It is a real privilege to have been appointed as Headteacher of such a successful school where all the staff are committed to the vision and aspirations of ensuring that every individual student leaves Coombe successful, well-rounded and happy. On 29 June I received a letter from the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, congratulating the school as being identified as ‘exceptional’ in terms of our results and in particular in helping to reduce educational inequality and improving social mobility.
Indeed, this academic year started off with very positive and exciting news when the Telegraph newspaper named Coombe Girls' School in the top 13 comprehensive schools in the whole of the UK. Our examination results at both GCSE and A Level were outstanding. The girls achieved 88% 5 A*-C inc. English and maths at GCSE, the schools best ever results. This was a stunning accomplishment and secured our position as the highest achieving non-selective school in the borough. We were so proud of their achievements and it was wonderful to spend the end of the summer holidays enrolling so many of them on their courses in the Sixth Form here at Coombe.
At A level, a third of all entries were graded A/A* and the 2016 cohort achieved the school’s highest ever average point score per student and the highest ever % of A*-C passes at 80%. We were so proud of their successes and it has been particularly enjoyable to hear the news of their first years at university, work or on apprenticeship schemes. In fact, a number came back to join us at our Y12 Futures planning day and their help and experiences were invaluable. This is just one way in which we are improving and increasing the work of our alumni across the school.
These amazing examination results would not be achieved without the hard work of the young women and young men in the Sixth Form, the support from you the parents and the very hard work of all the staff at the school – the teaching staff who work tirelessly to deliver lessons that will enable the students to succeed to the best of their ability and the support staff who ensure that the school runs smoothly and support the students in very many ways both in and outside the classroom.
At Coombe our vision statement is: to prepare each student for their World of Opportunity by enabling individuals to flourish through innovative teaching that is inspirational, compelling and fun. It engages every learner in their journeys of self-discovery, fulfilment and academic excellence.
Our vision doesn’t just focus on the academic side of life here at Coombe but we also aim to promote a community in which empathy, tolerance, integrity and shared purpose promote exemplary behaviour and outstanding relationships between all. These skills and attributes are developed, allowed to shine and encouraged through all the very many additional activities, experiences and opportunities on offer here year on year. We prioritise the importance of the Personal, Social and Health Education and Information, Advice and Guidance days to ensure that our students are fully prepared for the demands of modern life and for whatever the future holds for them.
We celebrate achievements at the school in a variety of ways and are exceptionally proud of our students. A number of Coombe students represent their county or indeed country in a wide range of sports from rowing, hockey, tennis, karate, gymnastics and athletics events. Well done to them all and also to those who have taken part in performances at The Rose Theatre, The Wimbledon Theatre and The Royal Opera House this year – it’s wonderful to be able to recognise these individual talents and exceptional achievements.
We’ve celebrated and enjoyed a range of year group ventures and a significant number of trips and visits to compliment, extend and enrich learning. These have included the Year 7 trip to France, the Year 8 trip to Young Mariners, 179 students completing Duke of Edinburgh expeditions (the largest number of any school in the authority), visits to the Houses of parliament and 10 Downing street, the Italy ski trip, the visits to Iceland and Greece and the music tour to Lake Garda to name but a few. We very much enjoyed watching Year 11 at their Fun Day and also at their prom and it was also a real privilege to attend the Y13 leavers’ ball at Sandown race course, a superb event to mark the end of the students Coombe career. The Sixth Form students play such a key role within the school, as role models for the younger students but also in their important leadership roles, as senior prefects, subject captains and their leadership of our main fundraising week, RAG week which is always a very enjoyable whole school experience.
This year the Art department has been successful in gaining an exciting bid for students to work on a British Council funded project entitled ‘Rivers of the World’ and we look forward to seeing the creative outputs. Congratulations also to the cast of the Shakespeare Schools' Festival on their performance at The Rose Theatre and to the 100+ students involved in Bugsy Malone here at school for their commitment, professionalism and talent. Out of the many music department performances this year the highlight for me has to have been the House Music concert which saw such a range of instruments and musical genres, all at an extremely high level of musicianship.
These mentions are just a very short resume of the vibrant and exciting extra-curricular events and activities that have taken place this year, a brief snap-shot of our exemplary Coombe community at work and at play. In all of these we aim to ensure that our students are confident, happy, resilient and committed to shaping their world. We are very proud of their abilities, their ambition and excited about their potential.
I wish you all a very happy and restful summer break and look forward to seeing you on results days in August or at the start of the Autumn term for yet another outstanding year at Coombe Girls’ School.