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Headteacher’s Blog 15th January 2021       Wildlife Imagery Special!

I have been really impressed with the quality of live lessons that have been happening this week and have had several messages of support from families about the provision we have put in place for online learning.  Having taught a few live lessons myself now, it is an interesting experience which both students and staff are getting better at each day.

Today we will have our first session of tutor time for all students in Years 7-11, which is an important part of our provision for your child as it will give us an opportunity to check on well-being, support with any technical issues and give key messages to the students. It is compulsory for students to attend please. 

Sixth Formers can make use of the bespoke TEAMs pastoral group for Year 12 and 13 and look out for notifications for key topics such as careers and mental health. Mr Owen and Mrs Bishop are always available to support as well.  

House Competition 1: Wildlife Imagery

This week Mr Grove has been running a House Competition to see who can capture amazing photos of our local wildlife.  As a big fan of all things to do with the natural world, I am currently enjoying David Attenborough’ new series ‘A Perfect Planet’, I was amazed by the quality of the images.

Mr Grove says ‘Thank you for all of the photographs and drawings you have sent in for the house competitions so far, we had received over 200 images of wildlife. It has been extremely difficult to narrow the competition down to the top three for each year group but after a long process the results are below. Each student will receive an additional 20 SPIRIT points and the images will be displayed on our social media pages. Thank you again for your participation.

Year 7

1st - Joe 

2nd – Corey

3rd – Madison

Year 8

1st - Travis

2nd – Madison

3rd – Andi

Year 9

1st - Emma

2nd - Tom

3rd - Lanre

Year 10

1st - Libby

2nd - Mya

3rd - Leo

Year 11

1st – Grace

2nd – Tim

Thank you for all of your support.  I wish you a restful weekend.

Take care and stay safe

Ian Smith-Childs

Headteacher

Year 7 Joe Hall GoatYear 8 Travis Casson Sheep in FieldYear 9 Emma Copeland John Countryside FrostYear 10 Libby Lanchester DucksYear 11 Grace Hughes Goldfinches

HEADTEACHER’S BLOG  8TH JANUARY   REMOTE EDUCATION UPDATE

It is sad to see the school so empty this week and I know that many of you must be facing significant challenges.  What is keeping me going is that there are significant differences to when we had to shut schools so suddenly back in March.  The biggest of these is of course the national vaccination programme and the hope that this gives us to see an end to this pandemic.  However, I want to focus this blog on the progress we have made in delivering remote education and to give some reminders to ensure that students continue to learn, as effectively as they can, from home.

In March the concept of teaching students online was new to us.  On Monday I was able to share with you a full remote learning plan, delivering 5 hours a day of remote education, for all students, with a mix of live lessons and remote activities being set by your child’s teachers.  I am incredibly proud and grateful to all the school staff for making this happen. 

Now that we have a fully functioning remote learning plan, it is vital that your child engages with the live lessons and remote learning activities.  The learning platform being used for all remote education is Microsoft TEAMs.   Students should be well aware of how to access and complete their work now, as we have been using this platform fully since September.  However, there is a helpful narrated powerpoint on our website if your child needs a reminder.  You can find the power point through this link   https://www.thecoleshillschool.org/remote-learning/remote-induction-2

Top tips for Remote Learning at home:

Be organised & check your timetable the day before to: Understand what lessons you have and to prepare your books and any resources in advance Make sure that you have completed and uploaded any work your teacher has asked you to do, into the assignments function on TEAMs prior to the lesson You will be receiving a spirit point for every LIVE LESSON that you attend and additional spirit points for engagement with your home learning, as it’s important that you persevere with your home learning and education whilst at home during lockdown Reminder of the key functions on TEAMs that you will need to use to effectively learn from home: General reminders/Chat from your teacher will be in posts Assignments- will be used by your teachers for work to be set and for you to upload responses Lessons and resources will be accessed in files, which will be clearly labelled with: A date Period Title of lesson g. 7th Jan. Period 2. Where are the worlds megacities?

Support with technology for learning

As our primary way of delivering remote education is online, it is important you let us know if your child is unable to access MS TEAMs, due to not having a device or internet access.  Several families have now been supported with the loan of laptops and we have a limited number remaining if you need one.  We cannot guarantee a device but if you contact your child’s Year Leader we will assess needs on a case by case basis.  We can also offer your child a place in school to do their work, if access to technology is a barrier to your child accessing remote education.

                                                                                                                                                    Cont……

Tutor time for all students

From next Friday 15th January we will be operating tutor time twice a week for all students in Year 7-11.  This will be on a Monday and a Friday for students.  Attendance at tutor time is compulsory for these students, the same as lessons.

Tutor time will run live on MS TEAMs for 20 minutes at the same time as it would normally be timetabled, during the school day and will enable tutors to check in with students so that your child has an opportunity to talk with their peers and ask any questions of their tutor and will mean tutors can check on how your child is getting on with their remote learning.

We will also be posting assemblies, as we did in the last lockdown and we will communicate this through tutor time.

The Sixth Form team will in touch with students in Years 12 and 13 to outline how tutorial time will operate for them.

Rewards for students

Praise points will be awarded to students for each live lesson they attend and also for students who are engaging well with lessons and submitting quality assignments.

Update letter for examination year groups

Year 11, 12 and 13 will be getting separate letters today following the announcement about examinations from the government this week and to share some important updates.

I wish you a peaceful weekend and stay safe.

Ian Smith-Childs

Headteacher

Headteacher’s Blog 11th December -   Reflecting on 2020

See link to: Letter from Richard Gill, CEO, Arthur Terry Learning Partnership, confirming end of term arrangements and what to do if you need to report a positive case of Covid19 up to 24th December 2020.

On Tuesday the first patient in the world, Margaret Keenan from Coventry, received the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine against Covid-19.  Let us hope this really is first step in the journey back to normal life, after what has been the most challenging year our country and local community has faced for some time.  Let us hope that we can now look forward to 2021 with hope for a better year.

2020 has been an unprecedented year in education.  Never before have schools had to close to the majority of students for such a significant portion of the academic year.  Many of our staff, like many of you, have faced personal tragedy, illness and hardship.  Many of our students have missed considerable amounts of time from school, missing contact with their social groups and having to learn in new ways through remote learning.

2020 has also been a remarkable year of development and a demonstration of the power of the human spirit to adapt and overcome in the most challenging of circumstances.  However, despite these challenges it has also been a year that has had many positive moments, which will last long in the memory of the school community.  It has been a year in which our school has remained open and, I hope, a focal point for the local community in remaining positive and resilient in the face of adversity.

In March we were visited by Ofsted and received great praise, noting that ‘The school places as much emphasis on pupils’ personal development as on their academic success’. This twin focus has never been as important as in this year.  Throughout the pandemic we have remained open to ensure that, even when closed to most students, those students who needed us could be in school.  The summer term seems a lifetime ago with all that passed since, but there were some real highlights such as watching the Key Worker students putting up tents and having a barbecue in the Easter holidays and welcoming back Year 10 and Year 12 for the first time in June.  One of the most inspirational moments in my 22 years in education came in the second week of September, when we welcomed back the whole school.  More than a tear was shed to see the children back, laughing and smiling to be with each other again.

In time of great adversity change flourishes.  Our students are now more independent and our staff have learned to work in different ways. The development of remote learning online has been exponential.  Who would have thought that in 8 school months we would have trained teachers how to deliver lessons online, moved all of meetings and professional development to video conferencing, worked out how to ‘dial in’ students to lessons from home and even enabled teachers who are self-isolating to teach their classes in school from their kitchen table?  In education terms it feels like we have leapt forward years in the space of months.

This year also saw the completion of ‘The Wilson Block’.  We still await our official opening, as we have had to cancel it twice with lockdowns and the new tiers, but we look forward to this event in the new-year. It has taken a number of years to bring this project to fruition, but it seems apt that this building was completed in 2020, the quincentenary of our school, which was founded by Alice Digby in 1520.  We had a number of celebrations planned but have been unable to hold them.  For now, we are working on a virtual celebration, which will be available on our website by the end of term.

Autumn term ends for all students on Friday 18th December at 12.30 pm.  Bus companies have been contacted and we anticipate all buses will arrive by 12.30pm to collect the students. All staff will be leaving site by 1pm, once all children have left.

Spring term starts for all students at 8.45 am on Tuesday 5th January 2021.  Monday 4th January is the training day for all schools within The Arthur Terry Learning Partnership.

May I take this opportunity to thank you all for the support you give to the students and the wider school community. Wishing you a restful Christmas and a happy New Year.

Ian Smith-Childs

Headteacher

2020.12 Xmas Jumpers2020.12 Students 2202012. Students 5002020.12 students Sixth Form

Dear Parent/s Carers

Please see letter from Richard Gill re Return to School and Staggered Rollout of Coronavirus Testing

We will be in touch in the new year with further details.

Kind Regards

Ian Smith-Childs

Headteacher

 

Headteacher’s Blog  - Year 11 &  Year 13 Update - 4th December 2020

The government have set out plans for how examinations in the summer will work

You may have seen in the news yesterday that the Government have stated exams are going to happen in the summer and have released some information and guidance about the potential changes to exams and what they might look like.  You can read the press release from Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Education, here https://www.gov.uk/government/news/extra-measures-to-support-students-ahead-of-next-summers-exams?   We will update as soon as we get further detail in the New Year.

We have a recovery curriculum to support your child

As a school we are continuously adapting our curriculum to ensure that we are supporting and preparing our students for their exams and life beyond the Coleshill School.  We have already put significant work into ensuring that we have a ‘recovery curriculum’ in place to support Year 11 and 13 students who missed learning time during lockdown and have had disruption to learning through any absence or self-isolation.

Year 11 targets and reports

Students now have a minimum and a challenge target

In Year 10 we set aspirational targets, we have reviewed targets to ensure that they are realistic, attainable and yet still, aspirational.  We have now set your child a minimum target based on national benchmarking for what they should achieve in each subject. Therefore, on Go4Schools you will now see that there are two targets; a minimum and challenge target grade. Our aim is to ensure that, with our support and your child’s dedication to their studies, your child will achieve somewhere in between the two targets in the summer examinations.

All Year 11 students will have a progress phone call by the end of next week

In the recent interim report about your child, published on Go4Schools you can see

Minimum and challenge target Attitude to learning Progress towards minimum target

If you need support with Go4Schools please see the click to handout which was sent out last week: https://thecoleshillschool.org/uploads/PDF/Headteachers_Blog/2020-2021/2020.12.04-Year_11_Report_and_G4S_information.pdf 

If you have any questions about your child’s targets and progress, following your phone conversation, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and the relevant person will get back in touch with you.

Year 13 reports and progress

Year 13 reports were issued last week with a letter explaining the relationship between targets and projected grades. As ever, the most important factor in determining the final outcome is the attitude to learning and focus on study and we’re confident that the majority of students are heading in the right direction.

If subject staff have any particular concerns you will have been contacted by phone or email and, if there are any further questions, please email Mr Owen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Year 13 destinations

It’s the time of year when Year 13 students are making exciting plans for their futures and many of those who have applied to University have already received offers. There’s no time to waste in getting applications in for those still putting it off and Mr Owen is always available for advice and guidance. Students should aim to have applications in before Christmas.

Those students looking for training and apprenticeships should be having a closer look at the relevant application processes and websites and talking to Mr Owen or Mrs Bishop about their options.

As ever, I wish you a peaceful weekend with your family.  Take care and stay safe.

Ian Smith-Childs

Headteacher