Churchdown School - Issue6

 

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Churchdown School - Issue6

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KEY DATES : 17 August - AS & A Level Results 24 August - GCSE Results 6 September - Induction day for Y7 and Y12 only 7 September - whole school returns Dear Parents and Carers, This year has once again see the school go from strength to strength. I have been proud of our students’ achievements and it’s an absolute privilege to work in such a special environment. The staff and your children continue to work together positively to ensure that each day is a ‘learning day’ and that valuable time is devoted to the students’ holistic development. We started the school year on the back of the best ever GCSE and A level results and it was pleasing to see that Churchdown was ranked above all other Gloucester schools for progress made at GCSE. This was just the beginning and we have had much to celebrate; the Christmas Concert at the Cathedral was an amazing experience for the 230 students who sang superbly in the choir. The House System has gone from strength to strength with a fantastic range of extra-curricular opportunities for the students to showcase their skills as individuals or as part of a team. The school production was again an enormous success and we are looking forward to the production of Grease next term. The PE department has had another successful year with a number of victories and outstanding performances. Our budding engineers built the fastest model F1 car in the UK for their category and all of these achievements were packaged into two wonderful Achievements Evenings last week. The Churchdown Friends group was formed earlier in the year and this group of committed parents has helped organise a number of important events from a quiz/curry to the fabulous fete last Saturday. The events have raised an important amount of money which is going to be used to improve the school site over the summer holidays. We close the year with a much improved site, the windows, cladding and classroom improvements carried out by Kier have made a significant difference to the main building and of course the refurbishments to the Sixth Form centre have been fantastic. It’s the time of year where we say goodbye to colleagues who are leaving us to pursue other career opportunities. I would like to take this opportunity to thank each of them for their enormous contributions to Churchdown School and wish them well in the next stage of their careers. Leaving us are Miss Watson, Ms Paxton, Miss Hughes, Mr Fawcett, Mr Chambers, Mrs Higginson, Mrs Kelly, Mrs Jeffrey, Mr Murphy, Mr Adcock, Miss Knight and Mrs Lavis. We have been able to recruit some fantastic colleagues and each of them will help us continue to improve our school for your children. I wish you a restful summer holiday with your families and I thank you for your support again this year. Yours faithfully, Christopher Belli, Headteacher

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I would just like to say a huge thank you to all the parents who have supported our rewards system this year. Hopefully you have been getting lots of letters this year congratulating your children on how many house points they have received, and been able to reward your children at home with suitable praise and prizes. We changed the system slightly this year and have asked pupils to cash in their points "little and often" in our house points shop. I'd also like to congratulate all those students who engaged so well with our Footprints programme and have been awarded either Novice, Apprentice or Graduate. It has been fantastic seeing the students wearing their house colour badges around school with pride, demonstrating just how much they are prepared to give back to the school, volunteer and take-part in a range of different activities. Next year the programme will be re-branded "The Edge" and as some students have already achieved Graduate status we will be introducing the Masters programme. This year for me has been the year of the house - we have introduced many more events and activities that aim to cater for all interests and abilities. Highlights for me were definitely Maths Count-down and the Music house event. Well done to the hundreds of students who were involved and a big thanks to our House Heads: Mr Babbage, Mr Waterfield, Mrs Kitson and Mr Hill. Next year Mr Hill will be replaced by Miss Kent and Mr Waterfield with Mr Griffiths, as they move onto different roles in the school. I wish them well and the best of luck. A huge thank you must got to the Friends of the School who helped organise the Churchdown School Fete, refreshments and The Quiz and Curry night. Great fun events that have left us £3500 in credit and closer to making that dream of a canteen refurbishment a reality. But finally, a heartfelt thank you to all the amazing staff and students who went along with some pretty crazy things this year - a spelling-bee rodeo, a fashion show awards night, staff house challenges that involved writing Haikus, growing moustaches and competing in quizzes; pupils trying to break the Guinness world record for hugging, eating bugs in the I'm a Celebrity Challenge, the Halloween fancy dress disco, the mad-cap charity lunchtimes and the Valentine's party... to name just a few. I can't wait to make next year even more exciting, challenging and rewarding........ watch this space! Ms L Wisbey, Assistant Headteacher As the Year 10s move into Year 11 there is a valuable opportunity for the students to make sure they are ‘Year 11 ready’. Over the summer the students may have been given some work to do in preparation for their final exams. It is very important that they take part in these carefully planned activities with their best effort and capitalise on this opportunity to prepare themselves for next year. In equal measure, it is important that the students get some well-earned rest and enjoy time with their friends and family. Next year, the teachers and your children will work extremely hard to help secure the best possible outcomes from the exams and coursework. It will be hard work but the support the school will offer is relentless. As Deputy Headteacher, I am very proud of the current Year 11 students who always did what was asked of them and followed our guidance. They truly deserve the best grades because of the hard work they, and their parents and carers, put in. The same is expected of your children and yourselves. Have a brilliant summer and we look forward to welcoming you back in September. Mr D Potter, Deputy Headteacher.

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We are continuing to work hard at Churchdown School to ensure that the young people in our care achieve their best during their time with us. One of the key ingredients for this success is regular and punctual attendance. Within this context I would like to take this opportunity to clarify some of the work we are doing to ensure high levels of attendance for every student. Our aim is for every student to achieve a minimum of 97% attendance. With this in mind, please can I remind you of the following:  All students are expected to be on the school site by 8.35am and in their tutor rooms by 8.40am  If your son or daughter is ill please contact the school absence line (01452 713340 EXT 250 – dial 9 before dialling the extension number) where you may leave a message to explain their absence, or email: attendance@churchdownschool.com  Please ensure that we have your up to date contact details (email, phone number) so that we can contact you if your son/daughter is not in school and we have not had a message from you.  Please use the ‘Application for Exceptional Circumstances Absence’ form if your son/ daughter needs to take time off school for exceptional circumstances. We will only authorise absences during term time in exceptional circumstances. Such circumstances will not include family holidays or weddings. If it is essential for you to take your child out of school during term time you must seek permission from the Headteacher by completing an application form which is available on the school website. School holiday dates are published well in advance in order to help parents plan their family holidays. These are available on the school website.  If your son/daughter has a medical appointment we would ask that in the first instance this is made outside of school hours. (Please see next page - students leaving during the school day).  If your son or daughter is absent from school, Student Services will call home unless we have already been notified. Tutors will also make a welfare call if the absence continues. If we have been unable to contact home or the absence continues, parents may also be contacted by the Head of Year, Ms Hilton (Assistant Headteacher) or Mrs Colin (Educational Welfare Officer). Thank you in advance for your support and for working with us to ensure the best possible outcomes for your child. Ms J Hilton, Assistant Headteacher.

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Dear Parents and Carers, As you are aware, Churchdown School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and expect all staff, parents and carers to share this responsibility. We have a Child Protection Policy which details the policies and procedures that are in place to safeguard the students in our care and clear procedures which are followed by visitors to the school. We regularly review our school policies to ensure that they are ‘fit for purpose’ and support our students in every aspect of their school life. Having recently reviewed our attendance policy, and to further improve our safeguarding, I would like to inform you of a change in procedure for taking children out of school during the school day. Children in Key Stage 3 and 4 should not leave school during the school day unless it is for a medical appointment that has been arranged in advance. If this is the case we expect the following procedure to be followed:  The student should have a note in their House Diary (signed by their parent or carer) that they show to their tutor in the morning and to Student Services when they sign out. They should also show this note to their class teacher at the start of the lesson should they need to leave school during a lesson.  Parents / carers should email us on the day of the appointment to confirm that this is the case, using the following address: attendance@churchdownschool.com and stating who will be collecting the student from Reception (we may contact you to confirm this).  The person collecting the student should present their photographic identification to Reception on arrival We do appreciate that there may be a rare occasion where a student may need to leave school due to unforeseen circumstances (eg illness) before the end of the day. In the case of such an emergency, we ask that you call us in advance so that we can ensure your child is in Reception for you to collect on your arrival. The person collecting the student should present their photographic identification to Reception. If your child is taken ill during the school day, contact with parents will be made by the appropriate member of staff or Student Services. Students must not call parents directly. All students must be signed out at Student Services. Ms J Hilton Assistant Headteacher

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Parking The children’s safety in getting to and from school is of the highest importance, but can I ask all parents and carers when collecting their children from Winston Road and Melville Road to park considerably and legally. Can I ask that you not block the driveways of our neighbours and prevent access to and from their properties. Please use the highway code when parking near the school. I thank you for your continued support. Mr J O’Connell, Deputy Headteacher Please be aware that Churchdown School does not employ a full-time school nurse. Mrs Campbell is the Welfare Assistant and we have a medical room for emergencies only. If your child is unwell before the start of school please make the decision whether to send them or keep them at home. They will only be excused from lessons in an emergency. If your child has asthma please ensure they have their Ventolin on them at all times as we are unable to provide this medication. Please note that no other medication should be kept with your child in school. If other medication is required it must be handed in to Mrs Campbell together with a letter of consent to administer it. Forms relating to Asthma and Anaphylaxis Care Plans can be printed from the school website (click on Parents section) and sent in to school. Thank you. Diptheria, Tetanus & Polio and Meningitis ACWY Vaccination Catch-Up Clinics for Year 9 Students If your child missed these vaccinations at school during the summer term, you can book an appointment at a community catch-up vaccination clinic of your choice throughout Gloucestershire. The booking telephone line is: 0300 421 8140 (09:00-15:00 Monday to Friday) We collect for charity: Ring pulls Plastic bottle tops Used stamps (Hand in to reception) Mrs J Campbell, Welfare Assistant.

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Please remember to label items of clothing, PE kit etc. so that they can be easily returned if lost and found. LOST PROPERTY Check with Student Services for any lost property items. Unclaimed items will be given to charity. We have the highest standards at Churchdown and part of this high expectation is the appearance of our students. Like you, we want all of our students looking smart. Please ensure your son or daughter is correctly dressed for the entirety of the academic year. It will be unfortunate if we are required to call the parents or carers of any students who don't have the correct uniform to come into school and correct any such issue immediately. As a school we need the support of the parents and carers of our students and your support is needed to ensure all the students represent the school and importantly themselves in the best way possible. Thank you for your support. Mr J O’Connell, Deputy Headteacher Uniform may be purchased for new Year 7 students during the summer holiday on the following days: Wednesday 26 July, 9.30am-1.00pm Thursday 27 July, 9.30am-1.00pm Thursday 24 August, 9.30am-1.00pm Monday 4 September, 9.30am-12noon Tuesday 5 September, 9.30-12noon Following the successful introduction of Show My Homework this year, we will continue to use this useful and effective learning resource in the next academic year. Many parents have contacted us to say how they have found it an invaluable tool in supporting their children with homework. The chance to check their child’s homework before they walk through the door has been a particularly positive feature! If you have mislaid your login, or wish to find out more, please don’t hesitate to contact your child’s tutor who will be able to help you out. However, it’s also worth remembering that you don’t need to login to check homework. The school homework calendar is available without the need for usernames or passwords. Simply go to the www.showmyhomework.co.uk and search for Churchdown School Academy. This will then allow you to search for homework tasks via year, teacher, subject etc. You will also find a range of useful help videos and support material to help you get the most of the website. Thank you for your continued support. Mr A Coates, Assistant Headteacher.

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AS and A Level results – Thursday 17 August 2017 Year 13 - Results available from 8am to 1pm Year 12 - Results available from 10am to 1pm GCSE results – Thursday 24 August 2017 Year 11 Results available from 10am to 1pm How to obtain results if unavailable on the day: 1. Give to the Exam Office, before 21 July, a stamped addressed envelope and your re- sults will be posted to you. 2. Someone can collect on your behalf. To do this, the student must give this person a hand written letter confirming their name, candidate number and the name of the person collecting the results. This must be signed and brought in by the person collecting, along with photograph ID. Please note: We will not give out results over the telephone, email or text message. 3. Certificates will be available for collection on the 13 December from 12.00 to 3pm. Mrs S Dinwoodie, Examinations Officer. Our school now uses the online payment system: www.scopay.com/churchdownschool. If you have not received your link code, please contact Mrs Roberts via car@churchdownschool.com to request one. We hope that this will make the payment of trips and school uniform much easier for you and avoid the need for students to bring money into school for these items. Please can you ensure that your son/daughter comes to the uniform shop the day following any orders submitted online, so we can issue the items. Thank you. Mrs C Roberts, Finance Department.

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The summer holiday’s is the perfect time to make sure that your children have every opportunity to relax, have fun and recuperate so that they are prepared both physically and mentally when they return to school on Wednesday 6th (Year 7 and 12) or Thursday 7th (all years) September. Here are a few suggestions to make sure that your children get the most out of their break: Eat well Holiday time is a time when children and parents are often ‘on the go’ and routines may disappear. Try the recipe for ‘Feel Good Flapjacks’ (below) to make sure that your child always has a healthy snack to take with them, wherever they are going. Sleep The summer holiday is a time when routines change and so do the usual house rules about bedtime! Whilst the holidays are a great opportunity for teenagers to get their much needed 8 – 10 hours of sleep, it is important to be aware of the changes in their sleeping patterns, especially as we come to the end of the six week break. The last week or two should be used to ease back into the usual routine. Exercise Six weeks of freedom is a great opportunity for everyone to take advantage of the outdoors and get involved in some physical activity as a family or with friends. Living in Gloucestershire we are less than an hour away from the Forest of Dean and the Malvern Hills where there is plenty of opportunity to walk, ride or kayak through miles of beautiful scenery. Building in activities throughout the summer is a great way to make sure that you get your 60 minutes of (moderate to vigorous) aerobic exercise every day whilst enjoying the outdoors with family and friends. Connect Spending time with close family and other relatives is a great opportunity to strengthen your relationships with those closest to you. Take time to find out more about each other and how you can support each other. Get in touch with a friend that you haven’t seen for a while. You might be just the person they need to see! Building stronger, wider social connections can help us feel happier and more secure. Helping others gives us a greater sense of purpose and belonging. Grow Having time on your hands provides a chance for you to try new things and learn new skills. Why not use the summer break to learn to cook a new dish, join a summer activity group, or wear something different. The summer is a time where you can take time out and think about what you would like to do next. Miss J Hilton, Assistant Headteacher.

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Sleep tight Eat a handful of brazil nuts and a glass of milk before bed. Connect  Get in touch with an old friend.  Spend time with a relative.  Help out at a community event. Feel Good Flapjacks 50g butter 2 tbs smooth peanut butter 3tbs honey 2 ripe bananas (mashed) 1 apple (peeled & grated) 250g rolled oats 85g dried apricots (chopped) 100g rasins 85g mixed seeds https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/ recipes/3028699/feelgood-flapjacks Fit for Life  Cycle in the Forest of Dean.  Walk in the Malverns.  Swim at the Lido. Grow  Read a book that you have been saving.  Try a new activity – Yoga?!  Cook something different. Useful websites: http://www.familylives.org.uk/advice/teenagers/health-wellbeing/teenagersand-sleep/

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Stay Safe this Summer As many of you will be looking forward to the Summer break, it is worth remembering that as well as enjoying the warmth of the sun and soaking up the vitamin D, we also need to protect ourselves from the sun’s rays. Please make sure that you ‘slip, slap, slop’ when you are out enjoying the sunshine at home or abroad: Slip on a T shirt, slap on a hat and slop on some sun cream .... and enjoy! Attendance We would like to thank you for your support throughout the year in ensuring that your child has good attendance. As a school, our attendance has improved this year and it is our aim for this trend to continue next year. With this in mind, please can we remind you that we will not authorise requests for holiday during term time. Attendance Prize Draw Attendance rewards are given out three times a year to those students who achieve 98% or above. This term the prizes for each Key stage are: • Kindle Fire • 1 x £20 Cineworld voucher • 2 x £10 WH Smiths Voucher We will also be giving out prizes for improved attendance! Parent Support We will be hosting a Triple P course at Churchdown in the Autumn term. This is aimed at providing parents with specific strategies to use with teenage children. The course will be run by Charlotte Jeffries from the Families First Plus team and will run from 6.00 – 8.00pm on the following dates: 19th September 26th September 3rd October 10th October 7th November Details of other available courses can be found on the glosfamilies directory website: http://www.glosfamiliesdirectory.org.uk/kb5/gloucs/glosfamilies/home.page Internet safety: The online world is often a place where our students feel more at home than we do! As new apps are launched and new features added it is difficult to keep up with the pace of change. The importance of being aware of and being able to monitor our children’s online activity has never been greater. Here are a few websites that may help you to keep up with your children in the digital world over the Summer: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/online-safety/ https://www.internetmatters.org/advice/?gclid=CJeJhsTj-dQCFUJAGwodS9kD3Q https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents/

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Last Saturday saw our first ever school fete run by the Friends of the School. Students worked really hard to provide a variety of stalls and many parents provided prizes, cakes and help. We were so delighted with how many of you came to support the event. Highlights included a martial arts display by Simone Hopkins and Sons, the dog show, welly wanging, crockery smashing, car racing, a beauty salon, cork shooting, St. James's City Farm animals and of course the fire brigade! We took just under £3,000 on the day, so are now well on our way to accumulating enough to re-decorate the school canteen. We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who helped and contributed. Watch this space for more events! Ms L Wisbey, Assistant Headteacher. Last week saw our 2017 Achievements Evening celebrating all we've achieved over the last academic year. 185 awards were given out over two nights and we celebrated in high fashion style, theming our evenings on Churchdown's Next Top Model Student. Over 100 students were involved in the production of the show and we'd like to profoundly thank everyone who supported the event. Congratulations to our top model students. Ms L Wisbey, Assistant Headteacher.

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Current State of Play The majority of participants in this year’s Duke of Edinburgh’s Bronze Award are progressing well in their activities with some fantastic individuals having passed the finish line in a couple of the sections and a small number of superstars having already completed all of their three main sections. As a reminder, the sections are Volunteering, Skills and Physical. It is my hope that, with the help of the parents/carers of the young people, we can get all of the participants’ activities completed by the end of the school year so that we are able to make a big occasion of the award presentation at the start of next year. Assessed Qualifying Expedition – 10 & 11 June 2017 Churchdown School Academy Bronze Award Participants 2017/18 Over the weekend of 10/11 June 2017 the participants ventured into the deepest and darkest Cotswolds to undertake their assessed expedition in trying conditions, the wind being a significant factor throughout. The route took the young people, in groups of 6 or 7, from Notgrove (near Naunton) through Guiting Power and on to Hailes Fruit Farm to the east of Winchcombe, which is where they spent a wet and windy night. This was a bonus from my point of view as the weather and their fatigue brought us all a quiet night! It is no surprise that they were tired as they had all walked over 14 miles carrying all of their equipment, food and water. For some, I am sure this was their first experience of anything like this, but they all handled it well and were in good humour throughout Day 1. Two of the groups at the start point, raring to go into the windy wilds of The Cotswolds.

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Day 2 saw the groups start out from the campsite and walk through Winchcombe, before climbing steeply onto Cleeve Common which they crossed to the masts and then descended to the finish point at Dowdeswell Reservoir, a distance of approximately 12 miles. Once again the weather was a factor with high winds, especially on the top of Cleeve Common, making it slightly more difficult than normal to walk with their equipment and some falling over because their rucksacks weren’t very aerodynamic. Once again, all of the groups did themselves proud and reached the finish point without too many significant issues and in very good humour (which was possibly due to their ordeal being over, rather than any actual enjoyment of the walk!). Another two sets of intrepid explorers at the start point, ready to journey into the unknown. The only potential issue on Day 2 featured the group of young men below who took it upon themselves to add a few more miles to their journey by walking past the private houses of Battledown after a trip through Prestbury, instead of walking straight down the hill to the finish point. However, they did manage to correct themselves and ended up on their intended route, finishing in good time considering their navigational embarrassment. The homes in Battledown were impressive too, with some amazing properties all around the area and residents slightly taken aback by the presence of the students. Fortunately, there were no complaints! Last but not least, this happy band of tourists who visited Cheltenham as part of their adventure.

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What Happens Next For the remainder of this school year, and possibly for a little longer in some cases, the participants will be concentrating on providing evidence for their sections and on submitting Assessor Reports completed by the person supervising their activities. As mentioned previously, some have already completed these which is superb. I would hope to have the majority, if not all, of the young people completing all of their sections by the end of the summer break. I am putting together a plan for an award presentation in the next school year for those achieving the award, so it would be fantastic to have all of the participants there having completed the award. I am sure parents/carers will be as proud of their achievements as I am. It is my aim to hold the award presentation in such a way that parents and carers will be able to attend and celebrate with us. One of the groups travelling towards Checkpoint 1 on Day 1 in the stunning Cotswold countryside Next Year Next year we will once again be offering the Duke of Edinburgh’s Bronze Award to our Year 10 students and hope to continue to grow the number of Year 10 participants completing the Bronze Award during their time at Churchdown School Academy. We are currently investigating the possibility of offering the Gold Award to those participants moving up to Year 12 next year who have already achieved their Bronze Award, which is a very exciting prospect for all of those involved. I’m hoping that we have enough returning Bronze Award holders to run the Gold Award and at time of writing that is looking quite promising. If you require more information on anything to do with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award please contact me, the DofE Manager, Mr D Martin, by email at DofE@churchdownschool.com or via Twitter on @ChurchdownDofE. The end of Day 1, which may have been a little tiring for some. Only a walk around Cheltenham to go…

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Year 7 Students with 97% or more with attendance. It is with immense pride, tinged with some sadness, that we have reached the end of what has been a truly fantastic first year at Churchdown School for our Year 7 students. It seems like only yesterday I was faced with 250 eager Year 6 students in their rainbow assortment of primary school uniforms on Induction Day. Whilst the year has flown by, the students have achieved so much that it’s hard to believe they have only been at Churchdown for one year. Besides the excellent ISM’s, attendance and levels of progress, what has struck me the most is Year 7’s enthusiasm whether that be in the classroom or taking part in House Competitions, sporting events or other activities. Naturally there have been some obstacles along the way but I can sincerely say that all of the students have been a pleasure to work with and a credit to the school. The end of term has been a fitting testament to how well the year group have done and many Year 7’s were awarded trophies at achievements evening to recognise their efforts. As well as awards, over 30 of the Year group performed various acts throughout the evening and I was astounded by the confidence shown. I know that all the students will continue to flourish as they continue their journey into Year 8 under the wise direction of Miss Owen who has been introduced to the year group as their next Head of Year. Miss Owen is very much looking forward to working with the Year group and I am very much looking forward to seeing the group set an excellent example to September’s Year7. I wish all the students and their families a wonderful summer holiday. It has been fantastic working with you all and thank you for all your support throughout the year. Miss R Hicks, Head of Year 7.

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