8th June 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

On Friday, we sent out information regarding the new uniform to be introduced at The Castle Rock School and The Newbridge School from the Autumn term. 

I would like to clarify the following:

Background:

  • Castle Rock High School, Newbridge High School and Broom Leys Primary School formed the Apollo Partnership Trust on 1st November 2017.
  • King Edward VII College joined the Trust on 1st March 2020. 
  • From the Autumn Term 2020, Newbridge High School will change from being an 11-14 high school to an 11-16 secondary school – The Newbridge School.
  • Castle Rock High School and King Edward VII College will merge – although, in reality, this means King Edward VII will officially close and become The Castle Rock School, an 11-19 secondary school where the sixth form will be shared across the Trust.
  • At this point of change, we believe it is a pertinent time to review the uniform of The Castle Rock School and The Newbridge School.

Consultation: 

  • Two parents’ meetings were held in the Autumn Term of 2019, these were advertised via letter, school websites and social media, and were well attended.
  • The general consensus was to maintain a high quality uniform whilst keeping the cost as low as possible. As a result, we didn’t pursue a more expensive ‘bespoke’ uniform and instead chose from the range available through the high quality range Trutex, as currently used by Castle Rock High School and many other schools in the area. 
  • There were follow up meetings of small groups of parents, not as a decision making body, but to enable further discussion. 
  • Assemblies for all students were held regarding uniform and a questionnaire was also completed by all students. The overwhelming consensus was that students generally preferred the blazer style uniform.
  • Information was also made available to our Year 6 students at our primary feeder schools, and where logistically possible, senior staff visited these primary schools.
  • We also shared information and spoke with staff at all three secondary schools.

Queries clarified: 

  • We have been unable to obtain samples of uniform other than the samples shown, due to manufacturers closing during lockdown. We will shortly be obtaining these and will post further images.
  • We have developed a number of items for students so there is a greater freedom of choice to suit everyone’s preference:
    • Grey trousers or skirt
    • Pinafore dress
    • Tailored shorts
    • Checked skirtThese will be accompanied by the school blazer, a white shirt and the school tie.
  • The colours have been chosen to retain the heritage of the area, which has traditionally been a dark green uniform, both at King Edward VII College and the Coalville Grammar School before that. For many of us, King Edward VII played an important part in our education and although we look to the new, we also value the past.
  • The ‘Newbridge blue’ has also been retained.
  • We have developed a gender-neutral uniform to allow our students freedom of choice. Students from any gender can choose items from the above list.
  • To introduce this uniform organically, it is compulsory for our new Year 7 students only. We are allowing our Year 8 to 11 students to continue to wear their current uniform to ease any pressures, as we recognise that students do not always have a new uniform at the beginning of an academic year. However, they can choose to wear the new uniform should they wish.
  • We appreciate that the choice of colour is a personal preference, what a sad world it would be if we all liked the same thing. The decision on colour has been made and the reasons why have been set out above.
  • The PE kit is the same Nike kit, although colours may have changed slightly. Rather than hoodies and rugby tops, we have introduced a more modern long sleeved ‘running top.’
  • Students should, as always, have black footwear.
  • The quality and comfort of the current Castle Rock uniform will be maintained in the new uniform, due to it being made by the same manufacturer (Trutex) to the same high standard.

Should you have any questions specifically regarding your child’s individual circumstances, please contact: 

  • Mr Schober, Assistant Headteacher at The Newbridge School
  • Miss Kinder, Assistant Headteacher at The Castle Rock School

Finally, during these very strange times and with the heaviness of the world in general right now, I hope that this letter reaches you in good faith and has gone some way to answering your queries. 

I wish you and your families well and look forward to a time when we can greet your children into our schools to enable them to continue with the next stage of their education. 

With my very best wishes

Mrs Julia Patrick
CEO Apollo Partnership Trust