Dear Parent’s / Carers
With the first term completed and the second term underway, I am writing to make you aware of our main foci in lessons this term and share what is coming up for year 11s as they prepare for their final exams.
We continue to focus on assessments and in particular, formative assessments in lessons, where students are given ‘live’ feedback to improve the quality of their work. Formative assessments focus on identifying your son / daughters’ strengths and areas for development so that lessons can be adapted to help close gaps and ensure the acquisition of new knowledge and inform the planning for the next phase of learning. This is vitally important at Key Stage 3 where a good understanding of concepts and knowledge is an important building block to GCSE success.
Year 9 students this term will be continuing the work around option subjects for GCSEs in year 10 and 11. The upcoming options evening and parents evening will both have this as a focus.
Year 10 students have been completing ‘walking talking’ exams in lessons where instead of working silently through the paper, the teachers lead the class through it. Together they underline command words, and the teacher explains how to identify what the question is asking and provides advice on exam technique. The technique aims to help students understand how to approach answering exam questions and support them to interpret the questions. Following the ‘walking talking’ exams students will have a week of assessments beginning January 16th.
Year 11 students have completed their mock exams and with students already completing GCSE exams in Engineering and Health and Fitness, every lesson counts. Year 11 students should be using all revision materials provided by the school, completing homework to the highest standard and be active participants in lessons. We are also proving additional support/opportunities for year 11stduents beginning this week. From January 11th, selected year 11 students started interventions during their form time (8:45-9:20). Initially this will be in textile design, 3D studies, Art and Photography then from January 16th this will be extended to Maths. English, Science and Geography. It is therefore vitally important that students are punctual to school to take full advantage of this opportunity. Students will also be given access to GCSEpod which is designed to engage students, improve confidence, and accelerate progress. The content and assessment in GCSEpod is proven to help users achieve 1 grade higher on average than non-users. This will also be introduced to year 11 parents at the parental revision workshop on February 1st.
This is a vital term for all students in the Academy, especially year 11 students who are preparing for their final exams. We continue to support our students to achieve the best possible outcomes and value the support you give. Should you have any questions please feel free to contact me.