A busy final week of this half term.....
(Posted on 14/02/20)
Another half term closes today, and it’s been an incredibly busy week to finish on!
On Monday, our Year 11 and 13 had their Year group photographs taken and for some of our students, this will be their final school photo – a memento worth buying!
Auditions for the next school performance, Aladdin, concluded last week, and Mr Phillips was so impressed with the standard of performances, that he has cast over 130 students! It will be one of our biggest ever productions and tickets are now on sale; see our website for further details.
Year 8 interim reports were issued yesterday via Edulink; an opportunity for parents and carers to see the progress made over the last term. Please spend some time with your children discussing the report and don’t hesitate to contact school should you have any questions or concerns.
On Thursday, the Year 11 boys’ football team played at home in the Quarter Final of the Chester and District Cup against Upton. It was 0-0 at HT, 1-1 at full time and after extra time. Then Eddie Stockton, Sam Nutt and Michael Stamper stepped up and scored their penalties whilst goalkeeping hero Tom Edwardson saved 2 to send them into the semi-final.
At the same time away at Upton, the Year 7 & 8 girls’ team won 4-2 to send them into the semi-finals of the Chester and District Cup as well, thanks to a hat-trick from Tia Turner!
All of this means that all 8 teams (Years 7 – 13 boys and Years 7/8, 9/10 girls) are through to the semi-finals of the Chester and District Tournament - an incredible achievement!
Also on Thursday, the Year 12 geographers braved four seasons in one day to participate in a really successful fieldtrip, to investigate urban change and regeneration in Liverpool. They used a range of techniques, including a perception analysis survey with the general public, to evaluate if the reimagining of Albert Docks had been successful and if the regeneration of Liverpool One had created a Zone of Decay elsewhere in the city. All Students behaved exceptionally and were a credit to the school.
In September, we tightened up on our policy of mobile phone use – students are not allowed to use them in the school building at any time, without the express permission of staff. This permits students to use mobiles as a research tool in lessons if required, and they can still use them in social areas. I know that this is a very divisive topic, with as many parents wanting us to ban mobile ‘phone use completely as there are those who think we have gone too far already! We keep all our policies under review and this one in particular is one we will have to revisit shortly. We are dealing with an increasing number of incidents that have their origin on social media, often out of school time and whilst these platforms offer huge potential, they are not without their risks. You may have seen a recent report from Ofcom, about mobile ‘phone usage amongst young people, with some very alarming commentary:
- Devices have become a fundamental part of life for most young people, with many admitting they are fearful of being without their phone.
- Overall, students now spend, on average, around three hours and 20 minutes each day messaging, playing games and being online.
- The report, based on a survey of 2,167 UK 5 to 16-year-olds, suggests that 53 per cent of children are now mobile phone owners by around the age of 7.
- Almost two in five – 39 per cent – of those questioned said they could not live without their phone, up from 33 per cent last year.
- More than half – 57 per cent – of all the children surveyed said that they always slept with their phone by their bed, while the same proportion admitted they did not know what they would do if they lost their device.
The report author acknowledges the difficulties of parents monitoring their children’s use of mobile technology, but I would urge all parents and carers to ensure the safety of their children whilst they are on line and to reinforce the age limits of many of the social platforms they access. We, as a school cannot police the internet or the use of social media by our students, but very often, we have to deal with the fallout in school. Working together, we can help ensure that students use these powerful devices appropriately and safely.
Over the half term break, the following school trips are taking place:
- MFL trip to Malaga
- Geography trip to Iceland
- Ski trip to Austria
I thank all the staff who are giving up part of their half term break to run these trips, and hope that all participants enjoy the experiences presented to them.
Whatever their plans, I hope all our students and their families enjoy their half term break.
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