Year 8 Bulletin – September 2015

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

  • Week beginning 31st August – Celebrating Education
  • Week beginning 7th September – International Literacy Day (8th)
  • Week beginning 14th September – Future, Hopes and Beginnings
  • Week beginning 21st September – European Day of Languages (26th)
  • Week beginning 28th September – Friendship/World Smile Day (2nd)

Upcoming important dates for Year 8 include:

  • Monday 14th September – Awards Evening
  • October Half Term Monday 26th – Friday 30th October
  • Friday 27th November – Full reports issued
  • Thursday 3rd December –Parents’ Consultation Evening

Welcome back to you all! I hope you have had a pleasurable and recuperative summer. With the next academic year ahead, we have a positive Year 7 to reflect on and an ambitious Year 8 to look forward to. Once again, many thanks to you all as parents, guardians and carers for the support and enthusiasm you presented last year. May this year be just as successful.

Behaviour, Learning and Attendance

Year 8 students are no longer the youngest in the school and their behaviour is expected to be exemplary, especially as they are now essentially role models for our new Year 7 students who are joining us from a wide range of primary schools. They will be encouraged to make our new students feel welcomed and supported, remembering the mixture of emotions that they experienced on their first day last year.

We will be continuing with the Olympic Behaviour Rewards at Key Stage 3 and students will be recognised across their subjects for displaying the following values: Respect, Excellence, Friendship, Determination, Inspiration, Courage, Equality. Once again, good behaviour over the year may result in a behaviour reward trip in the final week; a great motivation for all. The trip to Drayton Manor proved to be very popular and the students were an absolute credit to themselves, you and the school. They had a fantastic day and it is always great to see them in a different light.

Learning

With the early commencement of the Year 8 academic timetable after the Whitsun break, all students should now be relatively settled in their classes and with any new teachers. Year 9 will be the time for ‘option choices’; when your child will select which GCSE qualifications they would like to study throughout Year 10 and Year 11 – how fast is time going! This current year is all about your child embracing the various subject areas, attaining their best levels and getting a feel for what they enjoy. Milestone assessments will continue within departments as a form of monitoring and tracking for your child’s developments and the full reports will be issued on Friday 27th November, with the Parents’ Consultation Evening following on Thursday 3rd December. The interim reports will be issued towards the end of the year, on Friday 27th May.

Relating to home-school communication, may you please sign your child’s planner by the Friday of every week to confirm that you have reviewed the content which may include homework and notes from teachers/school staff. The Form Tutors of Year 8 will also be signing them on a weekly basis. Important information is often recorded in the planners and it is politely requested that they are used appropriately. Letters will be sent home for students who fail to have theirs signed three or more times within any term.

On Thursday 10th September we will be holding the annual Awards Evening in the Clarence Hall, Crickhowell. This involves subject and pastoral awards being presented to a select number of students who are identified for their contribution to school life and general academic achievements. Those students who are nominated will be informed and they will be permitted to have two guests to accompany them on the evening. We usually have an established guest speaker for the event and it always proves to be an inspirational experience for all involved.

Attendance

The weekly 100% Attendance Award will continue over this academic year. The ‘skip the dinner queue’ incentive has been an effective incentive, with many students maintaining exemplary attendance and others showing noticeable improvements over the course of the year. A phenomenal 18 students out of the year group achieved 100% attendance for the whole year and were rewarded in the final week. They were presented with certificates and they attended a special brunch with myself and Mrs.Parker – well done to them all, as well as those students who were very close to the mark.

An important point to make is that lateness to morning registration/assembly and lessons results in a reduction in your child’s attendance. We aim to establish discipline and great routine with all students and ask that you support us in this at all times.

Extra-curricular activities

During last term, Year 8 raised nearly £800 for Lepra, the well-known charity of Leprosy. In high spirits, the students completed a ‘Zumbathon’ and contributed a great deal to a fantastic cause, with a number of them raising nearly £50. Every individual has been praised tremendously and we will continue to organise such events for their own development and for the purpose of helping others.

The Rock Challenge is an exciting performance/dance based project which the school has participated in for over twenty years. Male and female students from Year 7-13 may get involved. It is a fantastic opportunity to meet new people and develop transferable skills. The initial planning and rehearsals shall begin after the October half-term this year and further information will be sent out at a later date.

All normal extra-curricular clubs will continue to run. These include: Eco Club, Homework Club (1:30-2:00pm), ICT Club, Sports Clubs, 5 x 60, Choir, Music lessons, Film Club and Drama Club.

The 5 x 60 activities offer a wide range of additional sporting activities in addition to what the PE department already deliver. The PE extra-curricular timetable can be viewed under the ‘PE’ section on the school website. All sessions will commence the week beginning Monday 7th September.

Crickhowell High School’s Open Evening will take place at 5-7pm on Thursday 24th September 2015. Prospective students and parents/guardians are welcome to attend to receive an insight and general guidance. Members of staff will be available to answer questions on the evening.

As always, please contact me if you have any queries relating to your child’s well-being and attainment. I wish you all a prosperous first term of the 2015-2016 school year.

Yours sincerely,

Miss C Jones – Year 8 Progress Leader