End of Term Letter Feb 23
End of Term Letter Feb 23
End of Term Letter
We have been very busy this term and I would like to thank you for your continuing support.
Once again, we have celebrated maximum attendance this half term. So many of our students have demonstrated Intentional Excellence and have shown that success does not happen by accident but instead through hard work, engagement and determination. Well done to all of those students who received these awards! We have also seen some fantastic year group competitions which have had a significant impact on key year groups’ attendance, for example, our Year 8 “Attendance Heroes” which has proven to be a great success. We regularly speak to our students about the importance of attendance and how our minimum expectation for attendance is 97%. Do not forget that you can log onto Go4Schools at any point to monitor your child’s attendance, behaviour and to see their school timetable.
A reminder to parents that when students return after the half term they will need to have natural hair colour and braids. Jewellery is limited to one stud in each ear and a mechanical watch. Students should have natural nails, no false eyelashes and only natural make-up.
Teaching and Learning
The teachers and teaching assistants of Grace Academy have had an exciting term, working in small groups across departments to develop their own chosen focus areas. Some staff have been working on how to use questioning effectively, while others have focused on increasing the level of challenge in their classroom. We have found it an invaluable opportunity to visit our colleagues in different departments and see how we can bring what we learn into our own classrooms.
Students have risen to the challenge we set for them last term: 100% engagement, 100% of the time; they are getting used to being chosen to answer questions, rather than putting their hands up and are becoming much more active participants in their lessons, which is a joy to see!
This term, Grace Academy’s Key Stage 3 students have been looking at some Giants of Literature and Media. Years 7 and 9 have been busily discovering and exploring meanings in poetry and classic British fiction. Within their lessons, Year 7 students have read and discussed the power of voice within poetry, particularly some Titans of poetry: Maya Angelou and Michael Rosen, whilst Year 9 students have been reading Animal Farm; Orwell’s classic remains a pertinent and relevant allegory, allowing students to understand more about the politics of Russia. Year 8 are now completing their unit ‘The Natural World’, where they have been reading about fables, myths, and rainforests (complementing their Geography curriculum). Their term of learning about the structure of texts, and how and why we paragraph information, concludes by looking at their own Titan of the natural world – David Attenborough. Ask them what they can remember about the face-off between the razor snakes and iguanas!
Students in Year 10 have begun their own study of poetry as part of their Literature GCSE. They have now studied almost all of the poems concerned with war – as far back as the Crimean War. Before we begin looking at poems concerned with identity, nature and man’s arrogance, students will learn how to compare the poets’ meanings and messages.
For our Year 11 students, revision is now well under way. Period 6 sessions have started ahead of the next AP exam window and in lessons, students are completing a timed practice paper every Monday, a truly valuable part of their revision schedule which will support their independent revision in which they should be working on their powerful knowledge.
Year 12 and 13 students (A-Level Literature) have moved on to the next component of the course (in Love and War) and we are looking forward to the Year 13 students finalising their coursework and Year 12 concluding their study of their Shakespeare text.
The library is still proving popular at lunchtimes, with students able to complete homework, read quietly or even attend the Games Club. We are looking forward to World Book Day after half term, and Mrs Ellis’ Readathon is gaining momentum, with many students keen to reach their next target of books read.
On 1st February, 74 students entered into the Intermediate Mathematical Challenge run by UKMT. This is a nationwide competition consisting of a 60-minute, multiple-choice Challenge to encourage mathematical reasoning, precision of thought, and fluency in using basic mathematical techniques to solve interesting problems.
To recognize the highest performers in the Challenge, the top-scoring 50% of participants nationally are awarded Bronze, Silver and Gold certificates, Gold being the most difficult to achieve. We are pleased to announce that 21 of our students received a certificate! In Year 10, 7 students were awarded Bronze and 4 students were awarded Silver. In Year 11, 7 students were awarded Bronze, 2 students were awarded Silver and one student was awarded a Gold certificate which is a magnificent achievement! This student will now take part in the next round as one of only 8,000 students from all over the UK.
We are very proud of our students and if your child participated please congratulate them!
Key Stage 3 Update
It has been an exciting and inspiring term for our Year 7 students, with visits to Coventry University to experience what it is like to study on campus. It has been pleasing to see our students motivated to build on the success they had in their AP exams in the first half term, demonstrating Intentional Excellence in lessons to be the best they can be. The Year 7 students have now completed their GL assessments and this data will be shared in their next school report.
Years 8 and 9 have also been working hard in lessons. Year 8 students have been competing to not only get the most “Gold Stars” but also to have the best attendance and become an “Attendance Hero”.
It was fantastic that so many Year 9 students and their parents attended the Parents’ and Options Evening. Students were clearly showing a very mature attitude when deciding their GCSE subjects and were listening to the feedback from their teachers to make progress for the AP2 exams in March.
For Years 7, 8 and 9, it’s also been lovely to see students being involved in the community, becoming mental health and LGBTQ+ ambassadors as well as representing the school at sporting events - with some impressive wins! Well done everyone!
Year 10 Update
This term saw a real effort on improving the already impressive behaviour within Year 10. We selected a group of students to compete against each other for positive behaviour points. These students were monitored within their lessons over the course of the term and are showing a great improvement, scoring higher and higher each week. It is great to see the students want to improve and outscore their peers. This system is now being transferred over for attendance and hopefully we will see a similar notable improvement!
Extra-curricular engagement has been fantastic this term. Unfortunately, the Year 10 boys’ football team lost away at Caludon Castle in the Coventry Schools Cup, however there are large number of Year 10 students who have been selected to play for our Year 11 side in the Quarter Finals of the same competition. We are about to host our second Girls’ football fixture, hosting Eden Girls’ School, with several of our Year 10 students representing the Academy, including captain Nabiha. We are hoping to emulate the success of our first fixture with another inspiring victory.
Year 11 and Year 13 Exam Update
We continue to support and challenge our Year 11 and Year 13 students as they prepare for their Summer exams and their potential next steps and destinations.
This term we provided further opportunities for students studying Technology, iMedia and BTEC Sport whilst providing another opportunity for students to sit Maths papers and check their progress. At this stage, your child should be completing homework or engaging in high-quality revision for at least 90 minutes per weeknight and around their schedules at weekends.
Year 11 Update
This term saw the start of the second Year 11 launch to support the students in the run up to their AP2 Mock Examinations which start on Monday 6th March. As part of this, during the first week back we resumed our ‘Course-work catch-up’ sessions as well as the ‘Extended study’ group continuing on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Students studying Health & Social Care and Business had an intense revision package during this period to prepare them for their examinations on the 30th and 31st of January respectively.
Students also turned out in large numbers with their families to attend the Year 11 Parents’ Evening where we issued them with: a ‘Passport to Prom’, a revision guide for students and a supporting guide for parents. Any students who did not receive these three items should speak with their tutor for collection. Students were told that their ‘Passport to Prom’ comes in two parts and that both needed to be completed to allow them to purchase tickets for the Prom.
Students were able to start obtaining their stamps for their Passport to Prom from Monday 6th February which was when their first Period 6 session of this launch started.
The Period 6 offer will continue into the next half-term following the same sessions as before:
Tuesday: History or Geography and students re-sitting their BTEC Sport exam
Friday: French, Spanish and RE.
This week, Year 11 Design Technology students have completed two days at Silverstone University Technical College, making their final products. The University Technical College specialises in High Performance Engineering and Business & Technical Events and it was a great privilege to be supported by their Engineering teacher and technician over the two days. Students engaged fantastically the whole time, despite the long days, and they were an asset to Grace Academy, displaying not only Mutual Respect but also Genuine Integrity.
At the end of the two days the students packed away their things, loaded up the coach with their products and cleared the workshop and the technician said the workshop was cleaner than when they had started!
Sixth Form Update
We have had an extremely busy term in Sixth Form. A large proportion of our students sat a round of their external vocational exams in January, which will contribute towards their final grades. We are proud of the work ethic and dedication that these students showed towards their studies and revision in preparation for these exams.
We were privileged that two representatives from within the Trust came in to deliver two sessions to our Year 12 students regarding ‘building healthy relationships’. These sessions were extremely well received and we had some fantastic feedback from those students that took part.
Our Year 12 students have also been actively mentoring on a one to one basis with some of our Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 students, working on helping them to improve their literacy skills by reading with them, and also their mathematical skills by completing some maths tutoring during morning form time on a weekly basis. We are very proud of these students for helping our younger students maximise their Limitless Potential.
Our Year 13 students have now completed their UCAS applications for university courses, with many of them already starting to receive their university offers, and starting to make their final decision as to where they would like to study at degree level next year.
Some trips and visits this last term have included a trip to Coventry University for all Year 7 students to explore higher education, a trip to Coventry City Council for our Year 11 students interested in apprenticeships, a trip to our local food bank to deliver the donated food items we have collected and trips to the BT offices in Birmingham and the head office of Coventry Building Society for our Post-16 students.
Our Year 10 students have taken part in a 'Building Healthy Relationships' drop down day where we invited external facilitators to teach students about the qualities and benefits of healthy relationships.
We have also invited practitioners from IM Group to teach our Year 8 students about leadership, actors from ROPP to teach our Year 10 students about the perils and potential consequences of knife crime and Coventry College to talk to our Year 11 students about future options.
Cultural capital events in the Academy have included 'World Religion Day', 'Holocaust Memorial Day’, 'Time to Talk Day’, 'LGBTQ+ Month' and 'Children's Mental Health Week'.
Theresa Hughes, who works in our Nurture department, has just qualified as a dyslexia specialist. This term she has been providing specialist small group interventions for our dyslexic students across all year groups. Students have engaged brilliantly and are making good progress due to this individualised support.
We have a lot of items in our main office waiting to be claimed. Please check your child has all their belongings and clothing items and ask them to check with the main office if they have lost anything. Any items not collected by Friday 3rd March will be donated to charity.
We hope you enjoy the break and look forward to welcoming the students back to school on Monday 27th February.
Mrs N Whiles