Charnwood College Newsletter 15th February 2024

Message from the Executive Principal, Alastair O'Connor

It has been a very busy half term and once again we have so much to celebrate with you. I hope you take the opportunity to read this newsletter celebrating the many achievements from across this half term.

Wishing all our families a wonderful and much deserved half term break and will see you on Monday the 26th February when students and staff return.


During Half Term our Sports Teams will be running two holiday camps - a Netball Camp and a Football Camp.

The Netball Camp is for Years 5 to 9 and you can register by emailing Kaysha Wallis on or clicking on the QR code below.

QR code for Netball Camp

The Football Camp is for Reception Year to Year 6 and is on Wednesday 21st February. If you have any younger children who would be interested in attending please contact Sean Wilton on or click on the QR code


Miss Littlewood and the Newspaper Club

Miss Littlewood and the Newspaper Club meet every Friday after school (Monday lunchtimes after half term) and so far have published two Newspapers for the Academy which have been shared with parents.

Issue 1
Issue 2

Rewards Trip to Ninja Warriors UK in Leicester

To reward the Year 11s for attending a minimum of 90% of the maths and science after school booster sessions between Monday 11th September and Friday 24th November, Mrs Farmer, Head of Year 11, organised a trip to Ninja Warriors in Leicester on Tuesday 19th December.

Year 7 Poetry by Heart House Competition in the Jim Shahi Hall

Our Year 7 Poetry Recital House Competition took place on Tuesday 23rd January. Congratulations to the winners - Dr Laurent and 7T2!

Mrs De Bretton-Gordon, organiser of the event, said "The event was brilliant and the whole year group should be very proud of themselves. Thank you to everyone for their support and encouragement".

Poetry by Heart recitals

Jim Shahi Hall

I have recently been asked why our Hall is called the 'Jim Shahi Hall' and this gives me a great opportunity to explain to parents and students why this is.

The hall is named after a previous student whose family have generously supported the Academy since his early death in 2002.

Manjit Shahi (known as Jim) was a student at Charnwood College (then Burleigh Community College) from 1973 to 1977. When he left school he went to London University and qualified as a doctor at London St Mary's Medical School.

In 2001 when Jim was a Consultant Cardiologist at Reading he became ill with cancer and sadly passed away on the 17th January 2002 leaving a wife and two children.

Since that time Jim's parents, Mr and Mrs Shahi and his sister, Vina Barrett, have supported Charnwood College on many occasions with financial donations for equipment. There is also a Jim Shahi trophy for Biology which is presented at our annual Excellence Evening.

Vina Barrett with a past winner of the Jim Shahi Trophy for GCSE Biology

We have various commemorative plaques and pictures around the Academy - one in the hall foyer, one in Miss Smith's Science room and also the flower bed outside reception where we planted Jim's favourite flower - a yellow rose.

Picture in the foyer
Flower bed with Jim Shahi plaque outside reception

We would like to thank the Shahi family for their continued support of Charnwood College.

Achievements this Term

Congratulations to Oliver, Tyler and Asher who have been picked to represent the DRET Rowing All Stars at the National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships on Friday 1st March at the Copper Box Arena, London.

Copper Box Arena

Congratulations to our Year 7 and Year 9 Girls teams for reaching the Basketball quarter finals and to the Year 10 and 7 Boys for reaching the semi-finals. Results to follow.

Year 10 Boys
Year 7 Boys

Congratulations to Emily who is the winner of January's Art /Designer of the Month Award. Well done Emily - brilliant work

January Winner

Congratulations to Cody 7T2 for his amazing History homework on the Bayeux Tapestry.

Well done to the Year 8 and 9 girls football team who were unbeaten in February.

Year 8/9 Girls

Our Year 13 students were excited to take part in the Chemistry Olympiad at the end of January. They had to complete an unseen test covering different aspects of chemistry and applying it to a range of different and unknown contexts. Although they had practised prior to the Olympiad this is designed to be a challenging assessment allowing students to compete with other A Level students nationally. Everybody is nervously awaiting their results!

Science Olympiad test

UK Intermediate Maths Challenge and maths feast

On Wednesday 31st January, 35 students from years 9 and 10 took part in the UK Intermediate Maths Challenge. The challenge consists of 25 multiple choice questions that encourages students to use their problem solving and reasoning skills to obtain the solutions.

Across the UK 70,000 students take part in one of the maths challenges (junior, intermediate and senior) with the top 25% gaining either a bronze, silver or gold certificate. The top 5% of all students then have the opportunity to take part in further rounds with the problems becoming increasingly difficult.

The results came back into school very quickly and we are pleased that over 30% of the students that entered have received a certificate, including:

24 participation certificates with 7 bronze certificates (3 in year 9, 4 in year 10), 3 silver certificates (2 in year 9, 1 in year 10) and 1 gold certificate (in year 10).

Additionally, one student from each year group will receive a certificate for being the best in their year and our gold certificate winner also receives the best in school certificate.

A massive well done to all students that took part.

Maths Feast

On Wednesday 14th February, 8 year 10 mathematicians visited Loughborough University to compete in four rounds of challenges against other local schools.

Across the competition Charnwood College achieved the following:

  • Round 1: Gold
  • Round 2: Silver
  • Round 3: Bronze

The team also achieved a certificate for performing the strongest across all rounds.

Congratulations to all students involved.

UCAS Applications

Mrs Morley, Head of Sixth Form, and Mrs Downs, Sixth Form Co-ordinator, have been working hard this term with the Year 13 students to submit their UCAS applications.

Currently 5 offers have been accepted and 5 are finalising their choices. Of the decisions made three have chosen Nottingham Trent University, one Lincoln University and one Sheffield Hallam. Offers have also been made from Loughborough University, Durham University, University of York, Newcastle University, Bangor University, Swansea University, University of Birmingham and University of Exeter.

Health & Safety Audit

We are delighted to inform you that at the recent external Health & Safety Audit the Academy achieved a 99.1% pass rate with only two very minor recommendations.

A big thank you to Mrs Hall, Academy Operations Manager, Mr Flood, Site Manager, and all the Health & Safety Committee for contributing towards this amazing result. Thank you for keeping the staff, students and site safe for us all.

Student Survey December 2023

In December we asked all students in KS3 and KS4 to complete a survey on life at Charnwood College

We are pleased to say that over 90% of students said they were happy at Charnwood College, and over 85% said they would recommend the Academy to another student.

Over 90% of students said they felt safe at Charnwood College and over 80% said that the behaviour continues to improve.

We are always listening to our students and have termly meetings with our Student Council. We will be taking on board all the comments made from the students to improve their learning experience at Charnwood College.

Thank you for continuing to complete the surveys we hand out when you attend a parents evening. Our Senior Leadership Team and Pastoral Team are always available if you would like to discuss anything with a member of staff in person. Please contact the office on for an appointment.

DRET Development Basketball Day

Charnwood College hosted a DRET Development Day on Friday 9th February with students joining from other DRET academies.

This was a fantastic opportunity for our students to train and learn from the academy players! The students were then taken to the Morningside Arena at Leicester to watch a basketball match.

Morningside Arena, Leicester

Charnwood college is still above the National and Regional averages for attendance. This is a fantastic effort from students, parents and staff and we will continue to celebrate and reward excellent attendance. We work closely with individual students and have supported them with their own reward challenges. It is great to see so many tutor groups having non-school uniform days.

90% attendance = half day missed every week. Over a school year this is 4 weeks and 100 lessons lost.

Over 5 years at 90% attendance is half a year of education lost.

17 missed school days means that you could drop a whole GCSE grade in all subjects

Encourage your child to attend school regularly. Set a regular bedtime and morning routine. Have school uniform and equipment ready the night before. Avoid medical appointments during the school day where possible.

Please speak to the Attendance Team if you have any concerns about attendance.

In the coming weeks we will be launching a spotlight on lateness. If your child is continually late for school the Attendance Team will be contacting you to arrange a parental meeting.

We will be introducing sanctions for lateness of a half hour after school detention on the day. All cases of lateness will be treated on an individual basis.

If you know your child is going to be late for school, please contact the Attendance Team or the office to let them know.


Our school catering provider, Caterlink, offer a wide variety of foods and cater for a number of dietary requirements, ranging from vegetarian, gluten free alternatives, halal meals, etc.

If your child has any specific dietary requests, or any questions about the food on offered in our canteen, they can speak with either Miss Jamieson (Catering Manager) or Mrs Hall (Academy Operations Manager.


"Inappropriate" means different things to different people. What’s acceptable for one age group, for example, may be unsuitable for a younger audience. Online, young people can chance upon inappropriate content in various ways – from pop-up ads to TikTok videos, live streams etc. The increasingly young age at which children become active in the digital world heightens the risk of them innocently running into something that they find disturbing or terrifying.

Trusted adults around children need to be able to help children be aware of what to do if they’re exposed to age-inappropriate content. The NSPCC provides a wide variety of information in relation to online safety. To access the information please see the below.

Mental Health Week

Child and Adolescent Mental health services (CAMHS) is a specialist service offering mental health assessment and intervention to young children who need additional support with their mental health.

If you believe your child needs additional support with their mental health, they can be referred by:

  • Your GP
  • Social worker
  • Education Psychologist
  • Community Paediatrician
  • Other Leicestershire Partnership and NHS Trust staff

Vacancy for a Premises Assistant

We are seeking to appoint a talented and enthusiastic Premises Assistant to join our Site Team. This is an exciting opportunity for the right candidate, working alongside our knowledgeable and experienced staff, to provide a safe learning environment for all of our school community.

For more information and details on how to apply, please head to:

Or if you would like to visit us and have a chat before applying, please get in touch with Mrs Hall (Academy Operations Manager) on 01509 554400 or at



After half term we will be managing the flow of traffic around Gate 1 and Gate 2 following safety concerns from staff and members of the public.

The car park in front of S Block will be for permit holders only. Visitors to the Academy will be directed to allocated spaces between Gate 2 and Gate 3.

New signage will be installed and this area will be manned by members of staff for a period of time to allow for these changes to take place.

Parents will not be able to drop off their children at Gate 1 or at Gate 4 after half term to mitigate against risks. If you have any questions please contact the Academy Operations Manager, Mrs Hall.


There has been an increase in members of the public trespassing on the fields behind the 3G, Sports Centre and MUGA for walking their dogs. Staff have reported an increase in dog fouling on the grass.

To ensure the health and safety of our staff and students, who use the fields for fixtures and school events, new signage will be installed to attempt to deter the dog fouling.

We would like to thank all our parents and students for their support with these changes.

Dates for the Diary

  • 26th February to 15th March - Year 11 and 13 mock exams
  • 28th February - Year 9 Career Meetings during the day
  • 28th February - Year 9 Options Evening
  • 29th February - DRET Music Composition Workshop
  • 1st March - National Junior Indoor Rowing Championship
  • 7th March - DRET Secondary Music Festival
  • 14th March - Year 9 Teenage Booster vaccinations
  • 19th March - Year 7s Geography trip to local area
  • 20th March - Year 10 Parents' Evening

Year 11 Booster sessions are changing after half term. Maths will be on a Monday after school and English will be changing to a Tuesday.

Year 11 Booster sessions during enrichment will change w/c 4th March.

Follow us on @CharnwoodColl

Safeguarding over the February Half Term Break

When the Academy is closed there is always someone who can help you.

If you are concerned that a child is suffering, or likely to suffer significant harm, you should contact your local authority safeguarding partnership directly.

Please go to our website for the relevant contact information if you have any welfare concerns.

In an emergency, call 999.

For any other queries, please contact us via

If you have a general enquiry during half term please contact the office on