Dear Parents,

It was with tremendous pride that I watched our great Oryx athletes compete at the recent BISQ Secondary Games, the students handled themselves with the dignity of champions, they looked fantastic in their new kits and hoodies, it was no surprise that the other coaches and teachers voted them as winners of the Sportsmanship Award at the conclusion of the weekend.

Individual stars were many, Hajar’s hat-trick in the final football match and the way that the rest of the Girls’ team spontaneously lifted her up and threw her into the air will live long in the memory; Alejandro dribbling the ball out of defence and Dylan peppering the opposition goal with shots, CJ winning in the pool and Rinesa shrugging off injury to continue playing on the netball court were highlights. The supportive presence of parents and teachers meant a lot to the students and to their coaches, Miss Fitzgerald, Mr. Parmar, Miss Virgo and Mr. Howell. Well done to everyone.

Over the past few weeks we have met many prospective teachers and a common theme in those conversations is that Oryx is gaining a reputation for high standards and a diverse, well behaved student body. It has been very gratifying to know that our reputation is growing in line with our student numbers. The way that established students help and reach out to new arrivals is a joy to witness and I am always delighted when I see current students reaching out the hand of friendship to their new colleagues.

Our current Year 11 students are reaching the end of their GCSE specifications and will soon be immersed in past papers and revision. This is a critical moment in their educational journey because examination success depends on cumulative revision. So, we continue to encourage them to establish their revision routine and make the most of the next 10 weeks as final examinations loom. Looking ahead to the next stage, we are in advanced planning for opening our Sixth Form and subject choices for next year are complete. The next deadline will be Year 9 students selecting their GCSE choice, the date for their submission is Wednesday, 25th March.

Rehearsals for our musical production of 'Grimm Tales' are gathering pace and everyone is looking forward to the first show hosted in our auditorium at the end of March. Ticket details will be announced in due course.

Duke of Edinburgh Award participants have been busy preparing for their Bronze Award Trek and we are very grateful to Oryx PTSA for supporting this with the purchase of tents. This will allow the relatively large cohort to navigate the trek route and complete their overnight stay. It will be a test of stamina for many but it will be very worthwhile, even to just take their boots off at the end! Good luck to all the students that are participating in our first Duke of Edinburgh Trek.

It was good meeting so many parents at the recent Year 7 and Year 8 Parents Consultation Evening. I look forward to seeing you at our forthcoming Year 9 Parents Evening and at Sports Day.

Thank you for your continued support.

Kind regards,

Mr. Ken Haggarty