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Year 9 Update - Spring 2

This half term, students have been exploring the dangers of gaming within Tutor Time. This has allowed them an opportunity to reflect on the dangers they may encounter when gaming and led to some very interesting discussions around how gaming could be safer for young people.

Students have also received their Data 2 and have been provided with an opportunity to reflect on this and complete a Self-Reflection Review, formerly known as Learning Conversations. Students can  analyse their own data and progress from their subjects and set themselves challenging yet achievable goals for the next term, focussing on one pastoral target and two subject specific targets. They have been able to discuss this with teachers and should now have some SMART actions in order to help them to make progress at school.

As part of our second Digital Literacy Week, students have looked at how to use FORMS effectively and how they can recognise bad habits with technology.

Finally, in the final week of term, students focused on our International School Project. As an International School, we have links with schools in a number of countries. This time around, students focused on Fairtrade and the impact on farmers around the world.

As part of our careers provision, Year 9 have an external agency coming to present an interactive workshop with a range of employees from a range of sectors. This is a fantastic opportunity to raise students' aspirations and lead work-related activities to increase students' confidence and awareness of the world of work through taking part in work-related tasks led by the employers. They will explore employers businesses and sector to discover the range of career pathways available and find out about relevant opportunities for further education and vocational training including Apprenticeships, Further Education and Higher Education. Finally, they will find out from the employers how they recruit young people and what they look for when considering job applications and interviewing. Hopefully the Year 9 students make the most of this opportunity to consider their own future pathways.

This half term saw our second College Fortnight where students enjoyed an assembly in their college and also took part in College Sports. Year 9 and 10 worked together this time around, which was a great opportunity for students to work cross-year group.

The results are as below:


                                                                                                                            A massive well done to the Binswood team!

The Year 12 College Leaders also organised a really engaging quiz for all year groups to participate including a music round and a trivia teacher round! All year groups were able to participate in colleges. Results as below:

  1. Blackdown
  2. Park
  3. Croft
  4. Binswood
  5. Manor

Year 9 have over 49,000 reward points which is fantastic and demonstrates the positive contributions.  At the end of this term, we had our Spring Celebration Event where the top 50 Year 9 students were invited for a celebration event to acknowledge their positive impact on our school community. Students received postcards invitation to the event, where they were able to enjoy Dominos and some time with friends P5 on Friday 24 March. This was a brilliant way to reward our young people.

During the last week of term we have completed our end of term Celebration Assembly. It was a pleasure to recognise students in the following areas relevant to the Spring term:


 Recently, Mr Taylor (who has strategic leadership of whole-school literacy) has been in to the assemblies across all year groups and colleges to promote student awareness around our school’s definition of literacy. This is an holistic definition summarised as:

1.            4 modes of language: reading, writing, speaking, listening

2.            3 levels of language: word, sentence and text level

He illustrated to students the sort of things which this entails across the curriculum. For example:

• Teaching technical terms awareness as a word level skill

• Offering sentence starters to support confidence and ability in verbal and written communications

• Provision of scaffolds for constructing essays or showcasing decoding practices to understand the reading of whole texts

There is explicit in-class branding so students see the connectivity and coordination across the curriculum as it is important to reinforce these skills and knowledge bases which are so crucial to all subjects.
To raise awareness, he is also looking to develop a website page.

On Wednesday 15th March, Year 9 attended an assembly with Ms Jones around Criminal Exploitation. Ms Jones was really pleased with how the students engaged in discussion and posed interesting thoughts on the effect of criminal exploitation on young people.

This was in order to support a production from Loudmouth Year 9 watched on Thursday 23 March around Child Exploitation and Abuse, County Lines and Knife Crime. The students then had the opportunity to attend a workshop in their tutor groups with the performers. It was fantastic to see the young people so engaged in these workshops and it appeared that they found real value in these sessions.


The English Department organised a screening of Romeo and Juliet, at the beginning of this half term, the text which Year 9 have been studying. Lots of staff commented on how fantastic the Year 9 students were when watching this production and they really made the Year 9 team proud.


Thank you for the on-going support of your child this half term. The standard of Year 9 uniform continues to be fantastic and we have been so impressed with the students’ continued positive attitude towards their learning.
We hope that you and your families have a wonderful Easter break and we look forward to seeing the students return for the Summer term.

Mrs P Clarke