation at Norwich University of the Arts; Mia-Rose Daniels (A grades in Drama, Criminology and a C grade in History) who will be studying International Event Management at the University of Surrey; Mateusz Nowak (A grades in Maths, Extended Project and B grades in Further Maths and Physics) Mateusz is reading Physics at Kings College London next year; Amelia Newport (A* Extended Project, A grades in Maths, Drama, C grade in Further Maths) who will read maths at the University of York; Jon Nico Matibag-Perez (A Spanish, B Geography, C Maths, Distinction in Business); Laura Goldsmith and Carl Anderson both achieved (Triple Distinction* in Sport, equivalent to 3 A grades); Katie Smith (Distinction* in Business, Sport and a C grade in Maths).
My congratulations go to all of our GCSE and A-Level students and their families and I wish them every success in the next stage of their chosen path.
As with school life, students quickly settle back into lessons and their learning. This is complemented by the wide range of extra-curricular clubs and activities. In the next couple of weeks we will be putting together our 2019-20 programme and will be inviting students to become involved in a club or activity to suit their individual interest or passion. I would strongly recommend all students look to take part in at least one extra-curricular club each week to ensure that they get the most out of their time at CCHS.
Also look out for the launch of our new re-branded PROUD initiative. We are very excited about this and look forward to the students becoming involved in both school and community projects.
Chris Taylor, Head of School