With GCSE exams just getting into full swing and only a few more compulsory days left at school, please find below some important information and reminders about the end of this school year:
Your child will remain in school full time until Wednesday 8th June 2016. After the second maths exam on Thursday 9th June there will be our traditional Year 11 leavers’ assembly and then students will be free to go onto study leave from lunchtime. After 9th June students only need to come into school for pre-arranged revision sessions or exams. Over the next few weeks there are a number of pre-exam booster and revision sessions for your son/daughter to attend, details of these can be found here.
Exam sessions start at 9.00am and 1.15pm
Please ensure your child is clear about timings and venues for each exam. This information is clearly displayed on the exams noticeboard next to the dining hall and also on their individual timetable. Students should arrive 15 minutes prior to the start of an exam session. If you know your child is going to be late, please contact school immediately to let us know. Please speak to Mrs Middleton, Exams Officer, if you have any queries.
A reminder that your child must wear FULL school uniform for attendance to all examinations – including appropriate footwear. Failure to do so may mean your child is removed from an examination. Students must also have nothing in their pockets and will be reminded of this at the start of exams (particularly relevant for the deep blazer pockets). Students found with revision materials or phones accidentally left in their pockets could also face removal.
Please ensure your child arrives with all the necessary equipment for his/her exams:
Mobile phones or any other electronic equipment e.g. smart watches are not allowed in the exam room under any circumstances. There have been various incidences across the country where examination papers have been cancelled due to breaching of this rule.
Signing off day / book and uniform return: Tuesday 28th June 2016
Signing off day for all students will be on Tuesday 28th June in the Hub, between 9.15am – 10.45am. Students should bring the signing off sheet which can be downloaded here, as well as any text books or revision materials that they are required to return to their teachers.
When the school purchased new uniform items for Year 11 students, it was always envisaged that they would hand back in their school blazers, clip-on ties and any unwanted PE kit. These items will be invaluable as spares and where uniform is still in good condition we will use this to support students lower down the school. Therefore, please can you ensure your son / daughter returns the above items during signing off day.
GCSE Results Day: Thursday 25th August 2016
Results will be available to collect from 8.30am until 12.00pm in the Hub. If you are away you can either provide Mrs Middleton with £1.00 for franking an A4 envelope or nominate another person to collect your results on your behalf; you must notify Mrs Middleton in writing before the end of the year as to whom you have nominated.
A short progression questionnaire must also be completed by students as they collect their results. We are required to report student destinations to the Local Authority and this information will allow us to do this.
These arrive in school in November. A letter to remind students to come into school to collect these will be posted home nearer the time.
Post 16 Enrolment Day: Friday 26th August 2016
Entry into Year 12: Please come into school on this date to see if you have secured your place in Year 12 or if you require further guidance on your Post 16 options. Information will be available in results envelopes and Ms Bell, Post 16 Year Manager, will be sending out a separate letter regarding Post 16 enrolment procedures in due course. Students will be allocated a slot between 10.00am and 1.00pm to come in to meet with a member of staff in the Hub to confirm their Year 12 programme of study.
Careers advice / College / Apprenticeships: Advice on courses provided by other educational establishments outside Ashington High School will be available from an independent Local Authority careers advisor on this day also. These appointments will operate on a drop-in basis and will run from 10.00am until 1.00pm in the Hub.
I’d like to remind you about the Year 11 prom at Linden Hall on the 23rd June 2016. Separate Prom letters have gone out from Mr Holliday, please get in touch with him if you have any questions or queries.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support this year; I could not be prouder than to have this group of Year 11 students as my first GCSE cohort as Principal! I know how hard students and their families have worked and I congratulate you all in advance of the Summer for your efforts. I would also like to publicly acknowledge Mr Holliday’s tireless efforts as Year Manager, and thank teaching staff for their commitment.
I look forward with anticipation to some wonderful exam results and students moving on happily to the next stage in their education, training or employment, with hopefully many joining us for Post 16 studies here at school.
Should you have any further queries regarding support for your son/daughter, or any of the above arrangements, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Our new Lunchtime Enrichment timetable has now been launched to offer students a range of activities they can go along to during lunchtime. We have aimed to offer a wide range of activities – something to suit everyone. It’s simply a case of turn up and get involved! Click on the timetable on the right to view.
As term 2 of this school year draws to a close I am writing with updates and to highlight some of the events we have had going on this term, to inform you of a change to lunchtime arrangements after Easter, and also mention our plans for Easter revision sessions for students sitting exams this summer.
It has been another busy and non-stop term with some fantastic successes and experiences for many of our students. We officially opened our new building, with the school student council joining Ian Lavery and invited guests for speeches and a ribbon cutting. The first ever full KS3 parents’ evenings have been completed with a strong turnout from parents and lots of positive and challenging feedback which we will be taking on board next term. Year 8 and 9 students will also shortly be considering their option subjects for GCSE studies next year. Options evening for Y8 and 9 parents and students is on Wednesday 27th April, please mark this date in your diary. A separate letter with more detail will be coming home soon about this from Mrs Moore.
Celebration assemblies, rewards certificates and attendance letters have been shared with students and school attendance continues to improve overall. May I remind you of the importance of attendance at school and our target of 95% attendance for all students. Whilst some students find this target difficult to hit due to medical or other unforeseen issues, and many students work fantastically hard to make it into school through challenging personal circumstances or conditions, we know there are a number of students whose attendance can easily improve with a little more effort and willing. It is not too late in the year for students to make a huge impression on their overall attendance by achieving as close to 100% as possible in term 3.
Around 40 Post-16 students have experienced a wonderful week in New York and 16 lower school students have enjoyed a creative writing week in Shropshire. Over 30 students also visited Disneyland Paris for a week as part of a STEM trip. We have had dancers at Newcastle Eagles and students at England rugby and many other sporting events and fixtures, and our recent Sport Relief day raised over £1,500 for charity including a large number of mile runners and walkers – a really positive day for all staff and students. Please do check out the News section of our website for regular updates on school life.
Building work on the new fitness room facility and community changing rooms to the rear of the Training Shed has begun in earnest and is moving at pace with bricks now being laid. This facility will be complete and open for the start of next school year.
Our school House System has been relaunched this term with all staff and students getting the opportunity to join in events such as Sport Relief Bake-Off, House Spelling Bee, football, fitness and dance. New logos for the Eagles, Falcons, Magpies and Vipers Houses have also been designed by students and these will be finalised and published shortly after Easter. Well done to all students and staff who have so far contributed to their House; more competitions will be coming online after Easter.
To facilitate House and other activities at lunchtime, and also try to make learning for KS3 students more productive around the lunchtime lessons, we are going to trial a one lunch system after Easter and remove the split lunch. Year 7 and 8 students will be allowed to go for lunch 20 minutes early to avoid queues, which will mean they receive an extended lunch (1 hour) to try to encourage a greater rest period and also the opportunity for students to engage in our Active Lunchtimes programme which we will be able to relaunch once all students are on the same lunch period. Yard areas will be closely managed to enable a Y7 and Y8 only space and extra food outlets will be made available. Morning break times currently work well and we feel that students are now well settled in our school and will be able to manage this transition smoothly. We will review lunch provision for 2016-17 once we have trialled a single lunchtime over the summer term.
At the end of term one I wrote with updates on the back gate, behaviour, uniform and shoes. I am pleased to say that the majority of students are continuing to perform incredibly well with regard to complying with school life and behaving well. Uniform and shoes continue to be checked as students enter the building and during tutor time and lessons and uniform is generally very positive. Lateness is improving, although a small minority of students are still failing to make it into school on time, please allow me to remind you that the bell for the start of our school day rings at 8.40am and students need to be on site at this time.
I also highlighted language and positive communication as a concern before Christmas. For a very small number of students this remains a challenge and their conduct towards staff has at times been poor. Our staff expect to be spoken to with courtesy and respect, and I expect the same of them in their dealings with students or parents. Any student who speaks inappropriately towards a member of staff, using foul language in particular, will be sent home to complete their school work. I will be booking meetings with parents of any students who feel it is appropriate to behave in this way to discuss alternative educational options away from AHS.
Finally, exam preparation for Y11 and Post-16 students should now be moving into top gear. The Easter holidays are a perfect opportunity for students to begin their full revision programme, balancing a revision timetable with some rest and relaxation at this potentially stressful time. We have a full Easter programme of revision available (shared with students in assembly, directly to you via SchoolComms message and on the front page of our website / Frog homepage also) where staff will be coming into school in their holiday time to work with students.
Revision materials are available on Frog and from class teachers and formal Year 11 homework will be removed after Easter to allow students to manage their own time and revision as exams will come around quickly on our return to school. A full after-school programme in the build up to exams will also be available – students should take advantage of this to support their preparation. Staff are working as hard as possible to prepare students; should parents need any guidance in supporting their child then please do get in touch with us at school. I look forward to all of the hard work of students, parents and staff paying off with some fantastic exam results in the summer.
Please accept my warmest wishes for a good Easter break.
Dear Parents / Carers
I am writing as chair of the governing body of Ashington High School to bring you up to date about how the school is being governed and how you can help us and the staff to do our very best for your sons and daughters.
On 1st March 2016, the former Governing Body of Ashington High School stepped down. The school is now directed by a Temporary Governing Body, which will stay until a long term solution is announced by the Department for Education. We cannot give you a time for this because it is up to the DfE. However, the Temporary Governing Body will stay in place until this happens. We have met, identified what is going well and areas that need more improvement. We will work conscientiously with staff and leaders to raise standards further and secure the school for the future.
The TGB is very experienced and knows schools well. Patricia Wager, the chair, was head of Sacred Heart High in Newcastle for 15 years, an outstanding school. The vice chair, David Cookson, is an experienced senior leader who has worked in many highly regarded schools. We have an ex head teacher of another successful school and several leaders from industry. Importantly, we also have two parent representatives to keep us rooted in realities, also the principal and a staff rep.
Most important, I wish to re-assure you that that the staff are working hard and teaching well to give your children the very best education. Having visited lessons, seen school assessments and spoken to leaders and many staff and students, there is every reason to be confident that the school is improving rapidly in all of the areas that were criticised by inspectors. This is not being taken for granted, and is being checked very carefully by senior leaders.
Staff are checking thoroughly that students are on track to meet the higher standards required in examinations. Please impress upon your children that staff are here to help in any way they can and students must tell the teacher if they are not sure about something. Right from Year 7, this is vital. To do well, all students must, with your full support, be at school every day, listen to their teachers, behave themselves, do the work and always do their homework carefully. Success in any school depends on parents, students and staff all pulling together in partnership.
If you have any concerns about your son or daughter’s progress, please get in touch with Mr Douglas at the school. Thank you most warmly for your continuing support and I look forward to a bright future for Ashington High School and its community.
Chair of the Temporary Governing Body
The new term has started very well and the response from students and staff to our new facilities has been very positive. Staff worked incredibly hard before Christmas to move their classrooms out of the Annex and into the new building, and although there are inevitably still some small issues to resolve, all in all our school is a much improved place to learn in with our extension now open.
Year 11 parents will have the opportunity to look around the building during Y11 Parents’ Evening on Wednesday 13th January from 3.00-7.00pm. All other parents are welcome to join us for a look around at a Parents Drop-In on Wednesday 20th January from 5.00-6.30pm. This will be an informal evening where you can look at the building and chat to Senior Leaders and staff from the C&G Faculty if desired.
The back gate to school is now closed and locked at 8.35am and does not re-open until five minutes before the end of the school day. Students need to be in school by 8.40am. Any student who is late to school at the front door without a valid medical or personal reason (or if the school bus runs late) will be issued with a ‘Late AM’ Community Flag and you will receive a text message informing you of this. Two Community Flags in a week will result in an after school detention.
Uniform and shoes are also being checked rigorously as students enter the building and during tutor time and lessons. Students who are not in the correct uniform and are without a valid medical or personal reason will be isolated until contact with home can be made and a solution found. Our uniform policy is on the school website; if you have any queries or problems with regard to uniform please contact the relevant Year Manager as soon as possible so that we can prepare a solution to support your child.
Language and positive communication was a concern before Christmas. since the holiday, behaviour has been positive from the vast majority; let’s hope this can continue for all of 2016!
We have a number of Parents’ Evenings this term, dates are below. These are key events in the school year as they allows us to discuss with you face to face your son / daughter’s progress. Please do try to attend as the importance of feedback, communication and parental engagement in education is well documented as a major driver for success.
As the school year begins to get into full swing and our students continue to settle incredibly well into their studies, I thought I would write to you to make you aware of some of the many trips, visits and enrichment opportunities that we have planned this year.
As always, staff here at Ashington High are once again keen to bring their lessons and learning to life by offering opportunities beyond the classroom. Throughout the year there will be many chances for your son / daughter to engage in clubs, teams and House activities after school and at lunchtime, and different subjects have different activities planned throughout the year.
Departments will contact you as appropriate on an individual basis for smaller, more local activities. However, as a parent I understand some of the demands of planning for larger events so below is a list of our larger residential events to enable you to see in advance some of the fantastic opportunities on offer.
If you have any questions or queries about any of these trips please contact the member of staff highlighted above as the visit leader. Some trips have already started recruiting; letters are available from lead members of staff. Trips yet to launch will be promoted with info and letters to students as the year progresses.
I look forward to hearing of some wonderful experiences in due course.