WEEK 34 - Friday 18 June 2021
Hello to all of our Year 9 families,
It has been a while since I last wrote my blog, and the Whit Week half term break seems like a distant memory; however, the sun certainly shone and gave many the opportunity to get out as families, hold BBQs, and enjoy time at the coast or in the countryside - I hope you were able to make the most of the time together.
Returning from the break, the final half term has had a lovely, positive start for many of our year 9 students. We have moved to a new scheme to run during tutor sessions and there is a huge focus this half term on teaching our students the importance of respect, and exploring the various situations that can arise from having a lack of respect. Students were asked to consider a slogan last week that could be used in their tutor groups; we have had a few different slogans within the year group: ‘Give it to get it”, “Respect others as you would expect to be respected”, to mention a couple.
The conversations have been really engaging as I have wandered around the groups and the ability to demonstrate respect is becoming clearer. Last week, as we returned from lunch, year 9 made us extremely proud. They were all approaching the building, reluctantly as the sun was glorious, and took it upon themselves, on three separate occasions, to stop and give way to 6th Form and year 8 students who had to pass by our entrance to access their own areas. The smile on my face was beaming as I praised them for their great level of respect. One of the key messages I have added during discussions with students has been, “Show respect even to people who don’t deserve it; not as a reflection of their character, but as a reflection of yours.” (Dave Willis). We will continue with this work in the coming weeks and I am hoping to see respect across the year group increase- for themselves and others.
Beyond tutor time, in lessons students have been preparing for their end of year assessments. These take place next week in the majority of their subjects. Teachers have been sharing resources, via Google Classroom, and discussing the importance of revision and preparation. With two years to go until their GCSEs we are trying to develop and instill good habits of how to revise and manage time. It is important to help our students do this to prevent them burning out in the future. Free time is equally important.
During break and lunch it has been lovely to see how students are making the most of the delightful outside space we have. Their free time in the sunshine seems to be maximised - using their time to relax and have fun. Meandering outside with the year group, we have seen great potential for an awesome year 10 Cricket Team next year; watched more students involve themselves with football and other sporting activities; seen the revival of daisy-chain creations; and witnessed a lot of students busting-moves to some great tunes (including some classics from the 90s being played.) This use of time is great for their mental and physical health, and some students are starting to consider joining clubs as Lockdown will hopefully ease for the summer.
Thinking about other ways to spend freetime, some students have asked what clubs are out there beyond school that they can involve themselves in. Through social media research recently I have found a netball team for my daughter to attend and my son has joined the Army cadets. If your child is looking for something different to do, that keeps them away from screens and the confines of their bedrooms, I cannot praise the networking with others to find something for them to do- there is so much available in our local area.
Please remember we are here to help as much as we can, stay safe, and take care.
Head of Year 9
Assistant Head of Year 9