October 9th 2020

TAHS Weekly Newsletter. 

This Thursday we will be sending the last of our competitive course applications to UCAS.  Mrs Dodd and all of the 16 students who are applying for these courses, such as dentistry, veterinary and medicine, have worked incredibly hard on these applications and we are pleased that our small rural Sixth Form has so many this year.

We have now run two sessions for photographs to be taken for your child’s Sixth Form Lanyard, these will be created and distributed to students in the upcoming week. For those that did not attend the last session and have not made prior arrangements for their photograph to be taken we will use their Year 11 image. It is very important that when students are issued with these lanyards that they wear them when they are in school.

Year 13:

Please encourage your child to complete their personal statement and to work on their UCAS application, each copy of their personal statement should be sent to their form tutor, or their subject teacher if needed. This can be done through Unifrog or the teachers Outlook email (@tahs.net).  For those applying to UCAS must ensure that all basic sections are completed and that they are ready for their personal statements to be entered. At this point a member of the Sixth Form Team will check their application. 

Year 12:

All Year 12 students must ensure that they are logged onto Unifrog, this information was passed onto them in Year 11 and they were encouraged to use this to help them make plans in their Post 16 journey.  Unifrog is very useful for all students to look at careers, university and apprenticeships. If you would like to join Uniforg as a parent and see how the platform works then please email me, younge@tahs.net and I will send you the details.


During week 2, we continue with the theme of personal finance.


Students are to fill in the workbook pages 6 – 8:  types of employment; what is debt?  Think about the difference between part time, casual and zero hours contracts; what a P45 and P60 are; how much income tax you might pay and the advantages/disadvantages of different types of debt.  You can find the necessary files on Teams.


Students are to fill in the workbook on personal finance from pages 6 – 8:  borrowing money and risks; value for money and making it.  Find out about APR, payday loans, work out different lending rates and how some people live with debt, also different types of investments, buying, selling and discounts available to you.  You can find the attachments on Teams.

Assessment Weeks- Year 11 and Year 13

You will have started to receive different assessments this week as a way to support your progress over the year. Your teachers conduct lots of assessments during your lessons, but these give you a chance to attempt exam questions in timed conditions. It is important that you see these as an opportunity to show us what you have learnt so far, which then allows your teachers to give you specific feedback on how to improve your exam skills. These will give you a focus for what and how you need to revise for your different subjects.

Trial Exams

Your mock exams will be held in February, with the Assessment Weeks giving you additional opportunities to practise before these exams. As you will be sitting full papers, you should see these as TRIAL EXAMS rather than mocks, as you will have had a whole term of lessons to guide and support you and for you to focus your revision independently. A timetable for these will be published after Christmas.  

Exams Update

We do understand that there is a lot of speculation in the press at the moment about next Summer’s exams. Be assured that we have regular updates from Exam boards and OFQUAL (the exam regulator), so if there are any official changes we will inform you and publish all details to the school website. For now, it’s important that you continue to work hard in lessons, show what you can do in assessments and revise independently. 

Revision Tip #2: 

When should you start revising? It’s never too early! My top tip this week is to start little and often. For example, you have three lessons a day… at the end of each day, you could spend 15 minutes, for each subject, reading over your notes, finishing or adding to tasks, and coming up with questions for things you need help with… then each time build this up, so you’re reading more and more of your notes. Eventually, you SHOULD be able to read your whole exercise book in 15 minutes! 

Most importantly though, all of the staff are here to support you through your assessments and trial exams, so that you are as confident as you can be.

Year 9 Tutor Evening

We are holding our meet the tutor evening to give parents feedback on how well students have done as they transition from year 8 into our year 9 on Wednesday 21st October between 4 & 7pm.

This will be a virtual event and full details of how to access the meetings will be emailed nearer the date. The appointments will be held on MS Teams, through your child’s account, please ensure that you know their log in to Office 365, username and password.

In the meantime ensure you have made an appointment to see your child’s tutor via the booking system on Insight – http://www.thomasalleynes.org – full login details have been emailed to all parents / careers we have an email address for. If you have any issues please email insight@tahs.org.uk for assistance.

World Mental Health Day

Saturday is World Mental Health Day, this year’s theme is ‘Mental Health for All’ This will be well advertised in all forms of the media. You may see your favourite actors, sports stars, Royals and people in the community raising awareness of positive mental health and wellness. 

Good mental health is characterised by a person’s ability to fulfil a number of key functions and activities, including:

  • the ability to learn
  • the ability to feel, express and manage a range of positive and negative emotions
  • the ability to form and maintain good relationships with others
  • the ability to cope with and manage change and uncertainty.

Talking about your feelings can help you stay in good mental health and deal with times when you feel troubled.

Talking about your feelings isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s part of taking charge of your wellbeing and doing what you can to stay healthy.

Talking can be a way to cope with a problem you’ve been carrying around in your head for a while. Just being listened to can help you feel supported and less alone. And it works both ways. If you open up, it might encourage others to do the same.

It’s not always easy to describe how you’re feeling. If you can’t think of one word, use lots. What does it feel like inside your head? What does it make you feel like doing?

You don’t need to sit your loved ones down for a big conversation about your wellbeing. Many people feel more comfortable when these conversations develop naturally – maybe when you’re doing something together.

If it feels awkward at first, give it time. Make talking about your feelings something that you do. Please make the time to talk to friends and family to check in on how they are and express how you are feeling. There is always staff at school to speak to if you need. 


Congratulations to all of Year 9, who recently survived their first grammar check.

In particular the following students did incredibly well:

Susie C, Logan C, Rosanna H, Calli H, Layla M, Ben P, Scarlett B-W, Victoria H, Bethan P, Edwin S, Elizabeth W, Libby L, Oakley P, Josh B, Josh F, Isabella G, Cicely H, Oliver H-P, Kristers L, Emily O, Hannah S, Hannah D, Jessica W, Martha B, Tom B, Charlie F, Molly H, James L, Alex L, Olly R
We are so pleased that they are going to be given free memberships to ThisIsLanguage.com, where they can start sharpening their skills, and try to beat the scores of the GCSE classes.

Year 11 speaking assessment

While we wait for OFQUAL and AQA to confirm how the speaking element will be marked in lessons, we will be using photo card style assessments to make sure you are still practising your skills. Please make sure you prepare and practise answering typical questions.

Learning Support Evening

Parents of Year 10 and 11 SEND pupils are invited to attend our first virtual evening.  Invites will be sent out via email at the start of next week, to all parents. The evening will introduce you to how school is supporting pupils in the school day, how to access Mircosoft Teams for remote learning and revision techniques to assist your son or daughter in their GCSE work.  We look forward to seeing you on Thursday 15th October between 5 & 6pm.

News from Science

This week’s Science Students of the Week

Year 9

Tomas for his excellent Chemistry work, selected by Mrs Dykes.

Morgan, Poppy and Vicky all for excellent effort in Science, selected by Mr Crum.

Year 10

Lucy for brilliant participation and high-level answers in Physics, selected by Mr Mitchell.

Elliot and Ellie-Mae for always working with great enthusiasm and dedication to Science, selected by Miss Thorley.

Jamie for excellence in Biology, selected by Mrs Dykes.

Jack for his enthusiastic approach to every lesson, selected by Mr Crum.

Year 11

Thomas and Luke for fantastic first assessment results, selected by Miss Thorley.

Joe for hard work on moles, selected by Mr Crum.

Year 13

Aaron for a brilliant Chemistry result on Benzene assessment, selected by Mr Mitchell.

Well done!

English Success

The English department have been very impressed by lots of the good work we have seen this week. Well done in particular to:

Year 9

Martha B, Sam L, Harry W, Tom Y, Charlotte H

Yr 10

Lachlan M, Jenny P, Katie D, Nell W, Jacob W

Yr 11

Lucy M, Lucy C, Harry S, Toby P L, Evie N, Josh R

Yr 12

Imogen N, Robert F, Tom F

Latest from PE

We are now delivering practical PE lessons.  The activities delivered are based on the government’s guidance.  Please ensure all students in Years 9, 10 and 11 have all items of PE kit and that they fit correctly.
PE kit / Uniform List

  • Black TAHS polo shirt
  • Reversible TAHS rugby shirt ( This is for all outdoor lessons not just rugby)
  • Black Shorts
  • Black Football socks
  • Black Swimming shorts / Swimming costume
  • Shin Pads (Must be worn for Football and Hockey)
  • Gum Shield (Must be worn for Hockey and Rugby)
  • Football Boots 
  • Indoor Trainers

Optional – Black Skort, Black TAHS fleece, Plain Black leggings, Plain Black Tracksuit bottomsCoats can be worn outside in inclement weather for PE.
Students will be informed of the activities they are doing on Insight. Due to the nature of the timetable and the changing government advice it is important students check this before each PE lesson for any changes.

Pastoral Update

This week has been a difficult week in particular for our Year 11 students. That said I wanted to thank all the students that have remained in school for their support of each other and for those that are at home to say ‘Well Done’ for the work that they have been completing. Only last week I wrote how pleased we were as a school to have got through 6 full weeks without having to have a large number of students at home. Now that we have faced this I am once again hugely impressed how as a school community we have coped with this.  We do not know what next week will bring for us but what I do know is that as a school we will face it together.

Well done to the following students for the points they have accrued :  Martha Bednall (35 9E1), Lennon Edwards (31 9W1) and Olly Radley (31 9W2)

Mrs Major (Assistant Head : Pastoral)

Elkes News

While we’ll be going through some of this in assembly before the end of the half term, I wanted to recognise some of the year 10 students whose teachers have assessed their efforts so far this year.

When parents have access to reports on Insight, one of the numbers is the ‘average effort grade’, and it’s basically a score out of 4, where a 4 would mean ‘Excellent’ (the best possible’) and a 1 would be ‘Unacceptable’ (the least possible) in all of their subjects.

These are based on the effort our students are putting in, and while we’ll have information on years 9 and 11 shortly, the following students are those at the top of the year 10 ranking and should be tremendously proud of the start they’ve made to the year!

Bethan T, Ellie-Mae B, George M, Fin T-S, Livvy E, Oliver E, Maddie H, Raph H, Tom N and Lucy O are our Elkes top ten, and there are many more who ought to have a look at this score with great satisfaction. Well done all, and keep it up!

Geography News

GCSE Geography revision sessions (Y11) will be beginning after half term, most likely to run on Tuesdays after school. More details will be given in Y11 Geography lessons, with a timetable to follow. 

Career of the week

This weeks career of the week has been nominated by Mrs Mood – Thank you very much!

Job title: Sound Engineer  Sound engineers work in studios and make recordings of music, speech and sound effects.
Entry requirements:You can get into this job through: University completing a foundation degree or degree in sound engineering and production audio engineering or music production You’ll usually need: at least 1 A level, or equivalent, for a foundation degree 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree A college course You could do a Level 3 Diploma in Sound Production or Music Technology To get on a college course you’ll usually need: 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course An apprenticeship You could complete a creative venue technician or technical theatre advanced apprenticeship, which have options in sound. To access an apprenticeship, you’ll usually need: 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship You could also get a job working as an assistant in a recording studio or volunteer for hospital radio, music events etc
Skills required:. You’ll need: to pay attention to detail to be able to use computer operating systems, hardware and software efficientlyable to work well with othersable to accept criticism and work well under pressure persistence and determination customer service skills knowledge of media production and communication
What you’ll do:In your day-to-day duties you could: plan recording sessions set up the studio microphones and equipment operate recording equipment and add effectsrecord each instrument or vocal onto a separate trackmix tracks to produce a final ‘master’ tracklog recordings and other details of the session in the studio archive
What you’ll earn:£15000 – £40,000 a year depending on experience
Career path and progression:With experience, you could specialise in a particular technical skill, become a music producer, studio manager, or start your own recording studio.

Source: https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk where you can find more information and current opportunities. If this career interests you, it is also worth looking at the videos on Icould.com  https://icould.com/?s=sound+engineer

If you have any suggestions for a career you would like to know more about then please email us at featherstone@tahs.net

Upcoming events

Below are a number of upcoming events which students can independently sign up to.

UK University & Apprenticeship Search Virtual Fair on Wednesday 21 October from 12:00-18:00. The event is free, it will feature over 80 universities, colleges and apprenticeship providers, and it’s open to students in Year 13, 12 and 11. 

For more information and to register for the event click on the link below https://ukunisearch-west.vfairs.com/

The event will also include 10 webinars which will provide information on topics such as Choosing a course, Student finance, Personal statements, Employability and Apprenticeships

Once registered you will be able to access the virtual fair any time until Wednesday 4th November, but you will only be able to live chat with representatives and view the webinars on the day itself.

For help with registration or more information then please see Mrs Featherstone in the Careers office – room 74.

Medicine Seminars

The Medic Portal will be running three free Get Into Medicine Seminars over the coming month live online.

They will focus on how to succeed in the medical school interview (updated for this unique year) alongside top tips from admissions tutors.

Please can you share the free opportunity with your students from Year 11 onwards. They can sign up here.

They will run on the following dates and times:

       14th October: 5pm to 6.30pm

       4th November: 5pm to 6.30pm

       18th November: 5pm to 6.30pm

Your students will also get to hear from a top European Medical School, The University of Nicosia, on their unique programme.

London School of Dentistry – virtual work experience

London School of Dentistry would like to inform you about their online dentistry taster course for students! This course was created by current dentists to help younger students experience what it would be like to study dentistry at university, allowing them to make an informed decision before applying and pursuing it as a career. 

Their main aim is to help students realise whether dentistry is the career for them.

They are offering a 3 hour course which supporting materials covering various aspects of the dental curriculum at university, along with tips on securing work experience, writing a strong personal statement and performing well during interviews. 

There is a cost to the course of £44.99, but the London school of dentistry state that it will allow
aspiring students to obtain some work experience in the current pandemic where in-person experience is very difficult to organise! If students are interested then they can sign up on: www.londonschoolofdentistry.co.uk


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