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Quite simply a stunning week from Year 7 with Thursday in particular incredibly well attended. Year 8 and Year 9 equally had some good days, however unusually for Year 10 they saw a drop this week compared to previous weeks’ solid attendance.
Overall, when we compare this year as a whole to previous years, we are still seeing an improvement. The overall impact looks even more impressive when the serial non-attenders in Year 11 are removed from the figures.
At the end of this term I will publish for parents a whole school view of attendance each day from September through to the start of April as it shows very clear patterns about absences just before and just after any school holiday. It also shows the concerns we have about attendance on a Friday. Only 3 Friday’s have been above 94% with most being below 92% and some being below 90%.
We are asking for good attendance across 190 days. That leaves 175 days in the year to do whatever you wish. Days missed from school impact on learning and all we want is to give all of our children at Gateacre a great education and a great start in life.
One Race: The Human Race
In Year 8 we have had to deal with two incidents regarding inappropriate language, specifically relating to the use of the ‘N’ word. The first was a couple of weeks ago between two boys over a game on PS4/Xbox and the most recent was this week when a pupil was reciting a song heard at home. Racist and derogatory language is simply not acceptable and will not be tolerated in the exact same way it is not tolerated in society.
We are well aware that with the rise of platforms like Spotify, YouTube and other music sharing sites, children will hear and see music videos. Often, but not always, some of the more disturbing words come from rap and hip hop artists both black and white that use the ‘N’ word to varying degrees, so much so that it can seem normal and acceptable. I must stress it is NOT acceptable. It is never acceptable to make derogatory remarks or comments about a person’s skin colour, background, heritage, religion, race or gender.
To complicate matters yet further, I am also aware the issues surrounding Brexit have led some people across the country to vocalise quite extreme views. What I must remind people is that we are the educators of children, our children at Gateacre come from different backgrounds socially, economically and culturally. As their Headteacher I am proud of every single one of them.
It is so saddening when these issues arise because in the two and half years I have been at Gateacre I cannot think of another occasion where this has been an issue. It feels like we are in some way failing to instil good character traits and British values in our children and that is obviously something we as a community need to address. However what struck us about the aftermath of this was the incredibly mature reaction of the pupils who heard it in the classroom: ‘that language doesn’t belong in our school’.
I would strongly urge you to discuss the use of appropriate language with your child. We have so far worked with two children to address not only how inappropriate racist language is but how hurtful it can be. Their parents were absolutely mortified and embarrassed about what had been said and I am confident that we will continue from this point on as the inclusive school that I see us being.
Martin Luther King spoke eloquently about his four children being judged not by their skin colour but by the content of their character. He also, less famously, said “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that”. That for me sums up how we can do better as a society; more love, less hate.
Year 12 Yoga - Wellbeing & Health Benefits
As part of the Sport and Exercise course we provide in Sixth Form, students learn the health benefits of flexibility training, breathing techniques and the mental health benefits of yoga relaxation classes for stress relief. Particularly in dealing with exam stress and anxiety, such techniques can help and promote wellbeing. Professional yoga instructor Nikki Heldt from Happiness Yoga, delivered the session for eighteen of our Y12 students said our students were superb, a credit to the sixth form and the school and she'd love to teach them all day.
Next week's word of the week (WOW) is:
Dates for Your Diary:
28th March: Y8 Parent Evening 3:45pm - 6pm
4th April: Y7 Parent Evening 3:45pm - 6pm
5th April: End of Term (Easter holidays 8th to 23rd April)
23rd April Start of Summer Term
LEADERSHIP TEAM OF THE YEAR HEADTEACHER OF THE YEAR