It’s been a real pleasure to see our students return to us over the past 5 weeks and the staff have been delighted with the work rate and behaviour of our students so far this term. I want again to thank parents for their support of the school. Even though these are trying times, are attendance is still over 90%, and the students are thriving by being back in full time education.
We have been lucky in the sense that we still have no confirmed cases of COVID amongst students or staff. Although this may change going forward, it is good that we have so far had an uninterrupted start to the year. May I thank parents who have been following guidelines and keeping students at home if they have symptoms and arranging for them to be tested. All tests have come back negative so far and that has meant isolating students have been safe to return.
Whilst the start of term has been very positive and students and staff have clearly been pleased to be back, it must be recognised that everyone will have underlying anxieties about our country’s changing situation to varying degrees. The uncertainty we have faced and continue to face means we need to be aware of supporting each other on a daily basis. I am well aware of how confusing some of the advice has been over recent weeks, especially in the North East. If any parents feel that they would like some advice on these matters, please feel free to call your child’s Head of Year.
I would like to highlight some positive news, in terms of students standing out. Some of you might already have seen that one of our students had her art work displayed in the Daily Mirror this week. Abi Lane is a Y11 student at our academy and is an inspirational artist, as you can see from the photos below.
So many of our students have unique talents and they are truly inspirational. Often though, they are very modest and do not want to be seen as ‘showing off’. Throughout this year, I will try and bring these hidden gems to the forefront.
At North Gosforth Academy our RICH ethos is a vital part of the curriculum in all our subjects. The four RICH skills of resilience, industry, curiosity and honour are what make our school community thrive and are what give our pupils their roadmap to success in school.
This year we have decided to reward those pupils who are displaying RICH behaviour in lessons or in their social time at our school. All staff members have the ability to nominate pupils when they see them behaving in a RICH way. RICH nominations can be earned for a variety of reasons. It might be the resilience of not giving up on a difficult Maths question, the industry of spending a long time on a beautiful piece of art homework, the curiosity of asking a great question in Ethics or the honour of staying behind after lessons to help the teacher collect the books.
Some of these actions might seem unimportant on their own, but we like to notice our pupil’s little acts of generosity and hard work. We understand that many small and seemingly insignificant actions will, over time, lead to a better school community for our pupils.
We have already nominated over 70 students for RICH behaviour since the start of term and there are more nominations flooding in all the time. As a parent you can track the progress of your child’s RICH development in their planner. If your child receives a total of 15 nominations in any one skill over the course of their school year, they will become a RICH ambassador for that skill. This will lead to leadership roles in years 10 and 11 for these pupils alongside prizes awarded as part of the PRAISE rewards.
Frog expectations and home learning
We are very keen for students to become passionate and independent home learners over the next year and Frog, our dedicated virtual learning platform, will be central to making sure that this happens. The expectation is that all homework is set on Frog or Hegarty Maths and that all students complete it on time and to a good standard!
In the event of complications or difficulties in achieving this, we have put in place a homework club that runs morning and afternoon in the academy library. These sessions will take place at the following times:
Years 7, 8 and 9
Tuesday 8am and Thursday at 3.10pm.
Years 10 and 11
Wednesday 3.10pm and Friday 8.15am.
This will be held in the LRC and will be supervised by Mr Fryer, Mrs Pike and Mr Clark.
Launch of new Teen Sleep Hub
Award-winning voluntary organisation, The Sleep Charity, launched its brand-new online Teen Sleep Hub this week as part of its campaign ‘Teen Sleep Matters’ to promote the importance of sleep for young people’s mental health.
Ahead of World Mental Health Day (10th October), the launch of the Teen Sleep Hub – aimed at teenagers, not parents – addresses the link between poor sleep and mental health as well as the triggers for sleep deprivation and the practical strategies that can be put into place. The online provision means young people can now access sleep support no matter where they are. It features sound knowledge and helpful advice to get a good quality night’s sleep and for those who want to know a little bit more, the eBook ‘You and Your Sleep’ can be freely downloaded from any device.
Further information is attached at the bottom of this newsletter and you can find out more by visiting www.teensleephub.org.uk
I hope you all have a great weekend,