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Headteacher's Bulletin

Friday 24th May 2024


Dear Parents/Carers,

Where did that half term go? The exam season is now well underway and students in Years 11 and 13 are really doing themselves proud. I’ve been pleased to see students in those year groups still coming into school, despite being on Study Leave, to fully utilise the expertise of staff prior to exams. They are conducting themselves and their studies admirably. Students in other year groups are also maximising their learning in the better weather (although what has happened to the weather since last weekend please?!), through trips and extra-curricular learning activities – they are making full use of the Sports Field before half of it is taken over with temporary classrooms ready for the expansion work to start.

We still do not have a programme of work for the expansion; this is currently being revised due to late submission of plans and designs to the Council Planning Committee. It is the ‘red tape’ that sits within the Council remit of the build that is frustrating for us as a school, especially when we have been discussing the expansion for almost 18 months now. I am however, keeping us all focused on the end point which will be a much-improved environment for our children and young people. Once I know exactly what work will be scheduled first, I will let you know. It has changed again since I last wrote!

Trust Update

As the new CEO, I have enjoyed spending time each week at Reddish Vale High School, getting to know the staff and students more. The Trust aims to support school improvement across all its schools, through collaboration and I am delighted to say that we are collaborating much more than before in departmental/subject areas, but also across support teams in our schools. We have appointed Tyler Boyle as our Trust Operations and Safety Manager recently. Mr Boyle will work with the Site Managers in both schools to ensure compliance and to look to make financial efficiencies through Trust procurement rather than at individual school level. This is the Trust’s first step towards building a central support team and growth of the Trust to bring in more local schools.


Trust Joint Student Council Meeting

Earlier in the term, we were delighted to welcome the student council from our partner school, Reddish Vale High School, to take part in a joint student council meeting.  Reddish Vale is part of our school trust, and this initiative affords students a wonderful opportunity to share their experiences of school life with their peers, and discuss the ways in which they can work together.

This was the council’s second meeting this academic year, and with the support of Mr Keegan, the students have come up with a number of actions which seek to embed the trust’s values, such as: an inter-school style Olympic Games in which both schools can compete, and a fundraising initiative for a nominated trust charity which serves both school communities (Stockport and Trafford).

Well done to our student council members:

Joshua W and Lucy S (Year 7), Alyssa and Aniket (Year 8), Victor and Amelia S (Year 9), Billy and Josh H (Year 10), Tilly and T-J (Year 11), Sienna and Samarth (Year 12) and Steph and Nils (Year 13).


Year 9 Geography Trip:

Last week, Mrs Hardy accompanied 14 students in Year 9 to The University of Manchester for a Disaster Conference. 

The whole day was built around a scenario in the year 2050, where a large hurricane was about to hit the UK due to temperature changes caused by climate change.  During the sessions, led by Dr Martin Parham and his team of students from the Humanitarian Conflict Response Unit, our students were asked to design posters to warn vulnerable groups about the disaster, as well as reacting to an ever-changing emergency in which they had to communicate and compromise with other interest groups.   Finally, they had to empathise with people caught up in the disaster and find innovative ways to attain aid for their groups.  For most of our students, this was their first time visiting a university campus, and they threw themselves into every activity, making confident and thoughtful contributions throughout the day. - Mrs Hardy.

Year 11 Maths Challenge:

Congratulations to the Year 11 students who took part in the recent Intermediate Maths Challenge, which encourages mathematical reasoning, precision of thought and fluency.  Mr Mohammed and Mrs Oates were delighted with the results of the 13 students who took part.  Three students were awarded gold certificates and have been put through to the follow-on round: Charlie J, Maggie J and Timur.  Charlie also achieved a merit, which is an amazing result!  Well done all.

Year 10 Food Technology Competition

Mrs South celebrated the achievements of her Year 10 GCSE Food Preparation & Nutrition students with a Victoria sponge cake competition, and she was delighted with the results.

The students made their own jam and sponge and then decorated their Easter-themed cakes. There were two winners, who each received an Easter Egg: Aamnah K and Janae E. Well done to both of you!


Careers Fair

Altrincham College’s first careers fair took place at the end of April where we opened our doors to institutions including universities, apprenticeship providers, further education colleges and both local and national employers.

Students from years 9-13 attended the fair in small groups where they had the opportunity to talk to a wide range of professionals about their future ambitions.  They were given cards with suggested questions, and received a stamp every time they engaged in a meaningful conversation.  The cards were put into a prize draw and the winner of a £25 Amazon voucher is…Miley M in Year 9.  Well done Miley!

A huge thank you to our visitors for speaking to students and sharing their insights and advice.  They include:

The University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, Salford University, UA92, Edge Hill University, Futureworks, University of Huddersfield, Leeds Trinity University, Nottingham Trent University, Trafford College, The Manchester College, UCEN Manchester, The Growth Company, Elevated Knowledge, Royal Town Planning Institute, The British Army, Kier, Jacobs Engineering, Weightmans Law, Manchester Children’s Physiotherapy, IH Gallagher Roofing, Openreach, Kids Planet and The Signature Group.

Work Experience

125 students in Year 10 undertook a two-day work experience placement earlier this month, which is an invaluable experience to help students decide what kind of career they want to pursue.   

Students were placed at a wide range of institutions, such as primary schools, nurseries, charities, the Police and companies such as Mott McDonald, Global Radio, Caltec, N Brown, Waters, Cottons Hotel, the University of Manchester and many more!   

Thank you to everyone who provided a placement for our students, many of whom are parents/carers of students here. – Miss Mitchelmore. 

Personal Statement Workshop with the University of Oxford

Our Year 12 students had the privilege of attending a personal statement writing workshop this term with Dr Dave Leal, a lecturer in Philosophy at Brasenose College, University of Oxford.

Students were fortunate to receive a thorough and detailed overview of the personal statement writing process, along with tips and advice, from the number one ranked university in the world!

Thank you, Dr Leal, for kick-starting our UCAS application work and providing students with such a detailed and thought-provoking session.

STAAR Programme

Congratulations to Year 9 student Lucy P, who has been selected to take part in the prestigious STAAR 2024 programme.  During this summer residential, delivered by the Royal Air Force Museum, Lucy will engage in a series of hands-on activities, including flight simulators, flying drones, exploring aviation engineering, and behind-the-scenes access to the Museum and RAF Cosford.  

Impetus Education - Future Engineering Leaders Programme

We are delighted to share news of Leo in Year 12 who has been selected as a runner-up in the ‘Live Future Engineering Leaders’ Programme.  He has also been awarded a scholarship to take part in the next stage.  The scholarship received a large number of applications from students worldwide, and it is a great achievement to obtain this award.  Well done Leo!




Year 7 Boys Cricket Team:

Altrincham College 84 - 57 St Anthony's

PoM: Matthew H

The year 7s kicked off the cricket season in style with an 84-57 victory over St Anthony's. After winning the toss in his debut match as captain, Rian decided to bat first alongside Archie, which got AC off to a strong start. AC stepped up their performance with the bat as Matthew & Teddie came to the crease, avoiding any wickets and piling the runs on with some great shots down the ground. A mix-up running between wickets cost Alfie & Albie some runs, but they steadied the ship before Mason, Cyrus and Max finished the innings strongly. 

AC got off to a cracking start on the field as Matthew and Teddie both picked up maiden wicket overs as St Anthony's struggled with their great line and lengths. Some good bowling from Thomas put St Anthony's under pressure but, most impressive was AC's performance on the field. Catches from Joey, Louis and Zayn, to name a few, enabled AC to take a commanding lead which St Anthony’s were unable to recover with Rian closing out the innings in style with the ball. - Mr White

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme:

The DofE award programme at Altrincham College has thrived again this year, with 63 Year 10 students taking on their bronze qualifying expedition this week, along with 13 Year 12 students out on their silver practice expedition. 

Congratulations also to the Year 11 Challenge Education DofE Award students who have recently passed their Level one qualification in sports leadership.

This qualification meant they have passed the skills section and achieved their bronze award. A massive well done to this group of students who have worked so hard over the past two years.

I am also delighted to report that four students from the 2022/23 cohort have recently achieved their gold award (Sam, Matthew, Chloe and Georgia).  They now await their special invitation to Buckingham Palace to receive this prestigious award. 

Finally, may I thank the staff at Altrincham College for their support with the programme, in particular: Mr Whitham, Mrs Otway, Mrs Witchells, Mrs O' Brien, Mr White and Mrs Kirkham-Hudson.  I look forward to September, ready to face new challenges with the Year 10 Bronze cohort and the Silver and Gold sixth form cohorts. – Mr Stephenson.


News: Congratulations to Year 7 students Alfie E and Ethan S who both represented the U12s Trafford schoolboys recently. Their manager was very happy with how the boys played and commented on what a promising team they have!

Year 8 Boys Football Team: MUFC Emerging Talent Event

The Year 8 boys football team were fortunate to take part in a 9-a-side tournament recently, hosted by Manchester United FC at their former 1st team training ground. We were one of six schools from Greater Manchester competing on the day. The boys were very excited take part and they all said they were the best pitches they’d ever played on!

The first match was against local rivals Wellington, who they lost to quite heavily last year, but it wasn't the case this time as a tight game finished 0-0.  Our 2nd game was vs Wardle Academy, who were a very physical side. AC played the perfect game plan, which led to Gabriel beating the offside trap and beautifully dinking the keeper to give us a 1-0 victory. 

After two games, AC were top of the table, but a strong St Gabriel’s side knocked them from top spot with a convincing 4-0 win. Our defensive three of Renars, Skye and Will C valiantly put in blocks and last-ditch tackles, but we were well beaten. Alex also managed to save a penalty before it was hit in on the rebound. Our next game against Saddleworth was an end-to-end game as both Jamie and Ethan were able to get some control of the game. 5 minutes in though a very harsh handball was given in the box to Saddleworth, but Alex stepped up again with a cracking save! AC put their keeper to task with some efforts from Ryan, Jack and Malik but the game finished 0-0. 

Our final game was our toughest by far against Bridgewater High who were a much taller side, with their goalkeeper being well over 6ft! They got off to a very quick start with two goals in two minutes, but AC settled back into the game. Skye and Gabriel caused them lots of problems as well as some fine strikes from Jamie. Will H was able to cope with their tricky winger, but the game eventually finished 3-0 as Bridgewater ran out as overall champions and moved onto the next stage at Carrington. 

The students had a great afternoon and were chuffed to have played on the same pitches as Beckham, Scholes and Cantona. Massive thank you to MUFC for organising and hosting the event and we hope to be back again soon! – Mr White.

Year 11 boys’ football:

Altrincham College 4 - 1 Sale Grammar School.

PoM:  Piers

Following a successful win at AGSB, the quarter-finals match in the Trafford Cup was played at home.  The event saw PoM Piers score a hat-trick, with his final goal sending AC through to the semi-finals of the cup!

The Year 11s march upwardly and onto the semi-final against Wellington. 

Mr Stephenson was full of praise for his Year 11 team, who showed great courage, resilience and teamwork to get the victory!

Congratulations Theo!

Theo in Year 10 has recently achieved a bronze medal in the World Karate Federation Youth League. This is a result of sheer hard work and determination for many years. We are crossing our fingers for him as they select participants to represent England at the World Championships in October.

Congratulations Akyra!

Akyra in Year 9 has been selected for the British Gymnastics Performance Pathway!  Akyra also finished in 1st place at the Welsh championship and 2nd place at the English championship earlier this year.

Unfortunately, Akyra picked up an injury at the British Championships, meaning she was unable to travel to Switzerland and Italy for the European championships, which is a huge disappointment for her. We wish her a speedy recovery!


Year 12 asthma awareness programme

Congratulations to a group of our Year 12 students who successfully completed a training course with Queen’s nurse and asthma specialist Heather Henry from the charity Breathchamps.

The course allows the students to visit primary schools and teach younger children about asthma awareness, and how to help someone who is having an asthma attack.

The students showed great leadership, teamwork and communication skills when practising their session with our Year 7’s.  They are looking forward to visiting Cloverlea Primary School soon to talk to Year 6 students.  Well done, we are very proud of you! - Mr Mahmood.

Performing Arts News

National Theatre

New Views is a year-long in-school playwriting programme for students aged 14-19. Each school is paired with a professional playwright who supports students to write their own original 30-minute plays. 

We are delighted to announce that out of 500 schools who took part, and the 900 scripts which were submitted, two of our students were long listed to the final 90 scripts: Phoebe B and Lola M.  What a fantastic achievement, particularly as they are in Year 10 and were competing against much older students. -  Mrs Mrozinski and Dr Stedman.

School of Rock

Next year’s performance will be announced before the end of the summer term – so watch this space! 

In the meantime, here is a reminder of the fantastic display of talent demonstrated by the cast of School of Rock:

Art Trip

On Tuesday 30th April, 75 Year 10 Art and Textiles students visited Liverpool World Museum and The Walker Art Gallery to gather primary research for their GCSE courses. The art students visited the aquarium in the museum to sketch and take photographs of fish and coral for their next project ‘Sealife’, and the textiles students explored the variety of cultural artefacts in the museum to gather research for their current ‘cultures’ project.

Both groups then visited The Walker Art Gallery to analyse the variety of artwork on show, comparing it to their own work.   It was a brilliant day enjoyed by all.  Mrs Wagstaff.

Art Therapy

We saw great work from our students during a recent art therapy session, where they made prints using dye and shaving cream. 

Therapeutic art and craft sessions are student-led and promote creativity, self-esteem, self-expression, problem-solving and decision-making. The process of making things with our hands can help to lower feelings of anxiety and stress. These sessions are more about the enjoyment of the process, rather than the end product, which does not necessarily have to be perfect.   Well done to Mali, Jack, Zayn and Joel, for your great work!

ACTV (Altrincham College TV)

  ACTV have been busy in the media room learning how to use the cameras, lenses, tripods and other useful equipment. They have also been learning how to use Photoshop and Canva.  Filming this half-term included the careers fair, the trust filming day, and we are currently working on the next broadcast, which is, 'A Day in the life of a Year 7'! 

Watch our latest videos here

What I have learned this term:

Sixth Form - Sienna, Year 12:

I have taken part in a programme in which an asthma nurse has trained myself and other sixth form students to deliver asthma awareness sessions to primary and young secondary school children. The idea is to make sure the children are asthma aware, so they know what to do if their friend is having an asthma attack. I have really valued this opportunity to gain new knowledge and develop my communication skills. 

Staff – Mrs Wagstaff, Head of Art:

I am currently undergoing a 6-month course called ‘Leading the Arts in your school.’ I have had the opportunity to investigate and develop my own leadership and management styles and understand arts leadership in its wider context. I have learned about the concept and benefits of partnership working and have met with arts and cultural organisations across the north-west. 

The course has helped me to raise the profile of the arts at Altrincham College and build evidence that we can use as a school towards gaining ‘Artsmark’ status. I have come away from the course with lots of new and exciting ideas that we have already begun to roll out.  

Student Stars of the Month

Student Star of the Month nominations were for going over and above chosen by members of staff. This half-term they were:

Year 7:

  • Jack H for his significant contribution to the Dance Showcase.
  • Sarthak S for always being polite, helpful and happy; for hard work and for being a role model to others.

Year 8:

  • Kenson C for his significant contribution to the Dance Showcase.
  • McKenzie W, Ellie P and James E for consistently displaying the three Rs.

Year 9:

  • Hayley K for hard work and enthusiasm in Spanish.
  • Wilson H for his significant contribution to the Dance Showcase.

Year 10:

  • Wai Lok L for working beyond his target and for being mature, polite and focused in Media Studies.
  • Calvin J for working hard, completing home learning early and for gaining full marks in his formula test in business.
  • Ka Nam P for his hard work and resilience

           Year 12:

  • Oliver W for his enthusiasm and commitment to his studies and for making excellent progress.
  • Erin-Beau C for being a credit to herself and the school in sport.
  • Jano T for hard work and resilience.

All of these students were highly commended for their attendance, their hard work, their politeness, respectfulness and commitment to being the best they can be! Well done everyone!

And finally…

Dates for your diary

Start of term:                                                         Monday 3rd June

Y10 Geography Fieldwork Trip                          Thursday 13th & Friday 14th June

Key Stage 3 exams (Years 7/8/9)                        w/c Monday 17th June

Y10 Exams Commence                                         Wednesday 19th June

Y12 MMU Open Day                                             Wednesday 19th June

GCSE Textiles & Art Exhibition                         Thursday 20th June

Year 11&13 Leavers Assemblies                         Friday 21st June

Y11 Sixth Form ‘New Student Day’                  Tuesday 25th June

LAMDA Exams                                                       Tuesday 25th June

Y12 Exams Commence                                         Wednesday 26th June

Y9 RE Dropdown day                                            Thursday 27th June

Y11 Prom                                                                 Friday 28th June

Geography Fieldwork Week (Years 8&9)        w/c 1st July

Y12 University Trips                                              Thursday 4th July

INSET DAY (school closed to students)          Friday 5th July

Y12 DofE Silver Expedition                                  Monday 8th July

Y7 Art Trip                                                              Tuesday 9th July

Prizegiving Evening                                                Thursday 11th July

Y10 Mock Interviews                                             Friday 12th July

Sports Day                                                               Tuesday 16th July

Cricket Trip – Lancashire Lightning                  Wednesday 17th July

Years 7-10 Rewards Day                                       Wednesday 17th July

Summer Concert                                                   Wednesday 17th July

End of Term                                                            Friday 19th July

(Term finishes at 12.30pm)                                  

I hope you and your families have a wonderful half-term break! Let’s hope for more sunshine and that all our students return to school on 3rd June feeling refreshed and revitalised!

Thank you for your continuous support for our school.

Ms K Earle

Headteacher and CEO of the South Manchester Learning Trust