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Posted on: 22/01/2021

Principal's Blog - Week 17

Introduction

Academy staff and students have continued to work extremely hard this week both in school and remotely.  It is essential that students, with your support, continue to access all of their lessons daily and complete the work required.

Remote Learning

Students have continued their amazing engagement with remote learning again this week! I thought it would be good to share some examples of the wonderful work that student are producing with you – I hope you enjoy looking through the work and appreciate how hard students are working. Click HERE. Please send in photos of the great work your child is completing remotely or even a photo of them with a subject reward card received from subject teachers, so that we can include this in our weekly celebration of successful learning.  Photos can be emailed to kasia.boydell@sthelens.org.uk

As you can see from the information below, student engagement continues to be good. Students who are struggling to engage are being supported by academy staff to resolve any problems or barriers they are experiencing.  Parents should contact their child’s pastoral team if they require any support.

Year Group

18.01.2021

19.01.2021

20.01.2021

21.01.2021

21.01.2021

Year 7

97.9%

97.9%

96.6%

96.6%

96.3%

Year 8

94.8%

95.1%

95.1%

92.8%

91.8%

Year 9

91.6%

90.0%

90.0%

90.0%

88.0%

Year 10

96.0%

89.7%

93.3%

94.6%

93.7%

Year 11

97.7%

93.2%

93.2%

93.8%

93.8%

Whole School

95.5%

93.5%

93.9%

93.6%

93.2%

Students will continue to participate in their daily collective worship and Inspire sessions which includes completing a daily well-being survey.

Microsoft TEAMS training session for Parents

St Helens Councill recently worked with Microsoft trainers to develop a TEAMs training session for Teachers and Parents in St Helens Schools. The session covered most of the key features of TEAMs and contains many tips on how to make the best use of TEAMs. A recording of the session can be accessed below:

Parent APP update and alerts

Student attendance to live lessons is being monitored via our normal registration system. As students have now settled into their remote timetables and most of the initial barriers to access have been resolved, we are now keen to ensure that students are fulfilling their potential and maximising the learning opportunities delivered on a daily basis. As such, staff will be using the following codes, via the parent app, to alert home about any concerns that they have regarding engagement and/or the quality of work submitted on a weekly basis.

RL – Concern over engagement during live lessons

Concerned that the student is not engaging during lessons either verbally or using the chat function. Contributions during lessons may be causing concerns over progress.

RW – Concern due to the quality of work submitted.

Concerned that the student is not submitting work frequently enough and/or the quality of work submitted may be causing concern. May be concerned over progress indicated by work submitted.

Exercise Books

As evidenced by the wonderful examples of students work included in this week’s blog, I am aware that a number of students have nearly filled their exercise book.  If your son/daughter requires a new exercise book we have stock available for you to collect from reception.  We are hoping to introduce a ‘Resource Bus’ in a number of locations in the local area to enable students to collect items of equipment. I look forward to sharing the details with you in the not too distance future.

Parent Voice

We would like to thank for your continued support of our remote learning timetable and we also appreciate the support that you have put in place in your family home to ensure your son/daughter can access and engage daily with their lessons. We are mindful that the lockdown is a difficult time for our families and students and would like to continue to develop our remote learning provision in a way that best supports you all.

Please complete the short survey below to enable us to reflect upon and further develop our provision.

Please click HERE to complete the short survey by midday on Wednesday 27th January.  Thank you for your feedback.

Year 7 Parent Consultation Event – Wednesday 20th January

Following the success of our first web-based Parent Consultation event for year 11 last week, it was the turn of the Class of 2025 on Wednesday.  Student reports were made available via the SIMS parent app on Wednesday morning to help parents/carers prepare for their meetings. Parent feedback has been very positive with a small number of ‘technical issues’ and loss of internet connection reported. Your feedback is very much appreciated as it allows us to make improvement for future events.  Our next consultation event is for Year 10 on Wednesday 10th February. Please check your e-mails and SIMs parent app for notifications and information on how to book your appointments.

Letter to Parents/Carers of year 11 students

This week, I wrote to you regarding the recent joint statement from OFQUAL and the Secretary of State for Education regarding a joint consultation on how grades should be awarded for GCSE and A levels this summer.  Parents and carers are eligible to take part in the consultation process which is open until Friday 29th January. Click HERE to access the letter which also includes links to the full consultation document and link to submit a consultation response.

There will be lots of information, not always factually accurate, circulating in the media therefore, we have created a new section on our website for student and parents/carers regarding all things relating to GCSEs.  We will be adding information as it becomes available and also any important messages from academy staff. I have added a link to Elevate Education which has a useful summary regarding the proposal and what it means for you. The section can be accessed HERE

EtonX opportunity for years 10 and 11 students

Year 10 and 11 students have the opportunity to take part in a course designed and run by Eton College.  Students can access all the necessary information via Satchel:One. Please encourage your son/daughter to take part in this exciting opportunity.

Etonx presentation 002

Guest lecture and Q & A – Professor Graeme Close (Liverpool John Moores University)

This week, we secured the opportunity of a guest lecture and Q & A with Graeme Close, Professor of Human Physiology and Sport Nutrition at Liverpool John Moores University. Graeme specialises in sport nutrition and currently works with England Rugby Union and a range of Premier League clubs.  The session was for our Year 10 & 11 PE students via Microsoft Teams. Graeme delivered a session on his experiences of working in elite sport, sport nutrition and routes into sporting careers. He also answered a host of amazing questions from our students in a Q & A.  The session provided our students with an inspiring insight into the science behind elite sport.

Hope Sixth Form Centre and T-Level Launch Event

Following the postponement of this event earlier in January, I am pleased to announce that this will now go ahead on Wednesday 3rd February at 6.00pm. If you have any question in the meantime please e-mail Damian.gent@sthelens.org.uk or Charlie.wignall@sthelens.org.uk Please see our website for further information. Click HERE

Careers Update

As part of our Careers provision, we need help from you, our parents and carers! If you could spend a few minutes completing the Parent/Carer voice questionnaire, it would be hugely helpful in our mission to improve the information, guidance and opportunities we give our young people and their families. Click HERE to access questionnaire.

Future Careers Events

We have some really exciting CEIAG opportunities coming up for you and your child/children. As you know, we usually run a very successful Careers Fair each year in the main hall, giving students the opportunity to chat with Employers, Colleges and Universities from many different areas and specialisms. This year unfortunately we have to run things differently, however, it does not mean we can’t give our students the best opportunities! Letters have been e-mailed to you and information can also be found on the individual year group pages on our WEBSITE.  The Virtual Careers Fair takes place on 27th January from 5.00pm. All the information you need and links to secure your place are included in the letter. There is also an extra opportunity for students in year 11 and 13. Again, all this information is on our WEBSITE.  Please support your children to access these informative events especially if your child is in year 9 and will shortly be choosing their option subjects - it’s a wonderful opportunity for them to investigate future careers and the qualification requirements.

Mindfulness

The community at All Ears are dedicated to providing support to both pupils and staff within a school environment. All Ears want to firstly, educate; as Nelson Mandela once said "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."  Awareness is the first step, it encourages an acceptance of openly talking about mental health - which can be a life-saver in itself.  All Ears are supporting schools during the lockdown and have shared a Mindfulness Journal aimed at secondary school students. Please click HERE to access.

Kooth - Your online mental wellbeing community

Kooth is the UK's largest digital mental health provider to the NHS for children and young people aged 10-25, offering digital mental health services and a broad range of therapeutic tools and interventions to the health service.  Click HERE to access the topics and plans for Kooth Podcasts for January to March 2021.

Inspire Challenge – week beginning 1st February

During Inspire sessions next week students will be introduced to our Self Expression Challenge below. 

Ygcw mental health self expression

Free Internet safety and English/Maths courses for parents/carers of year 7 students

St Helens Council Adult and Community Learning service are pleased to offer free 6-week online courses (6 weeks @ 1 hour per week) for parents/carers of children in St Helens.  Due to demand, evening courses will now be available after February half term.

The courses comprise of an introductory session about our short interactive online qualification in Internet safety for IT users, which learners can then go on to complete remotely, using online assessment and e-invigilation, so there is no need to enter a classroom. The qualification covers the key areas of internet safety and details are in the course breakdown attached.   This one-hour introductory session will be followed by five one-hour remote Keeping Up with your Childs English or Keeping Up with your Childs maths sessions.  This is a total of 6 sessions over 6 weeks. Click HERE for further information and booking.

Free School Meals

I am pleased to inform you that we were able to access the Eden Red website on Tuesday and order all vouchers required.  These have now been received by the Academy and parents have been advised to collect. Any vouchers not collected by today will be posted to home addresses.

If you have any questions regarding your vouchers please contact karon.lamb@sthelens.org.uk

HOPE ACADEMY – AUTHORISED Food Voucher Distributor

The academy are an authorised distributor of food vouchers which means we are able to support struggling families much easier as we do not need to refer them to other agencies to obtain food vouchers which can be used at foodbanks throughout the borough.  Please email kasis.boydell@sthelens.org.uk for further information.

The Library Blog

As promised last week, Dr Ashcroft has produced the first Library Blog.  I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did. Click HERE to access blog.

Word of the Week

25 01 21 wow endure

Reading Challenge

25 01 21 reading challenge endure

Kasia’s Reflection

This week is Christian Unity week, and it is really important as a Joint Faith Academy that we acknowledge this, so we have been celebrating it during our Inspire Time. We are a reminder of how the branches of Christian Faith come from the same vine; that our Christian denominations make us parts of the same body of Christ and that we work together, not separated away. 

Being ecumenical, like we are here at Hope, means looking up to see the big picture: what God is doing through the whole Church in the whole world. It means engaging with others and holding our remaining differences in conversation rather than conflict.

This unity of Christian faith is not about singing in unison and losing our distinctiveness: our unity is singing in harmony, each person and tradition enriching the others!

And it is not just Christian faith; we are united with people of all faiths and none. This is how Gandhi reflected on Faith:

I believe in the fundamental truth of all great religions of the world. I believe that they are all God-given and I believe they are necessary for the people to whom these religions were revealed. If only we could all read the scriptures of the different faiths from the standpoint of the followers of these faiths, we should find that they are all one, and all helpful to one another.

Let us always look for the unity with each other, no matter how different we may at first seem. Amen.

Click HERE to read Kasia’s monthly section in local parish newsletters.