- "Sunsets are proof that endings can be beautiful too"
- Thank you and Good Luck
- Creativity at JTFS
- Golden Ticket Treats
- Covid19 Information
- Canine Club
- Fantastic Food Creations!
- Stakeholder Voice
- Outdoor Education at JTFS
- Sounds Around Us - making music at JTFS
- MFL goes outside!
- Eco Schools - JTFS has won the Silver Award!
- UK Junior Maths Challenge Competition
- JTFS student helps our community
- JTFS Bronze Qualifier Weekend
- Enrichment Round-up
- JTFS is proud to feature in a newly released book
- Induction Week 6th - 10th September
- Essential Equipment
- INSET Day
- Inset Day
- Term Starts for Year 7 and Year 10 students
- Term Starts for Year 8 and 9 students
As the end of term approaches, it is with mixed feelings that we say goodbye to some of our students for the holiday. Unfortunately, some of our students have had to self isloate until the weekend, instead of being able to enjoy the last week of term and first weekend of the summer holiday. However, there is also much to look forward to. This image and quote has been used at tutor time this week to discuss how we can close the term positively and think ahead to our next academic year.
If all goes to plan, we will be able to have vertical tutor groups at last. This was always a key feature of the school and so we are delighted to be moving toward this in September. Our older students will be excellent role models for our younger students and support them with reading, homework and mentoring at tutor time. They will be able to show them around, support them in the LRC and lead some of our enrichment activities at last.
With a return to normality, we will have a full programme of enrichment available at lunchtime and after school. All students will be expected to take part in at least one activity per week to challenge their thinking or try something new.
We are looking forward to sporting fixtures, productions in the theatre and a more collaborative way of working. School will be open from 8.15am - 4.30pm as we were in 2018/2019 so that students can use the Learning Resource Centre or complete homework if required. The restaurant will return to the full menu, rather than the scaled down version, now that we have 1 lunchtime to cater for. We have also expanded the serving area to accomodate more students.
As we finish the term, I would like to thank the staff at JTFS for the hard work and dedication they have shown to the students this year. It has been a real challenge with year group zones, 3 different break/ lunchtimes and various groups working at home whilst others are in school. I am very grateful to each and every member of the team here for their contribution in delivering a high quality education in these circumstances. Your views on the Stakeholder Voice survey would indicate that you are very happy with the provision - so if you do get a chance, please send your child's tutor or member of staff an email to recognise their efforts. We will be publishing the results of the survey as soon as possible; as always lots of helpful feedback and suggestions which will support our planning for next year. If you haven't yet completed the ParentView survey for Ofsted, you can do so here.
Finally, thank you to you as parents - it hasn't been easy for you either to support your child during lockdown, whilst they are self isolating or during the disrupted period in school. One of the key features of the JTFS community is the partnership between home and school that enables your child to succeed and thrive so thank you for your support.
I wish you a happy and healthy summer holiday and hope that you enjoy the sunshine when it comes. With every sunset, comes a new day and a fresh start - let's hope that September 2021 is exactly that... a new beginning for John Taylor Free School.
We wish the following staff all the very best as they move on to pastures new. They have made a significant impact on our school community and we are grateful for everything they have done. Good luck to you:
- Mrs Hawkins - Science Teacher
- Mrs Allen - Geography Teacher
- Miss Bayliss - Learning Support Assistant
- Miss Musk - Cover Supervisor
- Mr Crane - Technician
Year 9 Art Extended Learning Project.
Students in Year 9 art have worked very hard to produce innovative and create work in response to their chosen themes. Their work was on display in the reception area for a week and the positive comments received from all who work or visit JTFS was overwhelming- Thank you to all involved.
Take a look at just some of our talented students work and we can't wait to see our Art students progress as they start their GCSE Art in year 10 from September.
Year 7 - When do we Celebrate?
Our Year 7 Art students took pride in completing a selection of colourful cake sculptures, inspired by the celebrations we have studied this Term. It has been a joy to see them learn new manipulation skills whilst consolidating their learning from this year in a creative and tactile outcome. We look forward to welcoming them back as Year 8s in September.
Students have been working incredibly hard over the last half term and we have seen a record number of Golden Tickets issued to students! Staff are given just one Golden Ticket to award to a student each half term, for something truly exceptional. The reasons they have been awarded this term range from creating incredible pieces of work, to showing kindness and exemplary manners around the school.
Well done to all who have received a Golden Ticket - we are very proud of you!
When we return to school in September, we are delighted that we will no longer have to operate in 'bubbles' and we are able to return to vertical tutor groups. Please note the following information:
- As per government guidance, face masks will still be required on the home to school bus service.
- Face masks will no longer be mandatory in school. If students would like to wear a mask, this should be plain and should be worn correctly covering both the nose and mouth.
- We will continue to encourage regular hand washing in school.
- The one-way system will remain in place around the building.
There is no requirement for students to complete Lateral Flow Tests over the summer break. However, if you wish to continue with testing, kits are available from most local pharmacies.
Students will be tested in school twice on their return in September and will be expected to test at home for at least September in line with current guidance. Further information about testing in school will follow in due course.
By way of a reminder, if your child develops symptoms of Covid19, the household should isolate until a negative test result is received. Please DO NOT send your child to school if they are showing symptoms of Covid19 or have received a positive LFT or PCR test result. Positive results should continue to be reported to school via Test Register and also via NHS Track and Trace.
Thank you for your continued support.
A small group of students have enjoyed taking part in Canine Club this half term. Canine Club gives them the opportunity to learn about what Pluto needs and Mrs Plant has been sharing some of his training with the students. The students take him for a walk around the school too - what a lovely way to spend lunchtime!
Year 7 and Year 9 have produced some amazing foodie creations as a result of their end of topic assessments.
Year 7 were presented with a team brief to produce Crudité Creatures and demonstrate their knife skills. We had some amazing team entries, and each class chose a winning team.
Year 9 ended the 'Fakeaways' topic with their practical assessment producing a range of takeaway dishes that can be cooked at home and are nutritionally improved. From stir fry to vegan curry, and pizza to burgers, the smells emanating from the Food Technology rooms were mouth-watering.
Year 8 have enjoyed learning more about different foods and preparation processes in the enrichment Food Club. We've made chocolate houmous, taste tested a variety of chocolates and watched Heston's Feasts programmes.
Thank you to those parents who shared their views by completing the recent parent survey. An overview of the results can be found below.
It has been a productive year in our outdoor education area this year, despite the impact of Covid, we have managed to replant some of the area with new trees and shrubs, added a new willow arch and an area for experimental vegetable growing in straw bales.
We have been fortunate to have support from our amazing school community too, the PTFA have been supporting OE with collecting donations of plants and tools from with school and wider community and set up a donation Wishlist on Amazon for us, which we have had a fantastic response from and thank you to all who have been so kind to donate and support our students. We would also like to thank Matt Reinforth Tree services for the ongoing donations of woodchip for our site.
In addition to this we have been sponsored by a local energy firm, Project Solar whose generous donation has enabled us to buy a polytunnel to prolong our growing season and start a new enterprise which will link in with all areas of the curriculum. This will be a great start to the next academic year outside!
As part of this year's learning, we have been learning about biodiversity and sustainability, and how we can adapt our practices across the school to become more aware of energy efficiency, reduce, reuse, and recycle and look at opportunities to become more environmentally aware at home and at school.
We have learned skills in tying knots, fire lighting, different tool use and learning to identify different plants and trees. We spent a week of lessons learning about the history of our local area biodiversity and how to reintroduce these species back into our own school area, thank you to the Transforming the Trent Valley organisation for supporting our learning.
Our Digital Music Production students spent a few lessons making music without any musical instruments! Students were only allowed to use sounds from around the school: basketballs in the Sports Hall, light switches, rubbish bins, crash mats, doors and windows – students were really creative with the sounds they used!
We spent one lesson collecting the sounds on iPad, another manipulating the sounds to create a rhythmic composition, and a final lesson to create an accompanying video. Here are three fantastic examples!
Year 9 have been learning how to understand and give directions to finish the Holiday topic in MFL this year. To this end, Mrs Ward put together an outdoor activity loosely inspired by a popular Channel 4 game show. There were French directions placed around the school for students to follow to bring back a specific French password phrase to complete the activity.
There was also an outdoor maze to navigate in pairs (thank you to the Miss Musk in the PE Team for her support!), one student was blindfolded and was given directions in French by their partner. Feedback from the activity has been incredibly positive from the students involved, several students were spotted following the instructions around the school at lunch time, and many other classes and year groups have been desperate to have a go!
Recently, the Eco Club and Outdoor Education group have been working towards becoming an international Green Flag Award Eco-School. The programme is designed to raise environmental awareness among young people and is run by the environmental charity keep Britain Tidy. Internationally, the programme is the largest educational programme in the world present in 67 countries and 52,000 schools. Our school is now part of this global community working to create environmental change for the benefit of future generations.
The Eco-Schools programme empowers students, raises environmental awareness, improves the school environment and can also lead to financial savings for schools. Being an active member of the programme is something our students will remember for the rest of their lives.
The programme focuses on ten important global issues:
- Global Citizenship
- Healthy Living
- School Grounds
Every school taking part in the Eco-Schools programme follows the same simple Seven Step framework that will allow us to work towards achieving green flag status. Our pupils have worked incredibly hard and have achieved the Silver Award for the school. So far as a school we have
- Developed an Eco Code
- Completed a biodiversity survey
- Planted trees and plants around the school grounds
- Entered a poetry competition that raises awareness of global issues
- Created signs to remind us to save energy within school
- Ensured that sustainability is taught across our school curriculum
Over the summer holidays we invited you to take part in our Eco Challenge as a family. Thank you to all the students and staff who have helped us to achieve our Silver Eco Award this year.
Earlier this term, 52 students from JTFS took part in this national competition
The Junior Mathematical Challenge is a 60-minute, multiple-choice Challenge.
It encourages mathematical reasoning, precision of thought, and fluency in using basic mathematical techniques to solve interesting problems.
The problems on the Junior Mathematical Challenge are designed to make students think. Most are accessible, yet still challenge those with more experience.
11 Year 7 students achieved a certificate including 1 Gold, and 2 Silver Awards. In Year 8 there were 5 Silver Awards and 1 Gold.
The 2 Gold Awareds were achieved by brother and sister duo Oscar and Maia. They have both qualified for the next round of the Maths Challenge which is the Kangeroo Paper. A fantastic acheivement - well done both of you!
One of our Year 9 students, Euan, has been busy helping his local community. He worked hard last weekend to help clear the path in Branston. He wanted to make sure that the footpath was safe and accessible for everyone so went out to strim and clear the overgown headgrow.
This shows the dedication he has to his local community. Euan has gone above and beyond and we are really proud of him. Well done!
On 22/23 May, John Taylor Free School Students headed off to Cannock Chase for their DofE Bronze Qualifing Expedition. They were required to work as a team in order to follow their planned route and reach their destination. The students spent time together in their teams, walking and practising their navigation skills. At the end of a long day, they had to demonstrate their cooking skills and create a substantial meal at the campsite.
Unfortunately, due to Covid restrictions they were not able to camp overnight. The following day students walked to their final destination with remote supervision by the assessors who were looking to see that they could navigate effectively and work together to solve problems along the way.
Students were able to use their newfound skills in map reading and team building to reach their goal. They also gained many new skills such as resilience and patience.
"On the DofE, I enjoyed the fact that I made new friends and learnt many new skills like map reading and Team building"
"I learnt that no matter how hard things get, I will never give up"
Developing their STRIPE skills was a key part of the process. Students were asked about which ones they had used to help them complete this award:
“The STRIPE skills I used were Participator and Team Building because we need needed to work as a team in order to decide which routes we needed to take.”
“I mainly used Innovate and Create skills to think of new ideas to use which would help locate ourselves.”
“The STRIPE skills I used were Team Building and Innovate and Create in order to work as a team and come up with new ways to boost morale within the group.”
Students also recommended the programme for upcoming students to attend when they reach Y9.
"I would 100% recommend it to others because it was a great experience, and I learnt many new skills."
Well done to everyone involved - all the students passed their assessment for this element of the award. Now they need to complete their eDoE logs to demonstrate development in their chosen skill and physical activity in order to gain the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award. When they have achieved this, students can continue to the Silver and Gold Award in the future.
Thanks also to the JTFS staff who gave their time at the weekend to support the students.
It’s been a challenging year, but students at JTFS have still managed to get involved in a variety of enrichment opportunities over the course of the past few terms.
Activities such as Race for the Line, Girls in Data and Poetry by Heart involved lots of our students in the Autumn Term, alongside weekly Times Tables Rock Star challenges!
We hosted a series of STEAM lectures back in the Spring Term, delivered by professionals via Teams. Our Peripatetic Instrumental lessons also got back on track, with teachers from Entrust Music Service Staffordshire visiting weekly to teach some of our students.
Our Lunchtime Enrichment programme offered 52 weekly activities for our students in the Summer Term, which included Running Club, Code Club, Needlecraft, Calligraphy, Eco-Schools, Keyboards and Dodgeball!
Here are a few photos from some of our activities:
"Cultures of Staff well being and Mental Health in Schools" was published this week and John Taylor Free School is delighted to have contributed to one of the chapters. The book is a collection of case studies demonstrating how different schools create a positive climate for mental health and well being.
Mrs Plant said "It has never been more important to talk about mental health and I am so proud to have contributed a chapter in this fantastic book. At JTFS we work really hard to support student and staff well being and I am sure we can learn a lot from the other examples written about here. We will continue to review, reflect and try to improve our approaches so that we can all flourish and be happy at school"
During induction week, Year 7 students will take part in an exciting range of activities to prepare them to be a JTFS student! This will include:
- Team building challenges
- Learning about the importance of STRIPE
- A treasure hunt to find their way around the school - where in the building will you find the quote below?
- Taster lessons to meet the staff and find out about how we learn.
We will also take some time to help them understand our systems and processes such as using GO4Schools, the restaurant and the Learning Resource Centre. They will gradually build up their timetable so that they will meet their teachers and know where they are going for different subjects. At the end of the week, they will take part in a team challenge which will bring all of their STRIPE skills together! We are excited about the week we have planned for them and hope they will be too - there is a lot to look forward to.
We will follow the normal times of the school day during the week and students should be in uniform.
Please use the holiday to get ready for next term. All students need to be in full school uniform. On days when they have PE on their timetable, they can arrive in PE kit and stay in kit all day to remove the need for the changing rooms. Details on the school uniform can be found here.
Equipment is required as students may not share any resources.
All students need the following items:
Classroom based lessons:
- Blue/ Black Pen
- Glue Stick
- Scientific Calculator
- Purple Jotter (we will provide these for each student at the start of term. They are expected in every lesson)
- Reading book
- Refillable water bottle (e.g. sports style container. We discourage single use plastics)
Innovate & Create Lessons:
- Apron (if you have one)
03 Sep 2021
Year 7 students go to the restaurant
Year 10 students go to their "base room" for the day - this information was sent to you via email.