- A time for optimism
- Planning Ahead for P16 Education at JTFS
- Welcome to the Senior Leadership Team
- How do we celebrate?
- JTMAT 2022 World Book Day
- Eco Club's Big Clothes Collection
- Artists of Language
- JTFS World of Walking Charity Challenge
- Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award winners
- JTMAT Up For Debate Champions!
- A podium finish at the JTMAT Science Quiz!
- Students learning about Personal, Social, Health and Careers Education
- Birdfeeders and Strawberry Plants
- Year 9 Netball Back on Court
- Sports fixtures with De Ferrers
- Governor Update
- Outdoor Learning
- Students return to school
- Early May Bank Holiday
- Year 7 Student Led Consultation
- End of Half Term
- INSET Day
- Students return to school
- JTMAT INSET Day
- End of Term (12:30 finish)
To our wonderful JTFS Community,
I would like to thank you all for your support during what has been an incredibly challenging term at JTFS. We have faced significant issues with Covid related absence for students and staff and you have been very understanding with our need to move to remote education for a short period of time. We are grateful for this support and recognise the problems it causes for you at home. I wanted to reassure you that we are doing everything possible to ensure that students remain in school and that we only move to remote learning as a last resort.
Now that the clocks have changed, the weather is getting warmer, I am hoping that spring brings us a time for optimism. Higher temperatures means more time outside and with the windows open - this is well known to improve our mental health and sense of well being. Here at school we also welcome some new members of staff who join us in the summer term:
- Mr Lacey - Progress Leader for Marchington and Kingstone
- Mrs Hammond White - English Teacher
- Mrs Edwards - History Teacher
- Miss Wilton also returns from maternity leave and as well as having her baby, she got married and is now Mrs Ridley - congratulations!
We are looking forward to welcoming them to the team.
There has been much to celebrate this half term with success on the sports field, numerous enrichment and charity events taking place as well as students being awarded praise points, merits and Golden Tickets for effort and achievement in school. Celebration assemblies took place last week and we recognised the efforts of those who have been "turning up, working hard and being nice". We have also been talking to students about what our rewards should look like and more information will follow on this soon.
Year 10 students have been thinking about what the end of Year 11 will look like for them - how do we celebrate the first cohort of JTFS students as they complete their GCSEs? We need to make sure this is a really special event!
The summer term is also a time when we start to meet our new intake who join us in September. Induction activities will be taking place both here at JTFS and in the primary schools to ensure that students are well prepared when they start in Year 7. We will be full in years 7 - 11 from 2022 onwards, with 1,170 students in school!
So, even though there have been challenges in recent months, there is also much to look forward to and we remain hopeful that the positive approach we have at JTFS will carry us forwards to even better things.
“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all –“
Whether you are celebrating Easter, observing Ramadan, or enjoying time at home with your family over the coming weeks, I hope the sun shines and you enjoy the holidays.
We cannot believe that the time has come to plan for the end of Year 11 and into P16 Education for our very first cohort. We want this to be a very special time for them.
The Student Leadership Team have been talking to their peers and meeting with us to help plan some special events, including a yearbook, leavers hoodie, celebration assembly and of course a Prom night to remember. We only have outline plans at the moment, but as soon as we have more details we will let you know.
We are also looking ahead to pathways for students beyond their GCSE programmes of study. Time will be spent in PSHCE looking at different routes, options and entry requirements for various pathways at P16.
Discussions have taken place with students on what they want to see on offer at JTFS and we will be using this information to send a questionnaire to all our Year 10 students. We want to know all about their aspirations, what support they would like and how we can help them to succeed and thrive beyond GCSEs. We have also secured the services of a Careers Advisor to support those who are finding it a bit more difficult to know where to go next.
Looking ahead to the end of Year 10, there will be a formal exam period (Monday 13th June - Friday 24th June) for this cohort. They will experience their exams in the same format as the GCSEs in order to practice before they get to Year 11. Next year, there will be a Trial Exam session in November and in February to support them as they approach their final, external examinations.
Year 10 also have work placement to look foward to which takes place Monday 27th June - Friday 1st July. We hope that placements are now organised and approved. If you need any help with this please contact Mrs Pollitt (email@example.com)
This is an exciting part of the John Taylor Free School journey, and we look forward to sharing updates with you over the next term.
I am excited to be joining the Senior Leadership Team as AHT. I joined JTFS in 2020 as Progress Leader and Teacher of Drama and have thoroughly enjoyed being part of the growing JTFS community. My career journey thus far has given me a broad knowledge of the pastoral support students need alongside their teaching to succeed in their school journey. I am excited to develop the school reward policy in consultation with our students to recognise the outstanding work we see on a daily basis. I consider it a privilege to work with our students and see how they grow as young people.
Mr Davis: Assistant Headteacher Thrive
I joined JTFS in September 2018 as Lead Teacher for Literacy across the Curriculum following 3 years as Assistant Head of English at John Taylor High School. I eventually became the Curriculum Leader for English and Literacy Across the Curriculum. I am passionate about ensuring that our students receive a broad and balanced curriculum offer so that they can access a range of enriching cultural experiences regardless of their background therefore enabling our students to grow into well rounded, confident and compassionate adults. I am most looking forward to developing exciting and memorable learning opportunities both in and outside of the classroom for all students to succeed and thrive.
It has been a pleasure to work at JTFS since we opened our doors to students in September 2018 leading on our evidence-informed approach to teaching and learning as well as helping to shape our curriculum. I am excited to have been promoted to the role of Assistant Headteacher to help all students and staff succeed and thrive. I am particularly enthused to oversee and develop our evidence-informed Professional Learning programme that helps our school to be at the forefront of pedagogical practice and curriculum provision. I will also be supporting our Early Career Teachers in helping them progress to be excellent classroom practitioners. I am committed in ensuring every member of our school community feels supported and is striving for excellence at every opportunity.
This April is an important time for some of our faith community at JTFS. For many it is a time for remembrance, community, and an opportunity to develop their self-discipline.
Students at JTFS have been learning about the importance of Ramadan in order to support our Muslim students during their period of fasting. From 2nd April some of our Muslim students will be remembering the revelation of their holy text, the Quran. They will do this by fasting for 30 days for Ramadan. This is one of the five pillars of Islam, Sawm, meaning that by fasting they will be fulfilling one of the obligations of their faith. For some of our students, this year will be their first year of attempting to fast for the full 30 days and they will be joining millions of Muslims around the world attempting to do the same. Ramadan develops a strong sense of community in our student’s, and they have shown amazing resilience during this time, continuing their studies with effort and resilience despite facing the challenges that comes with not being able to eat or drink during the daylight hours.
For our Christian Students, Easter will mark the end of Lent. Some students have demonstrated self-discipline by choosing to fast or by giving up a luxury item for the 6 weeks leading up to Easter. Easter is an important date in the Christian calendar where Christians remember the sacrifice that Jesus made to restore the relationship between God and humanity. They remember the death and resurrection of Christ and the lessons which can be learnt from this sacrifice. It is a time for being thankful, charitable and coming together as a community.
To encourage our students to develop their compassion, self-discipline and empathy for those who are less fortunate, a challenge sheet has been given to students to complete during the Easter holidays. Some students have already made a great start by choosing to fast during the first week of Ramadan along side our Muslim students. There are plenty of different challenges to try so why not have a go and get the whole family involved this Easter.
John Taylor Free School participated in the JTMAT World Book Day activities which included lots of collaborative events around all things related to books and reading. Here are some of the classroom door decorations from across the Trust. It is really great being part of a wider family of schools.
On the 4th and 5th April, Eco Club ran a project called JTFS Big Clothes Collection associated with RagBag.
The reason our club started this project is because, through research, we found that unwanted clothes are not being reused or recycled as effectively as they could be, which causes a significant impact on the environment. If clothes don’t get reused, then it will likely to be thrown into land fill sites and never be used again creating lots of waste. In the UK there is an average of 30% of clothing that has been thrown away before it has been worn, which massively impacts on the environment, so we wanted to make a difference.
So far, we have collected 30 kg of unwanted clothing from our tutor groups and are expecting more over the week. We will run this project again next term to ensure we are continuing to reuse and recycle unwanted clothing. Please let Mrs Young know on firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to add to our collection.
Thank you to all groups who have contributed and are helping us to be a more sustainable community.
A group of students across several year groups have been running a creative writing group as a lunch time enrichment, with the assistance of Mrs Massey. They have created their first small anthology of writing about different cultures and the idea of celebration.
Here is a small sample of their work for you to enjoy.
Several Year 7 students have teamed up with Miss Hawkins to raise money for the British Red Cross to support the victims of the war in Ukraine. Following the diltoid activity recently, students have been busy setting up the next charity challenge!
JTFS are asking our community to participate in the World of Walking challenge to virtually walk from Ukraine to Poland.
This started on April 4th and will continue until April 25th, the end of the Easter holidays. Over Easter, we anticipate our students will be out and about often, so why not keep track of just how far we go!
To join us, please download the World of Walking app, join our group by searching John Taylor Free School, and log your walked miles.
Further, after Easter we will be holding a sponsored Inter-House Rounders tournament! Students must sign up in the sports hall with a 12-person team from their house ready for their first fixture, see the poster below for key dates and fixtures.
If you would like to donate to the British Red Cross, please visit our Just Giving Page!
On Friday 18th March, eight students from JTFS travelled to John Taylor High School to take part in an inter-JTMAT science quiz.
The event was in line with British Science Week, and with this year’s theme of growth in mind, students had the opportunity to develop their teamwork and problem solving skills.
A huge congratulations to Karo, Cemo, Sam, Max, Maia, Oliwia, Annmiya and Maria (with a special mention to Adam, who was a committed reserve team member) for representing our school and securing a fantastic 3rd place overall in the event.
In a post-quiz discussion, it was remarked that “the event was quite nerve-racking but we soon overcame it and felt confident in what we were doing! Although we didn’t manage to secure the coveted first place trophy, we did our best as a group, had a great time, met some lovely people… and are looking forward to winning the quiz when it takes place next year!”
Written by Karo
In PSHCE this half term, all students at JTFS have been learning about Health and Wellbeing.
In Year 7, students have explored the driving question ‘What are the challenges facing our world?’ by learning about the risks of alcohol, tobacco and other substances and then learning about how to manage puberty.
In Year 8, students have explored the driving question ‘What keeps me healthy?’ by learning about how to protect their own mental health and emotional wellbeing, by looking at topical issues such as body image and eating disorders/self-harm as well as learning how to check for breast and testicular cancer.
In Year 9, students have been debating the best ways to manage addiction in relation to illicit substances, smart phones, and gaming. They have also been assessing the risks of drug and alcohol abuse and addiction on people and families.
In Year 10, students have been evaluating the risks of committing crimes including learning about the justice system and how it works. They have also explored the influence of role models, both positive and negative and how to spot the latter.
Students have been asked their views on the most informative aspects of the curriculum this term and this is what they said:
Cancer as it made me understand what signs to look out for - (lots of the students mentioned this lesson)
Most of them because I usually learn something new.
Eating disorders as it informs you how to handle it or people who may be going through it
First aid because now I know how to deal with different minor injuries
Relationships because they help me to understand what a healthy relationship looks like
Everything as it’s all very important to me!
I am so proud of our students for showing respect for themselves and one another when learning about some difficult topics that will give them sound knowledge and understanding in the real world. We have also seen a huge improvement in their debate and oracy skills, and I know Mr Davis is really proud of this!
Well done Team JTFS!
Lead Teacher PSHE
As part of our vast enrichment program, students have been taking advantage of the sunny (and somewhat rainy!) weather to get to work in the JTFS garden. Students have been preparing the beds for planting, making birdfeeders, and in the final week of term they planted strawberry plants and bean seeds into pots. Some of the bean seeds will be kept in school ready for next term, but some will be taken home to add to the students' gardens at home.
Last month, our Year 9 Netball team were finally back competing after two years of cancelled fixtures and restrictions. After a delayed start - we arrived at the wrong Deferrers campus! - the afternoon was a great success.
Despite some challenging matches, the girls were incredible and demonstrated great teamwork and resilience. We saw some fantastic shooting from Maisie and superb defending from Lucy. It was great to see such competitive spirit from our students.
A special thank you to Betsy, our Year 8 student, who stepped up to play for the older year group.
Well done, girls!
Recent weeks have seen our sports teams meet De Ferrers for a variety of fixtures.
Two of our Year 7 and 8 netball teams played in their first ever fixture for JTFS in a tournament. Both teams played 9 matches and showed excellent teamwork and participator STRIPE skills.
The Year 9 boys football team also made the trip. Despite the well contested result not going their way, the team worked really hard with Harry and George scoring goals.
Finally, the Year 10 boys football team achieved great success on their trip to De Ferrers. The boys displayed excellent teamwork with John scoring two goals and Aaron scoring a third which put the boys out of sight en route to an impressive 3-0 win.
Dear parents and carers,
As Chair of Governors at JTFS, I am delighted to announce that we have recruited three new governors to the JTFS LGB (Local Governing Body). I extend a very warm welcome to Mohsin Ashraf, Michael Chiles and Maherul Hassan who will be joining us when we next meet after Easter.
The welcome addition of our three new governors brings our total number to eleven. Mrs Plant sits on the LGB as an ex officio governor which means that she is a governor by virtue of her role as Head of School. We also have seven co-opted governors, two parent governors and one staff governor. We are very lucky that our governors come from a diversity of backgrounds and possess a wide range of experience and expertise including law, business, education and HR.
The role of governor is strategic, the day to day running of the school being the responsibility of Mrs Plant and her dedicated team of teaching and support staff. As governors we provide strategic direction and ensure accountability and financial probity through our monitoring and evaluation of educational and financial data. As critical friends of the school, we aim to offer appropriate levels of support and challenge to the senior leaders to drive school improvement. We carry out our functions in the half termly meetings of our two committees (Learning and Standards and Managing and Organising) and, individually, we have link governor roles in relation to particular areas of interest such as Safeguarding, SEND, Health and Safety and sections of the school curriculum. From time to time, we might convene a panel or a working party from amongst our number to deal with things such as evaluating tenders for large projects to ensure the school achieves good value for money , the exclusion of a student or our transport to school offer.
Being a school governor is a voluntary role which carries great responsibility and is a significant commitment. At JTFS, we
are fortunate to have dedicated governors who are passionate about improving the education and life chances for the young people in our community. One of the real pleasures of the role is being able to come into school to see first-hand the impact we have made. I look forward to being able to do that again very soon. On behalf of the JTFS LGB, I wish you all a very Happy Easter.
Chair of Governors
Students have continued to work at developing our Outdoor learning space this term, we have made several new seating spots and wildflower growing areas to encourage more bee's and pollenating insects. We have potted up over 100 new saplings which we are raising in our rabbit free zone nursery and hope to plant these on once they have established.
We have continued to link in with the curriculum, in particular science, geography, history, and maths. Our Year 9 students' group have been recreating a settlement based on the history of Battlestead hill and the geographical and historical changes in the area and how it would have an impact on communities in the past to present day challenges to biodiversity.
Year 8/9 students have had the opportunity to cook over fire and build the foundations of an iron age round house, using only natural materials- it is still in progress and we are moving on to weaving the walls of the structure next term. We have also been monitoring the impact of litter on our local wildlife and will be adding our findings into our Eco schools report.
We use the opportunity during our outdoor learning to work on team building, leadership skills and well-being. We are lucky to have Pluto joining us in our sessions and it makes our time outside memorable and engaging.
19 May 2022
4:15 PM to 6:15 PM