End of Term Letter – December 2018

End of Term Letter – December 2018

December 2018

Dear Parents/Carers

So here we are at the end of the Christmas term already. We have been enjoying all our Christmas events here at Homewood and across the Tenterden Schools Trust. The students have been getting involved in many different ways to celebrate the season and to raise money for their chosen charities at the same time.

It has been a very positive year so far. Students are showing a real sense of pride in their school, focusing on achieving their best work and contributing positively to their wider community. I am delighted with the progress made in securing good attitudes to learning in lessons, prompt arrival in class with the correct equipment and uniform and timely completion of homework. All these things add to a purposeful, calm environment where good learning can take place and rapid progress can be made. Thank you for all your support in helping us to maintain the highest standards for all of our students.

Now that the colder weather is closing in, we are turning our attention to the coats that students are wearing to school. Please could I remind you that the regulations around outdoor coats are that they should be plain black or navy blue. Recently, a minority of students have been arriving dressed in coats that do not meet these criteria (full regulations in the Home School Agreement). Please support us in ensuring that your sons and daughters arrive in suitable outdoor coats. At the start of next term we will be conducting a uniform and coat check. Students who are not adhering to the regulations will be withdrawn from lessons until the situation is resolved. Thank you once again for your ongoing support.

Looking ahead to next term, here are some of the key dates for your diary:

Start of Term Thursday 3 January
Consultation Day appointments Wednesday 9 January 3.00 – 5.00 p.m.

Thursday 10 January 4.00 – 8.00 p.m.

Friday 11 January 9.00 – 3.30 p.m.

Year 8 Choices Evening Wednesday 16 January 4.00 – 7.00 p.m.
End of Term 3 for students Thursday 14 February
Staff Training Day Friday 15 February
Start of Term 4 Monday 4 March
Whole School Concert Tuesday 5 March 7.30 p.m. Sinden Theatre
6th form Open Mornings Tuesday 19 and Wednesday 30 March
Easter break Monday 15 April – Monday 22 April
Return to school Tuesday 23 April


Homewood’s 70th birthday celebrations

The new year brings a milestone birthday for Homewood as we turn 70. The school officially opened in October 1949, having admitted its first 116 pupils at the end of the previous year to meet the need for a new secondary school in East Kent. How far we have come in those 70 years! We have a number of events planned as part of our celebrations so do look out for further information and come and join us if you can.

Homewood Alumni Community

As part of our 70th birthday celebrations we are very keen to reconnect with as many former students as possible. To do this we have worked with educational charity Future First to establish an official Homewood Alumni Community with an online portal. This is accessible via the Quick Links option on the school’s website or by using this link:-


Every past student can join and it’s free. I know many of our parents, as well as staff, are former Homewoodians or have family connections to the school so please spread the word. We will be holding an alumni birthday event at the school on Saturday 22 June 2019, to coincide with the Year 5 Open Morning; do ‘save the date’ and look out for an official invite in the coming weeks.

6th form students’ paid work outside school

We have had some confusion lately about the regulations for students involved in paid work whilst still in full time education. To enable you to support your son/daughter in this area, here is the guidance we have received from the Citizens Advice Bureau (further information available on their web-site):

You shouldn’t usually be asked to work more than 40 hours a week or 8 hours a day.

Your employer is allowed to ask you to work for longer in exceptional circumstances. They can only ask this if:

  • no one who’s 18 or over is available to do the work
  • they need you because it’s suddenly busy or to keep the service running
  • your education or training won’t be affected by the work

You’ll probably still be in education or training if you’re under 18 and don’t have the equivalent of 2 A-levels. Your employer shouldn’t expect you to work when you’re supposed to be learning, for example when you’re:

  • at college or school, full time or part time
  • studying as part of your apprenticeship or traineeship

In most jobs, you can’t normally be asked to work between 10pm and 6am. If your contract says you have to work until 11pm, that’s alright but you shouldn’t start work before 7am the next morning.


As you know, sixth form students at Homewood School & Sixth Form Centre are expected to be in school from 8.50am until 3.30pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday. On Wednesday, students should be present from 8.50am to 2.15pm. They should not be undertaking paid work during these times. In some cases, we have contacted parents and employers directly where we do not think these regulations are being adhered to. We are keen to protect our students from any exploitation by their employers and also to ensure that they have the time they need to commit to their studies and gain successful outcomes in all their courses.  We are grateful for your support in this matter.

Leadership at Homewood September 2019

From September 2019, there will be some changes to my role. I will be continuing to lead the Tenterden Schools Trust and as such will continue to oversee the educational

experience of the students at Homewood, along with the other schools in the Trust. We will be appointing a new Principal for the school, who will work closely with me, but will take over from me the day-to-day leadership and management of the school. This is the start of a new chapter for the school. The ethos and vision of the school will not change and we will continue on our journey from Good to Great, within the wider community of schools in and around Tenterden. I will retain a base at Homewood and will continue to be involved in the activities that go into making Homewood such an amazing place to work and to learn. We have some exciting times ahead and I am delighted to remain part of Homewood’s future. The process of appointing the new Principal will begin straight after the Christmas holiday.


All that remains is for me to wish you a very happy Christmas holiday. I look forward to seeing all the students again on 3 January.

Yours sincerely

Sally J Lees

Principal, Homewood School & Sixth Form Centre

CEO, Tenterden Schools Trust