I hope this newsletter finds you and your families well.
For those of you who don’t know me, I'm Linda Baines and am one of the Assistant Headteachers here. At the end of this academic year I will have worked at John of Gaunt for 24 years so am now in a position where I have taught lots of our community including several parents!
As an Assistant Headteacher we have several areas of responsibility but the one you’ll know me for is being Head of Sixth Form, a role that is an absolute privilege. I work with a great team, and we’re passionate about supporting students with both their education and future plans.
This week we held our Year 13 Student Finance Evening with colleagues from Bath University. This is a really informative event to help families navigate through the application process and to find out what support is available.
Last week we looked at students’ potential future plans through our Employers' Fair. We had a range of employers (and Further Education representatives) in school for the day and students across the whole school were involved. It was a really informative event and the employers commented on how polite, engaged and chatty our students were with them. I’d like to thank Mr Perraton, Mrs Candy-Cornish and Mr Francis for their hard work in facilitating this event. Our Careers Team are here to support students and families, so please do get in touch if we can help you.
In the last week of every academic year, we allocate some of the week to activities. Year 12 students will be invoked in our Futures Days, Year 10 will be on Work Experience and Years 7-9 will be offered a range of activities to choose from, both inside and outside of school. The brochure of activities for Years 7-9 will be sent out via School Comms over the next few days, so please keep an eye out for that in your inbox. There are lots of great activities on offer!
This term is flying by, and I can’t believe it’s only 2 weeks until the Easter holidays! I’d like to wish all of our exam classes good luck with their revision in the run-up to those key exams.
Free School Meals payments/vouchers are being processed and will be with you on 31 March.
Discretionary Payments – unfortunately there will be no discretionary payments as we’ve not received any further funding for this but if you feel that you need support or advice please contact your Pastoral Lead.
Over the last week and a half, during tutor time, all students in years 7-11 have joined me and their year group team to remind ourselves of our positive behaviour expectations and celebrate some the excellent contributions and successes their peers have made over this term so far. It really is impressive how many positive behaviour points year groups are being rewarded.
Our key areas of focus are:
To be punctual to tutor time and lessons - so not to lose out on learning or disturb the learning of others
To place all their litter in the bins - maintaining the grounds we are lucky to have
To wear the correct uniform - in particular no hoodies please, only school jumpers and coats. If we see hoodies, they will be placed in the year leaders' office for the day. Students have been given time to inform their responsible adult(s) at home, or their year team, if they need any support with acquiring a jumper or coat as we understand we are in a cold period. On Monday we adopt our 'See it, lose it' policy. Please do contact us if you require any further help for your child to have the correct uniform.
Your support to reaffirm these positive behaviours will be appreciated.
Duke of Edinburgh
Congratulations to the following students who have completed their Bronze Award.
These candidates successfully completed many hours of volunteering, learning a new skill and taking part in a physical activity as well as the preparation, planning and completing their expeditions. They will be receiving certificates and badges for recognition of the award and be able to include their achievements on future CV’s.
There are many others who successfully completed the expedition last academic year who are on their way to completing the other sections and should be submitting their assessor reports. If you are one of their assessors please encourage them to complete the section.
Stars wanted - World Day for Cultural Diversity
Do you like the idea of starring in a short video to help celebrate your ethnic and cultural background? If so - on May 21st – it is 'World Day for Cultural Diversity' and we're putting together a video assembly for the school. We're asking JOG students from a range of ethnic and cultural backgrounds to take part. We'll film you in a mini interview-style clip and then edit them together to celebrate the range of voices from our community. You can take part in a small group, too. Share the three words that define you, what you are proudest of from your heritage, the most delicious food and the big occasions that you celebrate in the year.
HOW TO SIGN UP: To get involved, speak to or email Mrs Eagle in L14 who is co-ordinating the filming (email@example.com)
RE: Upcoming webinar for parents: Exam Room Skills - Minimising Stress and Maximising Marks
Elevate Education will be continuing their free parent support series on Tuesday 21st March at 6pm, with their webinar focusing on how you can help your child keep stress levels down and maximise marks on the day of the exam. Please feel free to sign yourself up to attend by clicking the link below. It was great to hear that some of our parents attended the last webinar - we hope you found it useful.
As a reminder, Elevate Education works with our students, delivering high impact workshops on study skills, motivation, wellbeing, and exam preparation. By tuning into their webinar series you will learn how you can help better support your children at home through reinforcing the skills they learn at school:??
Tuesday 21st March @ 6pm?
Exam Room Skills - Minimising Stress and Maximising Marks
Following a number of enquiries, we just wanted to let you know that the Year 11 Prom will be at Leigh Park, Bradford-on-Avon on Wednesday 5th July.
Many thanks on behalf of the REID group
Every year around the world, Muslims come together in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, the holiest of their year, to fast and pray. This is in order to achieve taqwa, a closeness to/consciousness of their God, and as a way to show gratitude and self-improvement.
Ramadan brings communities and families closer together, something highly important and encouraged in the Muslin culture, and aims to build a stronger bond to Allah and to help spiritual growth.
At the end of Ramadan, the communities will celebrate with the festival of Eid which begins with communal prayer and then three days of festivities, often with lots of food, the exchange of gifts, and family gatherings.
This year Ramadan is due to start on the eve of the 23rd of March, ending on the 21st April. Here at The John of Gaunt School we have a community of pupils who will be observing Ramadan during this window.
We share this as our support is with our students as they begin Ramadan, and we wish them a Ramadan Mubarak.
White Crow by Marcus Sedgwick
It's summer. Taken from the buzz of London, her friends and what she thinks is the start of a promising romance, Rebecca is an unwilling visitor to Winterfold.
Ferelith already lives in Winterfold - it's a place that doesn't like to let you go, and she knows it inside out: the beach, the crumbling cliff paths, the village streets, the woods, the deserted churches and ruined graveyards, year by year being swallowed by the sea.
Against their better judgement, Rebecca and Ferelith become friends, and during that long, hot, claustrophobic summer they discover more about each other - and about Winterfold - than either could have wanted. Frightening secrets are uncovered that would have been best long forgotten.
Interwoven with Rebecca and Ferelith's stories is that of the seventeenth century Rector and Dr Barrieux, master of Winterfold Hall, whose bizarre and bloody experiments into the after-life might make angels weep, and the devil crow . . .
Our Y9 students are studying gothic novels this term and as I have found myself immersed in all things gothic, I had to pick one for book of the week. I have chosen a modern gothic by one of my favourite YA authors. White Crow is a strange and gritty read. An eerie, modern gothic thriller about what awaits us after death - angels or the devil . . .
We held our annual careers fair on the 9th March.
A total of 26 employers and providers spent the day at our school talking to all year groups about careers and giving careers related advice. All the employers and providers stated that our young people are so polite compared to other encounters they have had in other school careers fairs. They were very impressed with the mature questions that they were asked!
Thank you to everyone involved in the event, especially the employers and providers who gave up six hours of their day.
If anyone in school would like further careers guidance, then email the careers team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr M Perraton
Halo Trust Article
As part of the OCR GSCE Citizenship course the participating students are tasked with running a campaign and fundraiser. This academic year the students have been researching the highly valuable work of the Halo Trust, a Wiltshire based charity. This organisation goes to areas that have suffered extensive damage due to war, and they are currently supporting and training local teams to dispose of land mines and unexploded bombs, in several countries, include Ukraine.
The students will be selling cakes and goodies at the Turtle during morning break on 24th March. Please encourage your child to participate in this event, find out a little bit more about their work and purchase some of the donated bakes.
Thank you in advance for your support.
Mrs Scott and Mr Perraton - Social Science Faculty
Last Friday, saw the first meeting of JOG Pride, following the school's successful Rainbow Flag Award. The meeting was well attended, with student members of the LGBT community, their friends, allies and staff allies too.
There was a really constructive discussion around future meeting topics and also items for the school council agenda.
We look forward to our future meetings and anticipate our next one being on Friday 31st March.