Year 7 and Year 10 have done incredibly well this week being above 94% each day this week. Year 7 nearly achieving 100% on Tuesday.
Year 8 have also been at or above 94 for 3 out of 5 days.
Parents of Year 11, I cannot stress enough how important being in school during these final few months are. We appreciate that sometimes there can be a lot going on but your child gets one proper shot at doing well in their GCSEs, children who do not achieve well in their GCSEs at Year 11 often struggle to do better if they resit as they often have less contact time. Therefore doing all the hard work now is really important.
It would be so nice to see as close to 100% of the school in for the final 4 ½ days next week and finish off the term well.
We close down for the Christmas break at 12pm on Friday 21st December and re-open on Monday 7th January at the usual time. Myself and Mr Coulthard will be on the main door from 07:30 for the regular early birds.
Year 11 & Student Study Guide
A reminder to parents, as I said to many of you at Y11 Parents Evening, and in the Year 11 Parent Study Guide, your support is critical in helping your child achieve their very best possible grades. We are offering a great deal of support; the school is open early so that your son or daughter can come into school and prepare for the day ahead, each department has additional revision and support sessions most nights of the week and we are more than happy for the children to use our computer facilities to complete any work or homework they need to do.
The Y11 Parent Study Guide in particular has key information for you to use in order to support your child at home over the final 6 months. Is your child using GCSE Bitesize, Corbett Maths, GCSE Pod? Are they doing practice papers especially with maths? Have they read their books and poetry for English? Have they planned a revision timetable? An extra 1 ½ to 2 hours a night study between now and the summer will have such a positive impact on your child’s confidence and wellbeing because they will be transferring their knowledge from working memory into their long term memory.
We have included a Student Study Guide - 5 Habits Of An Effective Learner, both for you and for your child as an example of best practice when it comes to preparing for tests. The guide is also on both our Twitter and Facebook feeds. The guide is possibly one of the most simplistic, straight forward and easy to use study guides I have come across in the past 18 years of being in education. Student Study-Guide 5 Habits of an effective learner.pdf
There can be no excuses for the next 6 months it is so important that your child attends school every day, that they aren’t just on time for the first lesson of the day but that they are early and, together, we all put maximum effort into making sure they are well prepared for when the exams begin.
What we should also remember is there needs to be a good work-life balance so any revision timetable needs to factor in a day off and time to socialise, exercise, and take part in family activities. Both GCSE and A Level exams are important, but so is being happy and healthy.
Closing The Vocabulary Gaps
Every week, as part of our literacy focus in school, in order to improve vocabulary and understanding we feature a new word of the week. Parents can engage with this at home and help by using it and encouraging your child to use it within context. Next week's word of the week is:
The drama comedy showcase on Wednesday night was a great success and went really well. A particular thank you to our students who were superb. There were approximately 75 students involved so we congratulate them as they really did do themselves, and the school proud. Thank you also to Mrs Gash, Head of Drama, Sarah Walker, Drama Teacher and Mrs Boyd for her support last night..... and Mr Creed, Assistant Headteacher for his recorded video special guest appearance!
Free Breakfast Club
National School Breakfast Programme & Magic Breakfast
Gateacre School is proud to be one of the first schools in England to sign up to the new National School Breakfast Programme (NSBP), funded by the Department for Education and delivered by the charities Family Action and Magic Breakfast.
From January, students will be able to choose from a range of breakfast cereals, bagels and porridge - and they can eat as much as they want!
Research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies found that pupils in schools boosted their reading, writing and maths by an average of two months’ progress per year, compared to pupils in schools with no breakfast provision. We hope that the programme helps with attendance and punctuality, as the students are dropped off earlier and are already at school when the bell rings.
At Gateacre, we recognise the importance of a great start in the morning especially when our Year 11 and Year 13 pupils are preparing for their examinations. That is why we open the school during the exam period early to ensure that every pupil has the opportunity to have a free breakfast and prepare well for their tests. Before the breakfast club, many children had been coming to school hungry.
Our HR Manager, Anne Kavanagh who applied for the funding said: “We understand that those students who start the school day with a healthy breakfast have higher levels of attendance, punctuality and concentration, which results in improved learning. We are committed to ensuring that no student at Gateacre School is too hungry to learn and so we have adopted the National School Breakfast Programme.
Parent Governor Vacancies
I would like to make parents aware that in the New Year we will be sharing with parents, via the Newsflash, website and email, an opportunity to join the school's Governing Body in a voluntary capacity. There exists two Parent Governor vacancies on the board of the our new Governing Body which will constitute in Spring 2019. I will share with you further information about this in January, together with details of what is required of Parent Governors, next steps to submit your expression of interest, and the nomination process for election by vote.
End of term arrangements – Friday 21st December 2018
On Friday 21st December school will shut down for the Christmas holidays at 12:00pm and we will re-open our doors again from 07:45am on Monday 7th January 2019 with lessons starting at 08:45am.
We expect excellent attendance right up to Friday 21st December and my message to staff is to teach proper lessons up to the end of term, which means your child has 17 days off to enjoy the Christmas festivities.
Online Safety Alert: Risky Apps
We would like to make parents aware that it has come to our attention, through National Online Safety and the police, concerns regards another potentially risky app which children and vulnerable young people may be targetted - Kik Messenger; a free messaging app aimed at users aged thirteen and over. Used by more than 300 million people worldwide, Kik lets users exchange messages, photos, videos, GIFs and web pages with friends, family, chatbots and even strangers.
Unlike WhatsApp, Kik doesn’t require a user to sign up with a phone number. Instead, friends can be added via their username, making it easier for users to receive unwanted contact from strangers. Police in the UK issued a safety warning earlier in the year, claiming that Kik has featured in ‘more than 1,100 child sexual abuse cases in the last five years’ and that ‘children are at risk’ on the app. (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-45568276)
Please feel free to share our guide for parents and carers across your social platforms:
Forthcoming Events & Christmas Celebrations
Dates for Your Diary:
21st December: End Of Term 12 noon
7th January 2019: Spring Term Starts
10th January 2019: Y9 Parent Evening 3:45pm - 6pm
11th January 2019 Y11 Sport Science Exam
14th January 2019: Y13 Mocks commence
14th January 2019: Y12 Work Experience
31st January 2019: Sixth Form Parents Evening 3:45pm - 6pm
31st January 2019: Y9 Options Evening
18th February 2019: Half Term