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Principal's News

Principal's News: September 2023

‘And everyone suddenly burst out singing’.

He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands” –  is a traditional African American spiritual that was first published in 1927 and has remained popular until today, as we witnessed last week with the latest rendition from the National Youth Orchestra, as 270 young voices between 13 and 19 put down their instruments and sang their heart out. Their joy and pride of being part of  an orchestra was evident to everyone, something they will never forget. I was certainly moved and felt privileged to experience their competence at such an early age.

In the same way, I feel privileged, each day, to be part of Team CCHS. I especially value everyone who has put such effort into developing the curriculum and attending the evening inset sessions ensuring the rich curriculum we offer at each key stage.


Sadly, as the Summer Term ends, we say au revoir to John Sosna who has been such an enormous support whilst he was assistant Head at GOSH and over the last few years teaching at Lavender Walk, and playing a key role in the fundraising group.  Enjoy your much deserved retirement John, as you sail around the world. 

Thank you and good luck to our SENDCO Sarah Pfutzner who has moved on to another post after 9 years of working across sites helping special needs students obtaining access to additional support.

Now some welcomes!

Welcome back Charlotte Barter who is returning after a year’s maternity leave to teach at St. Mary’s; Heena Patel will be returning in December following her maternity leave, and Charlotte Thorpe will also return in late December.  We also send our warm congratulations to Amy Blyth who has just give birth to her second son, and Raechele Russell who is now on leave awaiting her second child.

We look forward to working with Andy Mclaren an experienced SENDCO who has the additional expertise of being able to assess a student’s cognitive ability, which will be enormously helpful.  Andy will work fulltime, 3 days a week with Community students and 2 days at LW, this will assist with EHC Plans as well as gain a greater understanding a wide range of learning difficulties.

For English we have 2 part time teachers, Anuradha Sharma, who has English teaching experience up to A level, who will work 3 days at LW and Sophie Sexton who is qualified and experienced as both an English and history teacher, she will also work three days, and will commence on the first week after half term.

We are also looking forward to Karima Eli Boukilli returning to teach at C&W hospital in September to teach the key stage 1&2 students, and to welcoming back Jorge Franco who has been much missed.

On other changes. . . we have had many years of working closely  Mark Withers who with musicians from the London Symphony orchestra have been a pleasure to watch as each visit introduces a child to an instrument and bring the gift of music to the young students at Collingham and the long-term patients at St. Mary’s who are often in isolation for extended periods. The change in a young person is clear when they are with our highly talented musicians, painters and poets. The Arts have always been a central part of the school’s week and our secret weapon for the imagination and intuition of students.

New School Building

Many thanks to everyone involved in the building of our new school to replace our Bayswater Site. The new school has been designed by architects after discussions with the school staff about their requirements. 

School Exam results

Despite all our students having missed much of their education due to being unwell, we are delighted to attach the GCSE results.

The results are easy to read – every number above 4 is a pass. Grade 9 is for a student who has done exceptionally well, Grade 8 is A*and Grade 7 is A.  It is incredible that our students despite their difficulties have shown such diligence and are all able to move forward to their chosen next academic step. That includes students with 4,5,6.  For those who did not quite reach the 7 level required to move on to an A Level course, we welcome them staying on so that they can achieve this next year.

I want to congratulate them all and thank the teachers who have put in so much extra time to ensure the students achieved the results they deserved.  But the results don’t tell the whole story about the effort they have made. One student who received a low grade, must also be commended a)  for attending the exams despite still being extremely unwell, b) arriving at results day knowing she would have poor grades c) immediately stating clearly “I know I can achieve, can I stay and study again now I am well.”

That’s what all those young musicians must have said, and they struggled to become great musicians in the National Youth Orchestra. Determination to succeed is as great a qualification, for later on in life, as is succeeding in the exams.

Finally, we should not forget our Governors, who give their time up to oversee the governance of the School. Thank you.

The next celebration will be the Grand Opening of our new site in November- music will be the central theme.

Until then enjoy the remainder of the holiday and I look forward to see you all soon.

Janette Steel