Dear families,

We wish you all a happy and safe half term.

Autumn half term 2024:  

Thank you to all who contributed their views to the consultation regarding the proposal for a two-week break in the autumn term.

Our review of the trial of the two-week break in 2023 showed that in the period between the half-term break and Christmas:

-          pupil absence due to illness was less in every trust school in 2023 than in 2022, and overall reduced by 25%

-          staff absence reduced by 50%

In our recent consultation we received 2929 responses from parents, 58% in favour of a two-week break and 42% against the proposal.

At Thomas Gainsborough School the majority of parents who responded to the Trust questionnaire were in favour of the proposal also.

We have looked carefully at the comments of those who are not in favour of the proposal. Some parents felt that the break was a good idea but that the time should be taken from another holiday. Others would rather see a two-week break in May. Some parents were frustrated that their children were ill despite the longer break. Others would rather we went back to the prior arrangement. Some parents asked for more work for their children to do during this break. More parents, though, welcomed the idea and were encouraging in their comments.

A few families have raised that they would be interested in holiday club type childcare during the second week of the holidays, due to the pressures on annual leave, and we will be working with Unity Schools Partnership to ensure that provision is made across Sudbury where there is demand.

We have made up the learning time this year by removing two Academic Review Days and altering our term dates to ensure that we still had the equivalent of 38 weeks teaching and learning during the year.

Following the Trust wide consultation all schools in the Unity Schools Partnership will be having a two week half term this Autumn. In 2024, this will be from Monday 28th October to Friday 8th November. Full term dates for 2024 -2025 will be published soon.

Helen Yapp



Please find a copy of our latest edition of Portrait: 

Well done to all of our amazing students for achieving so much during this half term.

Keep Safe Week

You may recall that we took part in Unity Schools Partnership ‘Keep Safe’ week in 2023. This was a huge success and given the importance of the topic, we have decided to make this an annual event. The focus of the week is to centre some of our teaching and learning around young people knowing how to keep themselves safe. Students will have covered this in their PSHE lessons and on Enrichment Days but during the week from Monday 26 Feb to Friday 1 March students will see resources about keeping safe during tutor times. 

The theme of the work this year is ‘No Means No.’ This allows us to explore a range of topics from stranger danger, to friendships, bullying, healthy relationships and consent. Resources and activities have been chosen to support age appropriate learning and we encourage you to continue conversations with your young people at home.


From September all Year 12 and 13 students will be provided with an IPAD to support and enhance their A Level studies. This is a USP Trust initiative.

Back to the 8Os

Thank you to all the families and friends who came to support our fabulous students who were all outstanding this week.

Upcoming Reading Events at TGS