NewsletterOctober 2023

~ October 2023 ~

Welcome to the first edition of The Garibaldi School Newsletter.  We aim to produce this once per half term to keep you updated on all the wonderful things happening in our school.

As always,  this half term has been filled with events and activities which I am pleased to say have all taken place in person.  It has been amazing to interact with so many parents who speak very highly of the school.

We want Garibaldi to be the best school possible; a school everyone is proud to be associated with.  To do this, we always welcome, and consider, the views of all associated with the school in order to improve based on different perspectives. It was great to see so many of you taking an interest in the recent parent forum (and the fish and chip supper) and we can’t wait for the next one which is focused on online safety. 

There have been numerous events this half term including the Year 11 Information Evening, Sixth Form Open Evening, parent forum, the Duke of Edinburgh Meeting and for Year 7 parents a Meet the Mentor Evening; to discuss how the new cohort have settled in. 

There are many more events to come in the next half term and I encourage you to keep an eye on the events list we sent out in the summer to see which events you can be involved in. 

At the time of writing this introduction, there have been over 13500 positive points issued for students who have completed amazing work or contributed in class.  I get the pleasure of walking into classes every day to see the young people in action and I am blown away with the quality of work and interactions in lessons.   We are so proud of our students and hope you are too.  We continue to develop our MCAS system to try and centralise the information you receive.  Hopefully you can keep track of all the positive points your child receives and speak to them at home about what they have received the points for!  If you haven’t already downloaded the MCAS app,  I encourage you to so.  Please check the school website or get in touch for further details.

I would like to wish Miss Watts all the very best for the future,  who leaves us to pursue a career oversees.  Also to wish Miss Bartley best wishes and good luck as she goes on maternity leave. 

A polite reminder that this Friday is an INSET day and school is therefore closed to students.  School resumes at the usual time on Monday 6th November 2023.

Well that’s enough from me,  please find below more information on our first half term.  I wish you a restful week and look forward to welcoming the students back into school after the holidays.

James Aldred

Head Teacher

Garibaldi School Culture Day - 4th September 2023

When the students returned to school on Monday 4th September they all engaged in the schools Culture Day. This was the first of it's kind at The Garibaldi School and was a fantastic opportunity created to support students in settling back in after the Summer break.

The whole day was dedicated to providing greater clarity to all students about how we do things at The Garibaldi School. Students spent the day in mentor groups visiting different members of staff. Areas covered included attendance, transition between lessons, being prepared for learning, safety and expectations in relation to social time at both breaks and lunch.

The school day isn’t just about attending lessons. So much goes on throughout the day and we need students to be fully aware of what is expected. This clarity provides reassurance to all and contributes to the safe, supportive, caring and compassionate environment we promote and provide.

Students looked at how their emotions and those of others can impact upon a particular moment and how the need for self-regulation is important. As we all know, reacting to situations without a moment’s thought can result in a very different outcome. Aspects of British values were also covered when we considered that we are a nation of very patient queuers! This patience is world famous and we must uphold the tradition in school too!

Pleasingly, we are hearing students talk about self-regulation but far more importantly we are seeing it every day from the vast majority of students. We are proud of how the majority of students behave and continue to get positive feedback from members of the community.

The culture work goes hand in hand with the school’s new character curriculum and the Year 7 pledge system. Culture will be revisited when we return from the half term break as we look at movement around the school site and why we have systems to support calm and orderly lesson changeovers. Students will like the systems we have to those in the ‘real world’ such as road safety measures and signage.

‘Good Character' is not formed in a week or a month. It is created little by little, day by day.’ Heraclitus.

Our job, as educators, is to ensure that the young people leaving our school at the end of their career at Garibaldi, whether that is in 5 or 7 years, will demonstrate excellent Character. This will look different for every individual, whether that is their resilience and grit, their ability to self regulate and their compassion or perhaps their perseverance and initiative, to name but a few.

All students' experienced a Character Day on 8th September where students spend time with their mentors working through a bespoke taught Character Education Programme. The feedback from teachers and students was extremely positive and it was our platform to kick start our Character Education agenda. Our work on Character is derived through the research carried out by the Jubilee Centre with the University of Birmingham and follows the Taught Caught Sought approach.

This academic year, your children will have a range of carefully considered and bespoke opportunities designed to promote positive Character traits. They will notice Character being explicitly taught in every Personal Development lesson, in addition to this, they will start to notice clear and explicit links to Character in their subject lessons. Your children will have more opportunities to learn beyond the classroom, whether that is trips outside of school or visiting colleagues delivering an enriched curriculum. There are also more opportunities for enrichment such as the ‘Leadership Academy’ or the ‘School News Reporters’. Student will also have greater access to leadership opportunities across all departments and all year groups, this includes a ‘peer mentoring’ programme designed to support each other with any friendship related challenges.

We are really excited to keep you updated as our Character journey progresses.

Our 2023 / 2024 parental engagement strategy is now in full swing!

The Senior Leadership Team really value the views and feedback from parents. Every year, parents are invited to complete the Edurio survey. We also benefited from the addition of the Ofsted Parent View following our most recent Ofsted inspection. The results of these surveys tells us that 83% of parents/carers have said that they would recommend The Garibaldi School.

This survey results informs us that parents really value the education that their children receive at The Garibaldi School. We are extremely proud of this, that said, there is always room for improvement.

Our priority this academic year is to encourage more parents to attend school for different events. This year we are inviting parents in for focussed events and to be part of the Parent Advisory Group.

Our first event was held on 3rd October where Mr Aldred had the opportunity to feed back to parents following the recent Ofsted visit. Parents were able to meet with the Senior Leadership Team and discuss their thoughts on what they feel the strengths of the school are and what we may need to do next to improve the quality of the provision for their children.

One of the emerging themes, from many of the conversations with parents, was around independent learning and home learning; therefore this will be a focus for a future session. The next event will be held on 7th November and will focus around online safety and the use of social media.

All parents are invited to attend the event plus here will be cakes and refreshments available.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those parents that have already attended the Ofsted Feedback event, your help and advice is invaluable to us.

We are extremely excited to be a lead launch school for the Healthy Minds Programme supported by the Harry Kane Foundation. Young people with healthy minds are more resilient, better able to manage challenge and face failure positively. Our job is to ensure that the next generation have all the skills to be successful, and this partnership will help us to achieve that for our community.

Oxford & Cambridge University

The deadline for University applications to Oxford and Cambridge, and for Medicine, Dentistry, and Veterinary Medicine, was on Monday 16th October. Ten students from The Garibaldi School Sixth Form submitted their applications to these prestigious Universities and courses. The process starts with a personal statement via UCAS, in which students showcase their passion for their chosen subjects and sell themselves to potential Universities. This year, our students have applied to study a range of courses at either of the Universities, ranging from Physics to Archaeology! Students have already started sitting their admissions tests for their chosen courses and we wish them well in their journeys.


Being in school everyday is important and at The Garibaldi School we like to celebrate  those students who achieve high levels of attendance. 

During October we set students a challenge of achieving 100% attendance between 9th – 20th October 2023.  Those who passed this challenge would receive a reward.

During this week we have congratulated students for this achievement and they have enjoyed the following rewards in school time:-

  • Successful Year 7 students were rewarded with a film afternoon on Monday this week.
  • Successful Year 8 students were rewarded with a film afternoon on Tuesday this week.
  • Successful students from ALL year groups received a freshly baked celebration cookie on Wednesday from our school canteen.

Well done to all those students who passed the challenge!

Remember being in school everyday means students can achieve to their full potential, have better career prospects and grow in confidence.

We will be monitoring attendance closely throughout the year and students will continue to be rewarded for high levels of attendance at school.  Please always encourage your child to be in school learning each day.


Year 7-11 Student Leaders

This academic year marks the re-launch of the Student Leadership Agenda, our students are being explicitly taught how to be Leaders through the KS3 ‘Garibaldi Leadership Academy’ which is taught through the enrichment provision. In addition to this, there are 13 possible Student Leadership teams with varying areas of interest for all students to opt into. For example, students may choose to get involved in the school production team, the youth expression team, the reading team or the charity team. All teams are facilitated by (not led by) a member of staff who is there to guide and advise, but the teams belong to the students and are there for the students to drive the agenda of their choice. We are particularly excited about the opportunity for 30 students to take part in Peer Mentoring training in order to support with the anti-bullying agenda in school. If students are interested, students can speak to Mrs Poznanski.

Please click on this link to view the dates for student leader meetings  Student Leaders


Year 12 and 13 Student Leaders

Interviews are already underway for Year 12 Student Leader positions, where we are looking to invite 2 students to support the growth and development of our Sixth Form experience. We already have a team of 4 Student Leaders in Year 13, who met with Mr West at the start of the year to discuss the progress of the new Sixth Form renovations, apprenticeship opportunities, and life skill sessions. Mr West is now working with students to implement some of their suggestions.


This first half term has seen the new period 7 enrichment lessons take place, with all students having the opportunity to extend their learning and develop new skills outside of the normal curriculum. We have started to develop KS3 students to becoming effective student leaders to allow them to join student leadership teams across the school and have more impact in to the day to day aspects of the school. We have also seen the start of the Garibaldi newsletter, students have taken full responsibility of this, writing articles, taking photos and completing interviews to fully appreciate the role of a journalist.

The Year 8 Enterprise Team have been working on small business ideas with the end product being a Halloween tuck shop for students to purchase products on Thursday 26th October during both break times. We have also seen the launch of The Garibaldi School Pledge, where students have to work towards a variety of pledge’s in their own time showing commitment and determination to complete one from each of the 8 categories that work alongside out personal development themes.

The period 7 lessons have been a hype of activity over this first half term and hopefully the students have thoroughly enjoyed the new experiences.

On 25th March 2024 our Year 7 students will embark on a 3 day camp trip at  PGL Caythorpe Court in Lincolnshire.  The trip will focus on character and personal development which supplements the curriculum. It also provides an amazing opportunity for students to continue to forge links with their peers, create bonds with other members of the year group and embed lasting memories.

At The Garibaldi School we value our outdoor education program. As members of The Garibaldi School community, this is a fantastic opportunity for our Year 7 students to experience learning outside the classroom and develop positive relationships with their peers.

The camp will consist of lots exciting team building exercises such as: abseiling, high rope courses, giant swings, code breakers, Jacob’s ladder and much more. 

Our Year 7 and 8 students are invited to take part in our annual Christmas Card Competition which they have been informed about in school.  This is to design this year's school Christmas card.  This is a chance to represent the school and create a piece of artwork to show off artistic skills and to be proud of. 

Students in those year groups who wish to take part are welcome to design and create a piece of artwork to be printed on this year's Garibaldi School Christmas card which will be sent out.  The deadline has been extended and all entries are to be submitted to Miss Mitchell or mentors on the first day back after half term - Monday 6th November 2023 to give student more time to work on their designs.  The final shortlist of entries will then be part of an online poll where parents and students across the school can view each finalist and vote for the winning design to be sent to print!

Good luck to all students taking part.  We cannot wait to see all the magnificent Christmas creations. 

Watch this space for a link to vote for your favourite masterpiece!

Congratulations to Dhanushiya in Year 9 for being awarded a Certificate of Merit in the Young Writers’ Competition. Her short story was selected for publication for the Young Writers’ Annual Showcase collection.

Dhanushiya is an exceptionally keen reader and writer who is already showing much promise at such a young age. The English Department is looking forward to seeing her books on the bestseller lists, and Miss Reinspach is secretly hoping for a dedication in Dhanushiya’s first novel.

This isn’t the first time either that Dhanushiya has distinguished herself; last year she was awarded the Head Teacher Award at The Garibaldi School’s Awards Evening.

Click here to view Dhanushiya's Story

Year 5/6 Open Evening 

Our Year 5/6 Open Evening took place on Wednesday 4th October 2023.  It was our most well attended open evening to date, with over 600 visitors from local primary schools.  Prospective parents and students were treated to a snap shot of what life is like at Garibaldi with activities to explore in all subject areas.  A range of sports were showcased in PE, a host of practical work was demonstrated in Science, the English department was transformed into a crime scene and the Business department made and personalised some branded keyrings.

Thank you to everyone who attended; it was nice to see so many people enjoying the event and meeting our staff.  Also, a huge thank you to our student volunteers who made us very proud during the event.  It was so nice to see such a mature and enthusiastic group of students interacting with our potential students and their parents.


Sixth Form Open Evening 

Our Sixth Form Open Evening also took place this month on Tuesday 17th October 2023.  Over 200 people attended the event, including over 70 students and their families. The evening started with a presentation from our Director of Sixth Form, Mr West, to discuss the achievements from August 2023 and the progress of our sixth form renovations. Students were then invited to browse the subject stalls and speak to staff for all subjects we have on offer in our Sixth Form, including the additional courses on offer at Meden School for Garibaldi students.  We also had Nottingham Trent University, Lincoln University and the University of Nottingham in attendance to speak to students about their future steps.


This month saw the first sessions of The Garibaldi School Community Project Craft Club who come together on Thursday lunchtimes to create some wonderful Christmas crafts which has been a great success so far.

During the next couple of months,  with the help of our students, we are hoping to make Christmas Pom Wreaths, Christmas cards and other Christmas decorations. These will then be donated to local Care homes and Retirement Homes.

As you can see our students are working hard on their creations.  More updates to follow in our December newsletter.

This evening, 25th October,  parents of Year 7 students will have the opportunity to come into school to meet their mentor. This is a chance you find out how your child has settled into school, and ask any questions that you may have.

There will also be an opportunity to talk to the Safeguarding, Student Services and Attendance Teams throughout the evening.

Mr Voice, the school SENCO, will also be available if parents have any SEND related queries.

We look forward to welcoming parents at the event.

We were very excited to re-launch the Duke of Edinburgh Award to a group of over 30 Year 10 students in September last year.  Students carried out their own voluntary, physical and skills-based activities throughout the year and the scheme culminated in July with two overnight camping expeditions, set a week apart, in the local countryside.  Ms Gibbs, Ms Pilmore, Mr Harrison, Ms Griffin, Mr Fayers and Ms Stevenson accompanied the two trips; the first being a practice expedition where students honed their map-reading, tent-pitching and pasta-cooking skills.  The 2nd expedition was the ‘qualifying’ expedition where students were assessed on their ability to plan a suitable walking route, carry their tents and all the associated camping gear and walk unsupervised in the beautiful area close to Clumber Park. 

Over the 4 days, we were subjected to the whole range of British weather from blazing sunshine to heavy rain and a thunderstorm.  Mr Harrison came unsuitably under prepared except for a very small umbrella, which seemed to keep him remarkably dry, against all odds!

There were a few stand out performances from students who really do deserve a special shout-out.  Kyle Mcllvenna and Aaron McKenzie must be praised for their rather luxurious take on a camping meal; both brought and cooked steaks for dinner, much to the envy of their fellow campers!  Emilie Richardson managed to walk the majority of the 2nd day with her walking boot duct-taped to her foot after suffering a fatal split of the boot in a puddle.   Mia Rathbone completed days 1 and 2 before heading straight over to The Nottingham Arts Theatre for an audition, where she secured a lead role in Les Miserables.  And finally, Kyle Mcllvenna was described as the most impressive candidate that the Nottingham County Council group leaders had worked with all year.   When you bear in mind that these staff work with hundreds of young people each year from all sorts of schools across the county, to say this made us proud is an understatement!  

At The Garibaldi School we like to celebrate our students and their achievements as we are very proud of them all.  Following our Awards Evening in July 2023 we now have proudly displayed images of the Head of Year, Head Teacher's and Governors' Award winners for 2022-2023 in the school foyer for all staff, students and visitors to see.  Well done to all students who were invited to the event and received awards for working so hard all year.  

The photos on display are as follows:- 

Head Teacher's Award 2023 - Dhanushiya Asaithambi

Governors Award 2023 - Sam Lewing

Year 7 Head of Year Award - Samantha Mabhurasi

Year 8 Head of Year Award - Sienna Hayward

Year 9 Head of Year Award - Jessica Harrison

Year 10 Head of Year Award - Cameron Jackson

Year 12 Head of Year Award - Emma Greasby


Events Next Half Term:-

  • 7th November 2023 - Parent Engagement Evening Focus: Online Safety / Social Media - 4.30pm to 5.30pm
  • 15th November 2023 - Meet the Mentor Evening Years 8/9/10/11/12 and 13 - 3.30pm to 7.00pm
  • 22nd November 2023 - Parents Evening for Year 11 - 3.30pm to 6.30pm
  • 6th December 2023 - Parent Engagement Evening Focus: Attendance - 4.30pm to 5.30pm
  • 12th December 2023 - Awards Evening for Ex Year 11 & 13 Students - 6.00pm to 8.00pm
  • 13th December 2023 - Creative Arts Production - 6.00pm to 8.30pm TO BE CONFIRMED