Rossett News Update - 26 June 2020
Dear Parents and Carers
I’d like to start, once again, by thanking you for your support and patience.
There is a lot of controversy out there at the moment about what schools should be doing and with no clear national strategy for the return to secondary schools for children, we can only wait for next week’s promised national guidance which I am sure will influence our existing plans. As soon as this is published, we will look at amending our plans for reopening and we will communicate the details to all parents and carers at the earliest opportunity.
We are pleased that so far we have been able to look after the children of key workers, set online lessons - including live events - and safely bring our Year 10 and 12 students back into school with very strict health and safety protocols. It is a challenge to plan and deliver in this environment, but I can assure you we are doing our best to deliver as much as we can with the time and resources available.
Key Stage 3: Years 7, 8 and 9
Although our students in these year groups have not been in school, many of them have done incredibly well and remained motivated and engaged with the online work. In the next three weeks they will have additional contact with their teachers online, and a summary ‘report’ on the topics covered and their engagement with different subjects will be sent home to parents. We also have a planned programme for the last two weeks of term that looks at consolidating the learning that your child has completed during the entire lockdown period, preparing them for September and highlighting what they can do over the summer.
Plans have also been made at faculty level for a full September ‘recovery curriculum’.
This week in school: Years 10 and 12
In school this week we have reviewed the success of our Academic Review week which saw a 100% attendance at our physical and remote appointments for Years 10 and 12; we have collated the targets from subject staff and tutors; and produced and checked the reports to go out to parents of these examination year groups, over the next two weeks. These reports are not traditional ‘progress’ reports, but documents that summarise the topics studied by Years 10 and 12 during lockdown and provide an idea of the level of online engagement completed by your child.
The small group teaching in school this week has been a great success. 98% of the students in Years 10 and 12 who signed up for in-school intensive teaching sessions attended over the five days, whilst a minority took part in remote ‘live’ lessons. Our staff welcomed the students into socially-distanced classrooms and the learning that took place, even in such a short space of time in school, was confirmation of the need for these examination classes. The students were hugely appreciative of the time invested in these lessons and were, frankly, just pleased to see their teachers!
Next week: Years 10 and 12
Next week, the week of the 29th June, will see a repeat of this week in terms of the scheduled classes for Years 10 and 12. Please refer to your emails to see the dates and times for each session. The only change will be on Thursday when Year 10 will be in school, studying French, rather than the Year 12 programme seen on Thursday of this week.
Key Worker Provision
We have seen the numbers of ‘key worker’ students in school increase in response to a national return to work over the last two weeks. These students have been looked after in a different part of the school from the intensive examination lessons. This provision will continue until the end of term. Please contact Mr D Royles at the school should you require a place in this provision (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Whilst there are many unknowns regarding the return to school in September, our greatest need is a clear indication of the shape and timing of external examinations for next year. We look forward to receiving this level of detail from the government before the end of term.
Please do keep in touch and check our website and emails for further updates over the next three weeks.
With every best wish for the weekend.
Writing Competition Success
As part of their learning about short stories, Year 9 students were asked to create a piece of creative writing of no longer than 500 words for Nicola Morgan’s ‘Antiviral “Let’s beat this thing” Creative-Writing Competition’. We are incredibly proud to announce that Martha Ridley was placed second in the competition, beating many other students from around the country. Martha wrote an exceptional piece entitled ‘Caring for Corona’ which gives advice to someone who is struggling with their anxiety, emotions and well-being during lockdown.
Ms Morgan described Martha's writing as "taking ‘a more ‘real life’ and practical approach, and giving advice that was very sensitive, strong and wise". As part of the prize Martha has won a selection of books for the school which will be sent to the Learning Resource Centre for all students to read. Nicola Morgan is an author of teenage novels and is a big advocate for teenage wellbeing. You can read her blog here: nicolamorgan.com where you can also find help and advice about how reading and writing can help with wellbeing and stress. Once again, a huge well done to Martha for such a fantastic achievement.
Junior Maths Challenge
After a record breaking haul of certificates in the Intermediate Challenge, we were disappointed that we were unable to participate in the UKMT Team Challenge due to the school closures. However, for the first time in the history of the UKMT, the Junior Maths Challenge has been moved online. We were delighted as 50 of our finest year 7 and 8 mathematicians took part this afternoon under test conditions at home. We wish them luck and we are confident that they will continue the successes of the older year groups. Will we update you with the results in due course.
Thank you from Care Home Residents
In Rossett News on 5 June we told you about a lovely project led by Mrs Hughes and Mrs Warden, which saw potted sunflowers and bedding plants created by our students in school and delivered to over 22 care home in Harrogate. Over recent weeks we have been delighted to receive many thank you notes and emails addressed to the students, thanking them for this kind gesture.
You will be familiar with Year 13 student Morgan Glazier's story - a fantastic fundraising challenge - running over 465 miles over the course of June. Morgan ran the equivalent of a marathon today in 5 hours and 5 minutes after 25 and 24 (very hot) miles on Thursday and Wednesday. He was delighted to reach his fundraising target this week and this success has only spurred him on to keep going and raise even more for the mental health charity, MIND.
Morgan will be completing his 27 miles tomorrow finishing on the 'Park Run' section of the Stray from 10am if you would like to show your support and join him for a few socially distanced laps. https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/morgan-glazier
Update to the Teams App
Some students are experiencing problems seeing their 'teacher' screen during live lessons. An update to the iPad app has fixed the problem for these few students. Please follow these instructions to update your app to access the latest version:-
- From the iPad Home screen, Open the 'App Store'
- Tap on 'Search' in the bottom right-hand corner
- Enter Microsoft Teams into the search box.
- In the list that appears, locate the 'Microsoft Teams' App
- If the button next to the listing reads 'OPEN' then you have the latest version Installed.
If the button reads 'UPDATE' then tap on the button to update the App.
- If you get an error message when trying to update the app and are sure of your Rossett username and password then please attempt to delete the app and re-download from the App Store.
Any further problems please don't hesitate to contact email@example.com
Sixth Form Reminders
Head Boy and Girl elections are taking place between 2pm on Tuesday 30 June and 2pm on Wednesday 1 July.
UCAS - A reminder to Year 12 students that they should complete following sections of their UCAS applications by next Tuesday :
- Personal Details including Additional information & Student finance
(see assembly video from Mr. Foley)
We have been really impressed with our Year 12 students focus and attitude to learning during the complementary teaching sessions in school this Thursday and Friday. Alongside the live lessons taking place throughout the week, students have had intensive subject sessions in school, taught by specialist staff.
Home Learning Activities: Congratulations!
Year 9 Geography students have been producing some brilliant campaign posters for their current topic about reducing our carbon footprint. Well done to Emma Coates, Gemma Bieldby and Matthew Holleran for their well-designed and detailed submissions.
Well done to Evie Thompson in Year 7 who has impressed her teacher with an observational drawing of an object from three different angles. Mrs Cunningham would like to congratulate James Beesley, also Year 7, for working so hard on his Design Technology project.
Mrs Banyard has been impressed with two of her Year 8 students; Liam Corner has been making cars with his little brother and John Goodson has been improving his chess skills with his family and friends.
Miss Taswell in Science would like to highlight Jayden Mills in Year 9 who has been working extremely hard on extra GCSE revision for the topics covered early in Year 9. Jayden has gone absolutely above and beyond all expectations- completing flashcards and attempting practice questions in his free time.
Miss Goacher would like to say 'well done' to Martha Ridley in her GCSE PE class. Martha has produced excellent responses to the topic of Health, Fitness and Well-Being.
This week on Padlet, we are featuring the Foyle Young Poet Competition. The competition is open to anyone aged 11-17. The deadline to enter poem/s is midnight 31 July 2020. Entries must be written in English, but students can include phrases in your mother tongue or another language if they wish. All entrants will receive a certificate for participating in this prestigious competition.
New for the Sixth Form on Padlet is information about academic study skills provided by the University of Leeds' libraries. This site encourages getting into good habits for essay writing, note taking and referencing in preparation for Higher Education.
As you will now know Padlet is a great on-line resource curated by our Learning Resource Centre Manager, Mrs Huett. Follow the link to 'Padlet' here for lots of links, reviews and book recommendations. Remember to keep checking in on 'Padlet', as news and links will be updated regularly.
Mental Health and Wellbeing
We would like to remind you of the support groups, websites and text-based helplines that exist to help students combat feelings of anxiety that may result from worrying about school or the current national coverage of the pandemic.
- Kooth – a free, online counselling service available at kooth.com
- Buzz Us – run by Compass Buzz and specific to young people from North Yorkshire; this is a text messaging service that connects students to a ‘well-being’ advisor on 07520631168 https://www.compass-uk.org/buzz-us/
- Young Minds - https://youngminds.org.uk/
- NHS Every Mind Matters - https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/
- Give us a Shout - https://www.giveusashout.org/
- The Mix - https://www.themix.org.uk/
- Nightline - https://www.nightline.ac.uk/
Tips for home learning
- Where possible have a quiet space away from distractions;
- Be organised - have a routine based around the school day including break and lunchtime;
- Leave your mobile phone in another room and turn off notifications while you are home learning;
- Stay safe on-line - only use trusted websites.
- Remember you can contact your teachers with any queries via Teams and the Network Team with any IT queries. at: studentIThelp@rossettschool.co.uk