Celebrating All Things Christmas at Dowdales


This morning we held our Achievers Assembly celebrating the many achievements of our students from Year 7 right through to Year 11. Our students work extremely hard and today’s assembly highlighted their success, dedication and determination to be the best that they can be. Thank you to our brilliant students and to our inspiring and motivated team of staff who always go above and beyond for our students.


Our Languages and Humanities Department took 26 students on a 5-day Educational Study visit to Munich, Germany and Innsbruck, Austria last week. Activities included a day in visiting Dachau Concentration camp memorial site, in line with our History curriculum, a day at our Partner German School in Munich, a day in Innsbruck, Austria visiting the traditional Christmas markets and watching the Olympic Skeleton team practice for the World Cup. Students were given maximum exposure to the German language and culture and completed some language activities.

On Monday 11th December Sally Wilkinson from the Marine Engineering Pathway, part of the Sea Cadets, came to school to meet with Year 8 and 9 students. Sally taught students about lots of careers relating to engineering and discussed the design process of building ships and buoyancy. Students then took part in a competition which involved building a model ship to carry cargo to a different country. Our students thoroughly enjoyed these sessions and look forward to working with Sally again soon.

The festive season is upon us and students and staff have been continuing their focus on their academic studies as well as taking part in the many Christmas events that take place at this time of year.


Our annual festive musical celebration ‘Christmas at Dowdales’ took place last week and we welcomed over 200 parents, carers and friends of Dowdales as well as students and parents from Dalton St Mary’s Primary School. The evening was a fantastic showcase and celebration of musical talent which included performances from our girls and boys Singing Groups, the School Band and our Staff Choir. Pupils from Dalton St Mary’s Primary School sang beautifully during their performances and joined all 100 of the Dowdales performers for the festive finale. Watching the primary pupils on stage with the Dowdales students, all smiling and enjoying themselves, was one of the highlights of the evening and was a great way to spread festive cheer underlining the centrality of music and the importance of collaboration within our school ethos. Thank you to all who took part for your fantastic performances and thank you to all who attended this special event.


Following Christmas at Dowdales the Year 7 carol service took place at St Mary’s Church, Dalton. Our Year 7 cohort walked to the church to take part in the annual service which is always a great way to reflect on the importance of peace at this time of year. Well done to students reading, performing or being part of the excellent audience. Thank you to parents and carers for coming along to the church to support your son or daughter.

Christmas lunch was served in our dining hall last week for both students and staff. Thank you to our hard working kitchen team for a lovely Christmas lunch.


Students and staff took part in non-uniform/Christmas Jumper day to help raise funds. Many students and staff opted to wear Christmas Jumpers which gave the school a truly festive feel.

This year’s official Dowdales Christmas Card has been designed by Year 10 student James Smith.


We were delighted to have been asked to participate in the Dalton Christmas Lights switch-on celebration. Our most talented artists from each year group were selected to design a Christmas image, with the help of Inspira’s Creative Arts Adviser Nick Greenhall, to be displayed on Dalton Castle during the switch-on ceremony. In total 48 students took part in the project using an ipad app. This was a fantastic opportunity for our students. We take great pride in being at the heart of Dalton and prioritize working closely with Dalton Town Council whenever we can.


Our December newsletter ‘In the Spotlight at Dowdales’ is now available to view online together with a letter from the Headteacher, a letter from John Macilwraith, Corporate Director of Children’s Services regarding Absence in term time and a uniform list. To view the newsletter and letters listed above click on the image below.


From the third week of January Year 11 students will be undertaking their preliminary exams as the second stage of their preparation for GCSE examinations next summer. It is vital that your son or daughter revises thoroughly for their ‘prelim exams’ as they will be looking to improve on their performance in the Autumn term examinations.

The Spring term starts on Thursday 4th January for students and staff.

It only remains for me to wish you all a Happy Christmas and every good wish for the New Year.

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