Weekly Parent Updates
Each Wednesday, parents will receive a weekly update from our Principal.
- updates on forthcoming parent events, such as webinars, Academic Review meetings, etc
- links to regular parent surveys
- updates on school events, such as speakers or competitions being held
- information on the current curriculum, termly assessment and revision
- additions/changes to the school canteen menu
- key reminders relating to school life including uniform, attendance/punctuality and behaviour
- updates following on from changes to government policies or guidelines
Our most recent parent newsletters for this half term are below -
We have run a number of parent webinars this year focussed on ways in which parents can support their child.
The session focusses on e-safety relating to popular social media sites, online gaming, sexting, cyber bullying and looks at ways for parents to support their child through the use of the acronym TEAM:
- Talk – chat to your child about their online world, just as you’d ask about their day at school. Discuss the apps, social networks and websites your child uses
- Explore – explore and understand the apps, games and sites your child uses by downloading them yourself and taking time to understand how they work
- Agree – make sure you are a good role model and agree common ground rules and boundaries your child as well as the rest of the family, such as which websites and apps are okay and not okay to use and why, times they are allowed online and what they are allowed to do
- Manage – Adapt privacy settings and use parental controls where necessary; set rewards if your child sticks to the agreements and allow them more freedom as they mature and develop
For further support, below are some websites which can support you as the parent with knowing and learning more about e-safety:
- ThinkUknow: https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/
- CEOP: https://www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre/
- Netaware: https://www.net-aware.org.uk/
- NSPCC: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/
Supporting your child with homework & online learning
Key points from the Supporting your child with homework & online learning session include the four characteristics that make for excellent, effective home learning.
- Purpose – home learning involves practice or rehearsal of subject matter already taught within the classroom by their subject teacher. Students should not typically be exposed to new material for their home learning, unless it is a research task.
- Competence - students should feel competent and successful when completing home learning hence, why we want students to mark their own work in red pen for instant feedback as well as extra support.
- Efficiency - home learning should not take an inordinate amount of time. Home Learning should last for roughly 1 hour a day for our students. Students have a home learning timetable stuck into their planners outlining what days home learning is set for all subjects.
- Additional: students who want to access more challenging content have the choice to do so.
Strategies that will support you with your child’s home learning:
- Create a positive learning environment – provide a desk where your child can work on with little noise around them and no distractions (remove mobile phones and turn off the TV).
- Take interest and invest time in your child’s learning – this can be 5 minutes a day where you ask what home learning they have that day and what it is on.
- Complete home learning on the day that it is set.
- Eat your frogs first - ask your child to start with what they feel is the most challenging piece of home learning – that way the worse is over.
- Test yourself with techniques such as cover, copy, check and quiz yourself or parents test them – you really don’t have to be an expert as answers are always at the back of the booklet
- Exercise, eat healthy and get good sleep.
Supporting your child’s reading
Scientific evidence has shown that reading has an incredibly positive impact on all of us. Children who read for enjoyment several times a week show stronger literacy skills, score higher on reading and intelligence tests, develop a broader vocabulary, increased general knowledge and a better understanding of other cultures. The cumulative effect is that they often end up in better jobs than non-readers, following on from strong academic achievements. When practiced over a lifetime, reading and language-acquisition skills can support healthy brain functioning. Here are some helpful toips from this parent webinar:
- All students need to be reading actively at home for at least 20 minutes a day
- Using decoding is very useful for pupils to access challenging words
- Non-fiction texts, such as newspapers, magazines, biographies, are useful to ensure that all pupils are reading a range of texts
- Pioneer has a range of reading support programmes, including Reading plus, writing workshops, spelling and word initiatives. These are targeted towards specific pupils who need them; please encourage your child to make the most of any intervention offered.
Digital Strategy Implementation
All our pupils in both Year 7 and 8 will be given a Chromebook (a Google laptop with access to all school platforms) w/c 17th May 2021. The webinar sets out what the devices should be used for - namely homework and assessment preparation (the laptops will be kept at home) and the technical support will be provided, as well as security settings/apps, and useage.
Please click here to see the webinar.
End of Year Reports Explained
Pupils are due to receive their End of Year Report in the last week of term. We have designed the End of Year Report to inform you of the pupil's performance in their exam and are sharing with parents at this point a 'current attainment indicator' that provides a suggested GCSE performance based on how pupils have performed in their exams. Ms Ryan and Mr McElwaine held a parent webinar to explain the report and some updates to next year's curriculum, which can be watched back here. If you have any questions, please get in touch via email@example.com
End of Year Reports Explained
Pupils are due to receive their End of Year Report in the last week of term. We have designed the End of Year Report to inform you of the pupil's performance in their exam and are providing to parents at this point a 'current attainment indicator' that provides a suggested GCSE performance based on how pupils have performed in their exams. Ms Ryan and Mr McElwaine held a parent webinar to explain the report and some updates to next year's curriculum. The webinar can be watched back here. If you have any questions please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org