Year 8 Bulletin – February 2016

The ‘Thought for the Week’ themes for this month are as follows:

Week beginning 1st February – Careers and Work
Week beginning 8th February – Charles Dickens Day (7th)/ Chinese New Year (8th)/ New Beginnings
Week beginning 22nd February – Home/Love your Neighbour Week
Week beginning 29th February – St.David’s Day/Welsh Culture

Half – term dates

Monday 15th February – Friday 19th February

Behaviour/Well-being

As a school, we are always committed to maximising the well-being and general happiness of our young learners. We focus on equality and giving the students a voice. As an extension of the Student Council, we want all students in the school to feel that they were able to express their opinion about how the school is shaped. Good experiences at school create happy and emotionally resilient young people which allow them to flourish and grow into confident adults. Feeling safe in school is also conducive to a happy child and school is a place we want all our students to feel comfortable to belong.

With this in mind, we have launched our “Student Voice Platform” which allows all students to contact us with any concerns they have which they may not have the courage to address with us face to face. Students who feel they want to talk to someone about feeling anxious, unhappy, confused about anything or having friendship issues, as well as any concerns about being bullied or having witnessed bullying, can contact us in one of two ways.

Students have been issued with cards, the size of a credit card, which can be placed in their wallet, with a dedicated email address which can be used to send a message. The email address is only accessed by Senior Management and will be answered within two school days.

The other way in which students can contact us is by reporting any concerns they may have about perceived incidents of bullying is via an incident report form. These are located around the school and can be placed in a post box unobtrusively in the school – this has been signposted to them in assembly. This is in no way a development in response to an increase in bullying, but has been created as a platform that openly allows students and staff to address and deal with any issues that may arise.

Students can still ofcourse simply go and see a member of staff to discuss their concerns verbally, depending on their preferences. If you have any queries about our student voice platform, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Learning

A number of Year 8 students have been involved in Sound Training, a new Literacy development scheme that we have. These students have worked very well at improving their skills and they shall be praised through assembly and more information will be displayed in the school newsletter. Many thanks to Miss Pavett for her dedication to this.

Your son/daughter should still be acting on the feedback from their last reports, in and out of lesson time. Please continue to contact us for general discussions about progress. What your child does now will have a knock-on influence to their development which will lead them in to Year 9 and eventually GCSE’s. Your involvement from home is always appreciated as we align our incentive of ensuring that every individual achieves their full potential. Homework club continues to run and departments often have their own support/intervention groups.

Additional Information

The number of parents/guardians that have signed up to SCHOOP, our new communication system, continues to rise. We encourage you all to download the application or sign-up to ensure you receive all important information, announcement and news. Our aim is to manage our communication with a paperless approach so your support in this would be much appreciated. A reminder of how to download/use SCHOOP is shown below again. If you need any help with this please contact me.

SCHOOP Instructions

If you have an iPhone, iPad, Android phone or tablet:

On your iPhone or iPad click the App Store button
On your Android phone or tablet click the Google Play button
Search for Schoop and download the FREE app
Run the app and follow the instructions
Enter our Schoop ID 20521
Add the years and groups relevant to you
That’s it – you’re in the loop!

If you have a Windows Mobile, Blackberry, PC or Mac:

1. Go to www.schoop.co.uk
8. Enter our Schoop ID: 20521
2. Add your email address and choose relevant years and groups
3. Select your preferred language, if applicable.
4. Click CONFIRM, and you’re in the loop!

Need help?
Please don’t contact the school. Schoop will answer any of your questions.
Go to: www.schoop.co.uk and click on Support, or send an email to support@schoop.co.uk

Attendance

Our year group attendance has seen an overall decline since Christmas. Most absences can be accounted for by illness but improvements are necessary. May I please remind you that if your son/daughter is absent from school you need to notify us in advance or on the day so that we can appropriately monitor class registers. We also value punctuality so lateness in the mornings is also addressed. Likewise, if you know your child is going to be delayed in getting to school can you please inform the main office.

We continue to credit students for good/excellent attendance through the 100% Attendance Award. The most recent winners are as follows:

For week beginning 4th January
• Liam Brooks (8D)
• Danielle Prosser (8P)
For week beginning 11th January
• Oliver Bidwell (8C)
• Gwen Prince (8H)
For week beginning 18th January
• Harriet Roberts (8D)
• Charles Chetwynd (8P)
For week beginning 25th January
• Ava Wright (8C)
• William Jones (8H)

Congratulations to these students and all others who achieved 100% attendance for those weeks. Students are selected at random so have a fair chance every week to skip the dinner queue.

At the end of the year, we will be holding a reward brunch again for those who achieve 100% attendance for the whole year. It was a great incentive last year and our year group had the highest number across the school.

Extra-curricular activities & more
All of our extra-curricular activities continue to run and the days and times have been published in the last few monthly bulletins. Your son/daughter may obtain more detail from the individual departments or by seeing me or their Form Tutor.

On Monday 15th February, our Community Sports Development Officer (Nicola Jones) will be running a Gymnastics taster session. The classes will be open for ages 5-7 at 1-2pm and ages 8+ at 2-3:30 pm at a cost of £3 and £4 respectively. If you would like more information on this please contact her.
Email: nicola.jones1@powys.gov.uk