Dear parents and carers,
I would like to thank families for their support in making this half term a success.
COVID control measures
Whilst we are delighted that life at school has been much more normal since September we do need to remain vigilant in terms of the ongoing impact of the pandemic. With Covid-19 cases rising amongst the local community we thought it would be good to remind families on the prevention measures we recommend you maintain to protect yourself and others from transmission.
- Staying at home if you are displaying any symptom of Covid-19
- Regularly washing or sanitising hands
- Keeping open windows to aid ventilation
- Wearing a face covering in crowded spaces
- Using a tissues to catch coughs and sneezes
- Testing twice a week using a lateral flow test
- Attending for the Covid-19 vaccine (if eligible)
As always, school will continue to be led by expert guidance and regularly consults with Public Health to ensure our control measures remain appropriate. If and when any changes are necessary we will communicate these immediately with families. Thank you.
A reminder that the Covid vaccination for 12-15 years is being delivered by the local childhood immunisation service, at present we do not know when this is scheduled to take place but we will let families know as soon as we have more information.
We are very much looking forward to the upcoming Year 7 tutor evening on Wednesday 20th October. Information will be sent home this week explaining the process for meeting your child’s form tutor but also how you will be able to have a look around school (escorted by your son or daughter!), something we promised we would be when we met online in July.
In terms of other parents’ evenings we are very keen to get a sense from parents about their views in terms of face to face meetings as opposed to online meetings. The first of these is the Year 9 Parents Evening after half term. As such we are seeking views from Year 9 parents via the short survey below. We appreciate your engagement with this. Thank you.
As ever the Wellbeing Newsletter is attached for your information. This along with the latest Newsletter is also available on the school website.
Head of Year Awards
Please find the HOY Awards for this week below…
Head of Year Updates
Year 7 – Miss Kincell, Miss Powell and Miss Cooper
We would like to use our message to families this week to highlight key dates and reminders as we approach the final weeks of term but also quite busy Year 7 weeks.
Monday 18 October: Virtual Bewerley Park Information. From Monday 18 you will be able to access an online recording with all of the information you will need for the Bewerley Park Residential. Hopefully this will provide all of the key information you need. However, you may now have received a letter with a reply slip, this evening will now be virtual instead of in person. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. We decided that on reflection, we wanted to reduce contact and wanted to prioritise Parents Evening. You should also have received a medical form, we know that you have already completed something similar but this will outline much more specific detail, including water ability. Please could this be completed and returned as soon as possible. You have also received a kit list, if you need any support regarding this please do get in touch.
Wednesday 20 October 3.45-7.15: Parents Evening. You will receive a letter outlining this in more detail early week commencing 11 October. This Parent’s Evening will just be with your child’s form tutor to discuss your child’s initial settling in and the first steps on their journey. This will also be a really exciting opportunity to also see the school, you will be taken on a tour by your child and light refreshments will be served. If you would like to arrange a meeting with either the SEND team or Year 7 Team please do get in touch.
And just a reminder of Bewerley Park Dates:
A/B Band (Forms: Hv, Gr, Mr, ASu) Wed-Fri 3-5 November
C Band (Forms: SMf, Bl, ANn ) Wed-Fri 10-12 November
D Band (Forms: Cy, MLn, Hf, MPe) Wed-Fri 17-19 November
Well done to our Head of Year Awards this week:
Well done to Lily-May Hartley – For always living the school values and always being polite.
Well done to Hughie Jones – sophisticated and mature, insightful contributions to form discussions
ANn: Lilly Thompson for being a kind, enthusiastic member of the form.
ASu: Adem Sahraoui for managing his CATS sensibly and maturely
Bl: Ella Chamberlain for applying to be a library monitor
Cy: Michael Wadsworth for always being organised in form time
Hf: Grace Moody for being resilient and strong with her broken arm
Hv: Ashton Reagan for being helpful during form time
MLn: Jenson Chipman for always being enthusiastic and kind
MPe: Charlie Roe for being perpetually wonderful and positive
Mr: Malachy Bennet for being so punctual and polite
SMf: Tilly Metcalfe for being such a polite and kind individual who always arrives on time and works hard.
Well, what a busy week! So much going on in the library. Including National Mad Hatter Day. This fit in really well with our National Poetry Day activities, as the Mad Hatter speaks the verse:
Twinkle, twinkle little bat!
How I wonder what you’re at!
Up above the world you fly.
Like a tea tray in the sky.
There is also a much longer poem in the final chapter of the Alice in Wonderland that you can read by clicking on the link below. If you would like to read the whole book, and/or Alice Through the Looking Glass, both are available through the link. Looking Glass, both are available through the link. https://www.alice-in-wonderland.net/resources/chapters-script/alices-adventures-in-wonderland/chapter-12/
Some of you had great fun reading out poems in the library this week. We had so many volunteers to read that we had to let people just read one verse rather than the whole thing. This was great to see as sometimes poetry gets bad press and is deemed boring. Well, the fun we’ve had this week just proves that it’s not!
Well done to those of you who had a go at writing a poem. We had some acrostic grids available, spelling out the words ‘New School’. The following New School acrostic poem is a team effort by Y7.
New people and friends.
Everyone is special.
We learn here. We are
Social and happy in this
Crazy big school.
Open our minds.
Our world of learning has begun,
Loving our learning along the way.
It was also languages week this week. We had lists in the library of ways to say hello in a foreign language. We tried our best to pronounce them correctly and lots of you can now say hello in many different languages. I hope you all managed to get lots of merits in your lessons by remembering on Thursday what you learned in the library.
Great response to the job advert requesting library monitors. We’ve got a huge amount of application forms to read. I will get back to you all as quickly as possible so those who are successful can start their training. We’ve also had a lot of 6th form volunteers in this week, so thank you for your patience as they learn their new role.
I’m delighted that more and more of you are not only borrowing books, but managing to return them on time. That said, if you have an overdue book, please don’t be nervous about returning a book that is overdue. We will be delighted to see both you and it!
Lunchtime of Calm
We are still enjoying our Lunchtimes of Calm. The new fairy lights arrived so we sparkled more than usual this week. After taking part in both languages’ week and National Poetry Day it was very welcome for both staff and students.
A Haiku of Calm
Fairy lights twinkle.
I colour and hear music.
Good way to relax.
Year 8 – Mrs Avey, Miss Mennell and Mr Handley
We are very proud of the year 8 attendance last week. Bugs and viruses still abound but year 8 proved to be resilient and were making the most of the opportunity to be in school and had the best year group attendance. Well done to them. It was a pity that the photos had to be cancelled- lack of staff at the photo company- however, it gave us the opportunity to hold our Friday morning ACW as normal where the focus was thinking through how our actions- however small- may impact on others. Our students then left to fulfill the Friday challenge – to smile as they enter the classroom. Staff have reported that there were indeed smiles a plenty.
This week is Restart the Heart week and year 8’s will be practising their CPR and procedures in the hope that they never need to use them, but that they are equipped in the event they do. This will take place in a PE lesson. On Wednesday morning, Year 8 will be off timetable for a lesson in order to to take part in an RSHE/PSHE enrichment session. The session begins with a performance by an inspiring musician called Brandon Hunt, which is followed by a presentation, and finally a live Q&A with students. Brandon will discuss mental health, the causes of mental health problems (stress at school, relationships etc), a time when he has had his own mental health issues, who to turn to for help and the importance of speaking up. He will also speak about the stresses of the last year during the pandemic, the loss we might all have felt and how we can all better handle the unpredictability and hardship of it all. Brandon will discuss the importance of healthy relationships and respect within all kinds of relationships, whether this be family, friendships or romantic relationships. He will also discuss the characteristics of healthy and unhealthy relationships highlighting the importance of respect and tolerance, why diversity should be celebrated between us all all linked to LGBTQ+.
Year 9 – Mr Arthur, Mr Deamer and Miss Deacon
I hope this bulletin finds you all safe and well! In a fortnight that’s seen fuel, food and lorry driver shortages, there has certainly been no shortage of wonderful things going on at AHS during this same period of time! Over the past few weeks, we have launched out Extra-curricular programme for the 2021-22 academic year. This can be found by following the link below…
CLICK HERE and scroll down to find the wide array of Extra-curricular opportunities we have at AHS.
This vast menu of activities will be updated regularly, so keep an eye out! We also have highlighted in yellow all of the clubs that were directly suggested in last Summer’s Student Voice Survey on Extra-curricular Clubs. Please encourage your child to get involved in whatever they can!
This week’s Act of Collective Worship has centred around Black History Month. Every year group in the school has focussed on a different theme for Black History Month, but what links each area is taking the time to highlight our half-termly British Values focus of Mutual Respect, our School Values of COmpassion and Trust, and the scripture from Psalm 133:1 “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” The focus for Black History Month has been to highlight the neglect of black history in the past; how we are hoping to build Mutual Respect and Trust by celebrating the contributions of black people in the History of Britain, and showing compassion and respect for the black community as well. The focus for Year 9 was on the contributions of black people during WWI. First, we watched a video that highlighted how, directly after the war, the contributions of black people were not widely publicised due to beliefs of racial hierarchy and support for white supremacy that existed at the time. We then went on to explore the work of the BWIR (British West Indies Regiment) and their stellar contributions in labouring, loading ammunition, laying telephone wires and digging trenches; incredible contributions despite the fact they were not permitted to fight themselves. We then went onto look at the professional footballer Walter Tull and his contributions to the war effort. Tull, who enlisted in December 1914, is one of the most celebrated black British soldiers of the First World War. He was commissioned as an officer in 1917, and his gallantry and ‘coolness’ were widely talked about in dispatches during this period. Sadly, Tull was killed in the latter stages of the war at the Second Battle of the Somme, but his sacrifice will never be forgotten. Hopefully, students took this opportunity to understand the stellar contributions black people made during the First World War – but hopefully, one day, there will be no need for a ‘Black History Month’, as the contributions of all people, regardless of colour or creed, will be celebrated equally in our society.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I again want to take this opportunity to highlight the issue of attendance. It goes without saying that attendance at school is crucial to the success of students. In order to give students the best chance of success, it is imperative that students miss little to no school days throughout the course of a year. Recent studies have shown that absence from school has a significant impact on the success of students, and can have a long-term impact through to their GCSEs. Whilst students in Year 9 are a couple of years away from actually sitting their GCSE exams, this ‘transition year’ they are currently undertaking is imperative for building the foundations in subjects that will allow students to reach their full potential in the Summer of 2024. In one recent study, it has shown that of those students that have 100% attendance, 79% of them achieve 5+ good GCSEs. At 95%, this figure falls to 69%. At 90%, this falls even further to 53%, and by 85% attendance, this figure for success becomes 36%. When considering that 5% attendance is around 7 days absence, it really is crucial that students are in school every single day. To put this into further context, if your child has lower than 95% attendance, this means that they are attending school less than the average child across the country. We as a school will do what we can to support the excellent attendance of students, and whilst some absence is genuinely unavoidable, we ask that any routine appointments are made outside of school hours, and that students are encouraged to come into school if they feel under the weather. We have the protocols and facilities to support students in school if they are feeling unwell, including the addition of a school nurse to the AHS team. The key message to students that I deliver to them each week is this: Do not ask yourself whether you “WANT” to come into school or not (the answer will always be “no” if you’re feeling under the weather!) Instead, ask yourself whether you “CAN” come into school. In this case, the answer is almost always “YES!” If there is any way we can support your child in maintaining the highest possible standards of attendance, please get in touch via the email addresses at the foot of this Newsletter item.
Let me finally take this opportunity to congratulate the HOY Award winner from Week 5. As always, it is wonderful to get all the feedback from staff about the excellent things students in Year 9 are doing across the school, and how students are meeting our School and British Values into being every single day. The four winners from Week 5 are…
|Finn Greenhouse||9KMd||For showing excellent initiative and determination to speak to a local MP on a very important issue. Well done!||Democracy|
|Beth Ravilious||9EWh||For always looking out for others and living the value of Mutual Respect into being every single day. Well done!||Mutual Respect|
Thank you for taking the time to read this parent bulletin. If you have any issues regarding your child in Year 9, then please do get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org (head of Year), email@example.com (Assistant Head of Year) and/or firstname.lastname@example.org (Pastoral Support Worker); or alternatively, you can call Main School Reception and we will get back to you as soon as we can. Thank you.
Year 10 – Mr Avery, Miss Johnstone and Miss Montagu
Year 10 have made an excellent start to the year, it’s very pleasing to see such positivity from the students toward studying for their GCSE’s. I was delighted that so many parents could make it along to the Work Experience launch night on Monday. The students will have their own assembly on Wednesday 6th October, where they will receive their log in for the NYBEP website and can begin to search for the work experience placement. I’d like to stress again that the best work places always go first, so I encourage our students to be as proactive as possible when looking for work experience placement. Miss Robinson (Careers Advisor) and the Year 10 pastoral team are on hand to help students who need a bit of extra support in finding a placement. Finally, I will be putting useful information on our school website to help parents support their child in finding a Work Experience placement. Please feel free to use this in the coming weeks and contact Miss Robinson directly (email@example.com) should you require further information or assistance.
As we reach the half-way point of the first half-term, I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight the issue of attendance. Over the last few weeks I am pleased to see that attendance is improving, and that students are becoming more resilient toward colds and feeling under the weather.
It goes without saying that attendance at school is crucial to the success of students. In order to give the students the best chance of success, it is imperative that students try to miss little to no school days throughout the course of a year. Recent studies have shown that absence from school has a significant impact on the success of students, and can have a long-term impact through to their GCSEs. In one recent study, it has shown that of those students that have 100% attendance, 79% of them achieve 5+ good GCSEs. At 95%, this figure falls to 69%. At 90%, this falls even further to 53%, and by 85% attendance, this figure for success becomes 36%. When considering that 5% attendance is around 7 days absence, it really is crucial that students are in school every single day. To put this into further context, if your child has lower than 95% attendance, this means that they are attending school less than the average child across the country. We as a school will do what we can to support the excellent attendance of students, and whilst some absence is genuinely unavoidable, we ask that any routine appointments are made outside of school hours, and that students are encouraged to come into school if they feel under the weather. We have the protocols and facilities to support students in school if they are feeling unwell, including the addition of a school nurse to the AHS team. If there is any way we can support your child in maintaining the highest possible standards of attendance, please get in touch via the email addresses at the foot of this Newsletter item.
In Acts of Collective Worship, we have really tried to focus the students on stories of resilience and making the most of opportunities that await them. This is their focus as part of the Year 10 journey, and preparing for their GCSEs. Over the first few weeks of term we have looked at ‘taking chances’, ‘making a fresh start’ and ‘supporting each other’. Last week this was brought together by focussing on the amazing story of Emma Raducanu winning the US Open this summer. Many of our students were shocked to learn that she prepared for the tournament whilst studying for her A-Levels (which she did very well in!) and showed impressive resilience after withdrawing from Wimbledon due to injury. We also explored her background and upbringing, and informed the students Emma was not from a privileged background. She made the most of her talents through hard work, determination and sacrifice. The words on the sign outside Mr Daly’s office seem to be very relevant in this case, that ‘your present circumstances don’t determine where you go, they merely determine where you start’.
Finally, a huge thank you to the parents of Year 10. Your continued support and willingness to work with the school pastoral team ensures consistent success from the students. Should you have any concerns or questions, please feel free to contact myself (firstname.lastname@example.org), our Assistant Head of Year Miss Montagu (email@example.com) or our PSW Mrs Johnstone (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will be happy to respond.
Year 11 – Miss Turvey, Miss Reader and Miss Chambers
As we move into the Autumn term, our students continue to work hard in lessons whilst considering their next steps. Three students have stood out this week for receiving multiple shout outs from their teachers: a huge well done to Angelique Marie, Sky Claridge and Ananya Valluri for their dedication to their studies.
Our main focus this week has been preparing for IAG day on Friday 15th October whereby we are looking forward to having all Year 11 students off timetable to experience a Sixth form taster day. This week, every child in Year 11 has been invited to select 5 subject options for their lessons on Friday from A Level and BTEC subjects, giving a taster of subjects they may choose in Sixth Form or college. Our KS5 subject specialists in school will be delivering these lessons on Friday.
On IAG day, students are welcome to attend school in non-uniform to reflect the freedom our Sixth formers have. This does come with a polite reminder that students should dress appropriately for school and the weather: crop-tops, for instance, would not be permitted in Sixth form. At lunchtime, all students will also be provided with a pizza lunch; there will be gluten-free and vegetarian options available. As Sixth formers are off school on Friday, Year 11 will have exclusive access to the Sixth form facilities during the day.
After IAG day, Sixth Form Open Evening takes place on Tuesday 2nd November, where students and parents will be welcome to tour the Sixth form, speak to KS5 subject leaders and sample the facilities we have to offer.
Our focus on quality homework completion continues in earnest. Parents are reminded that their child is welcome to attend homework club every evening after school until 4pm in L32 in the Sixth Form block.
Please continue to look for Student of the Week certificates which are posted home each week to celebrate those who have stood out for excellent achievements and contributions; we are hoping to recognise every child by the end of the year. The School Newsletter will also include an extended update on Year 11 this week with lots of individuals to celebrate.
Thank you for your continued support. If you have any issues regarding your child in Year 11, please do contact school reception to get in touch with Miss Turvey (Head of Year 11), Miss Chambers (Assistant Head of Year 11) or Mrs Reeder (Year 11 Pastoral Support Worker).
Post 16 – Mrs De Lashley, Mrs Walton, Miss Balmer and Miss Cox
Year 11 Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) Day
Year 11 have made their subject choices for this coming Friday’s IAG Day. They will receive timetables later this week. Please be reminded that Year 11 will attend five Sixth Form lessons of their choice and enjoy lunch provided. They should wear their own clothes. They were encouraged to choose subjects that they want to find out more about, it is not a commitment to study them next year and we cannot guarantee a subject advertised will run as they are subject to demand. Some of our subjects do have entry requirements and these will be discussed with students in individual meetings taking place in November, the requirements are advertised on our website and in the prospectus released later this month. For now students have selected what they are interested in. Any questions, please do get in touch email@example.com
Please be reminded that school is closed to Sixth Form students Friday 15th October. They will not participate in live lessons but will be set homework to be completed in their own time.
Sixth Form Open Evening Tuesday 2nd November
We are excitedly planning our upcoming Sixth Form Open Evening. We welcome our current Year 11 and Year 11 across the city to visit our facilities, talk to our subject teachers and gain a better understanding of the curriculum offer at AHS and why we are an outstanding Sixth Form. Formal invitations to follow this week.
Sixth Form Open Evening Support
We ask that you support our encouragement of our current Sixth Formers in supporting the event to ensure that visitors are able to gain first-hand advice/guidance form existing students.
Year 13 Winter Mocks
We have one more week of taught lessons and then we will have two weeks of teacher-led revision before the Year 13 Winter Mocks (w/c 8th November). There will be one week of A Level mocks in the exam hall followed by a week of BTEC assessments in class. Results will follow and be accompanied by a Parents Evening. Year 13 should be very busy at home consolidating in preparation for these very important assessments. The government have confirmed that this cohort will be sitting exams next summer and therefore any opportunity to be assessed under exam conditions is invaluable for next summer. We will devise individual plans to support progress following these assessments.
This week our Form Tutor Collective Worship looks at how people are often good at putting on a show – looking one way on the outside, but feeling or acting very differently on the inside. However God looks at the inside!
“Do not judge by appearances; a rich heart may be under a poor coat.” – Scottish proverb
“Beware, so long as you live, of judging people by outward appearances.” – Jean de La Fontaine, 17th C French poet
“You should not judge by outward appearance. When you judge, search for what is right and just.” – The Bible, John 7:24
“We should be rigorous in judging ourselves and generous in judging others” – John Wesley, founder of the Methodist Church
“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” – Mother Teresa