From September 2015, Persistent Absence rates have changed - please read this newsletter for more details.
Message from the Principal
Firstly, I would like to say a big thank you to so many Year 7 parents who joined us last week to discuss with us how our youngest students have settled into the College. As I have said in previous newsletters, we are delighted with the start they have made and the enthusiasm and determination that they have brought to their studies. It was great to get such excellent feedback from yourselves and pleasing to find out that your children have settled in so well.
In terms of the whole school, we have begun a new assessment and feedback policy. As part of the Achieve strand of the College Improvement Plan, staff and students are spending a great deal more time checking their work for errors and making improvements so that work is of very high quality. All students have been issued with green pens so that the corrections they make are easily visible to them. The idea is that by correcting their own mistakes students are less likely to make the same mistakes again! You will find your son/daughter is asked, as part of their homework, to make corrections or to rewrite part of their work so that it is more accurate. Time is also being given in lessons to make corrections or to spend time re-learning content where errors have been noted by staff. Please help us by spending time looking through the exercise books your son/daughter bring home and give them a helping hand to make the corrections!
I would also like to highlight that the beauty department added another exciting element to its already thriving salon. After applying for a lottery grant the college were overjoyed at being awarded £10,000! This enabled the college to create a tranquil holistic therapy room. Fenwick Ltd also supported our venture with the kind offer of design input. This space is another realistic workplace environment for our students' and we will soon be welcoming clients from the local community, staff and students to enjoy an array of treatments such as hot stone massage, aromatherapy, relaxation sessions, Indian head massage etc. carried out by our qualified beauty therapists who are now completing their Level 3 professional qualification in Y13. More information will be available in the next bulletin.
I would like to remind Year 11 parents that the Year 11 Parents Evening takes place on Thursday 22nd October. As well as the individual subject appointments, we are also encouraging Parents to attend a session on study skills and homework, tailored to what is required in Year 11. Please look out for the letter that your child will come home with regarding this evening. It would be great if we could see the vast majority of our parents there.
Finally, on a lighter note, there is a Halloween Disco for Key Stage 3 students on Wednesday 21st October 5-7pm. This is always a fun night and we encourage all students to come and enjoy themselves!
MESSAGE TO ALL YEAR 10 PARENTS
Dear Y10 Parents/Guardians…
I am writing this to outline to you some of the increased challenges of the Y10 GCSE English Language course which your son or daughter is embarking on currently.
It has become clear from English lessons so far this year that a number of students are not starting as they need to in order to cope with the challenges that this course presents. In terms of our expectations, could I just emphasise the points below:
- Students will be set regular homework in Y10 English and this will be given out by teachers every Monday. The deadline for the homework will be set at the discretion of the teacher, however students will be given this information and they will be instructed to write it in their planners. Please could you support us in ensuring that your child is completing this piece of work on a weekly basis and handing it in by the set deadline. A number of students are falling behind already and this will make their quest for success in English all the more challenging.
- Behaviour and attitude in lessons needs to be right from all students and we would also appreciate your help in reinforcing this with your child. They are currently completing work that is direct preparation for their Paper 2 examination in the summer of Y11. Whilst this may feel like a long way off, it is imperative that they focus on this material now as there will be only limited time to go over this before the exams as they will have other units of work to complete.
I feel it is also important that you are aware of some of the key changes to the GCSE English Language & English Literature courses:
1) Students are no longer required to complete any written coursework and therefore the final grade that they achieve is simply determined from the result of 4 examinations in the summer of Y11. This means that their approach to revision must be ongoing rather than last minute - it is never too early to start!
2) In order to be able to access the examinations, students need to be able to read and interpret a range of 19th century Literature, both fiction and non-fiction. We know that students can find this challenging, particularly in terms of the language used, however they need to use their homework tasks and their class work to support their growing understanding and confidence in approaching this kind of material.
As a department, we really value the input of parents and guardians at home and know that you can help to make a difference to the learning behaviours of your child. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at school if you have a query or concern about your child's progress in English and we will be happy to help.
In the meantime, if you wish to find out more specific information about what your child is doing in English this half-term, please see the link on the school website entitled "Y10 English Newsletter".
Mrs Amanda Lawson
Head of English
If you wish to get a hard copy of any information you see on our website, please contact Reception.