It has been great to welcome students back after the half-term.
As you will know we have made a number of adaptions to our COVID restrictions within school. We have balanced this carefully in-line with Government Guidance and been really pleased with the results. This week it has been wonderful to see our students moving to all their new classrooms, including our Year 7 students for the first time. I know some of them were slightly unsure about where some of their rooms were on Monday but by the end of the week they were able to navigate themselves around brilliantly.
In addition, it has been so nice to allow greater freedom during break and lunchtime. Our field has been really popular during these times, full of students enjoying picnics and ball games!
In addition, this week our Year 12 students have focused really well with their mock exams and our Year 10 students are starting to prepare for their first set of forthcoming mock exams.
This week we were also able to meet some of our new Year 6 students who are attending in September.
As always, have a good weekend and let’s hope for a good start for England in their match on Sunday afternoon!
We would like to extend our thanks to Bouygues UK who have very kindly donated 10 of their laptops to the school. Bouygues have a policy of upcycling their ICT hardware and donating it to schools, and we were lucky to be successful in our bid to secure 10 laptops for The John of Gaunt School, Trowbridge
Donations like this make all the difference in school as we are able to provide laptops for students who may need them in lessons due to injuries or challenges with their handwriting. We can use them to support GCSE and A Level students with exam access requirements when they sit internal and external exams. Laptops can be used to enable students to conduct further research in lessons or complete presentations, helping them acquire transferable and employable skills.
So, thank you Bouygues Construction UK very much indeed- your generosity will make a big difference to students in our school.
I don’t want my child to have free school meals, so what’s the point of applying for Pupil Premium funding?
Even if you do not wish your child to receive free school meals, if they are eligible for Pupil Premium (PP) funding we can (and do!) use the additional funding to boost our provision and are able to support families to ensure their child does not miss out on any valuable opportunities or experiences. Here are some examples of how we use our funding to bridge the gaps…
Our curriculum has benefited over the years. With the additional PP funding we have been able to employ Higher Level Teaching Assistants who have supported our Catch-up programme and Literacy/Numeracy additional classes at KS3. This has led to the majority of our students who have joined JoG below the national expected levels in English and maths to progress rapidly to now be working in-line with their peers.
We have also used the additional funding to support students from all year groups to access on-line, small group core subject teaching after school with undergraduates through the National Tutoring Programme (NTP).
Accelerated reader is another programme that has been funded by our PP funding. An integral aspect of how our library runs, PP funding helps us regularly purchase new and relevant books and run the software programme that has been boosting ALL our students reading in Yr7 & 8.
“What Accelerated Reader does so well is help students find their reading confidence - regardless of their starting level. The book quizzes introduce a bit of fun but more importantly: it helps show even the less confident students what they are capable of reading.”
Mrs Bruton, Learning Resources manager
We have four academic mentors who support a range of students at KS4 & 5, including those who have pupil premium funding.
“The Academic Mentoring Program is a positive approach to support key students in KS4 to help prepare them fully and effectively for their exam and coursework requirements. Students receive individualised subject-based tuition and revision guidance as well as regular check-ins and plenty of encouragement! A supportive partnership between mentor, mentee and home is developed and regular communication is encouraged. We aim to provide a learning environment where each key student can thrive and achieve their absolute best.
This programme also allows for funding to be used towards materials, books and general resources for school use. In Art this year students have benefitted from using specialised art materials such as spray-paint, for example, which has enabled each student to fully express their creativity and exploration of skill development in this subject area and allowed for a greater depth of artistic study“
Miss Farion, Academic Mentor
“I feel that my organisation and focus has improved significantly by working with my mentor” Yr 12 student
“I’m very glad I had the chance [to work with the mentors] as they both helped me massively. They also changed my attitude towards school.”
“I am really glad I had the chance to work with the mentors. I had the opportunity to go over things I wouldn’t have been able to in class in a 1 to 1 setting.”
“The unique approach they [the mentors] used to encourage you and help you succeed is really motivating.”
“The mentors were a massive help and future Yr10’s will be glad to have them both!”
Yr 11 students
All our PP students, when entering KS4, are provided with free revision guides in all their subjects – that’s a real saving for parents!
Over the last two years, the government has prioritised PP students to be loaned laptops to support them with their studies. At The John of Gaunt, we have worked effectively to provide ALL our students who require laptops a device.
Throughout an academic year there are many additional trips, excursions and events for all year groups that enhance students’ learning experience that cannot be provided by the school and families need to pay for these. For students who have PP status, financial subsidies can be made to ensure they have an equal opportunity of participating in all extra-curricular programmes offered including having music lessons paid for!
You can see the benefits. If you feel you maybe eligible for Pupil Premium (PP) funding then please use this link to apply or find our more details.
The Word is out - sponsorship opportunities to support The John of Gaunt School
Next term, we are organising an exciting summer festival and are seeking sponsorship from businesses in the region. A vibrant medley of events and activities are being organised to celebrate the spoken and written word across the school. ‘The Word 2021’ festival is already underway, but additional funds from local companies will offer a boost of income. Extra funding will be focused on celebrating our students and giving the school a festival feel.
What can you do?
If you work at a business that might support us, please could you bring this opportunity to your HR manager? Do you own a local company that wants to help make a difference? If so, please see the Sponsorship Opportunities In return, we can offer an accreditation package to thank supporters. Interested companies or individuals to please email their interest – specifying which option - to email@example.com by 25th June.
Every week you will find a new reading recommendation. It will be a mix of new and old books and all recommendations are available in your school library.
Would you like to recommend your favourite book? Pop in to see Mrs Bruton!
Echo Mountainby Lauren Wolk
During the height of the Depression, Ellie and her family experience the hardship of life at the bottom of a mountain. Friendship is at the heart of this tale of what people can achieve when pushed to their limits. This compelling and thoughtful plot creates an experience that will stay with the reader long after the final page.
The grim life and ever-present tension of the Great Depression looms in this quiet but compelling plot. Descriptive and immersive figurative language draws the reader in to a family story of dynamic relationships. The titular mountain is a character in its own right, with a real presence in the story, with the echoes within the plot, including echoes of other stories, playing an important role. The conclusion of characters’ healing experience, both medically and emotionally, makes this a novel to be treasured.
Echo Mountain has been shortlisted for this year’s Carnegie Medal.
Supporting careers education, information and guidance at JoG
CAREER of the WEEK
This week is Dieticians' Week and the Association of UK Dieticians is promoting the role of dieticians and dietetic assistants. Dieticians use scientific and medical research to advise people on their food and nutrition choices. To become a dietician, you must complete a degree in dietetics or an apprenticeship degree. Dieticians are one of the 15 allied health professions. For more info about this role, visit the Health Careers website. Dietetic assistants work with dieticians and help people with their diet and nutrition. There are no set entry requirements to become a dietetic assistant. For more info about this role, visit the Health Careers website.
UCAS Discovery week 22nd- 26th June
UCAS/Discovery Week is almost here with live application clinics, personal statement workshops, careers showcase, taster sessions, 100+ universities and employers to explore and meet, and lots more...
Whatever stage your child is at with their future plans, everything they need to get ahead this summer is packed into just one week, and all online.
So, whether your son/daughter is looking for some inspiration. Need help with choosing the right path, course, university, apprenticeship or are ready to make a start on their application. Help them take the next step this summer and get them signed up today.