I don’t know about you, but this term has really flown by. It seems like only yesterday that it was the first day of school, and already we are at our first school holiday. The end of term always provides a time to look back and reflect. As I look back, I am full of pride for the provision we offer our students. Particular highlights for me this term have been: the sheer number of students involved in our Open Evening for Year 5 and 6; the school production; supporting the sports teams after school; and seeing the Year 7s return after their trip to PGL – although trying to direct traffic when the buses were late is not something I want to have to do again!
However, it is not only those big events that I am proud of. I have given countless tours of the school with prospective parents and eager Year 6 pupils. No matter when we go out, lessons are calm, students are well-behaved, and they are learning. It is time to say well done to students at John of Gaunt for getting the small things right – excellence every day!
A half-term break is also a chance to look to the future. You will have received a letter today announcing that the Regional Schools' Director has given the approval for The John of Gaunt School to join Equa Multi Academy Trust. We are absolutely delighted with this decision, and it really is exciting news. The distinctive ethos and character of our school will remain and what we are able to deliver will be enhanced through working together as a group of schools. As always, we will keep parents updated on our progress.
Listening to staff and students during Term 1, many raised questions about the purpose of Morning Welcome. It allows for greater consistency from tutors in the checking of uniform and homework; it is an opportunity for key messages and celebrations to be shared which helps build culture, character and a sense of community; and for me personally it allows for a very calm and orderly start to the day. However, we have a lot of students in the Sports Hall, and with being oversubscribed and full in Year 7, it can feel overwhelming for some; despite the best efforts to project voices it can be hard for to hear messages; and in wet weather the Sports Hall, which is PE’s teaching area has to be cleaned of water and mud. Therefore, from the start of Term 2 we are cancelling Morning Welcome.
The start of the school day remains the same, and students should be on school site by 8.30am and should go straight to tutor time, where tutors will conduct the checks and deliver notices with members of the Senior Team, Year Leaders, Assistant Year Leaders and Pastoral Managers in support. This will allow us to undertake an evaluation during Term 2 to agree how to proceed in the new year.
Also looking forward to next term we have the Sixth Form Open Evening on Thursday 10th November from 6pm, and I look forward to meeting Year 11s and their parents at this event, to celebrate what a fantastic offer we have to continue their educational journey with us.
This is always one of the longest terms in the school year and, after disruption to education over the last few years, perhaps the routine of school life has been more exhausting than previously. I hope, therefore, that everyone takes the opportunity over the next week and a half to properly relax and recharge the batteries.
Please remember, students start back to school on Tuesday 1st November, due to our INSET day on the Monday.
Vouchers for the half-term break have been posted/processed and will be with parents by the end of the week. Please note all year 7's are being sent a voucher even if older siblings have a bank payment.
Household Support Fund for Low income families
Vouchers have been posted to parents who applied for help and will be with you by the end of the week.
Advance Notice - Flu Immunisations
Years 7, 8 and 9 will be given their Flu Nasal Spray Vaccinations on 19th January 2023.
A consent link will be sent out to parents approximately 3 weeks before this date. Please ensure that you follow the instructions when you get this as verbal permission on the day will not be possible.
Year 10 Netball
On Wednesday after school the Year 10 Netball Team played against St Augustine's Catholic College and Melksham Oaks Community School at home. A very enjoyable game to both watch and for the girls to play. JOG A team won all their matches and player of the match went to Oliwia Reynolds and Aiyana Scott. JOG B team drew against St Augustine's B team and lost against their A team as well as against MOC.
Player of the match went to Grace Scotney for both matches.
Well played all!
Congratulations go to Jensen Walsh-Hill on recently completing his 100th Park Run.
We look forward to hearing when you have completed the next 100!
A massive Well Done to all year 7's who have contributed to this year's Christmas Shoe Box appeal, we are proud of you, and you should be proud of yourselves!
Today we were looking at the science behind butter making.
When shaking fresh cream, the fat molecules in the cream get shaken out of position and as the molecules are attracted to each other they clump together.
Eventually, after enough agitation, the fat molecules are clumped so much they form butter. During this process, the fat molecules get separated from the liquid in the cream, and this liquid is called buttermilk and can be removed to make scones or pancakes.
Year 10 Theatre Royal Trip – An Inspector Calls
To avoid disappointment, we encourage student places for An Inspector Calls trip to be booked by the end of October.
Payment options can be offered by contacting the finance team. Booking information is on Parent Pay; full details were sent home last week.
It will be hugely beneficial for students to see this renowned production of one of their exam texts - performed in the stunning Theatre Royal in Bath.
Years 10 & 11
To help GCSE students prepare for mocks we're running 3 extra Live-Lessons over the half-term break. These free Zoom based tuition sessions are open to all students.
Tuesday 25th at 4pm Chemistry: Electrolysis
Wednesday 26th at 4pm English Literature: Poetry Skills