This term has been full of amazing learning opportunities for our students. We want to provide our families with some updates of all the exciting activities that have been, or will soon be, taking place around our campus.
‘Exams’ is the hot topic with all students in Secondary completing examinations this term. Our Y11-13 students have been completing external exams in both IGCSE and A Level courses. Our Y7-10 students are currently completing their internal exams. All of these assessments have been completed under ‘full examination conditions’ to help students understand the demands of, and grow from, the experience. As an added opportunity, our Year 10 students completed their core subject examinations in the Hall, specifically replicating the external examination experience.
We understand that exams can seem very much like a once-off evaluation of learning. However, we believe that this view is shortsighted and that exams are an important experience for all students. In addition to evaluating learning, exams help students develop important skills such as organisation, time management and planning. Students are provided with an opportunity to stretch their study and revision skills, as well as overcoming a range of challenges commonly faced by young people. Particularly for our younger learners, this allows effective study habits and routines to become embedded within their approach to learning. The experience of exams helps students develop effective coping strategies for managing stressful situations, promoting their academic resilience. The results of exams do help students understand their strengths and areas for development. However, they also allow students to reflect on their approach to learning and set challenging targets moving forward. This has a range of benefits including increased motivation, improved sense of self, and academic confidence.
We have also been thrilled to commence Key Stage Assemblies on campus. Each week, our secondary students come together in Key Stages to learn about important topics. Some of our recent topics include: effective study and revision, coping with exam stress, relationship values, future pathways and careers. These assemblies are presented by a specialist teacher and provide a platform for students to increase their knowledge and understanding of specific topics, develop transferable skills, shape their values and attitudes, as well as fostering a community that is kind, caring and acknowledges social responsibility.
We will be hosting Key Stage celebration assemblies in Week 9. This will be an opportunity to celebrate the progress and achievements of our students. Thankfully, we will be in a position to invite parents and carers to these events to share in the celebration of our students. Heads of Key Stage will be sharing communication about the dates and times of the assemblies in the coming weeks.
We have continued to offer a wide range of extracurricular opportunities for our students. For those lucky enough to attend the Shakespeare Festival, we were privileged to observe our students as they displayed their creativity and confidence in front of a captivated audience. The Arts provide a special platform for our students to express their individuality and personality, and it was particularly enjoyable to see our students working collaboratively on a challenging shared project.
With many of our Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 student leaders focussing on exams, our Key Stage 3 Aspiring Leaders have embraced the opportunity to take ownership of change within the school community. This amazing group of students have been discussing challenges within the school and have been working tirelessly to create events that will bring together our school community. They have some exciting plans in place so please keep an eye out for their notices over the coming weeks.
Clubs are as popular as ever and we have been extremely impressed with our students’ ability balance examinations, revision and extracurricular activities. Clubs provide a platform for our students to pursue their passions and interests, and experience success within school through a variety of activities. We are already exploring future opportunities to reconnect with other schools (locally and internationally) through extracurricular activities such as FOBISIA, MUN, community partnerships and resuming the NISSA league.
KS5 Residential and transition
We are in the later stages of planning the KS5 residential trip. This event will include students from Years 12 and 13, as well as our current Year 11 students who will participate in the trip as part of their transitional program. The Key Stage 5 mentor team have been creating a program of events that will allow students to develop their academic skills, reflect on recent experiences, set challenging future goals, engage in mindfulness and wellbeing activities, as well as connect closely with other students in the Key Stage 5 group. Further information will be shared in the coming weeks.
We will also be providing our Year 11 and Year 12 students with a comprehensive transitional program to help them prepare for their A Level courses. Our Year 11 students will participate in AS ‘taster lessons’ in subjects that they have shown a keen interest in studying next year. The students will be exposed to a range of learning activities that will develop the skills, mindset and approaches required for success at A Level. It will make them aware of the increased expectations and academic demands of higher studies, which we hope will support them in being better prepared for the start of new courses next year. Our Year 12 students will continue with their current timetable, however, our teachers will be introducing advanced skills and learning that reflects the specifics of Year 13. Furthermore, the students will have a chance to explore topics within their subjects that may not be covered by the normal curriculum.
Year 6 to 7 Transition
We have a very comprehensive and exciting transitional week planned for our Year 6 students. This will take place during Week 6 and will provide our students with the opportunity to have genuine secondary learning experiences. They will join secondary mentor groups, experience secondary subject lessons, and follow the secondary timetable. Throughout all of these activities, the students will become more familiar with our secondary mentors, teachers and classrooms. We understand that the move from primary to secondary can feel like a big challenge, however, we believe that our transition program will facilitate experiences and interactions that will empower our Year 6 students to start next year with confidence. Students will also be given the opportunity to participate in team building activities with our Head of Key Stage 3, Mr. Randall, and our Year 6 parents will be invited to our campus for a Parent Information Session where Mr Randall (and other members of the Secondary Leadership Team) will be able to answer any questions that our parents may have.
This is definitely an exciting time of year with so many events and activities for our students and families. We will keep you informed of all upcoming events and look forward to welcoming you onto our campus in the coming weeks.