Leadership Team Blog – Friday 19th September 2014

With our focused approach on enhancing the literacy skills of our students across the Partnership we have embedded a greater emphasis of core skills within all of our subject areas and in every lesson. In addition, this week we have been celebrating all that is Roald Dahl. September is Roald Dahl’s birth month and this year also see’s the 50th anniversary of the classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Students at Castle Manor (and across the Partnership) have had opportunities to get involved over the past few weeks. The ‘golden ticket’ challenge was launched and the competition was on! Students had to complete a range of twenty Roald Dahl themed challenges.

At first I was caught unaware of why students were having difficulty wearing their uniform properly and why they were dropping the word “gobblefunk” into everyday conversations. Then their motive became apparent…By successfully completing five challenges this would be rewarded through the issue of a golden ticket. The more participation and challenges completed, the more tickets achieved and therefore the greater the chance of winning a prize in the raffle which will be held after the deadline for the challenges on Monday 22nd September.

With this drive on improving the exposure and frequency of reading within the Academy our librarians have been hard at work over the summer selecting key and popular texts to ensure there is a wide range of material to suit all tastes available. We also value the need to be ‘digitally literate’ in this age of generating skills for the wider workplace. The development of the ‘digital’ section of our PLC will enable students and staff to have access to resources, key information and their subject content via an interface, which will raise pupils awareness of events around the school but also been used as a learning tool.

This compliments our Digital Learning Project via Year 7 & 8 iPads and also provides additional digital resources for the whole Academy. This should see an increased progression in developing students research skills and using sources to formulate persuasive answers in response to questions or tasks set by the teachers of their chosen courses. This can also be used as a great small group area, aiding specialist break out or revision sessions.

During this phase of the term students will have encountered all lessons on their new academic timetables and be starting to look at their aspirations for their term ahead. This process involves target setting for all pupils in all subjects together with allocated tutor meeting times to support how they are going to achieve these targets. Students are demonstrating high standards in the working conditions during lessons, in order to facilitate the achievement of their set targets through collaboration, discussion and self / peer / teacher assessment. The students are encouraged to be reflective when critically reviewing their work and setting their next steps.

I suppose if we were to ask Roald Dahl how target setting would work he might respond with something like this quote of his

“above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
Roald Dahl

As parents you will shortly be informed in more detail about the target setting process for this academic year together with having the opportunity to be part of that support package for your child through attending an appointment with your child’s tutor at our Academic Tutoring Day on Thursday 13th November 2014. I look forward to seeing you there.

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