28/4/23: Academy Update
This is to update you on our achievements and activities since we returned after the February half term break and our plans for the term ahead.
With the final term of the school year upon us we look forward to celebrating maximum attendance and all those students who have made a conscious effort to improve their attendance. We are hoping that we can all have a healthy and happy final term engaging with our education. We still have so many of our students demonstrating maximum attendance and Intentional Excellence showing us that success does not happen by accident but instead through hard work, engagement and determination. This term will also bring a number of rewards, trips and visits for those students who have maintained positive behaviour and attendance throughout this academic year.
Before the Easter holidays, we launched our focus on celebrating and acknowledging students who consistently demonstrate Intentional Excellence in their lessons. Every week student council members visit the tutor groups in their year and take the names of the students who have achieved five or more Gold Stars that week. Those names are then added to our display in the heart of the school. At the end of every two weeks Mrs Whiles will draw two names from the display and those students win a prize. If your child has won a prize, you will receive a text message so that you can congratulate them when they come home.
Additionally, we have started a “Race to Rewards” scheme, which aims to acknowledge and increase the number of students who are taking part in our extensive extra-curricular opportunities in school. A central strand of the Grace Way is participation and we would like to celebrate those students who participate and challenge themselves. Students have been given a “Race to Rewards” passport to collect a stamp from every extra-curricular session and activity they attend and when they have attended five sessions they will receive a reward. We hope this will help to recognise those students who frequently participate in our extra-curricular clubs and help to make Grace such a fantastic school.
We would like to remind parents to download the Go4School App so that you can monitor your child’s attendance, behaviour and progress. This is a really helpful tool to trigger conversations with your child about their progress at school and how they can strive to continue improving.
Teaching and Learning
Having spent the last term in small groups, researching and investigating ways to further develop our teaching practice at Grace, teachers are now bringing what we have learned back to our departments, to find out how best to embed the fantastic practice we have observed and discovered.
As ever, students have risen to the challenge of the new ideas that staff have been trying out - the 'no opt out' culture in lessons is becoming more and more evident as you pop into lessons across the Academy. Some of the most impressive practice has been seen in the lessons of our most recently qualified teachers, who never fail to impress us with their enthusiasm and focus on The Grace Way.
AP3 assessments and reports
This term sees your child complete their third AP (“Assessment Point”) assessment, which tests them on everything they have learnt this academic year. In terms of revision materials, they will be supported by their subject teacher and we advise you to look at each subject page on our website, paying close attention to the "Why this? Why now" section. You can also support through referring to the Oak National Academy website (linked on the school website).
Year 9 Options
Your child's option choices are currently being processed and we will be letting them know if they can study all of their chosen subjects. If there are any issues, they will be communicated to you. Please be aware that once options are confirmed, changes (wherever possible) can be made until 29th September 2023 (one month after returning for the 2023/2024 academic year). For more information, please contact Mr Fawkner (Head of Year) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
English and Literacy
Last term was another busy one, with a number of events and experiences for our students across the English curriculum, together with wider literacy and reading initiatives.
In Years 7 and 8, students undertook the potentially daunting task of presenting to their peers. But, as always, our Grace students handled themselves brilliantly and delivered persuasive and thoughtful accounts. Some students had never spoken in front of their peers in such a forum before so this was a really impressive, and important, set of skills to nurture.
Year 10 students have also begun researching their topics for their Spoken Language (GCSE) component where they will deliver a speech to their classmates on a provocative or inspiring topic of their choosing. This is always a wonderful way for students to enhance their communication skills – written and verbal – and really master some of the key employability skills they will need to demonstrate in the coming years.
In the English department we have welcomed some new faces. Ms Kaur has joined us , having recently moved to the area. She is a really experienced and enthusiastic teacher, with a real passion for shaping curriculums and helping students build on their prior knowledge and skills. We have also welcomed Mr Kay – our new Director of English. Mr Kay is a really experienced leader and is relishing the fantastic opportunity to continue the development of the English curriculum at Grace and make a real impact on the progress of our wonderful students.
World Book Day was a big success with students reading a short story together over the course of the day. There was a great display of literary fancy dress by staff members and a surprising number of Miss Trunchbulls! Maybe they were all showing off their inner alter-egos! Mrs Vince did a great job of organising the day’s events and stayed in her Handmaid’s Tale character all day - very impressive!
Mrs Vince also organised a great literacy/STEM crossover event where a number of Year 7 students were invited to watch a talk delivered by the famous British scientist, Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock whose talks are always inspiring and focus on the cross section of jobs in science. Dr Aderin-Pocock also likes to myth-bust about careers, class and gender whilst talking about how and why she became a scientist.
Last term, as always, is where Years 11 and 13 begin to crank up their efforts in regards to revision and independent study. We have set up a comprehensive set of revision resources in a Google classroom area, including top tips and past papers, as well as critical content (quotations, character studies etc.). Students have begun accessing this and we hope to see many more making the most of the resources and help available over the coming weeks. This term will see the students really powering ahead with their revision and we will, as always, be delighted to help them by marking their timed responses and guiding their next steps.
We wish them all the very best as they approach their examinations!
Sixth Form had an extremely busy Spring Term. A large proportion of our students sat a round of their external vocational exams in January, which contributed to their final grades. I am pleased to say that the results of these examinations were generally exceptional, and were a true reflection of the fantastic work ethic and dedication these students showed towards their studies and revision in preparation for these exams.
Our Year 12 students started their Employability Skills Programme with the Coventry Building Society (“CBS”), which forms part of our wider Enrichment Programme at Post 16. They took part in two workplace visits; one to BT in Birmingham and one to the CBS Head Office in Coventry. During their Enrichment sessions, the students have been looking at building confidence, workplace behaviours, producing a CV and covering letter and have taken part in a one-to-one CV clinic workshop with a volunteer from CBS.
Our Year 13 students completed their UCAS applications and all of our students who have applied have already received at least one university offer. We had a representative from Coventry University deliver an Enrichment session to the students on student loans and finance and many of them are now starting to make their final decision as to where they would like to study at degree level next year.
All of our Sixth Form students have now completed their AP2 assessments. These results give a strong indication of how the students are progressing in their individual subjects compared to their targeted grades. We are then able to identify any areas needing development and, as a result, some students will be invited to attend our Extended Study sessions, as a form of support and intervention, twice a week after school. You will receive a letter regarding this, should your child be selected.
We held our annual Careers Fayre for our Year 11 and Sixth Form students at the end of March, where they had the opportunity to speak with exhibitors from over 40 businesses from a variety of industry sectors together with further education providers. This was a fantastic chance for the students to have conversations and obtain information on different types of jobs for future careers. The event was extremely well received by the students and the feedback from the exhibitors about our students’ engagement and attitude was phenomenal. You can see some pictures from this event on our social media pages.
The Summer Term ahead is already looking like a busy one for Post 16. We have trips booked to the UCAS Convention and two University Open Days for the Year 12 students in June. They will also be looking at how to be successful during interviews and will take part in a mock interview during their Enrichment Programme.
Final A-level exams are upon our Year 13 students, commencing the week beginning Monday 15th May. Students will be receiving their individual exam timetables shortly. I would like to take this opportunity to assure you that we will be supporting your child throughout this process in what will be a high-pressured time for them, both in class and from a pastoral perspective, within the Sixth Form Team. Should you have any questions or concerns regarding this, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Trips and Enrichment Week
This term, all our Years 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12 students will have some phenomenal opportunities with a number of trips and enrichment activities planned, allowing our students to demonstrate our Grace Values beyond the classroom and school community. Please continue to remind your child of the fantastic extra-curricular timetable which can also be seen on our website.
National awareness events will continue to be highlighted in the Academy this term, some of which include our Culture and Diversity Day, National Story-telling Month, Healthy Eating Week and World Music Day. We are looking forward to celebrating these events with the students and staff.
We are also pleased to invite you to our Summer Fayre which will be taking place on Saturday 1st July 2023. Please put this date in your diary and check our social media for more details.
Events and interventions
This term we have continued to work with external agencies to provide interventions, trips and events for all our students, so please do keep an eye out on our website and social media pages for updates (Grace Academy Coventry on Facebook, @GACoventry on Twitter).
We are looking forward to hosting our Year 6 Transition Day and Year 6 Parents’ Transition Evening so we can have the opportunity to meet and get to know our new Year 6 students and parents. We are currently busy behind the scenes organising a number of transition events and activities and we are also looking forward to finalising the details for our summer school which will be run for our incoming Year 6 students and Year 5 students who would like to come to Grace. More details will be sent in due course.
As we are aware, our children are becoming increasingly reliant on their phones and online games. West Midlands Police, in partnership with Coventry City Council's Prevent Team, would like to help make Online Safety easier to navigate and you are invited to join them on the 23rd May 2023 - please see this flyer for more details:
SENDIASS have upcoming Sessions and Events. Please take a look below:
You can find out more information about SENDIASS events and how to book via the SENDIASS website.
We continue to appreciate your support.
Mrs N Whiles