Dear Parents and Carers
We enjoyed a very positive start to the first half-term of this academic year, after the very positive news of improved GCSE results and our excellent A Level results in the summer.
I wanted you to be aware of some important events in the coming weeks.
Years 8, 9 and 11 parents will be receiving their child’s first Learning Programme Progress Report for this academic year next week in the post.
First Review Day 24 November 2017
Last year we introduced Review Days for Years 7 to 10 rather than the traditional Parents’ Evening. By increasing the time available to parents and carers through this new approach we found that virtually all our parents and carers were able to attend which was not the case in the previous model. The feedback from parents and carers of their experience on the day was very positive with shorter waits, if any, to see teachers. Consequently we are continuing with this model this year.
The first Review Day for Years 7 and 10 is on Friday 24th November 2017; Year 7 and 10 pupils will receive their Progress Reports on this day. The school will be closed for the students in Year 8, 9 and 11 and work will be set for students to complete at home in English and mathematics.
New Key Stage 3 Aspire Curriculum
In September we introduced some changes to our Key Stage 3 Curriculum. Our students are now experiencing some exciting new learning experiences which we believe will equip them not only to be more effective learners but also with the knowledge and skills to compete effectively for university places and in the job market. The new aspects of the curriculum include Oracy where we develop students’ skills in articulating themselves verbally. This term our Year 7s had a visit from Angela Eagle our local MP to model this for them.
We have also introduced Politics where we are educating our students to understand our political system and their rights and obligations as future voters. In Year 9 our students are also receiving some lessons in the skills needed to be successful on the Duke of Edinburgh programme. As students follow aspects of this curriculum for a block of time you will not receive an Aspire report for each area in every Key Stage 3 Progress Report.
The feedback from students and staff is that they are really enjoying the new aspects of this curriculum.
July 2018 Review Days
Some parents expressed disappointment that we did not issue a summative written report at the end of the academic year. We have reflected on this feedback and have decided this year to trial a second Review Day for Years 7 to 10 in July which will enable your child’s teachers to give a summative view of their progress over the year and to set meaningful targets for the next academic year. Teachers will be able to set some work for your child to do over the summer holidays to close any gaps in their learning in preparation for the start of the next academic year.
Last year it was asked if it would be possible for some students in Sixth Form to attend pre-arranged lessons with teachers who are not involved in the Review Day. This makes good sense. So, if your child is in the Sixth Form, your child will be told if there are sessions for them to attend on 24th November. Progress reports for Years 12 and 13 will be posted out next week and Year 12 will receive a separate letter about the arrangements for Parents’ Evening on Thursday 7th December.
Inset Day – Monday 11th December
Monday 11th December is one of the Teacher Inset Days and College will be closed to all students on this day.
Thank you again for your continuing support for our partnership.
Mr A Boyle Mr T Quinn
Headteacher Executive Head Teacher