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19 March 2021

During this week, with Covid-19 testing being complete, all normal lessons and routines fully returned.

This included the setting of homework and the provision of the Get Ahead club.

We are also very pleased that inter-house football started again each day from 3:30pm to 4:30pm and we’ve included some photos and a report in today’s Head’s Blog.

Whole School Assembly

This week’s whole school assembly was held in tutor group rooms and was all about Comic Relief (Red Nose Day).

The slides are copied here and we would encourage you to read these and discuss the issues at home; thank you.

Students also enjoyed a Red Nose Day quiz.

Although due to Covid-19 restrictions we haven't been able to do any organised fundraising this year, there is a mufti day next week on Thursday 25 March and the proceeds will be going to Red Nose Day.

Sports Update

We are pleased that we have been able to resume the House Football competitions this week. Each year group has participated in an intra-house tournament after school for an hour and there is one competition taking place on each afternoon of the week.

Attendance has been excellent and each House has been well supported by spectators too.

We're looking forward to the finals which will be held next week.

Mr Orkney

Excellent Work

Our examples of Excellent Work this week are from Ms Walker and her Year 8 Religious Studies students.

The classes have been working over the last seven weeks on the ethics of war and have used the knowledge gained to answer this question, 'Can war be justified?'.

Ms Walker said, “Students were required to display reasoning and evaluation skills. I was so impressed with the quality of work across all the Year 8 classes I teach, it was hard to pick just one from each group”.

Please click on each link to read the work presented.

PHSEE Activities

Today Year 7 and Year 9 students were completing the second of two weekly sessions based on careers and in particular the apprenticeship option. A growing percentage of our students are choosing to pursue apprenticeships either after GCSEs or A levels so it is important that they are fully advised of all the possibilities and new developments.

The Year 8 lesson was another media based subject, this week about Influencer marketing. What it is, how it works, how to view such advertisements, and also can it be a viable career option?

Year 10 students began their opportunity to study with Eton College, on the ETONX course Making an impact. These courses are normally paid-for, but we have arranged access for Year 10, Year 11 (see below) and also Sixth Form students. There are eight sessions in total, and students will be given around five lessons in school, so will probably need to complete in their own time. Each week helps to develop useful employability skills in communication, problem solving and team working so even if they decide not to complete the certificated course this is still of value.

Year 11 students are on week two of their ETONX course on Entrepreneurship, which is an option for them on Friday mornings if they want a break from revision for GCSE assessments. Students who began it last week were very impressed (not least with the fact that they were saving themselves £40) and advised that they were thoroughly enjoying the course, some continuing into breaktimes!

Departments are planning some GCSE style assessments starting next week and these will continue throughout the half term after Easter so that they have plenty of data on which to base this year's grades.

Finally for today, don't forget to fill in your census details on Sunday evening. Year 8 students next week will have a lesson on how the data collected is used by different organisations and aspects of society.

So 'Share a smile' and have a pleasant weekend.

Sue Moreton

eSafety Advice

There is no doubt that the internet has enabled us to stay in touch with our friends during lockdown and this has been very beneficial during tough times. However, it is important to take time to reflect on any ‘online friendships’ and ensure that they are positive. With this in mind, Wednesday's tutorial was about how friendships had changed over the last 20 years and if the changes were positive or negative. I think it is perhaps hard for our own children to imagine a time without constant contact and this could be a great discussion point at home.

Online friendship can be defined as the ongoing relationship that we already have with friends, when we are not with them, or new friendships brought about by a shared interest or teams of players in online games.

As part of the tutorial students looked at what defined a good friendship and how this applies to both on and offline friendships. To continue this discussion at home, have some guidelines in how to talk to your children about digital friends;

Remind them to avoid requests to chat in private. If they do talk to someone they don’t know offline, remind them only to speak on a public chat function. Once they move to private chat, it’s unlikely to be monitored by the site, app or game they are using. They may share personal information or feel pressured to do something that they don’t want to do.

Encourage them to tell you if anything happens online that makes them feel worried, scared or uncomfortable. Make sure they know that you would never blame them for anything that might happen online and you will always give them non-judgemental support.

If they are worried about something that has happened when talking to someone online, you, or your child can also make a report to NCA CEOP

Talk to them about being kind online. Discuss how they would deal with disagreements or what they would do if one of their friends was mean to them. Remind them they should treat their friends online as they would offline and vice versa. This includes respecting the wishes of others and never saying nasty things. You can use these scenarios as conversation starters to help talk about online kindness.

Check out the sites, apps and games they are using. Sites like NSPCC's Net Aware break down some of the key features of popular sites, apps and games. It also includes comments and reviews from children and their parents on the type of behaviour they have seen when using them. This can help you decide the most appropriate apps for your child to use.

Know how to report and get help if they need to. Make sure you and your child know how to block and report users who are being unkind or inappropriate online. You can find this information on the site or an app’s privacy settings. Remind your child that they can always speak to someone confidentially at, or by calling 0800 1111 if something is worrying or upsetting them.

Ms Buckler


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