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Headteacher's Bulletin

including Commemoration and Celebration update



Shubh Deepavali! Tuhanu Diwali diyan bohat both vadhaiyan! Shubh Diwali! Diwali ni Mubarak! Deepavali nalvazhthukal! Happy Diwali!

Many of our school community celebrated Diwali from 4th November and a wonderful time was had by all! Mrs Acharya brought in biscuits for the staff and gave me a lovely gift of fruit and Indian sweets which I adore! Being half Indian, I always share these with my Mum and we chat about when she was a child in India as we eat them whilst drinking a cup of Darjeeling tea! If you celebrated we hope you enjoyed spending time with family and friends.

Covid Update

Thankfully, positive cases in Trafford are decreasing however the 5-19 age group still has the highest number of cases in our area.

Public Health Trafford are reviewing the current measures around wearing face masks in all communal areas every two weeks and, until we have a further update, face masks are still required around school.  

We are currently giving out between 100 and 150 face masks a day to students who have ‘forgotten’ theirs from home. We are often finding these face masks then discarded at the end of the day on pavements outside school! Can I please ask you to remind your child(ren):

  1. They MUST bring their own face masks to school – preferably ones which can be washed and used again. We are unable to obtain masks from Trafford Council/Public Health and we have no further funding to buy more. Once our remaining few masks run out, students will not be able to get any from school. If your child uses the school bus or Public Transport they should be wearing a mask before they even reach school.
  2. If caught, students who drop litter, including used face masks, will be asked do payback to the community by litter picking. There have been some complaints from neighbours and passers-by that they and/or young children are having to walk through rubbish and used masks on a daily basis. Whilst only a small number of students do this, it puts ALL our students in a very bad light. It is also very damaging to the environment.

Thank you very much for your support on these two matters. 

If your child is Clinically Extremely Vulnerable then you should contact Miss Bruckshaw who will complete an individual risk assessment for them.

Stranger Danger

There have been a number of reports from both primary and secondary schools in the local area which are of concern. Police are investigating after two schoolgirls were approached by a man as they walked to school in Timperley. Officers have so far established that one of the pupils was approached by a man as she walked through Stamford Park at 7.55am yesterday. Approximately 20 minutes later, a man matching a similar description is reported to have approached a second female student while she was walking on Altrincham Golf Course. It is understood that on both occasions the man made inappropriate comments but did not attempt to grab the girls.  

A similar description was also given of a man at two local primary schools where he approached a young child and told her that he had been told to collect her from school. Please talk to your child(ren) about personal safety and remind all students that they should not be walking through deserted areas on their own. 

More information and support on personal safety can be found at:

Buses Update

A meeting took place last week between myself and Mrs Shields and two representatives from Transport for Greater Manchester, to discuss the school bus situation which is currently worse than it has ever been.

For an update on this meeting, please see my email, sent out earlier this week.

Department in Focus: LANGUAGES

Bienvenue, velkominn, benvenuta, bine ati venit, croeso, स्वागत हे, أهلا بك, 欢迎, خوش آمدید , chào mừng, karibu, Bienvenidos!

Welcome to Altrincham College’s Languages department! These words for ‘welcome’ represent a mere snapshot of the languages spoken and the cultures celebrated by the staff and students here at Altrincham College. They also represent the warm welcome we have received from the AC community!

We felt we should introduce ourselves as three new members of staff in the school’s Languages department; we are really looking forward to welcoming Mrs Painter back as Head of Department next year and, of course, Mrs Barr-Brooke has worked in the department for many years, remains an important part of the team!

Mrs Barr-Brooke (left) and Mrs Casey (right)

Mrs Casey:
I have been teaching Languages for the past twenty years. I have taught French and Spanish in a number of different school settings since completing my PGCE at the University of Manchester in 2007. I have worked in both middle and senior leadership positions and I genuinely adore teaching and sharing my experiences. I am absolutely thrilled to be working in Trafford; it is an area very close to my heart as I grew up in Altrincham.

As a result of learning languages at University, I was lucky enough to have spent many years travelling and teaching English in various different countries. These include France, Singapore, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Australia and New Zealand. I feel really lucky to have been welcomed to live and work in all of these countries and genuinely believe myself to be a citizen of the world. I am absolutely passionate about spreading my love of Language learning and building the cultural capital of young people.

Mr Robinson

Mr Robinson:
I’ve always had a love for languages from an early age, this stemmed from wanting to know what the teachers were saying when they came into my class in Year 7 and conversed in either French or Spanish! It wasn’t until taking both languages for GCSE that, instead of taking languages because I was being nosey, the reason was that I actually loved learning and utilising them both, whether it be for academic purposes or just for pleasure – music and film. As a result of studying a degree in both French and Spanish, I had the pleasure of living in Lyon in France for 6 months and another 6 months living in Madrid in Spain. Speaking the native language of where I was living enabled me to become fully immersed not only in their culture but in their way of life – an experience I believe wouldn’t have been available without the language.

For the past 6 years, I’ve been teaching both French and Spanish at a school in Salford, where I was able to show hundreds of students that learning French and Spanish is not just about the language, it’s about the culture and the traditions as well. Both come hand in hand.

Miss Hurdiss

Miss Hurdiss:
I speak French, Spanish, German and English and I’ve been teaching French and Spanish for 3 years. I studied BA (Hons) in French and German, followed by MA Translation and Interpreting Studies at the University of Manchester with a specialism in French translation for international organisations. As part of my undergraduate degree I spent 6 months in Avignon, France, and 6 months in Freiburg, Germany, studying at University and working as an English teacher, which is where I first discovered my passion for teaching languages.  


We love being part of the Altrincham College community and are working very hard to celebrate language learning across the school! We teach both French and Spanish to students in Year 7 and 8, with students opting for their preferred language shortly. The department has introduced new schemes of learning this year and have access to “Active Learn” for students to use at home. All students will be shown how to use this over the next few weeks and it will give them further opportunities to develop their language skills with access to authentic materials to support what we do in lessons.

In September, we celebrated the European Day of Languages and lots of Year 7 students entered a competition to creatively celebrate diversity. Here are some of the brilliant entries and well done to the winners! They received 3 dimensional models of l’Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower and the tower of Pisa. Special congratulations go to Immani in 7.1 for her outstanding model seen below!


We have also been running enrichment activities such as French and Spanish film clubs and beginners’ Italian and we hope to offer more and more opportunities for students to learn new languages over the coming year. We are also making plans to get some International Trips up and running! In the Summer Term we will be collaborating with the Music department to stage a ‘Festival of Languages’: we want to bring acts together from other Trafford schools and develop opportunities to celebrate our rich and vibrant cultural mix. Can you sing in another language or perform a dance from a different culture? Perhaps you can perform a short play or poem in another language? Whatever it is, we welcome you! Look out for further details soon!

Save the Date!

We are delighted to announce the return of our Christmas Concert this year! The has had to be postponed for what feels like an eternity due to the closure of school in Dec 2019 (due to roof problems) and then Covid restrictions/lockdown the year after that.

Please do therefore save the date of THURSDAY 16 DECEMBER (7.00pm) for our concert which this year will not only showcase a number of individual and ensemble music pieces but also dance and drama!

More details will follow shortly!

Commemoration and Celebration

This week our students commemorated Remembrance Day by observing a minute’s silence. Several students (and Miss Diffley!) wore their cadet or Scout uniform to mark the occasion. Mr Smith (Head of History) led assemblies over the course of the week for each year group and Mrs Witchalls prepared resources for our staff to deliver to their form groups to mark this important occasion. A huge thank you to these staff!

We are pleased to report that all the poppies we were given to sell by the British Legion were sold out very quickly! And both students and staff wore their poppy with pride.


Also, our Year 9/10 rugby team played Manchester Health Academy on Thursday. As testament to their hard work and dedication, they played five matches (in not very pleasant weather!) and WON all five matches!! Many congratulations go to all players and thanks to staff involved , in particular Mr Larkin, in getting them to this amazing level!

Thursday was a busy day as the Altrincham College members of the Youth Parliament also went out to a local debate with other schools, accompanied by Miss Duffy. They obviously made some really good points because even though they were up against older students, they won their debate! Congratulations to them!

The Year 8 netball team played this week and of their three matches, they won two and drew one! Great success for these students and their coaches, Miss Morley and Miss Gilmartin! Well done everyone! Also in Year 8, Carys A was selected to take part in the Greater Manchester under 14s football squad. The team did really well!

In Year 9, Harry St-R, took part in the National Gymnastics competition …and came 5th! This is an incredible achievement and Harry goes from strength to strength!

There was lots to celebrate and commemorate this week!

Star of the Week

Nominations for Student Star of the Week(s) since our return to school after half-term - for going over and above - are:

Year 7- Aaron N and Archit S
Year 8 – Xenia B, Matthew P, Joshua H
Year 9 – Leo S
Year 10 – Juri S
Year 11 – Lewis L
Year 12 – Sophia Ooi but the winner is……

Kaitlyn H (Year 13) who was nominated by Mrs Brennan for completing a brilliant UCAS application, was the first past the post with this and has already had several offers of places at some amazing universities! Very well done Kaitlyn – a bright future awaits you!

Staff Star of the Week

Lots of staff have been nominated by colleagues in the last couple of week – all our staff do an amazing job here on a daily basis but these were specifically nominated: Mr Robinson, Miss Matthews, Mr J Smith, Miss Bruckshaw and Mrs Careswell, Mr Guy, Mrs Sherry-Brennan, Mr Thomas, Mrs Beatty, Miss Rainford, Mrs Wagstaff, Mrs Waring, Miss Diffley, the Science department, Mr Mee, Mrs Shields and Mrs Hardy… but there were three overall winners: Mrs Court, Mrs Witchalls, and Miss Brickland! Well done to all those staff!

Thank you for your continued support of our school and have a lovely weekend!

Ms K Earle