Monday, 4 September 2017

Welcome to the New School Year at Cherwell from the PTA!

For those of you who are new to the school, we hope you will join our community of parents and carers keen to get involved with the development of the school community and fundraising programme. 

Last year we had some great events – The Winter Festival, International Evening, Quiz Night, The Big Iftar – as well as talks on addiction, pornography and a 6 session course for parents to get together about common issues raising teenagers called “Parentalk”. 

Every parent is a member of the PTA and this year we’d like to invite you to get involved with areas you are passionate about.  This is a great opportunity to make a difference in the life of the school and to leave a legacy for the next generation of students.  This year, my Co-Chair Mary has played a huge role in fundraising to develop our wonderful garden rooms and Jane Patten has worked with the school on recycling as a result of her child’s school project which highlighted the need for better facilities.  The school is open to new ideas and initiatives to support key departments and to create a richer and more diverse curriculum.  So, please get your thinking caps on and come with ideas to our first meeting!   

The PTA meeting is normally held on the first Wednesday of term, but this term will be held on 13 September at 6pm in the Training Room on the North Site (left after the gates near the reception and up the stairs).

We really look forward to seeing you there!

All best wishes

Sarah Phibbs
Mary Bowes
PTA Co-Chairs



Monday, 3 July 2017

Jack Graham North Site Garden Preparation Day (1st July)

We are very pleased to announce that we have raised £5,000 for the Jack Graham Garden on North Site. This is in memory of a student, who sadly died of cancer last year, and has been developed and fundraised for by students and staff. On Saturday, the PTA, friends and students prepared the ground outside the North Site Hall for the construction that is taking place over the summer holidays. More days are planned for other garden room days around the school.

If you would like to volunteer or donate to our other Garden Room projects, you can sign up here.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Notes from the Parent Forum, May 2017

On an evening in May, around 50 parents & carers met to ask questions of the school's Headteacher and Senior Leadership Team.  The questions and answers are now available - please have a read! If your still have questions remaining, please join us at the next Parent Forum in the Autumn term.

Click here to open the write up!

Friday, 5 May 2017

Parent Forum, Thursday 11 May, 7pm, North Site

Please join us for the Parent Forum on Thursday 11 May, from 7pm to 8:30pm, in the North Site Training Room.

The Parent Forum is held twice a year, and is an opportunity for us as parents and carers to meet, and ask questions of, the Headteacher and other members of the school’s Senior Leadership Team, in a friendly and relatively informal environment. 
Refreshments will be available.

We have already received some advance questions on how the school budgets and finances are changing; on the use of mobile phones in school; on GCSE and A level entry and options; on progress reports; on the impact of the Swan school; and on dealing with bullying.  It should be an interesting evening.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Quiz Night, Friday 17 March

Get your thinking caps on!

Cherwell School’s QUIZ NIGHT is here again, on Friday 17 March, in the North Site hall from 7.30 – 9.30 pm. 
It’s a fantastic night out, and we have been lucky to secure our popular and fabulous quizmasters - Ed and Ollie Pentz – for another year.

The organisers can help you join a team on the night or you can start putting your team together now! Teams can be families, or teachers, or students, or a mix. Yhere is a maximum of eight(ish) per team. Questions will be designed for different age groups. 

Wine, beer, soft drinks and our tasty dip and vegetable snack platters will be for sale on the night.
Email to secure your tickets now.  

Tell us:
Your name:
Number of tickets Adult/Child:
Number of Platters required:
Tickets are £4 per adult and £2 for students and under-18s, Platters are £7 – we’ll send you an email to confirm your booking, and you can pay us at the door on the night.

Mandy Saligari - Addiction, Parenting and Relationship Expert talk, Monday 20th March

Monday 20th March, 6.30pm, Main Hall, North Site

The Cherwell School has invited Mandy Saligari, an Addiction, Parenting and Relationship Expert, to speak with a group of students on Monday the 20th of March, followed by an evening talk entitled – ‘Parenting for Prevention’.

Mandy works as a psychotherapist and is a forthright and a dynamic public speaker, passionate about helping people to live healthy addiction-free lives, coping with emotions and improving children’s self-esteem. Any parent attending this talk will hopefully leave feeling empowered to support their child with a range of difficulties. 

To learn more about Mandy Saligari’s work please visit her website – or watch her help celebrities from her Harley Street practice on Channel Five - celebrities-in-therapyTea and Coffee will be available for purchase.

Pornography and Young People - a workshop for parents and carers, Tuesday 28th March

‘Pornography has changed the landscape of adolescence beyond all recognition. (Daily Telegraph, 22 April 2015)CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) tells us that nowadays most teenagers (and many younger children) have watched pornography, seen it without wanting to, or been affected by it indirectly. The Naked Truth is an organisation which gives parental guidance on phones, filters and digital dangers. Following the popular parenting course ‘Parentalk’ that is taking place at Cherwell this term, there will be an evening workshop on Tuesday March 28th to help parents and carers tackle and talk about the issue of pornography and internet safety presented by the Naked Truth Project. The workshop is open to all parents and carers from Cherwell school and Wolvercote and Cutteslowe Primary Schools . As well as equipping us to support children who are exposed to pornography they will also teach us practical ways to keep our youngsters safe online generally. This is not an event that is appropriate for children to attend.


  • Date: Tuesday 28th March, 7.30 – 9.30pm
  • Venue: The Cherwell School North Site
  • Cost: £3 (Cheques made payable to River Learning Trust please)
  • Booking: Please complete the reply slip attached and return with payment to the red box (Reception South Site, Finance Office North Site)

The Workshop will include:

    Up to date information regarding online and digital culture 

  • Access to the PG parents’ pack - a comprehensive digital resource available exclusively to those that attend the workshop 
  • Practical tips for different ages and stages. Both the workshop and PG parents’ pack has content for young children (8-12) and teenagers (13-18) 
  • Advice for protecting younger children from accidental exposure, installing filters, safe searches etc. The pack includes step by step videos for setting up these features
  • Information regarding mobile technology, apps and helpful way to restrict or monitor internet use 
  • Advice for engaging with older children and teenagers and having healthy conversations regarding their online world 

If you have any further enquiries please contact the Parentalk team via email.

Monday, 20 February 2017

PTA Meeting, Wednesday 22nd February, 6pm-7.30pm

We look forward to meeting as many of you who are able to come at Term 3's PTA meeting. Details of the agenda can be found here, while the minutes from the last meeting on 11th January are here.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

PTA Meeting Wednesday 11th January, 6pm-7.30pm

Welcome back. Hope you all had a fabulous break.

Just a few things to tell you. 

Firstly, thanks to all who donated festive goodies for the teachers just before Christmas. We have some amazing teachers at Cherwell School, so it was a great opportunity to thank them for all their hard work. Several emailed the coordinator to say how much they appreciated your efforts. 

Secondly, we raised around £1500 overall at the winter festival. We are really pleased at how the event is growing and becoming far more of a whole school event. Moreover, as the school faces increased cutbacks, fundraising events such as these will only grow in importance over the next few years. We hope next winter festival to have the first major garden room project completed to show you. If you would like to donate to this project, please go to

Thirdly, the PTA termly meeting takes place this Wednesday, 11th January, 6pm-7.30pm. We'd love to see you there. You can view the draft agenda here.

Lastly, as your new PTA co-chairs we'd like to introduce ourselves. I, Mary, have two children at the school in Years 8 and 10 and decided to join the PTA after my youngest moved on from primary school. Thinking it would be fun to organise a party, I signed up to run the winter festival in 2015. That led on to involvement with the garden rooms project, something I'm passionate about, because of all the proven benefits of beautiful outdoor spaces on mental and physical wellbeing and educational outcomes. I'm also on the fundraising group, which is made up of teachers and parents, looking at raising funds for different projects.

And, from Sarah: “I have two boys in year 10 and 8.  Compared with primary school, secondary can feel quite distant for parents.  I liked the ambition from the Head, Chris Price, to create stronger links between the Head, teachers and parents to ensure Cherwell continues to change and grow.  Co-chairing the PTA gives me a chance to meet new people, get more involved in the programme of events and fundraising, and highlight areas where parents want greater feedback and engagement.  We welcome everyone to our meetings and would be grateful for some more help with events if you can’t attend regularly, so do please get in touch!”

Warm wishes

Mary and Sarah

Friday, 2 December 2016

Garden Rooms Video - find out what we're planning

Here's the video about the garden rooms that will be rolling on monitors tonight.
Thank you to school parent Wojtek Lubowiecki 
for putting it together at such short notice.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Winter Festival - What's On and Where

Winter Festival - What’s On
Gym 1 Area
Cheerleaders + Chocolate Tombola + School Clubs & Stalls inc Chicken project, Wattbike Challenge, Young Enterprise + Bouncy Castle + Family Zone+ Stagecoach + Year 11 Stalls

Entrances & Corridor from Reception to Gym 2
Raffle Tickets and Prizes, Garden Rooms Project, PTA stall, Cherwell Photography Calendars

Gym 2
Year 7 Stalls
7AI – Cutting a chocolate bar with hat/gloves etc
7CGy – Cookie stall
7CRr – Christmas Themed Coconut shy
7DI – Sweet Shop
7ERd – Cake sale
7JB – Ball Pool Lucky dip
7JMy – Tombola/Hoopla game
7KG – Jar Pong
7RBd – Guess the name of the cuddly toys
7RHk – Snow bobbing/Tinsel tangle/Number of sweets in the jar.

Courtyard Outside Gym 2
Grotto including light show and wish tree

Barbecue and Mulled Wine

Music Room (next to Grotto)
Violin Club playing at 5.15-5.45
Singalonga carols 5.45 onwards

Canteen and The Base
CafĂ© – Coffee, tea, wine, beer, coke and lemonade
Cake Stall
Gift Stalls – Chillies 2 U, The Curiosity Box, Lizi Newman Pottery and Marieke O’Connor Pottery, Marika Curiale artist, hair accessories stall
The Base – hot chocolate and festive ideas

Around the School



We Would Like to Thank...

School Staff, particularly Mr Jarvis, Mr Cappleman, Miss McLaughlin, Miss King, Mr Brown, Miss Dale, the caretakers (especially Steve) and staff at the Base

All the Winter Festival Crew

Raffle prizes donated by:
Liverpool Football Club
Sahara Force India F1
Portabellos, Mamma Mia and Joe’s
Mahogany Hair
Popham Hairdressing
The Book House Summertown
Marika Curiale
M G Harris
Cherwell Parents

Bouncy Castle
provided by Newsquest

Organic burgers and bacon from M Feller Son & Daughter
Thanks to Sainsbury’s Local Summertown for donating the baps, condiments and veggie burgers

Winter Festival - School Comms email resent with correct links

Apologies for the links in the school email. There's something wrong with the system.

We're looking forward to seeing you at the winter festival on Friday, 2nd December from 5pm until 7pm. We've tried to appeal to all ages, with something for everyone...

In the courtyard outside Gym 2 is a light-filled grotto with a wish tree, some brand-new artwork made by Miss McLaughlin and a group of art students, and a gazebo full of colour. Take a moment amid the hurly burly of this frenetic 2016 to just be. Write a wish or thought on a woodcut ornament made by Design Tech students and hang it on the tree (or take it home). 

Then go next door into the music room and listen to the violin club (performing from 5.15-5.45) or grab one of the song sheets in there after 5.45 and have your own singalonga carols with friends and family. Perhaps you'd like to step into the sound and energy of Gym 2 where Year 7s will be vying loudly to raise the most money they can from their stalls (see attached sheet for an overview of what they and others are doing).

Getting peckish? Well no need to worry about cooking when you get home. A Year 7 Dad is doing a barbecue outside the two-storey block and we have tried to cater for all tastes, with organic burgers and bacon sourced from local suppliers M Feller Son & Daughter, plus 50 halal burgers and 50 veggie burgers (thanks to Sainsburys Local in Summertown for donating the veggie burgers, baps and condiments). Mulled wine, beer and soft drinks will also be on sale. In the canteen, there will be a mixture of drinks and cakes, with the Base providing hot chocolate (with whipped cream) and some games and festive goods. A few gift stalls will be here too, including Chillies 2 U, the Curiosity Box, and three parents who are selling their crafts.

In Gym 1, there is a family zone with a bouncy castle (lent by Newsquest) and a variety of school and club stalls. A small group of Cheerleaders are performing at 5.15, 5.45 and 6.15. Come and see their award-winning routines, then support their stall and those of other school clubs (Chicken Project - who are doing a chocolate fountain, Young Enterprise, Bike Club - What Bike Challenge and Cherwell Travel Action Group). Just outside, the chocolate tombola will most likely have long queues. Stagecoach Performing Arts who run classes at Cherwell at weekends and after school, are also going to be here, so find out what they can offer your child and also what Year 11 are doing on their stall to raise funds for their prom.

There are two entrances to the festival and raffle tickets will be on sale at both for the garden rooms project with the garden rooms stall in the passageway between. There you can buy Cherwell lavender bags and calendars made by photography students. Our wish is that at the next winter festival, thanks to the £25,000 we will have raised (£8000 so far), the central garden will be done, so the school community has somewhere beautiful to sit and relax. 

Thanks to some great parent power, the courtyard where the grotto is will also be finished with the beds planted up and seating for outside learning. There are also plans for further garden rooms on north and south site. To see what has already been done please take a moment to view the garden rooms presentation on monitors at the festival.

Lastly, let's not forget the buskers who will be playing around the school. Their sparkle and magic provide the perfect backdrop to the festivities.
If you can't come or festivals are not your thing, then perhaps you could make a donation through the school's brand new portal at You just need to input Cherwell School in the search function. 

So it's over to you now folks. Help us make the Winter Festival 2016 the best one ever.

With warm wishes on these cold days

The Winter Festival Crew 

Friday, 25 November 2016

Winter Festival - Raffle Tickets Go On Sale

Raffle Tickets are on sale in the north and south site canteens every day at lunchtime until 2nd December. Tickets are £1 each. You can also buy them in books of five. Prizes include:

  • Signed Liverpool football shirt
  • F1 Force India cap signed by drivers Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg
  • £100 Hamper
  • Dining out vouchers from Portabello (£50), Mamma Mia (£25) & Joe's Bar and Grill (£25)
  • Hair vouchers from Mahogany Hair (£56) and Popham Hairdessing (£20)
  • Signed first editions from acclaimed young adult/children's author M G Harris (the Joshua Files, Gemini Force One and Emancipated)
  • A copy of This Book Thinks You're a Scientist, donated by The Bookstore in Summertown
  • A painting from local artist Marika Curiale (see below)

If you can't make the winter festival, it's a great way so support your school. Tickets will also be on sale at the festival. 

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Winter Festival - volunteer sign-up

If you'd like to help out at the winter festival, there are plenty of ways you can do so.

We're particularly trying to find someone who would coordinate at the singalonga christmas carols and/or who would play the piano (although obviously we can sing without a piano).

Among others, two parents who are potters are selling their fantastic products, so if you make things and would like a spot to sell them, please contact Mary at We provide a table and chair and ask for 10% of takings on the night in return.

Meanwhile, last week, a group of Year 10s helped pick lavender and we've now got 100 bags to sell at the festival (on the garden rooms stall). They make great stocking fillers.

Winter Festival - Friday 2nd December, 5pm-7pm

We are pleased to present the winning entry for the Cherwell School Winter Festival 2016 poster by Dora Thompson. This was voted for by Year 7s who are busy preparing their stalls ready for the big day. As the festival is a Whole School Event, a wide array of clubs and year groups are also getting stalls ready, while the Base is providing hot chocolate - more details soon. We also look forward to meeting Year 6s and their families - come and see what a great place Cherwell School is (and try out the chocolate tombola and family zone).

As this is our biggest and best festival yet, there's masses to see and enjoy:
  • a bouncy castle in the Family Zone for younger children
  • lots of great raffle prizes to be won 
  • cakes and refreshments (alcoholic and non-alcoholic).
  • a barbecue (including halal and vegetarian options), with organic meat provided by local butcher M Feller Son and Daughter
  • gift and school stalls
  • Festive music in the music room (including a half-hour violin club concert)
  • Chocolate Tombola
  • Grotto
  • Busking
  • Sing-a-long carols
Look forward to seeing you there.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Parent Forum / AMG

On 4 October over 60 parents and carers met informally with Chris Price (Headteacher) and other school leaders in the Training Room on North Site, to hear about the direction of the school; to meet other parents/carers; and to ask the questions they we were most concerned about.  A summary of the questions and answers is given here.  We hope to hold it twice a year, so if you missed it, please come next time.

At the end of the Parent Forum we held a very brief Annual General Meeting for the PTA. Congratulations to the new PTA leaders elected at the meeting, who are:
Chair: Sarah Phibbs & Mary Bowes
Treasurer: Rosie Callaghan
Secretary: Lynne Trenery & Helen Higham
Year rep coordinator: Kim Polgreen & Hemara Earl
The draft notes of the AGM are here, and the
Finance Report here.