Headteacher’s Blog – Friday 19th April 2024

We are certainly in the Revision season, with practical formal exams already underway. With this in mind, our focus in lessons is to ensure that our Year 10 and 11 students not only have the subject knowledge content that they require but also the skills to be successful. So to give you a flavour of what has been happening around the school,

In Science, students have been completing past paper questions and getting feedback on exam technique. As you’d expect, each week the questions have been strategically selected so that key areas of content have been revisited and where there are gaps in knowledge, retaught.  In particular, in Biology, students have been revising diseases and how we can prevent infections. There has also been the opportunity to redo the required practicals. In Chemistry, students have been looking at the language used in the question before identifying the scientific language needed in the answer and looking at how to answer extended questions.

In English Literature, students have been Revising the Power and Conflict poems using strategies for learning quotations off by heart, reading model essay responses written by examiners and deconstructing model essays to write their own plans. They’ve then had the experience of writing a timed essay using revision grids and learned quotations, comparing Exposure and Remains. Meanwhile, in English Language, students have been focusing on Paper 1 looking at 8-mark questions examining language and structure and revising terminology.

Up in Humanities, in History, students have been working through past papers for the Early Elizabethan England topic which is on Paper 2. They’ve looked into the language of the questions and techniques used to answer the questions. In GCSE RE students were “Brain vomitting” everything they knew about various moral issues and then playing a game of last team standing to see who could recall the most before then structuring their learning into knowledge organisers which focused their revision on the themes that may arise in the summer exams.

In DT, students are covering materials and processes at using tabulated worksheets and image sorts with Powerpoint whilst in Music, students have been working on exam technique and how to structure responses for 8-mark questions for the Set Works.

In MFL, students are preparing for the different elements of the speaking exam, honing speaking skills by reading out loud and self-correcting pronunciation using the phonetic spelling. They also practised using prompts and the first letter of every word to learn a sentence, using timers to develop fluency and practice preparing role plays in 4 minutes! Finally, they used hot seating where you speak in French for as long as you can, getting a partner to time you!

Alongside this, there are revision and intervention sessions at lunchtimes and after school and we’ve also developed a Form Time revision programme where students look at generic revision techniques during one tutor time with further tutor times on Maths, English and Science.

Looking to the future, Year 11 students who have applied to King James’s School in Knaresborough for their post-16 studies had an interview with Mr. O’Hara, Director of Sixth Form this morning.

In assemblies this week, Miss Kelly, a member of our English Team and leader of PSHCE talked with students about the Growing up in North Yorkshire survey, a Health Related Behaviour Survey, which you’ll have received a letter about this week. The survey is completely anonymous and has proven, over the years, to be a valuable way of finding out the views of our young people to enable us to ensure that they get the support that they need.

The Month of the Military Child, in April, is a campaign to raise awareness about the important role Service Children play in the Armed Forces community. As part of this, this afternoon, ten of our students, created a tile each, as you can see, which will be used, along with contributions from other local schools, to produce a piece of artwork of 100 pieces to raise awareness.

You will have received a letter about a Federation reading event hosted at King James’s School in Knaresborough on Tuesday 7th May where you will have the opportunity to hear from Gervase Phinn, a local author, along with how you can support your child with reading.

This weekend, 25, Year 9 students will be carrying out their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh expedition. We wish them well for a successful weekend.

I hope that you have a lovely weekend too!