- A new normal
- Dear JTFS students - A message from me to you
- We are Gold Standard!
- Choose Kind
- Children's Guide to Coronavirus
- IT Troubleshooting Guide
- Sources of support during the challenging times
- Try a new challenge!
- Time for a new hobby
- Let's just take the next step
- Mother's Day
- Home Learning
- Busy at Work!
- Science Week
- Number Day
- Marine Engineering Workshop
- Treasure Island
- English Football League Day of Action
We are now 2 weeks into a whole new way of being; a new way of working from home, learning independently, of being with family all of the time, communicating remotely with minimal physical or social contact. It is a whole new world for all of us. Everything has changed and that can be a scary time. As you look through this term's newsletter it is clear just how quickly the world has changed. However, it is also clear that the JTFS spirit remains strong! Students and staff are still turning up (remotely) working hard (online) and being nice to each other. Have a look at "Choose Kind" below. It has been all change but in many respects, some things are the same... which is always reassuring.
We hope you have a good break over Easter. If you want a challenge - try one or two of the the 30 day challenges, you certainly don't have to do them all!
Stay home, stay safe and we will see you again very soon.
The JTFS Team.
My last couple of messages have been via Youtube. It is not something I am used to or comfortable with - vlogging is not something someone of my age should be getting into! Usually I am able to talk directly to you. I speak to you in assembly, in the corridor, at break and lunchtimes and I am there at the end of the day to say goodbye and have a nice evening. Talking to you is one of my favourite parts of the day. Having to do so via vlog is definitely taking me out of my comfort zone!
I know that some of you will wonder what a Head teacher does all day - do I just sit in my office and play with Pluto? What exactly do I have to do on my computer? Much of what I do is about planning for future events, or evaluating what we have done to make it even better next time. I have meetings with students, staff and governors and have to account for what we do.
However, the reason I became a teacher in the first place is because I like working with young people. Whenever I tell someone what my job is the most common response is:
"teenagers? why do you want to work with them?!"
I do it because I enjoy it. I like seeing young people develop their thinking, their personalities and go on to do great things. I don't mind when people make mistakes as long as they learn from them and don't keep repeating the same bad choices. Growth and development is what motivates me.
Why am I telling you all this now? It is because I have realised that I am missing being able to talk directly to you; to have a conversation with you and hear about your day. I enjoy getting to know you and your family and that level of contact is so much harder at the moment. I am also telling you this because I know that you will be finding some aspects of life at the moment hard too and you need to know that you are not on your own. It is hard for all of us. Everyone at the moment has their own challenges; it might be that someone in your family is poorly, you might not be able to see grandparents, cousins or friends. And like me, you might be missing being able to talk to people you are used to seeing everyday.
This newsletter contains lots of sources of help and support. Please don't feel that you are on your own. Your familiy at home and your teachers are here to help you. Keep reaching out, keep connected and keep talking to each other. Most of all, stay at home, stay safe and if you want to - send me an email to tell me what you're up to or a photograph of something you're proud of. It might just help keep me connected too.
JTFS has achieved the Gold Standard in the All Together Programme
Established by the Anti-Bullying Alliance, a national organisation, the programme reflects the importance the school has regarding inclusion, tolerance and diversity. We have prioritised this area to continue to develop and embed the ethos we want to achieve.
To acheive this award, we had to rate ourselves against key indicators and justify those ratings with a ‘how do you know’ response. This was developed into an action plan and the process was repeated in February to highlight progress made. Alongside the work by staff, the students were also asked for their opinions via a well-being questionnaire. Again this was completed at the start and the end of the programme.
We are really proud to have achieved the Gold standard – the highest award possible. In order to receive the All Together School – Gold status we needed to show a minimum of:
- An improvement in wellbeing of our students in completing the wellbeing questionnaire
- An improvement in the outcomes of the indicators in the final audit, with a comprehensive review of actions demonstrated
Whilst proud of this achievement, we will never become complacent and have already begun to establish our next action plan to further improve our work linked to the wellbeing of our students.
If you need support accessing Microsoft Teams or Go4Schools - you can get some help and support from our troubleshooting guide.
If students are having any issues accessing Microsoft Teams on Apple devices, then they will need to install the Teams app.
This is available for download at: https://teams.microsoft.com/downloads
There are known compatibility issues when using Teams on the Apple web browser Safari, so installing the app will allow Teams to be used with full functionality.
We know that these are difficult times for everyone. Each family will be affected in different ways. We have collated some resources which may be helpful to you if you need support.
Local Food Banks:
Burton YMCA: The YMCA food bank gives out emergency food parcels which contain enough food for 3 days. Typically, a parcel will contain cereal, pasta, tinned meat and vegetables, tea and coffee.
Address: Reconnect, James Court, James Street, Burton upon Trent, DE14 3ST Tel: 01283 547211
The Soup Kitchen: We offer hot soup, hot and cold drinks. Open 3 days a week – Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Address: 22 Rangemore Street, Burton upon Trent,
Derby: the ones we found require a proof of address.
Lichfield Food Bank: To access you need to have a valid foodbank voucher. Open Tuesday 10:00-12:00, Wednesday 13:00-15:00
Address: Life Church, Netherstowe, Lichfield, WS13 6TS Tel: 01543 254596
Wade Street Church: To access you need to have a valid foodbank voucher. Open Friday 12:30-14:30
Address: Wade Street, Lichfield, WS13 6HL Tel: 01543 253003
As a headteacher, there are times when you are faced with challenges. Sometimes it is about a lesson that hasn’t worked out, a set of examination results that weren’t as expected or a troubled young person who doesn’t quite see a situation as you do! There are other more profound challenges too - budget cuts, redundancies, changes to the Ofsted framework and curriculum all present us with difficult decisions. This last week has been one of the toughest that many headteachers and their colleagues will have faced. The rate of change is rapid; the demands on us, as educators, decision makers, leaders and human beings, are high.
I have been well supported by the team here and more widely by JTMAT and have never felt that I am making these difficult decisions on my own. The JTFS team have pulled together to provide work for students to complete at home. They have reassured the students, each other and parents as all of us face the uncertainty of an extended period of closure. I am proud to work alongside such dedicated and hard working professionals. The staff here are doing everything we can to support the wider community who are also in difficult circumstances.
We are all trying to do what we joined the profession to do which is put the education of young people first. I strongly believe that teaching young people is not just about the content of your lesson; it is about the way in which we behave in each and every situation that teaches the next generation how to be.
As we face these challenges, it is easy to complain about a lack of information, not enough resources, support or guidance and those things may (or may not) be important right now. In my view, amongst everything else, the most important thing is that how we behave and respond now will influence the education of all the young people we work with. If we are quick to judge, they will judge too; if we panic and dramatise, they will feel even more anxious and uncertain. If we consider others before ourselves and think of the wider community then our students will see and learn from this. Nothing about this situation is easy but one thing is for sure – we can only take one step at a time and in doing so remember that this, in itself, teaches our children something. When times are hard, we walk side by side and just take the next step.
Head of School
We hope that you enjoyed Mother's Day yesterday. Enrichment this term has been busy with various activities to create something special for all the JTFS mums. This is what the students made in the sugar decorations club last week. We have some very talented students!
As our JTFS community is working hard from home, we thought you might like to see some pictures of our staff team in their 'home offices'. See if you can spot some familiar faces!
As this week is Science Week, the STEAM club has been running a pop up enrichment competition every day next week. The STEAM club is leading the delivery all of the activities on offer. The itinerary will be as follows:
• Monday 9th March – Arctic base design competition
• Tuesday 10th March - Earthquake house competition
• Wednesday 11th March - Peg pen competition
• Friday 13th March – Bath bomb making
We look forward to revealing our creations next week!
Friday 7th February was the NSPCC’s 20th nationwide Number Day to celebrate all things number and provide opportunities to raise money for the charity.
JTFS students engaged with the day by completing a school-wide number hunt that explored the many types of number they will experience throughout years 7 to 11…and some from A level mathematics too!
With the competition all square at the beginning of the day, students vied for prime position by looking for the perfect route around the school to collect the numbers they needed. Keeping all negative and irrational thoughts at bay, they were able to quiz teachers without being obtuse in order to investigate the new meanings and complete the number hunt.
Here’s a small selection of some of the posters …which types of numbers do you recognise?
At the end of January, all our year 7 students took part in a marine engineering workshop run by the Sea Cadets. The aim of this event was to enthuse students our students about STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) and encourage them to see career opportunities outside of experiences they may already be aware of.
Students were spoken to by a group leader from the SEA Cadets and were given a challenge. They had to build a boat out of paper and foil that was capable of holding the most marbles. Students were given the background forces equations upon which to base their calculations and this scenario was direct based on the example of an oil tanker. The students were encouraged to use their STRIPE skills in teamwork resilience, innovate, and create to succeed in their challenge. Some of our students managed to design a boat that could carry in excess of 200 marbles.
Students were asked to explain how this links to our driving question this term
- What are the challenges that face our world?
- It links because boats are a more environmentally friendly way of moving cargo than aeroplanes, so improving boats reduces our carbon emissions.
- It links because we discussed the environmental problems, about how if the boat had a leak and it was carrying oil it would make a massive impact on the environment because all of the oil will have spilt into the ocean and pollute it
- Why are new discoveries important?
- so you can build better and stronger boats
- It's better to sail then fly by plane because we increase the pollution into the air and it create climate change.
The Sea Cadets are passionate about inspiring young people to engage with STEM subjects and highlight the career opportunities in Marine Engineering. They offer a range of experiences for young people which are available to see here . https://www.sea-cadets.org/
As part of our ongoing enrichment at JTFS, we had arranged for students to go to the Derby Theatre production of Treasure Island this week. Due to current restrictions this has been cancelled... but never fear, because staff at JTFS have decided instead to bring the performance to life for you (the first part, anyway).
If you loved this, try reading the book or watching the National Theatre production which will be streaming on YouTube from 7pm on Thursday 16th April to 23rd April.
National Theatre YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUDq1XzCY0NIOYVJvEMQjqw
Whole text of Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson: https://www.gutenberg.org/files/120/120-h/120-h.htm
The English Football League Day of Action aims to unite football clubs and their communities. Managers and players from most of the EFL's clubs organised events on Tuesday 10th March. At St George's Park, Burton Albion Community Trust we able to give a group of young people the opportunity to meet Nigel Clough and the Brewers first team and watch a training session. 10 students from John Taylor Free School attended as a reward for their outstanding work and attitude to learning in school.