Welcome to the first “end of half term” newsletter of the 2022/3 academic year. What a fantastic half term it has been. Students have returned to school with real calmness, purpose and fantastic attitudes to learning. What goes on in class is nothing short of amazing. I have been really privileged to see such fantastic work by students, some of which will be shared via this newsletter. If I can also refer you to the Year Group, pages of the website to visit our “Hall of Fame” where students have been nominated for recognition by members of staff.
If you recall from my first letter in September, we are looking for as many opportunities as possible, to open up the school and invite parents in to see what we do, talk to us about what matters to you and showcase all the fantastic things about Garibaldi. We have held parent workshops, meet the leadership team evenings, Year 11/13 information evening, sixth form open evening and meet the mentor evening for Year 7 so far with meet the mentor evenings for the other year groups to come in the next half term.
Our annual open evening for prospective Year 6 students welcomed nearly 500 people into the building which is phenomenal. These visitors to our school were very complimentary particularly about how polite and helpful our students were and were an absolute credit and advocates of the school.
I would like to thank you, as always, for your ongoing support at the start of the term. As we refresh and renew what we do and how we do things at the beginning of a year, it takes all of us working in partnership to embrace these changes and support students to adapt where necessary. Can I also thank you for supporting us in ensuring your children wear the correct uniform.
There are a significant number of parents who have downloaded the ‘My Child at School App’. If I could encourage you to download this if you haven’t already done so. As the year progresses we will start to use this for the majority of our communications. It also provides you with real time information on attendance, positive points, behaviour and much more. We have also started to use this for parents’ evenings.
There are a significant number of students who have signed up and taking part in enrichment activities at the end of the day. Next half term we are offering more clubs and activities for students and I hope the number of participants increases further. Examples of clubs/activities on offer next half term include: Art, Cheerleading, Dungeons & Dragons, girls’ and boys’ football, netball and many more. Click on the link to visit our half term 2 for the enrichment timetable.
We intend to hold our next Parents Forum meetings on Wednesday 16th November 2022. There are four workshops to choose from: Virtual Learning – and supporting your child online: attendance; reading and anti bullying. Further details will be sent out after the half term to register your places on these workshops.
We have undertaken development work on our approach to our anti bullying strategy. We have refreshed our systems and processes and worked with the Anti Bullying Alliance and students to embed best practice to ensure students and parents are signposted to the right people and places for support and guidance.
Our refreshed approach will be launched during assemblies during the first two weeks back and there is an opportunity for parents to become involved in our approach via the above forum. This culminates in a planned series of events Week Beginning 14th November, which is the National anti-bullying week. Again further details will be shared nearer the event.
Over the next couple of weeks, our website will be having a redesign and update so keep your eyes peeled for this. If I can also refer you to the curriculum pages you can find here everything that will be studied over the course of the year and examples of independent learning for students to work on at home.
Below is a calendar of events as a reminder for the next half term. I look forward to meeting you at one of these events and wish you all a very restful half term week and will see students back at the usual time on Monday 31st October.
This half term saw the very first golden ticket tombola draws for each year group. Golden tickets have been awarded to students who have gone above and beyond either in lessons or when completing independent tasks. Many students have been proudly displaying golden tickets in their lanyard pockets and this has provided staff and students with a great opportunity to find out more about the hard work that went into securing this special recognition. The tombola draws were cast live to mentor groups via Teams and the tension was palpable!
Pictured below are 5 of our 6 winners – they each received a £10 Amazon voucher. We look forward to next half term’s draws.
The deadline for University applications to Oxford and Cambridge was on Saturday 15th October and five students from The Garibaldi School Sixth Form have submitted their applications to these prestigious Universities. The process starts with a personal statement via UCAS, in which students showcase their passion for their chosen subjects. Students have applied to study a range of courses at either of the Universities, ranging from Biomedical Science, to Computer Science, to Psychological and Behavioural Science. Students have already started sitting their admissions tests for their courses. Jesie Meakin, who is applying to Keble College Oxford, stated that: “I have been fully supported through the process by my mentor, Miss Hadley and Mr West. I found the BMAT admissions test challenging in the time provided and you had to be quite concise. It’s just a waiting game now for the results!”
This term in Art Year 9 have been doing observational studies in a variety of media and techniques for their ‘Natural Forms and Funky Vessels’ project. Over the past few weeks they have conducted, research and copied photography by Karl Blossfeldt, drawn detailed pencil tonal studies from real onions and have developed skills using quick, experimental drawings from life. Working to a timer, students moved around the room to create drawings using twigs, ink, pencil and coffee challenging themselves to develop a looser style, in the lesson planned by Mrs Owens. It was great to see the number of pegs that were clipped onto work, asking us to send photos of their work home and hear the excitement around working in such a different way in Art.
The Business Department working with the Mr Hall in Design Technology Department have been working with some of our students to develop some ideas to support Charity throughout the year. As part of our “Be Kind” in business philosophy this has included looking at how we might raise funds at Christmas, at Easter and how we might support the work started last year by our Year 12s to help our local community with the Foodbank initiative.
Some of our Year 7s have also looked at design ideas for candles and in particular how these might be developed to support Pride Month and to offer different scented candles such as Apple Crumble, Latte Coffee and Linen at different points in the year.
It is important that students see that Business is not just about profit but also has a positive role in supporting communities and demonstrating social responsibility.
Joseph Overton has made an excellent start to the first part of his iMedia coursework. He has developed a visual style for his product, a front, spine and back cover of a travel guide. He has then developed his logo idea from sketch to digital product. He has then designed the product, first creating a visualisation diagram and then going on to develop the design digitally using a combination of Canva and Photopea. Mr Connolly has been incredibly impressed with his positive and productive start to the new course. Well done!
Meanwhile in Computer Science we have been trying to get Y7 and Y8 students to work more beyond the walls of the classroom by setting interesting challenges via the code.org website. There has been a real increase in uptake this year so well done to all students who have done this. Remember that every student can access independent learning tasks by logging into office.com and checking their MS Teams from home.
Year 9 were certainly feeling the Mexican vibe when they had a go at making Quesadillas in their first practical this half term. They filled them full of healthy ingredients that would appeal to teenagers : chicken, ham, peppers and lots and lots of cheese... even hot dog sausages found their way in there!
Lots of different skills were used and it was lovely to see students gaining in confidence throughout the lessons. Well Done!!!
It’s now week five of the English Department’s Enrichment Club. This term has seen some of our Key Stage 3 students making the most of this opportunity to read and get creative with some of the best books in The Garibaldi School library.
This term’s book of choice is ‘Dreaming the Bear’ by Mimi Thebo. The protagonist has moved far away from her life of shopping malls, cinemas and wifi. (No, it’s not a fantasy - horror story, there really are places with no internet!)
So far, we have read lots of the book and researched anything that really grabbed our interest; now we are producing some brilliant written work that has been inspired by this writer.
So, Key Stage 3 students – if you enjoy reading and would like an extra chance to boost your reading skills, why not come along to the English Department’s Reading club? (Every Tuesday at 3.00pm – See your English teacher for more details).
It’s been a busy start to the year in Geography!
Year 7 have been investigating sustainability around the world. We are particularly proud of the work completed by 7B4 with their group presentations!
Year 8 have been investigating migration and 8A1 had some amazing conversations around what a border is and why we have them.
Year 9 have been conducting fieldwork investigating how biodiversity varies on the school site. Sweep nets and bug pots have proved to be very exciting!
In Year 10 and 11 students have produced excellent work around urbanisation and tectonic hazards, particularly why similar earthquakes have different impacts.
Year 12 have made an excellent start with a particular mention for Hannah Smith and Asha Scott who have submitted essays to the Royal Geographical Societies ‘School Essay Competition’. They both produced excellent pieces of work which we are all very proud of! We await the results with baited breath!
Year 13 continue to make excellent progress in their coursework. There are some brilliant titles this year including ideas around cultural identity in Manchester and regeneration in Sheffield. We are really excited to read all the completed pieces of work!
It’s been a great first half-term in History...
...KS3 have made a brilliant start to the year:
Year 7 have been looking at Ancient Medicine. They have looked at how prehistoric man was able to discover medical treatments which we still use today. They were amusingly horrified at some of the more gross aspects of ancient medicine and public health including trephining, the four humours and a sponge on a stick!
Year 8 have been working on Renaissance profiles and local history, looking at Hardwick Hall (always worth a visit!) whilst Year 9 have been working on the British Constitution and political parties. It is always a pleasure to see students work so hard independently.
KS4 students have been developing their exam answers using the ‘I do, we do, you do’ approach. They have learned how to structure answers and the importance of including SPED (statistics, people, events and dates).
Sixth form students having been researching their chosen topics for their coursework. Many students are looking at the topic of the Holocaust. This is of special importance to us this year as Garibaldi School has been chosen to take part in the Beacon School Project in Holocaust teaching.
‘The Maths department are really excited to add to the Year 9 teaching for 2022/2023 their ‘Sustainability and the Environment’ lessons which we started to deliver from this September, which looks in detail at the numbers involved in important issues in the news today around deforestation, renewable energy, and plastic in the oceans to name but a few! We think it’s really important that our future mathematicians understand the numbers involved in these key topics for discussion, and we are already getting brilliant feedback from our students who tell us that they are really enjoying this additional element to the Year 9 Schemes of Learning.’
It has been a busy but rewarding half term in the PE Department. Teachers have worked hard to implement our new concept curriculum, moving the sole focus of lessons from practical performance in sports and activities to the vital skills and qualities our young people need in order to become assets to our local community.
Across Year 7 to 9, students have been asked to consider the importance of positivity and attitude on their own and others' performances, how they can help inspire others to understand the importance of health and wellbeing (including their mental and social health) and how practice and feedback helps and supports us to meet our potential.
Outside of lessons participation has again been high in organised activities. Congratulations to our Year 10 and Year 11 cross country runners who performed amazingly in the recent Mansfield Schools Cross Country event, and well done to our Year 7 boys' football team who made their representative debut with a fine win in the Year 7 Mansfield Schools Cup. We look forward to sharing future success with you.
Pictured - some players from Year 7 football team
This term in Performing Arts Year 12 and 13 have been fully committed to student led teaching for their Unit 1 written exam with Miss Biggs.
Students were asked to choose an element from the exam content to teach to the rest of the class focusing on a specific scene or song from our chosen musical theatre piece 'Sweeney Todd' and linking it back to their chosen practitioner, Stephen Sondheim. This has been a great success and students have commented that whilst they have been taken out of their comfort zone with this form of teaching and learning, they have found it useful in developing their understanding of the exam content, Stephen Sondheim as a practitioner and feeling more prepared for their upcoming exam in January.
Wow! What an incredible start to the academic year for Personal Development and Careers.
We have already achieved so much in such a short space of time, including Sexions visits from Sherwood Forest Hospitals for the whole of Year 9, Year 10 and Year 11, having external and professional sexual health advice.
We have also spent a significant amount of time in lessons to give our Year 10 students the best chances of gaining work experience opportunities for May, 2023. To support career opportunities in every year group, we are really excited to announce that we have also introduced a new Careers Padlet page for parents and carers, keeping everyone up to date with all of the opportunities our community, local employers and the school have to offer (please scan the QR code above for more information).
For the rest of the year ahead, we have invited several different employers (from the NHS and the Police Service, to construction companies such as Willmott Dixon) to deliver workshops for each of our year groups, offering their expertise and knowledge on current labour market information. We can’t wait to meet them and for our students to gain these fantastic experiences!
What’s green and sings?
Year 10 have been studying photosynthesis in their science lessons. The sequence of lessons finished with students carrying out an investigation into the effect that light intensity has on the rate at which pond weed is able to produce oxygen.
After we spent the morning getting the classroom conditions optimal for plant photosynthesis, Year 10 started their practical and went about counting the number of oxygen bubbles the pond weed produced in a minute. Unfortunately, the classroom door opened for a short period of time, which cooled the experiment down, and our plants stopped photosynthesising.
After discussion, Year 10 consulted the equation for photosynthesis, and started to think about how they could increase the rate of photosynthesis again. One group realised that by increasing the concentration of carbon dioxide around the plant, they might get the plant to photosynthesise, and consequently they started to sing to their plants.
We are still unsure if this was down to chance or a true causation, however when students started singing Blue Suede Shoes, the plant released more bubbles of oxygen! So, in answer to the title of this article, the answer, of course, is Elvis Parsley.
¡Luces! ¡Cámara! ¡Acción!
Pupils in Year 7 have been practising their speaking in Spanish lessons by performing puppet shows. Pupils worked hard to create a script, practise, and memorise it and then perform it in front of the class and on video. Their wonderful acting skills were very clearly on show as well as their amazing Spanish. Mr Orme, Mrs Rawson and Mrs Bramley-Justiz were so impressed with pupils' excellent and accurate pronunciation which is testament to their extremely positive attitude to learning in Spanish. ¡Olé!
Keep up the great work Year 7!
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