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January 2011 Dear Parents and Carers As we get into our stride for the new year, I thought it would be helpful to highlight some key events for our students over the next term. Across all year groups there is a lot happening between now and the Easter break and especially for Year 11 students. With coursework out of the way it is time now to really focus in on revision and exam preparation. Workshops and revision sessions are available for students to dip into according to their individual study needs. Please encourage your Year 11 children to make the most of these. To help with organisation for all students we have included a reminder of key dates at the end of this letter and further information is available on our school website. Last term we received some useful feedback from some parents who felt that there was a lack of clarity and some inconsistency regarding „homework‟. We have been looking into the concerns raised and information will be sent out to you shortly which I am sure you will find useful. As always, there is a lot to look forward to this term, not least the next Upper School Production of “Footloose”. Miss Upham, the Producer, and Mr Davidson, the Musical Director, have been working hard for many months now and the show promises to be a real winner. Performances will be at 7 pm on 2nd and 3rd March and tickets will be available from school after half term, adults £5, concessions/students £3. Year 7 have a very interesting time ahead researching life in the First World War with a Visiting Theatre Group as part of their ILC work on the Michael Morpurgo story, “War Horse”. Already they have learnt about “everyday life” at the time and experienced first hand some of the issues faced by soldiers digging trenches. Across the school our students are involved in electing student representatives for the Youth Parliament. Finding out about how democracy works is an important part of their learning as young citizens and we very much appreciate the support from Miss Pow and Mrs Hurst in this initiative. Year 9 are starting the important process of choosing the right pathway for their Key Stage 4 studies. There is a lot in the news at the moment about the value of some subjects over others. Please be assured that we will make sure that each child has the chance to follow the programme of study best suited to his/her skills, interests and possible career pathways in later life. As a school we believe in a broad and balanced “diet” for all young people not least

because few people nowadays have a job for life. Young people need to have a range of skills and be adaptable, life-long learners. On a practical front, please remember the “Extreme Weather” arrangements we have in place: The school website will have a notice on the home page by 7.45 am at the latest to confirm whether the school is open or closed BBS Somerset, Heart and Total Star FM will have regular updates about school closures A text messaging service is also being introduced to let you know if school is closed to the day. (As always, please make sure we have your latest contact details.) Finally I would also like to say “Thank you” to those of you who shared details about the benefits you are receiving so that we could up-date our Free Schools Meal register. Some parents let us know that their children were eligible even though their choice was NOT to take up the offer of a free school meal. Regardless of take-up, in our school, every additional eligible student on the list will generate a minimum of £430 into our budget. I trust that the information enclosed is helpful. As always, please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any queries or concerns. Your child‟s tutor is always a good person to start with, but other key staff will be happy to help - the Head of Year, a member of SLT or myself. We want our school to be the best it can be and are pleased to receive your feedback to achieve that. Please find attached a list of key dates for the term. With best wishes Yours sincerely

PAT HOLLINGHURST Head PS. As a school we recognise the importance of extra-curricular activities. Please encourage your children to take part in as many clubs and other learning opportunities as possible. A current favourite is Film Club every Thursday night 3.30 – 5.30 in the School Hall.

Key Dates – Spring Term 2011 Date Monday 10 January Tuesday 11 January Thursday 13 January Monday 17 January Wednesday 19 January Thursday 20 January Friday 21 January Tuesday 25 January Thursday 27 January Monday 31 January Tuesday 1 February Thursday 3 February Monday 7 – Friday 18 February Monday 7 February – Friday 4 March Tuesday 8 February Wednesday 9 February Monday 14 February Wednesday 16 February Thursday 17 February Friday 18 February Monday 21 – Friday 25 February Monday 28 February Tuesday 1 March Wednesday 2 March Thursday 3 March Friday 4 March Saturday 5 March Monday 7 March Monday 14 – Friday 18 March Monday 14 – Friday 25 March Wednesday 16 – Friday 18 March Monday 21 March Thursday 24 March Monday 28 March – Friday 1 April Tuesday 29 March Thursday 31 March Monday 4 April Monday 4 – Friday 8 April Monday 11 – Monday 25 April

Year Group 11 10 Some 10 & 11 students ALL 9 Some 10 & 11 students Some 10 & 11 students 9, 10, 11 11 10 Year 11 Diploma students ALL 9 Some 9 and 10 students 11 9 10 ALL ALL 10 9 11 ALL 10 10 11 10 and 11 ALL Some 9 and 10 students Some 9 and 10 students 9 ALL ALL ALL 10 8 and 9 ALL 11 7 Some 10 Some 9, 10, 11 students 11 ALL 10 ALL

Event Art Mock exam all week Science Super Learning Day Biology Exam HOUSE POINT WEEK* Exam Week Chemistry Exam Physics Exam Bridgwater College Open Evening GCSE History Exam GCSE History – American West Exam GCSE Functional Skills HOUSE POINT WEEK* Learning Pathways Evening Intermediate Maths Challenge Mock Exam Fortnight Learning Pathways Meetings begin Parents‟ Evening SCHOOL CLOSES AT 12.30 pm HOUSE POINT WEEK* Bridgater College Parents‟ Evening Photographs HALF TERM Science Super Learning Day Maths resits – Unit 1 Maths resits – Unit 1 and 3 Core Science Exam World Maths Day Physics Lecture Mentor Review Evening Learning Pathways Interviews complete Intergeneration Heritage Project – Chilton then and now (Details to follow) HOUSE POINT WEEK* Science Week Exam fortnight RAF visits to Chilton HOUSE POINT WEEK* GCSE Expressive Arts Exam Parents/Tutors meeting Diploma Students Work Experience Week Mentor Celebration Evening 7–9 pm Parents‟ Evening HOUSE POINT WEEK* Work Experience Week EASTER HOLIDAY

* HOUSE POINT WEEKS As you know, House Points are awarded for a range of successes, including hard work, achievement, service to the school and thoughtfulness to others. These are awarded at any time throughout the weeks. House Points for good behaviour, however, are only awarded during House Point Week. A student can only achieve a Behaviour House Point if there have not been ANY issues with their behaviour since the last House Point Week. Chunking good behaviour down in this way rewards students who always behave well and it also helps those who struggle to manage themselves appropriately at times. Setting a target for behaving well for the next two or three weeks keeps students with behavioural difficulties more focussed and in the end helps everyone learn in a better classroom environment.


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