Year 8 Bulletin – October 2015

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

  • Week beginning 5th October – Science and Technology/World Space Week
  • Week beginning 12th October – Cyber Bullying and the Law
  • Week beginning 19th October – October/Black History month

Upcoming important dates for Year 8 include:

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

The first month back has been a success and Year 8 have been positive and influential role models for the new Year 7 students. Feedback on a classroom and extra-curricular level has highlighted that all students are immersing themselves and many have become more attentive to their learning, organisation and behaviour. I have had many pleasing conversations with staff and parents/guardians over the recent weeks and it is clear that progressions are being made across the board.

Behaviour

Achieving excellent behaviour during lessons and throughout break times and lunch times continues to be a large school focus. Students are being recognised and motivated in this through our Olympic Behaviour Reward system. All learners have been reminded that they are responsible for their own actions at lunch times and that rough play will not be tolerated. The lunch time supervisors are paying particular attention to this, but a number of students appear to be attending last lesson with their uniform being dirty and untidy. Obviously, any rough play has the potential to lead to injuries. From home, it would be very much appreciated if you could reinforce this expectation and encourage your child to take pride in their presentation at all times. Sanctions will be set for any student who is found to engage in rough play.

Learning

As you know, your child attends registration every morning. The purpose of this time is for your child to be supported both pastorally and academically by a consistent member of staff on a daily basis. Our current morning structure is as follows:

  • Monday – Literacy Challenge
  • Tuesday – Year 8 Assembly in MPS
  • Wednesday – Numeracy Challenge
  • Thursday – Planner signing/Theme of the week task
  • Friday – KS3 Assembly in Sports Hall

The Literacy and Numeracy Challenges are used as the starter activity within the first Maths and English lessons of the week. May you please continue to ensure that your child’s planner is checked and signed on a weekly basis. This aspect of the weekly structure is adaptable to each form tutor and your will child will have an awareness of the requested day for theirs to be signed by.

The Year 8 interim reports are scheduled to be sent to you by Thursday 27th November. The will provide you with a grading from ‘cause for concern’ to ‘excellent’ on the four key attributes: behaviour, organisation, classwork and homework. If you have any specific queries about this feedback, please contact myself or the Director of Learning for the relevant department. You can obtain contact details from the school website or by contacting the general office.

Year 8 Parents’ Consultation Evening will then take place on Thursday 3rd December 2015. Your child will be encouraged to obtain appointments by subject staff prior to the evening. Although individual teachers attempt to adhere to the set times, this often proves to be difficult with the nature and depth of conversations varying amongst parents and guardians.

Show My Homework is a fantastic learning tool which is already proving to be significantly effective. All students and parents have been sent their PINs to login to the site from home as a method of monitoring what homework has been set. A useful aspect of the website is that it creates a priority list for the individual learners to identify what order they should attend to their work in, going on the date it is all due. If you are having any problems with accessing your account please contact me. There is also a helpdesk/support contact available through the website so you may go directly through them. The link to the site can be found under the ‘student’ tab of the school website homepage.

The Awards Evening in September was hugely successful, with a number of students receiving awards for all aspects of learning and extra-curricular involvement. Many congratulations to those who obtained the high level of recognition. For those who did not on this occasion, they know that they have everything to aim for next year. The Pastoral Awards for all round effort, respect and focus went to:

  • Madeline Corlett (8H)
  • Cristian Constantinescu (8P)

A huge well done goes to these two individuals.

Attendance

Attendance continues to be a strong point of Year 8’s on-going achievement, with our overall attendance being over 97% as a year group. Thank you for your continued dedication and support on this.

If your child is ill on a particular day, can you please follow the procedure of telephoning the school’s general office number (01873 813500) and going through to the attendance line. You will have the option to leave a message to detail the reasons for the absence and this will mean that your son/daughter resultantly has their attendance marked accurately. This is essential for our records and it contributes to the reports that you receive on your child’s progress. You may also e-mail or phone me to provide me with further information if additional support of any kind is desired.

Lateness in the morning is being monitored and any student who arrives late to assemblies is now being sanctioned with a lunch time detention in attempt to reinforce the importance of this educational aspect, which can have a substantial impact on learning and attainment. Persistent lateness will result in a letter being sent home.

Extra-curricular activities

Our sports clubs are in full flow and many training sessions and fixtures are being organised and fulfilled in rugby, football, netball, hockey, gymnastics and cross country, to name but a few. If you require further information on the different activities please visit the PE section of the school website. Positively, many students are also taking on coaching/leadership roles to support the development of others and enhance their individual leadership skills. All students are consistently encouraged to get involved, with no previous experienced required. As the months progress, the set extra-curricular activities will change with other opportunities and doors opening. The 5 x 60 scheme continues to run to support the aim of increasing participation and an extended range of other activities are also offered through this.

The Rock Challenge planning and rehearsals are now underway. Students from all year groups, both girls and boys, have chosen to take this performance based opportunity. Rehearsals are running on a Monday, 3:30 – 4:30pm. The performance will take place in Porstmouth on Monday 14th March and the first information letter will soon be sent out to parents/guardians. If you have any further queries on this please contact myself or Mrs Nicola Webb.

A new ‘Musicals Group’ has now commenced and this is taking place every Monday lunchtime, 1:30-2:00pm. The aim of this is to help students develop their singing, dancing and acting skills. No previous experienced is required. Participation in this club might lead to students being included in the annual school play, carol service and many other events.

The Art, Design & Technology Club has also recently been structured and this is taking place 1:30-2:00pm on a Monday lunch time. Mr Damien O’Farrell may be contacted for more details.

There is something on every day of the week to meet the interests of all students. All normal extra-curricular clubs 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. Your child can find out more information from the subject staff.

I wish you a very good month. As always, should you need any support or guidance on anything please contact me.

Yours sincerely,

Miss C Jones – Year 8 Progress Leader