27/10/23: End of Term Letter
End of Term Letter
We have enjoyed a great start to this academic year and I would like to thank you for your support this term.
Whole School Update
It has been a privilege to have appointed our Student Leadership Team for this academic year. Our Leadership Team includes two head students, three deputy head students, two student council members for each year group and two form representatives for every tutor group. Our main student leadership body has had training around peer leadership, and we are excited by the ideas that our student leadership already have and look forward to all they will do in the year ahead.
One of our ways of giving this year so far has been collecting food for harvest festival, ready to donate to our local food bank. We would like to take this opportunity to thank you if you have sent your child in with items or are wishing to do so. Each year group has a different item to bring in, based on the need suggested by the local food bank and so that we donate a variety of foods:
Year 7: Jam
Year 8: Juice cartons
Year 9: Gravy
Year 10: Rice
Year 11 and Post 16: Biscuits
We have held a number of cake sales in the Academy this term and are pleased to announce that we raised over £174 for Macmillan Cancer Research! We would like to thank all our students and staff who baked and bought cakes.
Our students have engaged with a number of other cultural capital events including 'World Mental Health Day', 'National Fitness Day', 'European Day of Languages', 'Thank a Teacher Day' and 'Black History Month'.
We are pleased to offer the Duke of Edinburgh Award again this year to our Year 9 cohort. If you were unable to attend our parents’ information evening but would like some more information or to express your interest, please contact Mrs Smith (DofE Manager) on firstname.lastname@example.org.
As we look ahead to next term, we are pleased to invite you to our Christmas Fayre on Friday 8th December. This is a free event for our local community and will have a variety of stalls including gift ideas, tombola and some fun competitions. We hope you will be able to come along with your families.
We look to recognise events within the Academy inclusive of 'Interfaith Week', 'World Kindness Day'. 'Anti-bullying week', 'Christmas Shoebox Appeal' and 'Christmas Jumper Day'.
We recognise the prevalence of mental health issues in the current climate and will be running an information evening for parents based on supporting children around mental health and wellbeing. We will provide more information nearer to the time.
On Thursday 28th September, we welcomed prospective Year 7 students and their parents/carers to our Year 6 Open Evening. Over 100 of our students volunteered to be Student Ambassadors for the evening and were a credit to the school in how they demonstrated the Grace Way. Following refreshments and a welcome talk from our Year 13 Head Students and Mrs Whiles, our visitors enjoyed a guided tour from our Student Ambassadors and were able to take part in a range of activities led by Grace Academy students and staff: from cooking to science experiments, French and Spanish food tasting to trampolining. The feedback from our visitors was really positive and we look forward to welcoming them into our school community next year.
We hosted our Sixth Form Open Evening and were delighted with the turnout of our current Year 11 students who have started to think about their future pathways. It was wonderful to welcome so many of the students with their parents to discuss our fantastic Sixth Form provision with them. There was a real buzz in the air around students speaking with subject teachers and current Sixth Formers regarding thoughts around their future studies after their GCSEs. We look forward to welcoming many of them to continue their studies next year within our Sixth Form here at Grace Academy.
Key Stage 3
Following the transition day in July and two induction days in September, Year 7 students have settled into life at Grace really well and are enjoying attending a variety of new lessons. It was lovely to meet parents at the Meet the Tutor event and we look forward to seeing you again at our Parents’ Evening in April.
It has been great to see that Year 8 and Year 9 students have returned to us eager to learn and make progress in subjects. All Year 8 and Year 9 form tutors called home this half term to discuss goals for this year, but please do not hesitate to contact your child’s tutor if there is anything else you would like to discuss.
We have been rewarding all Key Stage 3 students for good attendance, participation in lessons and for following the Grace Way this term and we are looking forward to being able to reward more students with experiences before Christmas. In the first week of November, all Key Stage 3 students will be completing their first assessments this year so please encourage your child to revise what they have learnt so far in preparation for this. You will be able to view their progress data on Go4Schools once it goes live next half term.
Key Stage 4
This term Key Stage 4 students have been fantastic in focusing on their scholarly attitude by either engaging with new courses or by attending our additional after school academic support. We have been really pleased with Year 11 for completing our coursework catch-up sessions. This will ensure that all students have the best possible grade in their coursework ahead of the exams which we know is hugely important. Furthermore, Mock exams start for Key Stage 4 in the second week back after the holiday; to help them focus and organise their revision, we have given them the list of topics on which they will be assessed, has been stuck into their planner.
Additionally, we have started our Period 6 sessions for all Year 11 students. For three weeks before the Mock exams we offer 3 weeks’ worth of revision sessions in school with teachers to try and boost both the knowledge and confidence of our students. These sessions run weekly and we expect students to stay until 4pm every day to assist them with their studies. It has been a fantastic first week with 85% of the cohort choosing to stay and participate. We will also be loaning revision guides to Year 11 for the majority of their subjects after the holiday, to further support them with their studies.
We appreciate that exam pressure is a significant factor in Key Stage 4 and to support our students we arranged for Elevate to come into school and deliver workshops on revision strategies. We did this at the start of term so that Year 11 were well prepared for their increasing levels of independent study away from school.
We have enjoyed welcoming our Year 12 students into Sixth Form and they have settled in extremely well during their first half term. Their work ethic has been exceptional and this has been recognised around the Academy. We enjoyed taking a few select Year 12 students to visit Clare College at Cambridge University before we broke up for half term, continuing to encourage their Limitless Potential.
Year 12 Mathematicians took part in the UKMT Senior Maths Challenge. The Maths challenge is a 60-minute, multiple-choice Challenge which encourages mathematical reasoning, precision of thought, and fluency. Four Year 12 students were awarded a bronze certificate, which only the top 25% of students that participate are awarded. A huge congratulations to Adnan, Gabriel, Callum and William on this well-deserved achievement, with a special shout out to William, who was also awarded best in the year!
We have the same standard and expectation for all year groups, and we take this opportunity to remind you that our school website contains information around the curriculum for each subject and year group, what is being studied, why, and how you can support your child in learning more and remembering more. The Assessment Point 1 assessment window for all year groups is after half-term and dates are on the “Exams” section of the website. We will not be sending out individual or group reminders of dates or revision topics as this information is provided on the website. Please support your child in preparing to the best of their ability and in approaching these assessments with a positive attitude and “growth mindset”.
Please note that the Academy office will be closed during the half term break.
We look forward to welcoming our students back to the Academy on Monday 6th November.
Mrs N Whiles