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WEEK 18 - Friday 26 January 2024

I’ve always been a big believer in systems and routines. You can have the best intentions and work incredibly hard but without the structures to support your efforts, your chances of success will be limited. Schools are an excellent case in support of this and we are always working to develop systems to help us create the most of our time and resources. To those on the outside, it might not be immediately clear why we do things in the way we have decided but I hope that by explaining a little about the design of two key areas of our school day, it might help you to gain a better understanding of the “why” in relation to some of our systems and routines. 

The Line-Up 

The first part of our school day and a chance to ensure the day gets off to a successful start. Students arrive at school and all attend a designated area before being met by their form tutor. This initial meeting provides the opportunity for students to speak with their tutors and other staff about any concerns they have as well as simply having a conversation with them about their day/weekend/interests. They then line-up in alphabetical order and the tutor checks uniform and jewellery, providing students with an opportunity to rectify any issues before they enter the building. By providing this opportunity, the intention is to reduce the need to issue any consequences during the school day. This process has been designed specifically to ensure initial checks take place before we enter the tutor room and allows us to maximise time spent delivering our tutor programme in lessons. It also means that if we have an assembly or other activity planned, tutors can lead their forms directly to those areas rather than all having to come from different areas of the school.  

Lunch/Break Times 

We operate a split break and lunch system in order to manage the number of students around the building. For Year 10, they have break at 9.55-10.15 and lunch takes place between 12.15-12.50. All students use the one-way system to leave the building, before either visiting the Snack-Shack outside or re-entering via the doors to the canteen to queue up for food in a calm and orderly manner. Students can then either leave the building or remain inside, seated at one of the tables in the canteen. As I’m sure you’ll understand, this process needs to run as a well-oiled machine in order to serve the number of students we work with and staff are strategically positioned to ensure students are where they need to be and are safe. Due to the splitting of lunch and break across year groups, it means that when one group of students is on break/lunch, the other year groups are still in lessons. To minimise disruption to learning, students are not permitted to use the corridors around the building during this time (other than the canteen and the designated toilets at the end of the ground floor corridors). At the end of break, students then enter the building through their designated entrances and make their way to lessons, following the one-way system. 

There are of course many other systems and routines in operation and the vast majority of students follow them every day without issue. Where they choose not to do this, the relevant sanctions are used. Hopefully, after reading about the logic behind these structures you understand a little bit more about why this is necessary and how our systems and procedures support your children outside of lesson time. 

Around the classrooms 

During the last week, I’ve spent quite a lot of time in and out of Year 10 lessons, gaining a deeper understanding about the work students are completing. This week alone, I have witnessed: 

Music – Students working on their own compositions inspired by “Killer Queen” by Queen.  

Maths – Work on Venn diagrams and set notation, including intersection and union. 

Science – Some of our classes receiving feedback on recent tests and working on how to improve their answers in the future. 

English – Classes preparing for their upcoming English Language mock exam. 

Textiles – Students planning their designs for their practical pieces. 

It’s been a real pleasure to witness the scope of knowledge and skills being acquired by our learners over the course of the week and I would encourage you to ask them about some of these lessons and the work they’ve been completing recently. 

Work experience 

Finally, a reminder about work experience deadlines: Friday 23rd February is the deadline for placement forms to be returned to the school. If you have any questions or need any additional support, please contact Miss Lawes prior to this date. 

Mr Riches

Head of Year 10

Mrs Lacey

Assistant Head of Year 10