Dr Rebecca Ashcroft, Head at Red House School

Dear Parents,

It has been another action-packed week at Red House. On Wednesday morning, at the Junior School Harvest Festival, I was treated to an extravaganza of talent, ranging from acrostic poems, wonderful singing, and even a rap from 3A! On the other side of the pond, 7F did a delightful assembly on the History of Red House School. Whilst the 6C assembly yesterday was an informative and very polished performance on Endangered Animals.

Year 11 mock exams
The Year 11’s will be doing their mock examinations from Monday 14-Wenesday 24 November 2021. All of the exam information from Mrs Sweeney can be found by clicking on the following link: Year 11 Mock Examination information

This can be a stressful time for both pupils and parents. Please click on the link to access guidance on how to support your child’s emotional health in the coming weeks and months: ‘An emotionally healthy approach to GCSEs’ – A guide for parents

Staff Wellness Ambassadors
I am delighted to announce that the following staff have been appointed to become Wellness Ambassadors from the second half of the Autumn Term:

Junior School – Miss Dring and Mrs Waldock
Senior School – Mr Thorogood, Miss Thompson, Mrs Lindsay-Symington and Dr Ashcroft

We will initially be organising weekly drop-in sessions over break times and lunch times for any pupils needing some extra support.

PTA Bag2School Collection: Tuesday 2 November
The PTA is participating in the Bag2School campaign, where you are able to support their fundraising efforts whilst ridding yourself of unwanted clothing. Collection bags have been sent home with the children today, although you can use a plain refuse sack should you wish to do so. Further details can be found in the letter at the bottom of Pupil Post.

PTA Fireworks Display
A reminder that the PTA Fireworks Display is on Friday 5 November 2021 from 6pm to 8pm. A selection of food and refreshments will be available and tickets are £5 each (under 3s are free) and subject to availability. The deadline for all ticket requests is Monday 1 November.

Black History Month
In today’s assembly, our last in the month of Black History Month, I spoke to the children about another two people who are inspirational figures to me: the first is Baroness Doreen Lawrence, the mother of Stephen Lawrence, a black teenager who was murdered in a racist attack in South East London in 1993. In 1999, after years of campaigning by the Lawrence family, an inquiry was established to investigate the circumstances of Stephen’s death. It concluded that the Metropolitan Police was institutionally racist. In the aftermath of the inquiry, Doreen Lawrence continued to campaign for justice for her son, as well as for other victims of racist crime. In 2003 she was awarded the OBE for services to community relations, and was made a life peer in 2013 in the House of Lords.

The second figure is Walter Tull, one of football’s first black players and the British Army’s first ever black officer. Walter was confined to a reserve at Tottenham Hotspur because of his skin colour, but his fortunes were revived when he was signed for Northampton Town in 1911, where he went on to play 111 games for them before the outbreak of the First World War. During the war, he enlisted with the army and fought extensively in the war, at one stage being sent home suffering from shell shock. He returned to the conflict, having been made an officer and served from November 1917 to early March 1918. Second Lieutenant Tull died, aged just 29, while engaged in combat near Arras in Northern France.

Ordering a whole school photograph
If you would like to order a whole school photograph from Tempest, please use the following web link to access the photograph:

COVID-19 Home Testing
A further supply of home test kits was sent home with your child on Wednesday. Pupils in Years 7-11 should continue to be tested at home on a twice-weekly basis during the half term holidays.

I hope you have a fantastic two-week break over the half term holidays. We are looking forward to welcoming the children back into school on Monday 1 November 2021.

With very best wishes

Dr Rebecca Ashcroft


Miss Claire Thompson – Senior School

Wow, what a half-term! This morning in assembly, I expressed to the children how wonderful it had been to watch them enjoy assemblies, sports fixtures, music and drama, co-curricular clubs, residential visits and, of course, hot lunches and puddings in the dining hall! This half-term, I’ve also had the pleasure of teaching and visiting many lessons. Some highlights include becoming Stone Age men and women with Year 7; watching Year 8 prepare their assembly on Black History; using microscopes with Year 9 to analyse hair and teeth cells; listening to Year 9 describe the impact of pathetic fallacy in English; discussing sensitive topic areas around relationships with Year 10; and hearing some impressive Spanish vocabulary by Year 11 – ¡Qué impresionante!

Assemblies have not disappointed again this week and Year 9 certainly brought the fun factor! Form 9K had researched Halloween brilliantly and informed us of its history as well as traditions from around the globe. They ended with the ‘Chubby Bunny’ challenge and a huge thank you goes to Jude, Keith and Reece who were great sports taking part in this! Form 9H brought culture to their assembly, celebrating different foods from around the world. Thankfully, I knew my salami from my prosciutto in the cured meats challenge versus Mr Thorogood! Mrs Sweeney and Mr Kitching also took on the cheese challenge whilst Mr Palmer and Mrs Lindsay-Symington took on the sushi challenge!

I also had the pleasure of watching the Year 5 Harvest Assembly at the Junior School this week. They put on an amazing performance and I particularly loved their version of ‘Let It Grow’ – a fantastic adaptation of ‘Let It Go’ from Frozen! It was wonderful to see their confidence when speaking and performing.

The pupils should feel proud of their achievements this term so far. They deserve a good rest (as do the staff!) to make sure they are recharged for when they return on Monday 1 November. There have been many successes in a short space of time but, during assembly today, I also asked the pupils to reflect on their approach to school life: to ensure they are being inspirational as well as aspirational in their behaviour and actions. With that said, I thought it would be useful to share with you some of the key points from our Red House Behaviour Policy in the following letter: Rewards and Sanctions Autumn 2021

I would also like to wish you a wonderful half term with your family.

Years 7 to 11 Ski Trip, Les Deux Alpes, France: 2 April – 9 April 2022
Following the cancellation of last year’s ski trip, the 2021/22 trip will return to Les Deux Alpes: a superb resort for all standards of skier. The pupils have been informed about this in school and the letter is attached. In order to secure your child’s place, please ensure the deposit is paid by no later than Friday 22 October.

Year 6 Christmas Cards: Tuesday 2 November
Year 6 have been given a sheet to design their own Christmas Card over half-term, which can be then be printed in packs to send to friends and family over the festive season. Once completed, the pupils will receive a sample of what their Christmas card will look like and then they can buy packs of their design. Please see letter attached from the PTA for further details.

Use of Microsoft Teams
Today in assembly, I spoke to the pupils about the use of Microsoft Teams. It is a fantastic resource that we continue to use as a learning platform; however, the children were reminded that they should refrain from messaging staff out of school hours and should avoid sending messages after 6pm. They were prompted to consider using books, study guides, the internet and asking a friend before seeking the help of the teacher. Developing this resilience will undoubtedly benefit them for future life.


Mr Simon Haywood – Junior School

It’s difficult to believe we have reached half term already as the past 6 weeks seem to have gone by in a flash. The pupils have worked hard in so many areas this week as well as performing and filming their Harvest celebration. Dr. Ashcroft came over especially on Wednesday to watch and was blown away by such a wonderful performance! Year 5 performed their Harvest Assembly to the Junior school on Thursday and their Harvest rendition of ‘Let it Grow’ from ‘Frozen’, was fantastic! Well done to all year groups for such a wonderful Harvest celebration!

Year 4 had a super time in our learning garden cooking Tudor food as part of their Tudor topic. I’m not sure if it looked that appetizing! They followed this up with a trip to Barley Hall in York on Thursday, to further enhance their understanding of life in Tudor Times!
I’ve also heard that Year 2 have been learning how to debate! They have been listening to each other’s thoughts and opinions whilst learning how to explain why they might agree or disagree. What a fantastic skill to have!

Parent/Teacher Consultations
We hope you enjoyed the opportunity to speak with your child’s class teacher earlier this week and found it a positive experience. If you have any feedback on how you felt a ‘virtual’ meeting worked for you, I’d be delighted to receive it.

Food Bank
Many thanks to everyone who donated food to the Food Bank. This has now been collected and taken to the Food Banks in Billingham and Norton. The Trussell trust send their thanks for your support and generosity.

Tees Valley Cross Country Championship
Many congratulations to Evan, Thalia and Willow who represented the Junior school at the Tees Valley Cross Country Championships in Stewart Park on Wednesday. You should all feel very proud of your efforts and we thank you for representing the school so wonderfully.

Christmas cards
You should find your child has brought home a sheet for a Christmas card design to complete over half term. This should be done in pencil crayon or felt tip, and returned to school by Tuesday 2 November. The pupils will receive a sample of what their Christmas card will look like, and will then be given the opportunity to buy packs of their design.  Proceeds will go to the school PTA.

Forest School
We are delighted to be able to offer a Forest School experience to our Year 5 pupils for a six-week block after half term. This will be led by Miss Reily, who is a Forest School Specialist. Please refer to the attached letter for more information.

Many thanks for the continued cooperation you have demonstrated when parking. We completely understand that parking can be difficult at the beginning and end of the day due to the limited space. Please continue to park with thought and consideration for others when collecting your children. Also, unless you are waiting for siblings, please would you leave the school premises as soon as your child has been collected to allow for other parents to enter the school grounds. Please may I also remind you that the school car park is for staff only. Please do not use this car park when dropping off or picking up pupils, unless you require the disabled parking space. Please may I also ask parents to avoid parking in the church car park at drop off and pick up times.

May I thank you all for your support during this half term, and I wish you all a wonderful half term break.


Senior School Letters
Year 11 Mock Exams: Tuesday 2 November 2021- Mrs M Sweeney

PTA Bags2School: Tuesday 2 November 2021

Rewards and Sanctions Autumn 2021

Junior School Letters
PTA Bags2School: Tuesday 2 November 2021

Year 5 Forest School: Monday 1 November – Monday 6 December 2021 – Miss C Thompson

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