WEEK 4 - Friday 29 September 2023
Hello to all our year 7 students and your families,
Blink once, blink twice, and we are halfway through our first half term; 4 weeks of secondary school for the year group... and I already love being their Head of Year and getting to know them each as individuals. It makes me so excited for what is ahead and so proud to write these blogs letting you know what is happening.
It was lovely to meet those of you able to attend our Parent’s Information evening this week. People are asking how I am getting on with my new year 7s and I say things are going well, but I am also getting to know 250 families (Thankfully some old familiar faces from years gone by, so not quite 250.) The relationship between home and school is imperative; this is the greatest way to ensure we support our students through their journey at school and beyond. Additionally, I am developing these relationships through meetings, phone calls, and emails, so thank you for having the trust in me to work together; buckle up as the next five years will be quite a ride.
One of the first peaks we are climbing is navigating Microsoft and the various platforms we use for home learning. Hopefully you have received the PowerPoint which was emailed recently, explaining how to find access to our Microsoft Hub and then on to Teams, alongside others. The main cause of worry is passwords; I spent time this week speaking to our Head of Department and think we may have finally made it simple. On Educake, Sparks, and Seneca there are boxes for login details; however, there is also an option to ‘Log in with Microsoft’- Click there and students should then reach the site for their homework. I am forever an optimist and hopefully it will be this simple; on the other hand, I understand glitches may occur, so please let us know if there is an issue. (It is sometime worth trying on a different device if all else fails.) We are going through this with students again next week in tutor.
The second of our three peaks are ‘After School clubs’. There were lots of questions on Tuesday, and in the last week over phone/ emails about what is on when. Firstly, all clubs run between 3 and 4pm. The range of clubs available has something for everyone, with new clubs starting all the time. Each week students are shown a PowerPoint slide that lists any clubs that week. Please encourage them to note any of interest in their planners, so that you know their after-school movements. We are looking to build our year 7 Rugby team (Monday night training) and the Arts department are buzzing with excitement as they begin to set up auditions for our school production, ‘Oliver Twist’, which is also the text being studied in our year 7 English Lessons.
We must then prepare to climb our last peak; Preparing for what is yet to happen this half term. Next week’s year 7 assembly is with our local PCSOs and our School Nurse; the relationship we have in the local community means we work closely with the Police, and they are often in and around school to give our students the confidence to speak to them and get help, support and advice. It is for this same reason our school nurse, Jacki Scott, will introduce herself to the year group; she is with us once a week and students can see her for a full range of help and advice. On Wednesday 11th October, I have arranged for the year group to meet Paul Spence, from P.A.U.L 4 Brain Recovery; he will be in to deliver his ‘One Punch’ seminar, where he openly talks about brain injury and the implications following an assault. This helps our students to appreciate risk and the fact that one decision can have lifelong consequences.
As we settle back into our daily routines:
Biometric images for use in the canteen- I will be finishing these with students next week. If your child is yet to have theirs done, can you please ensure that you have consented to GDPR Biometric consent on our Arbor app.
The weather- It is starting to become colder, darker and wetter. This week a few children have asked why they cannot bring coats to school which shocked me. Coats are allowed and encouraged. If they won’t fit in their bags, they can carry them and place them on chair backs. Additionally, please encourage your child to walk home with people or plan a route and have a location tacker on their phones as their safety is important for all of us.
As I now reach the end, remove my hiking heels, and look towards the weekend, please remember we are always here if you need anything (apart from the winning lottery numbers - I am not that good.)
Take care and stay safe.
Head of Year 7
Assistant Head of Year 7