Blog #23 – w/c 22/03/21
Well, we have another week under our belt and we are a step closer to the Easter break. Students are settling back into the day to day routines of school life and, along with the brighter and warmer weather we’ve had this week, it feels like things are just beginning to resemble what we might expect to see at this time of year. After-school clubs are starting again (see below), and there is a sense that, after months of collectively holding our breaths, we can very cautiously begin to breathe out again.
It’s great to report that there have been no new cases in school this week; this is fantastic news. Thanks go to those of you who are committed to the lateral flow testing programme and continue to complete and record your test results. Please ensure that you have enough testing kits to last through the Easter break, and please continue to report the result on the NHS website until we are advised that this is no longer necessary. The testing, along with the wearing of masks in and around school has, without doubt, been a massively contributory factor in our response to the virus and continues to help minimise the further spread of infection in school and the community. When we look at what is happening at the moment in much of Europe, with new infections on the increase and some countries moving towards a third lockdown, it is important that we don’t give up now after such a lot of hard work and sacrifice.
Mental health and wellbeing
There is no doubt that it has been a really tough year and we fully acknowledge that all of us, staff, students and parents and carers, have faced a series of significant challenges.
At Blacon High School we have mental health and wellbeing right at the top of our agenda and, as such, we have committed to examining every area of our practice as part of our effort to achieve a nationally recognised school improvement award.
In the next few days, you will receive an email form ‘Award Place by Optimus Education’ with a link to a very short (I promise) survey that asks you for your opinion on our response mental health and wellbeing in the school; your responses, along with those of staff and students will offer a starting point for our development work in this area. Your input will be anonymous and much appreciated; thank you in advance.
Mr Cairns is delighted to announce that extra-curricular PE clubs re-started this Monday for Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 bubbles, and they will run until the Easter Holidays when the PE team will review provision and make changes for the summer term.
All after-school PE provision will run from 3.00pm – 4.00pm and the PE team note that staff are more than welcome to get into their kit and be involved with the clubs. Please rest assured that all clubs follow strict COVID-19 guidelines. Monday, Tuesday and Friday after school is devoted to KS3. When students finish school at 2.35pm they need to leave the school site and then return to the PE changing rooms in PE kit at 3pm ready for the club to start. PE club nights for Years 9, 10 and 11 are on Wednesday and Thursday after PM registration. Students can get changed for clubs after school but will leave school in their PE kit at 4pm.
The MFL department loves to encourage great ‘behaviour for learning’, and we look forward to identifying star language learners each month! The display board outside room 205 currently shows the names of those pupils who the MFL team feel best engaged with their online MFL lessons. The board will be updated with new names every month.
Can you be a Language Star and get your name in lights? Watch this space!
In the Food department, Year 10 have been demonstrating ‘gelatinisation’. This is when a sauce thickens due to the addition of starch, water and heat. Students had to put their food science hats on and create videos to illustrate their understanding of what was going on ‘under the microscope’. They did so well and some of their work was exceptional. Well done guys!
KS3 ‘Just for fun’ topic on Google Classroom
The KS3 ‘Just for fun’ topic is an optional area of Goggle Classroom where students can engage with Graphics alongside their normal class work. The aim of this topic is to encourage pupils to try something new within graphics without formal marking. This has been a great way to build pupils confidence in their graphics ability. Recently pupils had the option to create tributes for Sir Captain Tom Moore in their own style. They chose to engage with this task in a variety of ways, some drew illustrations by hand and others created PowerPoints. Each piece of work does not get marked but I give personalised feedback, the pupils creations were also celebrated and shared on the school blog.
English in Collaboration with Technology – Keeping Connected Project with the Blacon Action team
Blacon High School received a request to assist a charity who received funding to enable them to deliver meals and a gift to up to 200 residents who are normally involved in Blacon Organisations or find themselves on their own at the moment. We were asked to make cards to accompany these, so Technology designed some beautiful cards and in English, we brought the ‘poetry’ – here are some examples from Miss Illingworth’s class.
We’re not perfect, but we do endeavour to ensure that every student who attends Blacon High School is welcomed into our school community and benefits from the best environment in which to flourish, both personally and academically.
It always feels great when our efforts are appreciated and acknowledged, so huge thanks go out to all of those parents and carers who sent in nominations for staff recognition awards, which have been so gratefully receive.
As always, please contact us if you need any advice, help or support.