Head Girl Speech 2018


Hi, my name is Rachel, and I have been a student at this school for at least ten years.

I used to be a very shy person with school simply flashing before my eyes. But now I can clearly see the good the school does.

This school is quite small and for me that’s just what I need. GCSEs are not a walk in the park, but with thanks to the teachers I am never lacking a challenge to improve in my subjects and test my knowledge. And you don’t fade into the background, this meant I could build really helpful connections with the teachers so I can get the support I need in lessons so that I do not become overwhelmed.

The teacher’s advice has been invaluable during assemblies and on an individual level.

Altogether this meant I could get to where I am today, speaking in public and believing that it is possible to reach the grades I need.

Assembly on responsibility and the school discipline system

It’s important that we keep our vision of what we are as a school before us. It’s Resurrection Sunday this coming weekend and we pause to reflect on injustice, within the context of how the school works when things go wrong.

The scripture used is Luke 6:31-34 from the Message version.

Development Plan and Governance

A draft of the development plan is now available. It will become our development plan once it is agreed by the Governing Body and Trustees. Please take a close look at it and let me know if you think there are errors or we have missed something. (http://tcst.org.uk/development-planning/)
This will form the foundation for our envisioning day where we will get a mid term view of how well we are doing and further developments we may consider.
Just to say thank you to the parents for contributing to the new sign we discussed in the last Envisioning Day.
I would also like to inform you that Ian and Richard have been voted back by the members of the trust to be trustees for a further year and Marcelle has been voted as a new Trustee joining, Ian Chapman, Richard Simons, Sam Gibbs and Carina Bowman.
As you can see we will need to replace two trustees at the end of this academic year so now is a good time to consider if you want to join the trust as a member so that you can be considered as a trustee. You might want to start your journey by becoming a Governor. We are hoping to appoint two parent Governors through a vote and after normal Safeguarding Checks. Some of you whose children are leaving the school may consider becoming Community Governors.
There will be two meetings in January lead by the SLT and Governors to explain to all parents what the momentous changes in education since September 2015 have been. We are working in a changed environment and without direct parental input and oversight our school is very vulnerable.
The vision of the school is to be a community sharing the education of our children with others through teachers whose shared faith is that Jesus is Lord. It might help you to understand better our vision in reading our Ethos and Values statements and our  Curriculum Foundations document on the web. These are our starting point and inclusive documents. If your understanding falls outside these documents come and speak with me and I will help you to understand where I am coming from and the meaning or Word behind the words and any of you can hold us to account for the claims made. Governors are critical friends.

Whistle While You Work!

Here at TCST when work needs to be done the whole school family mucks in and helps! Lots of work was done over the summer holidays when friends, relatives and fellow church members of the school community came to help out. One even travelled as far as from South Africa to join in the working party. A lot of work has been done on the allotment – it was amazing to see the results at the start of the new term.

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Every term we have a regular cleaning and maintenance day but even less than half way through this autumn term a Saturday was spent fixing and painting, and the school is looking great as a result. Thanks to everyone who helped!

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Where there’s work food will never be too far away – a shared lunch is always enjoyed and the whole day is a great time of fellowship when everyone can feel pleased with the work that has been achieved and enjoy the feeling of being part of a team.

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Y10 Collaborative Art Piece

The brief for this piece of work was simply to have the experience of working with others to produce a piece of art.  The only boundaries given were the size of the work and the medium was primarily paint and that pupils would work for about ten minutes before moving on to a different section.  Overall pupils found the experience liberating and negative thoughts about the work being too ‘messy’ became positive once they were very involved with the process.  They also experienced having other pupils add to their designs, and we discussed how this felt and also how it felt for their work to be ‘owned’ by all of them.  Here is what pupils said of their experience:

Khai: I don’t normally do messy art.  I wasn’t expecting to like it.  I ended up enjoying it!

Nadia: I enjoyed the experience.  It wasn’t what I expected it to be.

Bethan: I thought it would be really fun and it was!  You could be messy and do whatever you liked.

Thomas: I thought I wouldn’t enjoy it but working as a team and seeing the final result changed that.

Kate: I didn’t enjoy it at first.  But then I got into it and enjoyed it.


john_woolmanWhen the school was set up at Takeley, the founding Church was very much influenced by the teachings of the early Friends or Quakers, as they came to be known. John Woolman was seen as an inspiration for the school.

From him we learned;

  • To treasure the child’s character and not spoil it by rewarding ungodliness; directing the child to do their best because they were loved by God and training them to secretly build treasure in Heaven. We would add here that we believe that this is all done within the context of valuing the child and in an atmosphere of their affirmation, which is not explicit in the text.
  • The careful selection of families and teachers with clearly shared values was important
  • That teachers should not be overburdened with tasks external to the actual face to face teaching of the children
  • The importance of securing benefactors for the school so that the work would not be a burden to families

It would be honest to say that we have made many mistakes and it would have been wise to have considered Woolman’s inspiration more closely, especially in the care of our teachers and the seeking out of benefactors but our God is a God of Restoration and Reformation.

I hope you enjoy reading the beautiful prose of this early American Friend.