Churchdown School Academy Newsletter 2014 - Issue 1


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Churchdown School Academy Newsletter - Issue 1 - September 2014

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ISSUE SEPTEMBER 01 Churchdown School Academy Winston Road STAY SAFE ONLINE The internet is an amazing place, it allows everyone to communicate, do research, play games, listen to music, watch films, and even read Shakespeare or the football results. We just need to act responsibly when we are online. But is essential when using the Internet to be smart. The Rules 1) Never give out personal details 2) Never arrange to meet people without an adult 3) Don’t send out your picture to anyone 4) Don’t enter private chat rooms For more tips and help regarding safe use of the internet go to Churchdown Gloucester GL3 2RB 01452 713440 MESSAGE FROM THE HEADTEACHER Dear Parents and Carers I hope you enjoy our first edition of the new Churchdown School Academy Newsletter. The first month of the new term has been extremely positive and I have been impressed with how everyone has adapted to the changes and increased expectations. The students have been exceptional and it is an absolute pleasure to spend time with them each day. We are receiving so much positive feedback from a variety of sources about our students and the good things they are doing. I am incredibly proud that members of the local and wider community are witnessing first-hand what our students demonstrate on a daily basis. Since September, staff have hit the road running with lots of activities taking place to complement the learning in lessons. The PE department have run lots of sporting fixtures and on Friday we had England Netball coaches in school working with girls from Year 10, improving their skills so that we can win many more fixtures against our rivals. At the start of term Ms Wisbey ran a successful Information Evening for Year 12 and 13 which was very well supported by parents. We have run several trips and the Drama department are heavily underway with rehearsals for our school production of The Little Shop of Horrors. Of course there is still a long way to go for us to become truly outstanding in every way, and there is much hard work to be done by students, teachers and of course you as parents and carers. So far your support has been very good and if we are going to give your children an education which cannot be bettered anywhere else, we need this to continue. As you know we are continuing to have high expectations on students’ engagement in lessons, effort with work and their uniform. I am pleased that so many students have adapted quickly and are embracing the expectations. They are beginning to see the impact it will have on their futures and is already having on their school. With this in mind please continue to encourage your child to work hard at both home and school and maintain the high standards of dress and engagement. To clarify, students are not permitted to have their hair cut below a grade two and their hair must be a natural colour and must not cause a distraction. Finally, I would like to thank each of you for your support and look forward to meeting you at the information evenings. Christopher Belli Headteacher


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CANTEEN NEWS Firstly, a warm welcome to all Year 7 pupils. We have a wide selection of food and drinks on offer, all compatible with the Food Standards for Schools. We are open at 8am in the morning serving cereals, toast, toasties and drinks. Everything is under £1. Remember – breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Look out for our Halloween themed meal and Christmas dinner both coming shortly. Our menu is available on request. Mr Hayman MATHS NEWS Well done to the many pupils who have made a fantastic start to the new academic year in Mathematics. Homework is set regularly (once a week for Key Stage 3 and twice a week for Key Stage 4) and it is imperative that homework is completed. Pupils are to ensure that if they are uncertain of how to complete part(s) of their homework they see their Maths teacher before the day it is due in, or attend the Maths homework support sessions. Alternatively, pupils can refer to mymaths (login: churchdown, password: circle) or other appropriate websites, such as BBC Bitesize. Mrs Seabrook This Month’s Q&A Technology Tips


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YEAR 7 NEWS YEAR 7 MATCH VS ST.PETERS The Year 7s got their season under way with a training match against St.Peters. Sadly Mr Potter could only take 15 of the players with him as it was an away and that’s all he could fit on the mini-bus! However there is another home match coming up soon so the rest of the 35 strong squad will get their chance to run out for the school. The game at St.Peters was a close one with both teams playing well. The aim of the match was for the Churchdown players to sharpen their skills against real defence and attack. The players stood up to the challenge and some very impressive tackles were made by the team, as well as some strong runs from all the team. Overall the game was a success and the future looks bright for the Year 7 team. Mr Potter I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Year 7 for a fantastic first few weeks at Churchdown School. The transition to secondary school can be a very daunting experience, but the students have embraced the changes and have settled in well. It was a privilege to read through their ‘Review of my first week’. Many students identified what they have enjoyed such as making new friends, changing classrooms for every lesson and the food!! Students were asked to set themselves three targets for the next few weeks and all wanted to continue to try their best, achieve awards and concentrate in lessons. As a Head of Year I could not expect anything more from a year group. We have seen students already achieving high numbers of rewards in lessons and tutors each week have been asked to choose a member of their tutor group who has stood out to them. It may have been for excellent work, being helpful in tutor time or just generally being a wonderful student. So far the winners of the assembly prizes are: 7B –Emily Spencer, Jenny Eveleigh, Harvey Weygang 7H – Charlotte Friis, Ben Aldworth, Lauren Williamson 7J –Lexis Nash, Kian Fraser, Nathan Drew 7M – Kasey Griffiths, Brooklyn Faulkner, Navjot Kaur Padda 7R – Emily Sysum, Ethan Hartsoe, Megan Gardner 7S – Elissa Blackburn, Tyler-Ann Day, Jacob Summerhayes 7T – Esaa Mulla, Matthew Hayden, Ubi Moolla 7W – Brandon Vance, Bethan Ashurst, Sam Bircher Congratulations to all the above students. The tutors have had a difficult time choosing just one name each week, so I know we will see many more students winning the prizes as the term continues. We have also been awarding the best weekly attendance and so far we have been dominated by one tutor group. Congratulations to 7W who have had 100% attendance for the past two weeks. Keep up the great work! Tutor groups have also been completing the task of choosing a tutor representative. Each group have now voted for their designated rep and these students will be addressing the whole year group after half term to hopefully be chosen as the Year 7 Parliament Rep. Congratulations to the following students: Representative for 7B is Jake Harper, 7H Ben Aldworth, 7J Kian Fraser, 7M Will Mitchinson, 7R Sylvester Smiles, 7S Jacob Summerhayes, 7T Hamza Malik and for 7W Brandon Jebb. YEAR 7 PARLIAMENT REPS It has been a pleasure to walk around your lessons and see engaged, motivated and well behaved students. It is also wonderful to see so many students taking advantage of the extensive extracurricular timetable that is available to students. Mrs Kentish Head of Year 7


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REWARDS@CHURCHDOWN ATTENDANCE REWARDS In addition to rewarding the effort that our pupils demonstrate in class and at home and the quality of work that they produce we are also rewarding them for their attendance. So far this term we have had 100% attendance in a week from 7W (twice) and 10M which is fantastic. In assembly each week the tutor group with the best attendance will receive a prize – the standard has been set!! The rewards system at Churchdown School Academy has a new look! Each time a pupil is issued with an R1, they will be given a stamp in their organiser (2 stamps for an R2). Their points will be added up by their tutor and every time they accrue 5 points they will be given a voucher. The voucher can be exchanged for a range of goodies which are available in the schools rewards shop. The shop is open for Key Stage 4 pupils every Wednesday and for Key Stage 3 pupils every Friday. Points Tutor Award 50 points Bronze 100 points Silver 150 points Gold 200 points Platinum 250 points Rewards Certificate in assembly Postcard home from tutor Rewards Shop Voucher (worth 20 points) Certificate in assembly Letter home from Head of Year Free break time snack Certificate in assembly Letter home from Head of KS First in the queue & free break time snack Certificate in assembly Letter home from Head Free lunch Certificate in assembly Letter home from Chair of Governors First in the queue & free lunch Certificate in assembly Letter home from Head & Chair of Governors Anywhere vouchers WORK EXPERIENCE Year 10 Work Experience This is taking place for all Year 10 students 6-10th July 2015 All students have been given the appropriate forms and should be actively seeking a placement now. If anyone needs any assistance or advice, please contact me here at school. Mr Burchell Work Experience Coordinator Most points in their Year group As you can see, the new system Is already a hit with our pupils who are working hard both as individuals and as a tutor group to gain the most rewards. Tutor Year 7 Year 8 Year 9 Year 10 Year 11 Rachel Pepperell Joy Brixley Jack Barter Harry Cooper Juliana Puskova 7W 8W 9J 10S 11H Points 21 26 21 26 23 Tutor Group Rewards Table After counting up all of the R1s and R2s that have been awarded to each tutor group, the leader board for each year group looks like this: Year 7 5 6 2 4 8 7 1 3 Year 8 2 8 7 4 5 6 3 1 Year 7 Position Year 9 Year 10 6 7 8 5 3 8 1 4 4 6 5 2 2 1 7 3 Year 11 6 2 5 3 4 7 8 1 B H J M R S T w Well done to: 7T, 8W, 9M, 10T and 11W for collecting the most points in their year group so far.


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GEOGRAPHY Reminder: The Year 8 Geography Fieldtrips are going out on the week beginning Monday 13th October. The following tutor groups are out on each day: 8S and 8R Monday 13th October AIMING FOR THE STARS Special congratulations to three members of the Astronomy Club who not only met regularly on a Tuesday evening after school to find out what was happening currently in the night sky, but improved their knowledge to such an extent that they were able to sit the GCSE Astronomy exam and achieve B grades. Rowan Lawrence and Josh Dinwoodie designed their own self-study course to run through their Year 12 and Year 13 course and helped a group of Year 11 students improve their skills and understanding in the after school club. Practical sessions were supported by Mr Cooper who acquired a free telescope and trained the group to use it and who set and marked the assessments. Thanks to the Ogden Trust who sponsored the telescope's refurbishment and a forthcoming trip to the telescopes at Jodrell Bank. Fifteen Year 12 and Year 13 physics students went to Jodrell Bank during September to complete some workshops written to enhance their understanding of the Astronomy section of their A Level course. In addition to spending an hour in the centre's planetarium learning about the history of the universe and the life cycles of stars of varying sizes, they also heard about gravity lensing, quasars and pulsars, before delving into black holes and event horizons. After lunch they completed a study on radio telescopes and used data from the one on site to measure the speed of rotation of a galaxy and work out its mass.... all from the radio waves it was giving out. Thanks to the Ogden Trust for their generous sponsorship of the visit which was extremely fruitful. Mr Cooper 8T and 8W Tuesday 14th October 8B and 8H Wednesday 15th October 8M and 8J Thursday 16th October The whole tutor group is going on the trip. We spend half a day looking at River Processes at Blackpool Brook and half the day investigating Tourism Management at Beechenhurst. Pupils should wear non-school uniform. They should bring wellies, a change of clothes and waterproofs. They will need a packed lunch and drink. Permission slips should have been returned to Mrs Roberts in the admin office. (If they are on Free School Meals you can let Mrs Roberts know in advance and we can sort out a school packed lunch for you). Any questions please contact your child’s Geography teacher or email Mr Carter on


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ROAD SAFETY COACHES Last year a group of students from 8R and 8S attended a course run by the Gloucestershire Road Safety Partnership. They were taught how to mentor younger pupils in road safety, in particular when travelling by bus and walking to and from school. They have been presented with lapel badges to identify themselves to Year 7 pupils who may need their help. The badges state 'Road Safety YEAR 8 NEWS Year 8 has begun in a very positive way and our students – your children – deserve great credit for such a stunning start. As a new Year Head with a new perspective I have been fortunate enough to dwell on some amazing positives. Last night I was able to congratulate three students who were individually praised for their presentation, knowledge and conduct as guides on Open Evening. For staff to take time to commend students speaks highly of the value of that contribution. These three girls were, I can assure you, the tip of the iceberg with a fantastic turn out by the year group on Open Evening. Year 8 do sum up a great deal about what is good about the school and are great ambassadors for us within the community. I have also had time to reflect on the great take up and enthusiasm shown in the auditions for the school production with new students as keen as others to make a mark therein. LOST PROPERTY Please note that items in lost property are not labelled with students names. Lost Property is stored in the following areas: Uniform - 6th form Store PE items—PE Store Coats, trousers, hoodies etc—Cupboard in rear of 6th form block PUPILS NOTE Lost property is not displayed in the Reception Area Mr Tebworth Mr Griffiths’ and Mr Oliver’s rugby teams have shown great enthusiasm and commitment. The school will provide opportunities for good students to extend themselves. Always a great delight to see the blue of Churchdown measuring up well to other schools. Assemblies taking place in the sports hall have provided a focus and a chance to reward effort and determination. As well as much appreciated innovations in the rewards systems I have been able to single out students for their individual achievements. As a truly comprehensive and inclusive school all your children – our students – will receive acknowledgement; whether it be for attendance, or for effort or for achievement all, students have made positive inroads to date. If these three strands of education can be supported by both staff and parents, I see no reason why students should not feel that there is a glorious future ahead. As a Year Head new to the group my opening message is very simple. I am seeing your child with fresh eyes. I am making judgements based upon only the positives of last year. I will value all efforts made by students to engage and to progress. If there is any unwanted history, this can be confined to the past and there is a resolve and a determination to ensure that an outstanding year group remains just that. The following have received individual recognition for their great start in Year 8: Lara Jayne; Liam Manley; Emily Jones; Tyler Campbell; Catherine Ireland; James Fowke-Peart; Elizabeth Rhodes; Szymon Slowinski; Samuel Tindall; Eden Lawrence; Charlie Bacon; Hamza Atcha; Imogen Dangerfield; George Hemmings; Joy Brixey; Lauren Dennis Stockton and Erica Ebanks. Mr Fawcett Head of Year 8


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YEAR 9 EXTRA CLUBS AND TEAMS Girls Netball Tuesday after school Girls Football Wednesday lunchtime YEAR 9 NEWS Welcome Back Theme For The Year ‘Be the best you can – and then some’ The message in my first assembly of the year was to ask students to be sure that they show their very best both in and out of the classroom. Everyone has different skills and abilities and it’s important to make full use of them. Don’t be modest, make sure your tutor knows what you’re good at and enjoy doing. We saw how the ‘Attitude To Learning Grades’ continued to reflect increasing involvement throughout the period of Year 8. We need to build on that and also record involvement in sport, music, clubs and activities both in and out of school. In my review of Year 8, the students in the picture earned particularly impressive ATL Grades throughout the year. Already this year the following students have been highlighted by tutors and so mentioned in assembly as having made a positive start to the term: Charlie Foster, Marcus Weaver, Libby Sharp, Lewis Blacker, Kelsey Wilkins, Ellie Galling Ireland, Yorgi Agathangelou, Natalie Skardova, Becky Lodge, Jo Meadows, Sam Algar, Nikita Kavtaskins, Megan Tanner, James Lovell, Lauren Wilkinson, Matt Merritt, Carlo Thomas, Kishan Patel, Charlotte Leeman, Vaselios Apostolakis, Rowan Harrison, Pelin Kurson, Marcus Weaver and Toby Summerhayes. Mr Wyman Head of Year 9 Girls Fitness Wednesday lunch and after school Invitation only Dance Club Tuesday lunchtime Boys Football, Rugby and Fitness clubs are available (watch notice boards for practice times) Basketball Monday lunch in sports hall. Must have kit and enthusiasm for basketball Mixed Martial Arts Tuesday and Friday 3.30 - 4 .30 in the Sports Hall Art Club Wednesday 3.00pm – 4.00pm in A5 Languages Film Club takes place every Thurs in L1 and is open to all. Also, languages support and revision sessions every break and lunchtime in L1. ICT Homework Club Tue lunch & after school C3 Wed lunch &after school C2 Thurs lunch & after school C7 An open Homework Club runs on Wednesdays after school in LS2 until 4pm for all years. They can have access to computers, art materials and paper etc if needed. YEAR 9 FOOTBALL Congratulations to the Year 9 boys football team for a home win over Evesham in the English Schools knockout cup. Trailing 0-2 at the break, they finished the game with a 6-2 victory. Coach Mr. Oliver seemed particularly pleased at his half time team talk, though he did add that Morgan Davies scored two superb goals from free kicks.


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. YEAR 10 NEWS Year 10 have made a fantastic start to their GCSE course this September. Huge positives include the quality of work produced in Photography and Art, outstanding performances in Drama and pure enthusiasm in other subjects. There is a real buzz to Year 10 and the pupils as they engage with their learning. Also, huge congratulations to those Year 10 pupils who have gained parts in the school play (Little Shop of Horrors). Well done to 10M who in the second week of term achieved 100% attendance. Also congratulations to the following pupils who have won the pupil of the week during our first three weeks back: 10B: Ross Duncan, Fran Gribble, Jack Rees 10H: Lauren Brobyn, Emily Springall, Nathan Humphreys 10J: Jess Lingard-Nutt, Oscar Hales, 10M: Hannah Betteridge, Josh Chapman, Bailey Hiam 10R: Justin Bhurruth, Emily Gammon, Ellie Bodman 10S: Grace Hitchman, Emma Baldwin, Ben Ashmead 10T: Dan Folley, Sam Bishop, Micki Peacock 10W: Tianna Hamblett, Alfie Cooper, Kayleigh Farrell There are a huge number of extra-curricular activities available to Year 10 students, either to support their learning or to enrich their school experience. I’d like to encourage them to take every opportunity to take advantage of these. The activities available include: EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES What? Art Club Drama – Little Shop of Horrors Rehearsals Food Technology Catch-up/support Basketball Club Languages Film Club Languages support and catch-up Photography catch-up/support DT catch-up/support Work Skills catch-up Rugby Creative I-Media catch-up GCSE Computing Coding Time When? Wednesday and Thursday after school Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday lunch and This Month’s Q&A Technology Ti after school Tuesday and Wednesday after school Monday lunch time (must wear PE kit) Thursday lunch Every break and lunch Every break and lunch Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday after school Wednesday and Thursday after school Training and fixtures vary Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday lunch Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday lunch Where? In your Art classroom Drama Studio DF2 Sports Hall L1 Languages block C10 DT block C4 See Mr Jones in PE C3 (except in C2 on Wednesday) C3 (except in C2 on Wednesday) Overall, Year 10 students have made a fantastically positive start to the academic year. They should be proud of their efforts so far and should strive to continue pushing themselves to the maximum during the next two crucial years. Mr Spooner Head of Year 10


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FORTHCOMING HISTORY TRIP Following the success of our tour of the WW1 battlefields this year, the History Department is organising another 4 day tour of the WW2 historical sites in the Normandy region of France. The dates of the tour are Friday 27th March to Monday 30th 2015. Some of the ‘highlights’ of the tour include Dog Green Sector 1 of Omaha Beach (Saving Private Ryan); Pegasus Bridge (British glider borne attack); U.S. Airborne Museum at St. Mere Eglise and US Rangers cliff assault at Pointe du Hoc. In addition, we will, as in previous years, visit Disneyland Paris on our return journey to reward pupils for their hard work. The whole tour will be, without doubt, an invaluable and very powerful experience. The tour will be led by Anglia Tours Ltd who are a very reputable history tour company with many years’ experience. We will be travelling by coach and staying in hotel accommodation. If your child is in Year 10-13 studying either GCSE or A-Level History and is interested in this trip, they should see Mrs Whiting in H1. Mrs Whiting YEAR 11 NEWS It is my pleasure to step in to the role as Head of Year 11. Students have already stepped up to the mark this year and it is a privilege to work with them during their last official year at Churchdown School. Below are the after school and lunch time activities/catch up sessions available for Year 11 during this crucial GCSE year. Food technology is open for CAT and catch up sessions for work on Tuesday and Wednesday after school. Languages Film Club takes place every Thursday in L1 and is open to all. Also, we have languages support and revision sessions every break and lunchtime in L1. There will be compulsory after school sessions for any pupils falling below their target grades as we approach the next controlled assessments. GCSE Art Club - Wednesday and Thursday A4 Year 11 DT coursework catch up sessions every break and lunch in C10. Extra GCSE DT coursework sessions 3:05-4:00pm Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday. Extra Extra GCSE DT coursework catch up sessions 4:00-5:00pm Wednesday and Thursday. Work skills and for select students Travel and Tourism extra-curricular/coursework catch-up available in C4 after school every Wednesday and Thursday. Mr Patient’s - Art Club Monday/Thursday A5 Controlled Assessment catch up sessions for Geography are running with Mr Carter in G3 break times from Monday to Thursday. Mr Jones Head of Year 11


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. MEDIA NEWS Happy new year from the Media department! We welcome two new teachers at GCSE Miss Hicks and Mr Potter. They are doing a fantastic job with our Year 11 groups who are currently studying TV news - some might argue an outdated platform. Congratulations to Mr Edwards who guided our last cohort of students through GCSE and obtained 87% A-C when the National average was only 65%. It is fantastic to have some of those wonderful students back at AS level now, and they have hugely helped students at AS who have not studied the subject before. A massive thanks in particular to Kyle Dimond, Laura Rust Ryan Chevannes, and Clara Dailey who represented the department so beautifully on Open Evening. Year 12 are now well into designing their websites and studying opening title sequences. Year 13 have also returned after an incredible success rate at AS - where all 42 students achieved or exceeded their target grade, and 80% of the cohort achieved or exceeded their potential grade. Year 13 are now studying on-line media in the capable hands of Mr Edwards and have started their practical teaser trailer with me. Keep up the good work every-body! Mrs Wisbey 6TH FORM NEWS The Summer results seem a distant historic event with everything that has been going on in 6th form. I am delighted to report every Year 13 student who applied to University for this year obtained a place, and I've been reading excited messages from students off to University. I had a very impressive message from Dan Seamarks, studying Journalism at Westminster University, informing me David Gauntlet is one of his tutors - we have been reading his books and studying him in Media for years! Year 12s and new students to the school have settled in nicely and are adapting to 6th form life well. They had an action packed induction day culminating in a 2 hour motivation workshop presented by award winning motivational speaker David Hyner. He explained there are two types of people in life - "Cows" or "Rhinos." Cows stick in a herd and watch - Rhinos set their goal and charge for it, "avin it!" We want all our 6th form students to be Rhinos! I am particularly proud of all those Year 12s who are already embracing opportunities to enrich their time at 6th form and who helped out at the Open Evening and represented our school so beautifully. Many Year 13s also did a sterling job, presenting themselves as excellent role models for younger students. You are our greatest asset. We have returned to a newly refurbished building, with brighter paint, a quieter study area and a plush common room that has been made much more comfortable for the students thank you Mr Belli! The charity committee have also been extremely active already, organising the Jeans for Genes non-uniform day, where we raised £1378. As I write, we are preparing for the McMillan coffee morning, the cancer charity, and are also planning Operation Christmas Child, where shoeboxes of presents are sent out to poor children across the globe for Christmas. A group of dedicated 6th formers are in full blown preparation for Achievements Evening and the forthcoming 6th form "spook-walk" as well as the horrormovieathon and big whole school fundraiser later this side of Christmas - Blind Date - watch this space as I'm sure there will be news to report there! We continue to keep you informed of your son / daughter's progress via our cause for praise / concern letters. Any issues about these, please do not hesitate to get in touch. These are precious days in 6th form that will be over in a blink of an eye - we want students to stay focussed and motivated and working to their absolute best of ability, as what they achieve in 6th form will offer them an amazing passport to more life chances. Go 6th form Rhinos! Mrs Wisbey


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ART & DESIGN DEPARTMENT NEWS The department are celebrating wonderful results at GCSE, AS and A Level with an exhibition in the Curve Gallery. In the show there is a piece of work by Tom Lowe now in Year 13. This work was commented on by the OCR examiner and is a very powerful statement from someone so young. A work based on the theme of staircases that appears to hang in the air by Harry Bevins is another highlight of the exhibition. Please feel free to visit the exhibition in the gallery that will be open until 4pm weekdays. Year 10 students have made a very good start improving their drawing skills, looking at the work of artist Jim Dine, experimenting with mark making. Year 12 have started work on the theme of Forgotten Spaces and will be visiting the Black Country Museum to take photographs as a starting point for their final piece. In Year 9 the theme is World War 1 and the students are thinking about the feelings of the soldiers some of them not much older than them. This work also helps to develop literacy skills through looking at poetry and letters home. On the 25th September sixth form students taking 3D Art went to Gloucester Cathedral to see the ‘Crucible 2’ exhibition. Students had the opportunity to see first-hand work by artists that they had been studying, including Peter Randall Page. They were able to draw and photograph the large scale sculptures which will enrich their coursework. Other internationally recognised artists were also exhibiting work such as Damien Hirst and Antony Gormley, which students found inspiring. Mrs Belinfante Head of Art & Design


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GCSEPOD The school currently subscribes to a service called GCSEPod which is completely free to your son or daughter and which we believe will be of great benefit to them during the coming year. GCSEPod has over 3,500 teacher-written, audiovisual podcasts produced specifically for mobile devices and containing all the right facts, quotes, keywords, dates and annotated diagrams that learners need for GCSE success. The GCSEPod website can be viewed on mobiles, tablets and PCs and the podcasts can be downloaded for offline viewing. The podcasts are also mapped to the curriculum and are designed to support students in the classroom, with their homework and during exam time. We recommend that you discuss GCSEPod with your son or daughter, ensure that they have correct login details to enter the site and encourage them to make use of this service throughout their year. Many teachers may set homework on the site using the “Assignment” feature as GCSEPod has already been proven to have a significant impact on A*-C performance and we aim to make it an integral part of learning for every GCSE student studying at the school. ICT DEPARTMENT NEWS All students have already been registered with GCSEPod and so simply need to activate their account and choose a username and password. To access GCSEPod for the first time, students should follow these three steps: Go to and click “Login” in the top right hand corner Click “New here? Get started.” Enter their name, date of birth and choose their school Select a username and password (to be used when they next login) and select the subjects they study Once logged in, students can search for podcasts by keyword, by a specific exam or by subject area. Students can create their own personalised learning playlists which can be easily downloaded for offline viewing. Help guides explaining how to use the site are available at If you have any questions regarding the GCSEPod service please contact Mr Wells who is leading the roll out in school. For specific technical advice please use the help pages on the website or email


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ICT & COMPUTING DEPARTMENT NEWS September 2014 is the beginning of the new Computing curriculum for Key Stage 3. The new curriculum will allow students to learn about how computer systems work. What they consist of and how they can create and contribute through the use of coding. Year 7 have started the year learning the importance of E-safety and how they can confidently use a variety of social media. Year 7 students will be creating interactive images using ThingLink to explain key areas such as recognising acceptable/unacceptable behaviour online, identifying a range of ways to report concerns about content and contact, identifying where to go for help when they have concerns about content or contact on the Internet or other online technologies, protecting online identity and privacy and using technology safely, respectfully and responsibly. Year 8 have started the year learning about what makes up a computer system. The students will be creating a technical review on a ‘tablet’ of their choice. The students will review all areas of the device and in doing so will learn the difference between hardware and software, the difference between input and output devices, the different storage devices which are available, to be able to identify and understand the common internal components of a computer and to be able to identify and understand the common computer peripherals. Year 9 have started the year learning about the language of our computer systems, in doing so they will learn to convert between Binary and Denary and how the ASCII table is used, to add and subtract in Binary and to convert to Hexadecimal, the relationship between Binary, Data types, File Sizes and Images. Students in Year 9 in the coming weeks will also learn about sequencing and the relationship between binary and logic gates including Boolean Logic. This is very exciting for Year 9 and a good starting point for GCSE Computing in year 10. Year 10 and 11 students have started their work for the Creative iMedia course where they are learning about Graphics and Game Concepts. This year also sees the start of GCSE Computing at Churchdown School where Year 10 have started to learn about input and output devices and coding in Python using the Raspberry Pi. Lunchtime and Afterschool Club has started within the department, on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, where students are able to use the computer rooms and equipment and the re launch of Digital Leaders and Pi Club is planned very soon. Students should see Mr Mays, Mr Wells or Mr Whisby for more details if they are interested. A huge thank you for all the hard work the students from the Computing Department put into the Open Evening. The Year 6 students were extremely enthusiastic about working with our Churchdown pupils and enjoyed the demonstrations very much. Special congratulations to : Jon Smith - Year 12 Jacob Seddon - Year 10 Aimee - Leigh Cushings - Year 10 Thomas Barker - Year 10 Connor Garfield - Year 10 Mr Mays ICT Department BUSY IN BUSINESS! The 6th form Business students had a great day out to London at the end of the Summer term. The day included a tour of the Bank of England Museum; where the group discovered that controlling interest rates aren’t as easy as you think and a gold bar is actually very heavy! The group also enjoyed a trip to see the iconic Gherkin and Lloyds of London buildings, a tour of the Olympic Park, followed by some retail therapy at Westfield Shopping Centre and Oxford Street. All in all it was an interesting, busy but very fun day! Mrs Khaira Head of Business Studies


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. Extra-Curricular Activities in the MFL Department Film Club: This takes place every Thursday lunchtime in L1. We are showing French, German and Spanish films consecutively in half hour instalments and everyone is welcome. Revision and Support Sessions: The MFL Department welcomes pupils from all years to come and receive extra help with homework and classwork any break or lunchtime. Please come to see us if you need help or are unsure. GCSE Revision Sessions: In addition to the lunchtime revision sessions, revision sessions will be held after school for those pupils who are struggling to reach their target grades, or for those who need a quiet space to work in preparation for controlled assessments and/or listening and reading examinations. These sessions will be compulsory for some pupils, however any Key Stage 4 pupil can attend, with the permission of their parents. Parents will be informed if their son/ daughter is required to attend. Further information regarding days and dates for these sessions will be provided as we approach the controlled assessments and mock examinations. MFL DEPARTMENT NEWS EUROPEAN DAY OF LANGUAGES 26th September 2014 We have had a busy start to the new term in the MFL Department. On the 26th September we celebrated the European Day of Languages. We discovered just how many staff at Churchdown speak a language other than English, as staff were asked to wear a label listing the foreign languages that they spoke. We invited everyone to come to our break time café and order a cake or biscuit in a foreign language. If people ordered politely in a foreign language they got their food for free!


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MFL DEPARTMENT As a way of celebrating the many different languages spoken by Churchdown’s pupils, we invited some of our pupils for whom English is not their first language to give us an insight into their culture. These pupils manned stands representing their countries, and answered questions from pupils who were on a fact-finding mission. They also gave presentations to groups about life in their country. This event was a great success and gave us a unique opportunity to enjoy the differences and similarities between our different cultures. BUSY IN BUSINESS! The 6th form Business students had a great day out to London at the end of the Summer term. The day included a tour of the Bank of England Museum; where the group discovered that controlling interest rates aren’t as easy as you think and a gold bar is actually very heavy! The group also enjoyed a trip to see the iconic Gherkin and Lloyds of London buildings, a tour of the Olympic Park, followed by some retail therapy at Westfield Shopping Centre and Oxford Street. All in all it was an interesting, busy but very fun day! Mrs Khaira Head of Business Studies Special thanks go to Vasileios Apostolakis, Pelin Kursun, Michaela Puskova, Natalia Skardova, Bridgett Frazer for their absolutely superb presentations and to Kajaal Patel, Adrien Kronig, Nikita Kavtaskins, Seb Zbrzyski and Lewis Pender for manning their information stands so brilliantly. Without these students we would not have been able to run the day. Residential trips to Spain, Germany and France: Please could parents check parent mail regularly for letters concerning payments, information evenings etc. HOLIDAY GERMAN/FRENCH/SPANISH CLUB: If you are visiting any countries where these languages are spoken, then this is the club for you! In this 4 module course we will show you how to read menus and order a meal, understand directions and read signs, how to make a complaint, and understand numbers and prices, among other things. Everyone is welcome. The Holiday German Club will run first in term 2, followed by the Holiday French Club in term 4, and the Holiday Spanish Club will run in term 6.



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