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Year 10 continue to perform strongly as a collective which given that they are 13 months away from sitting their GCSEs Summer 2020 is putting them in an ideal position to achieve their personal best. Well done Year 10! You are leading the way and demonstrating fantastic character and leadership. Mrs Darrar and Ms Melling were only commenting the other day what a wonderful start to your GCSEs you have all made and they, along with your form tutors are incredibly proud of how well you are all doing.
Lower school continue to have good days and other days that are almost at national levels of attendance. Keep going years 7, 8 and 9! It’s a hard slog sometimes, especially when you might get up and have a tickly throat or the sniffles but sometimes we’ve just got to get on with things and grind it out.
A few weeks ago I spoke about the Year 11 attendance figures and explained that due to a small minority of persistent absentees the whole year group % looks poor when comparing it to the national figure of roughly 94%. It is such a shame that some pupils and their parents do not care enough to give their child the education they deserve. But it is never too late to try, we will still be here on Monday wanting you to do your very best, so even if you are reading this as one of the parents whose Year 11 child hardly attends getting something from the final few weeks is so much better than getting nothing.
Punctuality To School
Myself, Mr Coulthard and the kitchen staff are generally in the building preparing for the day ahead from 06:30am, you would be surprised about all the things that need to be done before the first pupil sets foot through our door! We tend to get our first lot of early birds around 07:20 – 07:30 with a steady stream until 08:40. I’ve stopped at 08:40 for a moment because that is the time we have asked pupils to ensure they are in the building, this gives them 5 minutes to sort anything out before lessons begin at 08:45.
If your child is walking through our doors and crossing the Red Line at 08:45 they are late. It means they are moments away from interrupting and disturbing the learning of the class they are about to walk into. That’s not fair.
Myself and other members of the Senior Team and Pastoral Team patrol outside the school, into Belle Vale Shopping Centre, as far down as McDonalds and across into Morrisons.
The main reason the 35 children that were late on Thursday 28th March was because they were messing about in one of those three places.
I see lateness, with no good reason, as simply rude and indicates a total lack of understanding about how important several things are; when we go to work our employers expect us to be on time – school is no different, your child’s education is so important because it provides a foundation to go on and do other things in life.
Tackling lateness & poor punctuality issues as a community
Last night at Year 8 parents evening it was really impressive and there were lots of parents saying wonderfully supportive things about how the school has continued to get better and better which is great to hear. But as a community we need to tackle some of the ongoing persistent issues around poor punctuality and poor attendance. Any school will struggle to give children the education they deserve if they miss nearly an hour in the morning in a minority of cases or attendance starts to slip below 95%.
Your child’s lessons start at 08:45. When they arrive late they are disrupting the learning of the other children in that lesson. That’s not fair.
One option is that I write to everyone and inform all parents that any child seen in Belle Valle Shopping Centre, Morrisons or McDonalds after 08:40 is being defiant, I have given a reasonable request to be on time, if your child cannot comply with that then they are not following school rules. I will then have to exclude that child(ren) until I am forced to permanently exclude someone.
I don’t want to do the above, to me it seems petty and draconian. But we all need to seriously address the punctuality of our children.
Retrieval - How to learn and remember knowledge
Deputy Headteacher, Ms Chapman provided our Y11 students with some excellent guidance and tips on how best to organise, learn and remember knowledge - including elaborative interrogation: how to give knowledge meaning by connecting it to what you already know, and insight into how we retrieve knowledge from our long term memory. Students who organise knowledge into a mental model show an advantage in learning. (Brown et al. Make it stick, successful learning). You can download the presentation with all the guidance and links here:
The Year 7 and 8 basketball team attended their first competition at Toxteth Firefit. The girls competed really well winning one of the four games they played. A huge thank you must go to Miss Crabb who delivered regular training sessions and her enthusiasm increased the interest in basketball within the girls in key stage 3. Girls basketball takes place after school Mondays from 3.05pm until 4pm every week.
Y11 Easter School Revision Sessions
Some Y11 staff will be providing additional revision sessions in school for Y11 students over Easter. This will be done on a class by class basis by invitation, so not all students and departments may be involved. If your child has been invited in over Easter by their subject teacher/mentor/Head Of Department then you will receive a text message prior to Easter to inform you of the time and day. Only those students are permitted to be in school grounds during Easter holidays please, in pre-arranged and fully supervised revision classes.
Next week's word of the week (WOW) is:
Health & Wellbeing Event - Parent Evening
A huge thank you to our local Community Health Ambassador Team (CHAT) for organising a Health and Wellbeing Event during our Year 8 Parents Evening yesterday. Free massage, reiki healing, nails, health MOT, Mental Health/Wellbeing, Riverside Housing as well as help and guidance with support for addiction was available throughout the evening. It was very well attended with students, staff and parents all taking up the offer of free advice, health and wellbeing. We hope to make this a regular event so if you do have any feedback, or would like to suggest health agencies that you think should attend please email Lisa Mitchell via email@example.com
Links to some of the wellbeing handouts shared last night with parents are available here:
Dates for Your Diary:
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
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