Blog week ending 10th January

Posted on: 10/01/2020

Happy New Year, I trust you all had an enjoyable break.  Staff and students alike have returned to school refreshed and motivated for the new term ahead.  We have scheduled a number of trips, school events and GCSE revision sessions, more of which can be read below or found on our school calendar.

On Sunday the 5th of January, a group of year 7 students went to see Peter Pan at the Orchard Theatre. We were first met with Peter Pan flying into the Darlings window and from there we met lots of new characters, it was like a real adventure!  A favourite character was Smee, who had everyone laughing. Before the interval, we got a fright when an enormous animatronic crocodile towered over the audience. An ice-cream during the break, set us up nicely for a fast paced second-half with lots of laughs and a sing-along finale. It was the perfect way to start the new year and prepare us for our second term of school.

Report written by Jaime S of 7O and Sophie H of 7A 

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Jack Green, from Kent, is a sprint athlete who specialises in the 400m, as well as the hurdles.  During his career Jack has secured medals at both the World and European Championships as well as being part of the GB Olympics team.  Jack speaks openly about mental wellbeing, having taken time out from competing to improve his mental health and manage his depression.  In addition to his sporting career Jack now shares his experiences with other young people, encouraging them to be open in communication about mental wellbeing and to learn strategies for understanding and resilience.  During an extremely candid and inspiring talk Jack spoke with our students on the subject of mental health care, using his own experiences to offer insight and share coping mechanisms. 

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Year 10 GCSE Biologists are investigating photosynthesis.  In this practical lesson students tested a leaf for starch.  The procedure kills a leaf, disrupts the cell membranes and softens the cuticle and cell walls. This makes it possible to extract the chlorophyll with hot ethanol and allows the iodine solution to penetrate the cells and react with any starch present.

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Book Club meets in the Library every Tuesday lunchtime.  This half term, Book Club is open to Years 7 and 8.

We will be reading a range of books including two stories based on real people in history and a book by an inspirational young man called Lewis Hine about his life so far.

The books we will be reading are:

  • Looking at the Stars – Lewis Hine
  • The Dog Runner – Bren MacDibble
  • Ghost – Jason Reynolds
  • Lightning Mary – Anthea Simmons
  • Race to the Frozen North (The Matthew Henson story) – Catherine Johnson

We all started reading at the end of the meeting and couldn’t put our chosen books down!

At the end of the half term, we will vote for our favourite.

Which book will be the winner?

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Please note that our Year 13 students begin their PPA examinations on Monday.  Examinations run from Monday 13th January to Monday 20th January (Art 20th-22nd January).  All students will be off-timetable for the duration of the exams but are encouraged to attend school to finalise their revision where teaching staff will be on hand to offer support.  Normal timetabled lessons resume on Tuesday 21st January.  Please click here for the examination timetable.

Year 9 Options Evening is scheduled for 21st January.  This is an excellent opportunity to discover what choices are available for your daughter as she commences her GCSE courses in September 2020.  The evening will start with a presentation at 6.30pm and be followed by an opportunity to speak with subject staff about the choices your daughter is interested in. The evening will finish at 7.45pm.

We will provide an Options Booklet which will have details of all the courses on offer.  Students will then be invited to make their selections in the following week, and parents/carers will need to log on to the SIMS Parent App to confirm these choices by Monday 3rd February 2020.

Year 11 GCSE Drop-In Surgeries.  A programme of teacher-led sessions are available to support Y11 students prepare for their examinations in the summer.  All students are invited to drop in with any queries regarding their courses and teachers will be on hand to offer support.  The full timetable is below.

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Safeguarding notice.  Please can I ask parents/carers to reiterate advice given to students regarding online safety.  We have been advised that the social media platform Snapchat is being used to target Y10 and above throughout Kent with a fraudulent scheme offering users the opportunity to ‘make money quickly’ and encouraging them to share bank details and cards.  We have discussed the issue with students and reminded them of the importance of online safety as well as encouraging them to share any concerns that they might have with a trusted adult, particularly if they have been targeted or are aware of other students that have been targeted.  We will also continue to do further work in this area with all year groups.

We are all invited to the PFA’s Quiz Night on Saturday 8th February.  Tickets are priced at just £5.  For more details and booking please see the below poster and letter on our website here.  It is sure to be an entertaining evening, I look forward to seeing you there.

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I am delighted to announce that Assistant Head Teacher Mrs Byham has had a baby girl, Holly Anne weighing in at 7lb 10oz.  She was born on 17th December and is doing well and keeping mum up most of the night, having said that, I think you will all agree that Mrs Byham looks radiant in the below picture. 

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Best wishes,

 

Michelle Lawson

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