We are beginning to see a shift in attitudes and culture with respect to how important good attendance and punctuality is to school.
My very first half term, September 2016 to October 2016, there were generally well over 200 pupils late each morning. I know this because I counted the names in the late book as I could not quite believe just what my staff and other pupils were having to put up with – persistent interruptions to lessons. How incredibly disrespectful some individuals were 2 years ago.
Equally, on a day to day basis whole school attendance rarely peaked above 92% whilst children in other schools up and down the country were attending nearly every day on average. I cannot fathom why we would want to disadvantage our own children and make it more difficult for them to do well.
All children in England towards the very end of Year 11 sit their GCSEs, we all know this, and yet we are allowing them to be late or we are allowing them to stay off for reasons that are not genuine or serious.
Let’s now fast forward to the current academic year so I can share with you where we are up to with regards to cracking this issue with punctuality and attendance.
So on a day to day average we have roughly 50-60 pupils who are still turning up late. We are open from 07:30, we want all pupils in the building by 08:40 because learning begins at 08:45. 08:46 is late. We are clearly better than we were two years ago, but we still need to improve. 50 interruptions to learning is not fair.
So where do we stand with our most recent whole school attendance? Well for the two weeks prior to half term this is what it looked like:
W/C 08.10.18: Mon 94.66%, Tues 95.1%, Weds 94.45%, Thurs 94.61%, Fri 91.42%
W/C 15.10.18: Mon 93%, Tues 93.2%, Weds 94%, Thurs 92.2%, Fri 88%
Fridays…What Is Going On?
I am directly addressing each parent and carer who keeps their child off on a Friday; takes them to troupe dance competitions, thinks “it's ok, it's only Friday” or go out shopping or allows them to be absent from school on their Birthday?! You are limiting your child’s ability to do well in their GCSE exams. Stop it! Stop being so selfish.
As a school community working to ensure the very best future for your child we have only achieved 5 days out of 10 over the last two weeks above 94%. We can do better than this.
How important is it to you that your child has the best opportunities in the future? I imagine that it is so important that you would do anything for your child. Are you willing to say “no” to; late nights on PS4/Xbox or staying off to play the new FIFA or Fortnight update? Will you say “no” to spending all night on Snapchat/Instagram/Facebook? Are you willing to say “no” to Friday’s off? This is what it takes to do well and be better.
We want your child to be here as much as is possible, ideally 190 days across the year. Schools do not improve by pretending things are ok, or by bowing down to disgruntled parents who do not like the fact authorisation cannot be granted for holidays or who are asked why their child is not in school. Good schools ask tough questions and make difficult choices every day for the benefit of each and every member of their community.
We are going to become a ‘Good’ school, we are going to improve our punctuality, attendance and continue to improve our pupil outcomes. I want you to be part of it, it starts by being in school by 08:40 and attending every day.
We recommend parents download our MY Ed parent app so that you can see at a glance your child's attendance, achievements, reports, exams, and lots of school information direct to your mobile phone and it is free. See details and video below this newsflash.
Year 11 Updates
Parents, please let your child read this next bit:
Pre-Public Exams (mocks) begin on Monday 12th November. Y11 have you prepared yourself and started to use GCSE Pod, revision materials, teacher guidance? This week I was fortunate enough to be part of a Year 11 Geography lesson, lots of learning taking place and inquisitive minds but I was shocked by one thing…taking home revision material, or not taking it home.
Year 11s our purpose is to help you achieve your very best results but to do that you have to work hard in lessons and at home. From Monday 5th November you have 24 school weeks left until your real exams start, the time will fly by so quickly. During the Year 11 Exam prep meeting before half term, Mr Martin Head of Maths and Mr Gash Head of Science both spoke candidly about revision and revision guides – they do not work by osmosis you have to open your books, read and engage in the material for it to stay in your brain.
Next week and all through the Pre-Public Exam fortnight, I will make sure that you are able to access the school from 07:00 if that helps you. We trialed this approach last year with great success so, because I arrive so early to school anyway, it makes sense to open the building to any Year 11’s who wish to come and do some revision or extra work.
There is NO study leave for Y11 pupils.
Year 13 Updates
UCAS applications…are you working on yours? If not you should be.
Ms Thomas and Mrs Kinder as well as all the 6th Form tutors are busy working hard to ensure that you are in the best possible position to begin your University applications for the next big step in your life.
This is such an exciting time, I cannot begin to stress just how amazing going to University was and how that decision helped open up so many other opportunities for me personally.
If you are unsure about what you should be doing with regards to UCAS then speak to Ms Thomas in the first instance.
Can we remind all Y13 students to check their school email for their unique login giving them access to a great app we have provided them called GrantFairy. The app identifies over £85,000 in potential scholarships and funds for each student and helps them choose University Courses, explore different Universities, dig into important data such as student satisfaction rates and graduate salaries to help make a more informed decision about where to go and what to study when you're putting in your UCAS application. Students should use their unique ID log in sent to them in an activation email last week.
Download the app to mobile from the app store free or the new WebApp version of GrantFairy is now LIVE here: https://web.grantfairy.com
Bonfire Night Merseyside Police Notice
Behaviour And Safety Advice Guidance For Parents
Merseyside Police are working to promote firework safety and reduce incidents of anti social behaviour over the Autumn period. Parents are encouraged to please read the letter from Merseyside Police in the link below and share this advice with your children. Together, we want them to be safe, to be considerate of others, know the dangers and not play silly tricks.
Parents & Guardians – Know where your kids are:
If your children are going out make sure you know where they are going. If possible, drop them off and pick them up from their activity.
- Don’t let your children hang around the streets with nowhere to go.
- Ensure your child’s safety by either accompanying them or arranging between friends for one of you to take a group of children out.
- If you are not accompanying your child, agree with them before they go out what time they should be home.
- Don’t buy fireworks or eggs and flour for young people – it could contribute to anti-social behavior in your own community
- Do not allow your child to take anything they could use as missiles out of the house.
Parents please read this important Autumn Safety Briefing from Merseyside Police and share with your children Banger-Autumn-School-Briefing-2018.pdf
Respect Morning - PSHE, Citizenship, Careers
Our first Respect Morning took place on Wednesday 31st October with lots of great events happening around the building for all students across the whole school. Students in each year group participated in activities and workshops delivered throughout the day including; Respect, British Values, Relationships & Sex Education, Online Behaviours, Maths and Science Intervention, Stock Market Challenge and Work Related Learning.
Stock Market Challenge
A level Business Studies students successfully completed their event which enabled the whole sixth form to be city traders for the day following the Stockmarket Challenge ..... bringing learning to life.
Knife & Gun Crime/ Gang Culture
Educational Drama Performance
This morning, all Y8 students watched an educational drama performance T.I.E. production designed to tackle knife and gun crime and gang culture. Some very important, hard hitting and difficult messages were shared on this very important topic during the performance.
Knife Crime Prevention
We would like to share with parents an important letter from the Mayor of Liverpool and the Director of Children's Services asking for your continued support in tackling issues young people face around knife crime. Please take a moment to open the link and read the letter: Communication-from-Mayor-Director-Childrens-Services-26-Sep-2018.pdf
MY ED Parent App
Connecting parents, students and schools
The My Ed app shows you up-to-date information about all aspects of your child’s school life: attendance, achievements, timetables, lessons, reminders, homework, term dates, school events and parent evenings, exam dates and deadlines and access to lots of school information, quick links, Free School Meals, and free text messaging to school. All on your mobile.
Download the free MyEd Parent app to your mobile phone here
Dates for Your Diary:
Y11 Mock Exams commence 12th November
Y11 Mock Results: Friday 30th November
INSET Day: 3rd December
Y11 Parent Evening: 6th December
End Of Term: 21st December