LAUNCHING THE NEW PARENT APP
Our partnership with parents is very important to us and we are pleased, following the successful change of our management information system from Facility to SIMS, to launch our new Parent App. The app will allow you to access your daughter or son’s progress and behaviour data on a variety of devices, including your tablet or mobile phone. Not only does the new app replace eportal, but it will supersede the original school app from Jigsaw; this will no longer be updated and you should delete it from your phone.
The new app includes our calendar, student timetable, assessment and progress data, credits accrued for good behaviour and academic progress, current attendance and records of any poor behaviour. It will also be a means of easy communication with home through notifications. Mrs Jespers has written home explaining how to access the app, and we are pleased to commend it to you.
Our planners are the fulcrum of Positive Discipline and a daily point of reference for families to see how the academy day has gone. We were very disappointed with the quality of the binding of those delivered in September and were pleased that the printers agreed to replace every planner this week. We have stuck into the new planners the old stamp pages, so you will still have a record of the first half term in the new planner.
BE SMART DAY
Following the changes to the timings of the school day, and the introduction of Positive Discipline, we are holding three ‘Be Smart’ days to focus on the personal development of our students.
On Wednesday we held our first on the theme of ‘Ambition and Aspiration’. There was a wide variety of activities on offer, including a careers fair, an inspirational speaker for the Year 11 students and initial career research activity for younger students. Year 10 learnt about how changes in the world are affecting the job market and our A Level students had the chance to have their personal statements checked by real university admissions staff. It was brilliant to hear so many pupils discussing their hopes and dreams eloquently and with passion.
We’re looking forward to the next Be Smart Day in March, which will be promoting modern British values, looking at the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance for those of different faiths and beliefs.
YEAR 11 TARGETS AND ASSESSMENT POINT DATA
Year 11 reports have been sent home this week with your child’s latest assessment grades and targets. The grades we are reporting this year are current grades, not predicted grades, and reflect where students are right now, not where we expect them to be in the summer. This provides us with a much more accurate picture of the gaps we need to close in the next few months.
Mrs Westerman has written a letter to accompany this report which explains how we have set targets this year and what all the new number grades actually mean. Please check the student planner where you will be able to see what they have been setting as their own targets for improvement for each subject. These can be found at the back from page 123.
Our Pre Public Exams (PPEs) start on the 27th November and Mrs Westerman will write again after half term with more details about what the students will be doing and how families can support during the exams.
As part of our commitment to the aspiration of our students and their academic future the Sixth Form team pledged this year to take every Year 11 student on a university visit to get a taste for higher education.
This Thursday our first visit took place with 38 students visiting the Headingley campus of Leeds Beckett University. The students got to see a university in action, from the sports facilities, to the lecture halls and the Student Hub. We were met by the fantastic student ambassadors who hosted a talk addressing the fundamentals of the higher education system and then gave us an in depth campus tour.
We were pleased to bump in to Wesley Charles, a Sixth Form alumnus currently thriving on his Sports and Social Science course. It was an informative and interesting day, Lewis Beattie said, “It was a great insight into university life.”
During Positive Discipline hour this week I very much enjoyed meeting Amelia Bell, George Duncan, Elyse Craig, Megan Dykes, Luke Atkinson, Zain Haq, Holly Burns Danforth, Maya Schottler, Abbie Dunwell, Laura Bennett, Caitlin Simpson, Nia Hopkins, James Ball, Christian Boden, Edward Heffernan, Nevaeh James-Geddis and Allix McGrath. I very much valued the opportunity to praise them for their work.
HOT CHOC FRIDAY
Friday’s joy is always meeting students who are doing so well for a hot chocolate. Today I was proud to spend time with Laura Bennett and Lily Thompson. They are both so mature and diligent in their work and I valued the opportunity to hear from them about their favourite teachers, recognition and praise and the impact of purple zone.
I was very pleased to read of ex-student Harki Bhambra’s role in the BBC drama ‘Our Girl’ following his previous appearance in ‘Dr Who’. We really enjoyed having Harki with us, and while he is certainly remembered for his excellence in the arts, he is one of those lovely young people of whom all spoke well.
SHOWCASING WORK RELATED LEARNING
Mr Billington’s Year 8 Work Related Learning group were giving their Dragon’s Den presentations this week. Year 13 students Anna Williams, Beth Adamson, Rachel Waite-Hudson, Ewan Connell and Haydn Kay were fearsome Dragons, and the students invented and presented some fascinating products. The highlights were Owen Creffield’s humane ‘Go Go Spider Spray’, Harry Lemon’s ‘Autrobe’ which helped select outfits to wear, and Joe Kendall’s ‘Printer Pen’ which helped stabilise wobbly handwriting. Some great work from all involved.
We were pleased to receive £1,100 of extra funding this week to allow disadvantaged students to access free musical instrument lessons. The students have chosen to take lessons with violin, guitar and percussion.
The Year 10 Boys’ football team travelled to Brigshaw in the league and got off to a flyer with Jonas Ndombasi latching on to an under-hit back pass inside the first 20 seconds of the game. Our opponents equalised, only for player of the match Jonas to set up Callum McNamara for a goal, before adding a second of his own. Elliott Brooke made the final score 4-1 in the last five minutes of the game.
This week we hosted the Primary School Sports Hall Athletics at which the competing schools were Bardsey, Harewood, Lady Hastings Thorp Arch, Primrose Lane and St. Edwards. The winners of the event were St. Edwards who will move on to the partnership final, the runners up were Primrose Lane who will compete in the partnership plate final. Well done to all of the primary schools. We couldn’t have hosted the event without our 28 excellent Year 8 sports leaders, yet again they proved themselves to be excellent leaders and outstanding ambassadors for our academy.
It has been a good half term, and we are pleased with the positive impact of the changes we made in September. PD is supporting great learning, the new timings of the day are working well and Purple Zone is embedded into our practice; there is much to celebrate. Staff have worked hard and will enjoy a well-deserved break, and I trust the half term holiday treats you and yours well. On Wednesday our Geographers head to Iceland for their fieldwork, led by Mr Billington. You will be able to follow their progress on Twitter using the hashtag #BostonInIceland
We reopen on Monday 30th October, and the next blog will be on Friday 3rd November.
You can give feedback on our school to OFSTED through ParentView