Friday, 30 November 2018

Dear Parents and Carers
The Winter Festival will be held on Friday 7th December 4:30 to 6:30pm, on South Site.
The event brings together the school as the nights draw in and the festive season approaches and it provides students the opportunity to work together on a number of seasonal projects.  This years attractions include a BBQ, school clubs, sports challenge, hot & cold drinks and year group stalls.  We hope to raise funds towards our Gardens Project and consequently the event includes a raffle with lots of excellent prizes.

We would really appreciate your support for this event and our sincere thanks go to those who have already volunteered to help on the night but a few more helping hands would be appreciated. 

Finally, donations of Christmas decorations and lights for the evening (please bring to South Site reception, as of today) would be gladly received and will serve to make the event a little more festive.
To get in touch please contact Alex Thomas (PTA Chair) on
We look forward to seeing you there.  

Thursday, 15 November 2018






Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Cherwell PTA & Parent Forum
30th October 2018
8:00-9:30 pm Training Room - North Site

Present - Cherwell School:  Chris Price (head)

Present -  Parents: Sarah Phibbs, Emma Baxter-Graf, Lana Strmecki, Jane Patton, Zoe Martin, Rosie Callaghan, Rosaleen Cunningham, Hemara Earl, Claire Venard, Michael McDonough, Alex Thomas, Massimo Ghiradani, Elsamannoudi Ihab, Halawani Laila, Milica Vezmor, Julia Drown, Rachel Hoh, Ruth Darso, Alex Cheetham, Silvia Elsner, Suke Wolton, Felice Nassar, Kim Polgreen, Becca Hodgson.


Introduction to the Evening: Purpose and Format
Sarah Phibbs outlined the format and purpose of the evening.

Action by
Chris Price (Head) introduced the history and context of the School Development Plan (SDP) which consisted of 3-year rolling plans.
Explained School Ethos – Opportunity, Responsibility & Excellence.

Key Area 1
KS3 - Encourage ‘intentionality’ to ensure appropriately specific teaching and assessment is performed.

Key Area 2
To focus on explanation. To Explain well and appropriately to the students.

Key Area 3
KS5 behaviours.  Improvement in behaviours reflects improvement in other aspects of learning.

Key Area 4
Improve student wellbeing. Biannual Survey is the key source of feedback.
Collaborate with The Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools/Leeds Beckett University.

The school is high performing in the league tables but has poor facilities. 

Table Discussions to identify key questions of common interest. Answered by Chris Price.

Communication in homework (timing and content)
Some parents felt there was too much/too little homework. All children have reading homework every day. There was a drive within the school to move towards specific valued homework rather than pointless tasks. Students were asked to do more reviewing and revision activities. Each faculty has its own homework policies and the School was working to bring all the faculties’ homework policies up to an excellent standard.

All children were taught how to use their planner to record homework.  Teachers set homework at the start of the lessons.
Apps such as ‘show my homework’ were discussed but it was suggested that this would put the onus of organising the homework onto the parents. 
Homework was being discussed in the ‘Student Impact Governors Committee’

Communication of activities (during and after school).
The current methods of communication for parents where listed.
There is a non-teaching deputy year leader who is always available by email or phone.
The school produces a weekly bulletin which specifies school activities.
The school were looking at writing “a brochure” to list all extra-curricular activities, which will be available to parents soon.

What is the School doing to combat drugs and knives at school?

Difficulties were voiced as there was a high level of drugs in Oxford - especially cannabis. Age appropriate education in social wellbeing and visits by professionals. Talks to the Six-Form.
If appropriate, the school will operate its right to search for drugs and knives.
The school works with agencies who give advice to older children.

Currently there was very little evidence of knives in school although it was acknowledged that drugs and knife crime were often linked.
The school is involved in the ‘County Lines’ project with Thames Valley Police.

The school was asked what it was doing to use younger people to help.
The school tried to use professionals from specific service providers rather than relying on teachers.  The school ran a peer listening scheme.

Chris Price emphasised that the school relied on parents to inform them if they hear anything.

The next issue of Cherwell Being was going to focus on Drugs.

What was the School doing to promote healthy eating?

Chris Price stated that he had met with the Catering Company ‘Caterlink’ who were well managed and pushing a healthy eating agenda.  There were strict rules on sugar and salt addition to food.  The School held assemblies on healthy eating and discussed the environmental impact on their food.
A purpose built canteen is needed.

Long View of Students Education
There were three key stages in Cherwell
KS 3 (years 7-9).  At the end, students make their options for GCSE.
KS4 (years 10-11) At the end students take their GCSEs
KS5 (6th Form).  2/3rds students go onto to full time education at the school while 1/3rd go onto to other educational providers or apprenticeships.
The structure was on the School Website under the curriculum links.
The Year Group Reps can be used to coordinate these queries.


Fundraising Presentation

Alex Thomas summarised that Cherwell was a high achieving school but had deficiencies in its facilities.  A sports hall, dining room study spaces were needed as well as improvements and building to create a more present environment for the Students.  He summarised similar fundraising activities in other schools.

He presented a list of vacancies in the Fundraising team and asked for volunteers to take on roles.

Parent Engagement

Hemara Earl introduced herself and the three key aspects of the PTA.  Parent Engagement was key.  She asked for volunteers for Parent Reps.

AGM Business  - Election of a new Committee - and PTA Business

·         Minutes of the 21st November 2017 – PTA AGM  - Approved
·         Accounts (2017-18)  - Approved
·         Auditor – Jo King – Approved
·         Chair – Alex Thomas – Approved
·         Treasurer – Rosie Callaghan -  Approved
·         Secretary – Becca Hodgson – Approved
·         Year Reps – Hemara Earl and Kim Polgreen – Approved

£10,000 of funds in PTA Account should move to the Development Office Account (£4,000 to remain in PTA Account) – Approved.

Next PTA Event is the 7th December – Winter Festival.


Sunday, 11 November 2018

at The Cherwell School
                    Welcome to Cherwell!

You are joining a vibrant community of students, staff and parents. We all play an essential role in making this school the dynamic place it is.

As parents we are all partners in our children’s education.

If you are a new parent, you will discover the many fantastic things about our school. There is always room for improvement.

Join in and help to make our children’s Cherwell years a great experience

Opportunities to get involved in our school community are listed below.
Please take a moment to read about them and then select one or more that interest you by ticking the boxes in the form on the back and returning it to the PTA stall, or please get in touch directly using the given email addresses provided for each

Gardens & Outdoor environment       Caroline Johnson
Help in the upkeep and development of our outdoor spaces. If you enjoy gardening or just being outdoors, this is for you. Two hours about 6 times per year, no expertise required – only enthusiasm!

Recycling and Environmental impact             Jane Patten   
If you are interested in helping to reduce the school’s environmental impact and improve recycling, your time & participation supporting the school and ‘Cherwell Earth’ student group will be much valued, as we seek to implement new initiatives. Please also reduce single-use plastic at school (e.g. in packed lunches)!

Cycling & safe travel to school, CTAG
The Cherwell Travel Action Group (CTAG) is a small, friendly group comprising parents, a teacher and a councillor. We meet once every term to discuss how to make travel to and from school safer and more environmentally sustainable. Please help us with this vital aspect of school life.

Parentalk – help run the Cherwell Parenting Course
The Cherwell Parenting Course is in its fourth year (next course Jan – March 2019). Not to be missed – an opportunity for all of us to learn together and support one another in our parenting. Help needed to run the course – admin, hosting, facilitating.

Cherwell mental health and wellbeing
Mental health and wellbeing of staff, students and parents & carers is of paramount importance at Cherwell. We all have a role in encouraging good mental health and wellbeing in our school community. If you have expertise or simply an interest and willingness to help, we’d love to hear from you.

Fundraising             Alex Thomas 
You have arrived at the school at an exciting time. We have big plans for the coming years and would like those with experience and interest in fundraising to be part of the future developments.

Year Rep Network   
Our parent community depends on smooth and effective communication with one another. This is much harder to achieve at secondary school than at primary due to the loss of the ‘school gate effect’. We are looking for parents (in all year groups!) to be part of the dynamic Year Rep Network that enables parent-to-parent support and representing the parent voice to the school.

Do you have the occasional hour or two you can give to volunteer at school? If so please sign up to our volunteer list, if you are happy to be contacted as and when opportunities to volunteer arise (e.g. administrative tasks, providing refreshments at events, assist projects)

Library          Ms Bonsaver                      
We have a fantastic library and an inspirational librarian who is always looking for parental help and support to improve all that’s on offer. Help is gladly received either for one-off events or on an occasional basis.

And if you have any ideas that are not mentioned here – we’d love to hear from you. Please get in touch


Please tear off and return to PTA stall, or contact the above email addresses directly:

" ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Name:___________________________  Email address: _____________________________

Please tick (this indicates consent for the project leader to contact you and to retain your details until you ask to be removed from the contact list)

ΓΌ Tick if interested
Groups / initiatives needing parent support and participation

Gardens & outdoor environment

Recycling and environmental impact

CTAG – cycling & safe travel to school

Parenting course

Mental health and wellbeing


Parent representative



Other idea, please describe:

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Winter Festival
Cherwell School South Site
Please sign up via link below if you are able to help!

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Winter Festival
Cherwell School South Site
 7th of December starting at 16.30-18.30
 Raffle Prizes, Photo Booth, Gift Stalls, Year 7 Stalls, Family Zone & Hot Delicious Food including BBQ!
 We need your help in following areas:
Please donate raffle prizes! (Previous prizes included weekends in holiday homes, SPA weekends, beauty treatments, meal for 2, bottle of something festive)
We need volunteers on the day to set up / take down and run numerous stalls
Donations of cakes, cookies and festive food gratefully received
Donation of old Christmas lights and decorations to create a festive environment also needed 
Please join the fun and support the school!
To get in touch please contact Alex Thomas (PTA Chair) on
 We look forward to seeing you there.

Sept 17 – 20
Y7, Y10, Y12 Form Tutor and Information PCE
Opportunity for PTA to connect with all parents in these year groups at the start of the year
Provide refreshments, information & slot in the Information talk.
Thurs 27th Sept
Open Evening
PTA can have a stall to showcase to prospective parents
w/c 15 Oct
Y11 Revision Evening

Tues 30th Oct
Parent Forum + PTA AGM

Thurs 1st Nov
PTA information and refreshments
Thurs 22nd Nov
PTA information and refreshments
Thurs 29th Nov
Y11 Certificate Evening

Weds 5th Dec
Whole School Christmas Concert
PTA offer refreshments
Fri 7th Dec
Winter Festival

Mon 17th Dec
Y13 Certificate Evening

17th - 19th Dec
Whole School Play

Thurs 20th Dec
PTA information and refreshments
10th Jan
Sixth Form Open Evening
PTA information and refreshments
Thurs 17th Jan
PTA information and refreshments

Wed 23rd Jan
Y9 Wellbeing Carousel

Thurs 24th Jan
Y10 Wellbeing Carousel

Weds 30th Jan
Y9 Choices Evening

Thurs 31st Jan
PTA information and refreshments
Thurs 28th Feb
PTA information and refreshments
1st March
PTA Quiz Night

Wed 20th March
Y11 Revision Evening

w/c 25th March
Sixth Form Revision Evening

Thurs 4th April
PTA information and refreshments
w/c 10th June
Y12 Higher Education and Revision Evening

?? June
International Event/
Cherwell Festival

25th – 26th June
Sixth Form Induction

5th July
Year 6 Transfer Day

Mon 8th July
Y6 Welcome Evening
PTA information and refreshments
Thurs 11th July
Y6 Games Evening

Mon 22nd July
Sports Day

1st – 3rd July
Whole School Musical

A reminder of CTAG meeting will take place on Monday 11th of March 2019  at 5:30 pm in the Cherwell North Site training room. Also a g...