July 2017

Welcome to the July edition of the Principal’s blog. It has been a busy 6 weeks since my last blog entry, with students across all phases undertaking external and internal tests and examinations. With the summer finally upon us and the last exam completed, we have some time to focus on the less academic, but equally important aspects of school life.

Our first results this academic year are from the year 1 phonics screening, which has seen a huge increase of 7%. This year, 95% of students in Year 1 have hit the standard, which is significantly above the 2016 national figure of 81%. Year 6 SATs results will be released early in July and we expect another increase in results. GCSE and A levels are also looking very positive.

The Year 11 prom was organised by Mrs Blaize and was decribed by students as being  “the best prom ever!” – it took place in Highgate House in rural Northamptonshire. Students certainly enjoyed the evening, which included a full sit down meal and dancing. The next day, year 13 held their prom at the Northampton Saints ground. Again it was an excellent event.  A member of staff at the event commented that the CCS 6th form students being the best behaved they had ever seen. Photograhs of both events will be available on the next edition of “School Matters”.

A number of big trips have recently returned. The first Spanish exchenge in secondary phase was a huge success, with all staff and students enjoying the experience. Year 6 students returned from their trip to Wales last week, again having a fantastic time. Other trips taking place in July include the USA football trip (Chicago and Milwake), Paris 2017, Malawi and Tanzania. The KS3 drama production “A postmans knock” is expected to be a huge success, as is the KS3 end of year concert.

As we draw towards the end of the academic year, new students joining Year 7 and Year 12 will take part in induction events during the coming weeks. We will also have a chance to meet new staff joining us in September.

On all measures, the 2016/17 academic year has been a real success. The list of events and activities that take part in and out of the school day has been staggering.


David James

May 2017


The exam season is now upon us!

In year 2 and year 6, students have faced their Statutory Assessment Tests (SATs). Our year 6 children approached their assessment week with great determination, completing rigorous, externally marked tests in reading, grammar punctuation and spelling and three mathematics test papers. Key Stage 1 children have been tackling their SATs in reading and mathematics over the past two weeks, the outcomes of which will inform final teacher assessment judgments in June.

In secondary, practical exams have been completed and written exams for GCSE and A level have finally begun. Students have prepared well and many are looking forward to excellent exam results in the summer. As parents and carers will know, it is a very stressful time for young people and their families. We wish all of our pupils and students the best of luck in these examinations, please contact the school if there is anything we can do to further support their success.

Whilst young people take these important assessments, the work of the school continues. Earlier this month, 15 students in year 9 visited the Cavendish Laboratories at Cambridge to see the world class physics research facilities. Following a STEM theme, in June, we have 4 year 10 girls competing at a “Girls in Physics” event at Sir Christopher Hatton School, challenging students from schools across the county.

The weekly “Open-mic” event on Friday lunchtime is becoming increasingly popular. Recently, students performed “Revolting Children” from Matilda. Performing in front of other students and adults requires resilience, confidence and determination. In many ways the skills that students develop in activities like this are just as important as the qualifications they receive in making them successful adults. As you will know, determination is the CCS value for this term.

The primary sporting calendar continues to be full and active this month, with several of our teams progressing to the summer School Games. One of the greatly anticipated highlights of the Caroline Chisholm cluster sporting calendar is the KS2 team cross county event. We are delighted to announce that CCS took first place overall with the year 3/4 boys’ and  year 5/6 girls’ teams winning their events. There has also been success for the year 5/6 girl’s football team who came top in the NTSSF group. In secondary the girl’s team retained the county cup for the 4th consecutive year with a 6-1 win against Duston School.

In art, 10 of our young talented year 7 artists have been extremely successful in winning the competition held by the University of Northampton to decorate the hoardings around the new campus building site, another incredible achievement.

In modern foreign languages, last minute plans are underway for the 2nd leg of our first international exchange with students off to Tarragona in Spain to see the Roman ruins and visit nearby Barcelona. Last week ended with an excellent reception from our Year 10 Hospitality students who prepared food and entertainment for staff as part of their GCSE assessment.

Full details of these and other interesting events will feature in the next edition of our new “School Matters” newsletter, which should be with you when we return from the upcoming break.


David James

April 2017

Can I welcome all pupils and students back to CCS after what has hopefully been a restful and productive Easter break. For students preparing for public exams, the Easter break is often a busy time where there is little time to relax, but hopefully everyone has had the opportunity to have some rest and relaxation over this time.

The spring term was a very successful time for the school with many activities taking place during the term. Highlights for me were:

  • Red Nose Day charity events and cake sale, where the school raised just under £3000.
  • Our first Spanish exchange visit, where students from Taragonna in Spain spent a week with our students and families.
  • A visit from students from a school in France that we hope to start an exchange with.
  • Micro-bit Rocket Racers – Y7/8 students designed and tested rocket powered racers with the help of the Army.
  • Secondary Sports awards – recognising the amazing skills of our young sports stars.
  • Year 9 Solve it day.
  • A visit from the Google Expeditions Team giving us a glance of the future use of Virtual reality in the classroom.

Below are a selection of external trips that took place from January to the end of the term:

  • Year 9 trip at FESTO looking at cutting edge technologies.
  • Year 8 Salters festival of Chemistry at Warwick University
  • Year 5 Black Country Living
  • Y12 AS Georgraphy Field Trip
  • 3 students in Year 10 were finalists at the “Big Bang” STEM event at the NEC
  • Y7/8 Big Bang Trip
  • Y4 Residential York
  • Y11 National Apprenticeship Show
  • Y12 Parliament Trip
  • Y11/12 Grendon Residential Pre-Malawi residential
  • Y13 BASE Regional Heat
  • Y12 Focus 12 – Oxford University
  • Y12 Lessons from Aucshwitz
  • Y12 Woburn Safari Park
  • Y7-12 Royal Philharminic Orchestra
  • Y1 Wootton Church
  • Y12 Focus 12 – Cambridge University
  • Y13 Much Ado about nothing – London
  • Y3-6 Young Voices Birmingham
  • Y11 Tate Britain
  • Y10 GCHQ

Over the Easter break, Mitie have been busy improving aspects of the site. In particular they have worked to remove old chewing gum from tables and floorings which has accumulated since the school opened. Hopefully we will make sure that this clears the problem and with vigilence from staff and greater awareness from students this will no longer be a problem. As parents know, litter was a problem in secondary before the Easter break and we are hoping that the situation is now hopefully resolved.

To improve communication with parents, we hope to put together a new monthly newsletter with the aim of increasing communication between school and home. The first issue will be published at the end of April/early May and will cover everything from sporting events, performing arts, future trips and pictures of trips that have been successful. It will also give parents an opportunity to be more involved with what is going on in the school and hopefully help them get up to date with aspects of teaching and learning that we are developing. My target for the term is to spend more time on parental communication and make more time for my online blog! With a busy shedule, it is the one thing that has unfortunately slipped.

The summer term is one where we make our final run in for external examinations and tests. As a parent myself of a student preparing for A levels, I understand how stressfull this time of year can be for both students and their parents. In primary phase, we are in the second year of the new Key Stage 2 assessments, whilst at GCSE and A level, this is the first year where students are having to tackle the new harder examinations in a number of subjects. Hopefully with continued hard work and determination from our students, support from parents and staff, they will all achieve the exceptional grades that we expect from them.


David James