I hope that this letter finds you well, at the end of another busy and productive term.
The focus on preparation for exams has been significant this term and will continue into the New Year. Students in Year 11 have been working hard during their mock examinations and I am pleased to see how they have applied themselves to the challenge. As the changes to curriculum and examinations take place over the next few years, the importance of thorough preparation will be essential to achieve success at GCSE and A level.
In all year groups, regular assessment will take place to enable students to practise the skills they will need. This will be supported by the work that students do independently, outside of school. This is an area in which parental support is vital, in promoting the importance of completing high quality homework and emphasising the need for thorough revision.
In early 2017, the mocks will continue for Years 10, 12 and 13, so please take the time to discuss with your son/daughter how they will be revising for all of their subjects. This will support our work in school through lessons and Active tutorials.
The Beacon School is committed to ensuring the welfare and safety of all our children in school and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. We believe that students have a right to learn in a supportive, caring and safe environment, which includes the right to protection from all types of abuse, where staff are vigilant for signs of any student in distress and are confident about applying the processes to avert and alleviate any such problems. The GLF Safeguarding Policy can be viewed on the school website under the Safeguarding section and also under the Policies section.
Highlights from the Term
Some of the highlights from Autumn term include our excellent school production of Grimm Tales, which included a cast of 90 students. The effort and commitment of both students and staff resulted in a magical and original performance on a grand scale.
We have also continued with our commitment to bringing in outside speakers to enable students to hear from successful people, and to hear different perspectives. We welcomed Professor John Irving, from the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and Crispin Blunt, Member of Parliament for Reigate constituency.
This year’s winner of the Last Choir Standing competition was 7MRA - so congratulations to them. We look forward to seeing them perform at the school’s Christmas Concert on the 20th December. We hope that many of you will join us for this celebratory event.
The following students have received a Principal’s Commendation during November and December 2016
Focus on Reading
We know that students who read regularly improve their work and enjoyment across every academic field. We have continued to raise the profile for reading through the introduction of Year 7 Reading Journals, expanding our stock of reading books, and bringing ‘pop-up’ libraries to the playground.
A busy term for Year 13 students has seen students completing their UCAS, apprenticeship and employment applications. We have seen a keen determination in our students to pursue their destinations post 16-19 study. University applications have included Oxford, York, Warwick, Bristol, Birmingham and many others. It is a tense but exciting time for students, as they receive their final grade offers and realising that it is now the time for the final big push towards achieving their goals.
Year 12 students have made an excellent start to their Sixth Form studies, making the transition to the challenges of A Level and BTEC Level 3 programmes of study, with focus and commitment.
The School Officials Team have been hard at work raising money for their chosen charity and are leading the way through Remembrance and House assemblies, speaking and representing the school at events and being role models for the younger students.
Current Year 11 students should look out for up and coming subject-specific taster sessions and are welcome to visit the Sixth Form after school at any time, for information and guidance on post-16 study options.
School Focus on ‘Growth Mindset’
As a school, we believe that a ‘can-do’ attitude to learning really helps our students to make the best progress. Extensive research underpins this, and we are working hard to instil the idea of a ‘growth mindset’ into our school community. It is important that all students from all starting points believe that they can achieve well and understand the need to practise continually to improve their performance. This is even more relevant as the focus on performance in exams becomes key to their future success. We have further training for staff in place for our INSET day in January 2017, where teaching and teaching support staff will be hearing from an expert in the field.
Our first term within GLF Schools has seen the development of close links to develop and share staff expertise, with regular opportunities for staff to share practice. In addition, we have become increasingly involved in the teacher training aspect of the Trust, to both gain from and contribute to the next generation of excellent teachers.
Parking/Dropping Off/Picking Up Students at School – A Reminder
Please be aware that we are occasionally contacted by local residents who have their drives blocked or used to turn around in. We have very good relations with local residents, so I would be very grateful if you could ensure that you do not double park or cause obstruction when you are dropping off or collecting your son or daughter.
I hope that you have a very good Christmas and wish you a happy New Year for 2017.
I look forward to welcoming students back to school on Thursday 5th January at the normal start time of 8.35am.
Thank you for all of your support during 2016.