The main purpose of this newsletter is to say how proud I am of our staff and students this half term. So many so called ‘experts’ were predicting doom and gloom about student behaviour when they returned after the summer and that students wouldn’t be able to handle the return to routine. Apparently, in some schools in the country that has been the case but not at North Gosforth. The vast majority of our students have showed an incredible level of maturity and calmness and dealt with a really difficult situation well. Our attendance has been at 91.5% which is amazing considering the crisis we are in. Behaviour has been the best it has been in years and this is a credit to our students. Well done.
We have been fortunate in that we have been the only secondary school in North Tyneside not to have a confirmed case amongst the student body. That’s great news for our school and long may this continue. However, it is important that we continue to follow the Government guidance. Sometimes, some of the government phrases have been a bit confusing, but I like ‘Hands Face Space’, it’s simple. In assembly today students were reminded of the importance of continuing to wash and sanitise their hands, wear their face masks when moving around school and not mix with other year groups at social times.
The mask issue is important. I estimate that 90% of the students wear them well, but there are some students who are starting to get a little slack with this. We can’t allow that to happen, which is why we will be stricter in the run up to Christmas and start delivering sanctions to those who are putting others at risk. Please can you ensure that your child comes to school with a mask each day.
We would like to remind parents that, as with weekends, if your child tests positive during the half term break please email the school at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of the reasons we have coped so well is down to the ethos that we are building at the school. The RICH ethos is aimed at building the resilience of students and ensuring that they keep on working hard and are enjoying their learning in a well behaved manner.
It was a real pleasure last week to be able to have hot chocolate and biscuits with 6 students who were randomly selected winners from the many RICH nominations that staff have been giving out. This half terms winners were:
Max Waterstreet Y8 - Industry nomination for making an excellent start to the year in food technology.
Jack Armstrong Y7 - Honour nomination for being polite in the way he greeted a teacher and industry nomination for doing one of the top 4 posters for his science homework.
George Maxwell Y8 - Curiosity in his food tech lesson, resilience for excellent participation and focus in his art lesson and curiosity for superb participation in class discussions in science.
Emmy Lei Sneddon Y8 - 2 resilience nominations for her focus on developing her art work, honour in tutor time for making sure people are sanitising their hands and for lending someone money for the bus and industry for volunteering to read aloud in science.
Oliver Rogers Y9 - Oliver has been nominated twice in art for both his resilience and industry as he focuses on getting on with his work undistracted.
Grace Hedley Y8 - 2 nominations from art for amazing resilience and focus on developing her art work, industry in her food technology lessons, curiosity in Chinese asking some great questions about translation to and from your mother tongue.
We are also very proud of one of our Y11 students, Reece Slater, who has decided to raise money for the West End Food Bank. So far he has raised over £700 for this fantastic cause and on Friday afternoon he will run 10 miles in 70 minutes. For the runners amongst you this is quite some achievement! We are incredibly proud of Reece for embodying our core values and ethos – resilience, industry, curiosity and honour. He is a fantastic role model for others and we want to congratulate him for his endeavours. Well done Reece!
Local Advisory Group – Parent vacancy
The school is seeking nominations to fill one parent representative place on the North Gosforth Academy Local Advisory Group. Local Advisory Group Members are volunteers, from a wide variety of backgrounds, who have an interest in influencing education for the children in their local community. They work in partnership with the school staff to provide the highest possible standards of education and to help all children reach their potential. As a Local Advisory Group Member you have an opportunity to take a full and active part in the work of the Local Advisory Group. I hope you will consider seeking appointment to be a Parent Local Advisory Group Member – further information and a nomination form can be found below.
As always I would like to remind students about the importance of safety with Halloween and Bonfire night in the next few weeks. I don’t want to be the voice of doom and gloom but there are reports every year about children suffering injuries so please discuss this with your child to make sure everyone can enjoy the festivities safely. Please see attached below a letter from Northumbria Police and North Tyneside Council.
I would also like to highlight an amazing small charity based in the North East called Feeding Families. Their aim is to help those most in need of help and support at what can be a difficult and expensive time of year, with the help of volunteers willing to use their own money to provide some Christmas cheer to those less fortunate than themselves. The application process is now open for Christmas Hampers and closes on 30th November 2020 – further details can be found below.
Finally, I have some important news that I would like to share with you. It is with sadness that I have to inform you that I will be leaving the school, as I have accepted the job as Principal of Jesmond Park Academy. I am extremely proud of the 18 years I have worked at the school and I’m delighted that we are now in such a strong position. It is a lovely place to work, with hard working staff and wonderful students. It has been like a family to me in recent times and I cherish the strong relationships that I have built up with families and the community over the years. However, I am now teaching the children of parents that I taught previously and I realised that if I do not take a new challenge then before long I will be teaching the grandchildren of parents that I have taught!
I have asked to start my new role after Easter and not before so that I can see the school securely through the winter in these particularly challenging times. We will ensure that an exceptional leader will be put in place, who puts children at the heart of what we do and will allow them to thrive.
I would like to wish all students, parents and staff an enjoyable and well deserved half term break.