Dear families,

As we emailed on Tuesday, this week we received the incredibly sad news that Karen Perkins, our work experience co-ordinator, died after a short illness. This weekend members of the school community will be attending a memorial service to remember all the support and joy that Karen brought to students and staff over the last 23 years.

Looking back over another packed week of opportunities and events, following Diwali and in preparation for Christmas, we are reminded of the light that is shared through the positivity and resilience of all members of our school.

We have had students taking part in experiences at local companies and with students at other schools, as well as continuing assemblies on the value of feedback and the National Citizenship Service for students aged 15 to 17.

Year 10 Model United Nations

On Wednesday Mr Alexander took a group of 15 Year 10 students to Bury St Edmunds to participate in a model United Nations conference, to consider a variety of different items space ownership environment and current war situations. We are very proud of our students, and especially Luke who received a commendation from the organising board for his work representing the interests of Pakistan.

The Day

You may wish to use the website of "The Day" at home with your children and young people. We use this regularly in tutor time to help students better understand the wider world, and develop their reading confidence. It publishes two news articles each day on a wide range of topics and can be very useful to read with, or encourage your child to read independently using an electronic device. Visit to find out more.

GCSE & A Level Exam Certificates to Collect

Following our most successful year of results, exam certificates are still available to collect from school. Please email the exams officer Mr Marshall, to arrange for them to be left in reception for someone to collect.

Ovid Classics Myth Competition

Congratulations to the Mythology Club for reaching the finals of the Cambridge School Classics Project Ovid Competition.

Students listened to a group of myths from Ovid’s ‘Metamorphoses’ and selected a myth to create a modern interpretation of an artefact. Students chose and made a Pandora’s Box. The group have now progressed to the finalswhich will take place on 7 December. Well done and good luck to you all.

Awards Celebration Portrait

We have also published our latest Celebration Portrait following our October Awards Ceremonies. You can view it online, at and if you would like a digital copy of any of the photos please email our wonderful communications specialist Mrs Impett to

Important Year 8 HPV Vaccinations

We are fortunate to be able to provide Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations to students each year. These help protect boys and girls from HPV-related cancers later in life, such as cervical cancer, some mouth and throat cancers and some cancers of genital areas. We are hosting these for Year 8 students next May. However, the Suffolk Vaccination team request that parents register online by 22 December to help plan this programme. You can find a copy of the letter and a link to register on the letters section of our website at

Christmas Events

A reminder that almost all of Year 7, and a small number of Year 8s, will be attending the Pantomine of Snow White on Tuesday. To ensure a prompt departure students involved should meet at 8:45 in the bus park. There will be a separate planned programme in school for Year 7s not attending.

Information about other Christmas events such as the Winter Showcase, Christmas Fayre, Christmas Lunch and Christmas Jumper Day are available on our website at 

You will also see on our social media channels (Facebook, X, and Instagram) pictures of our tree, and the messages of support for those living with HIV and the red ribbons decorating the school in support of World Aids Day.

Winter Happy Shed

As well as the support we provide to charities through our Christmas events we are also re-opening the Happy Shed over Christmas and New Year. This is hosted by the Leisure Centre and will be available for families and members of the community to collect and donate warm winter clothing.

As you organise decorations at home and purchase new winter clothing, could you please consider donating any good condition warm jumpers, trousers, thick socks, coats, hats or gloves to the Happy Shed. These items will then be available for families to collect, and then if anything is not used it will be donated to local charity shops.

The donations can be made up until Saturday 16 December by bringing items to:

  • student services (for students donating);
  • the library or the leisure centre (for families donating) - follow the links to see their opening hours.

Items will be available to browse and take away from the library and leisure centre from the afternoon of Thursday 7 December.

The Happy Shed will be available throughout usual library and leisure centre opening times over Christmas and for the first two weeks of January. Thank you for supporting each other through this project, which also gives our students the opportunity to help serve others and organise significant projects.

Winter Library Workshops

Suffolk Libraries has shared information about Blank Page Creative Workshops for teens during winter holidays. Workshops start on Thursday 21 December and will take place at libraries across Suffolk. The Blank Page programme gives 10-16 year-olds the chance to express their creativity through a range of mediums at workshops run by local artists. For full details please visit 

Exams in January

We have published our exam timetables for January on our website and will share more information with families next week. We also wish students luck in their continuing language and art practical mocks over the next couple of weeks. All the preparation and practice makes an enromous difference to students future success.

You can find exam timetable information at and

The email early next week to families of Year 11 and 13 students will contain further information about preparation for these exams, and a printable version of the timetables.

Year 12 Subject Teacher Evening, Tuesday 5 December

We also look forward to seeing many families for our Year 12 Subject Evening next Tuesday. If you have still not confirmed whether or not you can attend, or booked your appointments please visit More information is available on these events at

Whatever you and your familiy are planning for this weekend we wish you a safe, happy and productive few days.

Thomas Gainsborough School