End of Spring Term Newsletter 05/04/2019

As the spring term draws to an end and we look towards the final term I want to draw parents and carers attention to a few messages and reminders so that we start the Summer Term on Tuesday 23rd April with a bang.

If you have not yet seen our Parent Online Safety information or just want a reminder about the myriad of apps out there that you might need to check to make sure your child is safe click on this link and it will take you directly to the page you need. 

Hyperlink didn’t work? Copy and paste this into your browser instead https://www.gateacre.org/school-life/esafety-advice-for-parents/

Attendance Matters, MMR injections and sore arms

This week we had a visit from the local NHS health team who gave booster immunisations out for measles, mumps and rubella on Tuesday.  Wednesday we had 27 pupils off school feeling ‘ill’ or with a sore arm.

Now, the strange thing with the booster is that it is the same injection given to babies.  The reaction from babies is often a cry for a few minutes then they seem to get on with the rest of their day with very little other obvious discomfort.  We were slightly disappointed that of the nearly 200 injections given out on Tuesday, 27 pupils were fine to carry on the rest of their day but could not make it into school on Wednesday.

We’ve discussed this issue with the local nursing team and in future we are instead going to try and hold any injections on a Friday so the education of our pupils is not affected and those that need to take a rest.  They will have the weekend to recover in order to be fit, active and ready to learn by Monday.

We also sought further advice and guidance about any steps we needed to take regarding after care from an MMR injection.  We were told that generally most children and young adults get on with their day, sometimes they suggest paracetamol if an arm feels particularly sore.

As a result of the injections the weeks’ attendance has been quite volatile as you can see from the chart.

 

I also said in a previous Newsletter that I would share with you the picture of how attendance looks over a longer period of time.  The school suffers more than any other school I have worked at with a couple of problems; poor attendance on Friday’s and dips close to holidays.  Which makes our job really frustrating given that all schools are held accountable for their attendance rates. 

When I started with Gateacre the whole school attendance was around 89%. By raising the importance of good attendance with you as parents and carers we are just below 93%, close to a 4% rise in 2 ½ years, which on the face of things looks great, and it is.  But we need to be at or above the national average.  Nationally other children aged 11-16 generally attend school anywhere between 94%-96%, this can fluctuate due to winter flu and vomiting outbreaks.

So this term from January up to Thursday this week looks like this:

As I keep saying, Fridays jump out more than any other day.  Not one Friday since January has there been above 94% attendance.

We really do need all parents and carers to take a moment and think very seriously about why you are keeping your child off on a Friday and also looking across the entire term attendance is relatively low.

 

National Junior Science Winners appear on BBC Radio Merseyside

#NaturallyInfused @GateacreSchool

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Well done to our STEM girls: Emily Cook, Hollie Gilchrist, Ellen Ramage Jones, Freya Barnes - National Junior Science Champions and Winners of UK Young Scientist & Engineers Junior Science 2019, for their great interview on BBC Radio Merseyside.

If you missed it you can listen to their radio interview in this youtube video

All About STEM have kindly transcribed it for us as well as giving readers a recap of their journey from the start, through to winning the UK Big Bang Final and being National Junior Science Champions of 2019. Click here to go to the All About STEM page.

 

Standards and Expectations

We had a School Improvement Liverpool inspection this week and over the course of the day one of the inspection activities was to talk to pupils about how they thought the school has got better over time.  Having been involved in supporting schools in other authorities you can generally get a good idea about how a school operates from what children tell you, they tend not to hold back.

A comment that made me stop and think was a Year 11 pupil who in the meeting with the Inspector was asked “how has your school got better?” their response “We wear our uniform with pride now”.  That meant a lot, we are strict on the very basic things, they do matter, everyone can get our uniform right and we are proud of pupils who wear it.

Something that has started to creep in that we have started to work on; false nails, your child doesn’t need to wear false nails for school.  We have at times had to give First Aid when children have caught them going about their normal school day and torn them off exposing the nail bed.

A reminder of what is and isn’t allowed with images can be found here or use this web address https://www.gateacre.org/school-life/uniform-what-is-and-isnt-allowed-2/. On this page we also have pictures of acceptable footwear, which we have for your ease circled the most common styles in green should you need to go shoe shopping over the Easter break.  A lot of shops will try to sell you expensive ‘school shoes’ which are actually trainers.

 

Exam countdown Year 11 and Year 13

Year 11, there are only 3school weeks left after Easter, just 15 days in school, until the GCSE examinations start on the 14th May. Please note that there will be a programme of revision classes over the Easter holiday. Some classes have been planned to address the findings of the Pre-Public Examinations pupils have been invited if they need to attend by their class teacher and you should receive a text notification that the additional sessions are taking place.  I cannot stress enough how important this final run up is and whilst we all know the stresses associated with GCSE exams by the end of June it is over and your child will have a fantastic break to look forward to.

Work hard now for a great future.

Year 13, don’t think you’re getting away with it!  You are two years older and two years wiser.  We know how much effort and dedication you have put into the past 18 months and we don’t want you to forget that if at any point between now and when your A Level and Vocational exams start you need to discuss something you know where we are.

It’s never too late to ask for help.

Regards,

Mr Roberts

Headteacher

 

After Easter break the word of the week (WOW) will be:

Week 21 incisive

Dates for Your Diary:

5th April: End of Term (Easter holidays 8th - 22nd April)

23rd April Start of Summer Term

27th - 31st May: Half Term

2nd July: Jungle Book show

4th July: Y10 Parents Evening 3:45pm - 6pm

9th July: Art Exhibition

16th July: Summer Concert

19th July: End of Term

 

Junior Science Winner 2019 trophyEA Winner 2018 BLACK               Echo Schools WINNER logo 2018

 

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